Golden Bachelorette’s Joan Vassos Reveals Conversation With Gerry Turner That Has Me Worried About Her Season

 Joan Vassos talks to Gerry Turner outside on a bench on The Golden Bachelor.
Joan Vassos talks to Gerry Turner outside on a bench on The Golden Bachelor.

Bachelor Nation was first introduced to Joan Vassos, the lead of the inaugural season of The Golden Bachelorette, on Gerry Turner’s season of the senior-centered reality dating show. The 61-year-old grandmother from Maryland seemed to be a frontrunner before she was forced to exit the show to tend to a family issue, but the fans she acquired over those few weeks are surely as excited as I am to see her getting another chance at love in her golden years. However, Vassos just revealed a conversation she had with Turner that has me concerned she may run into the same problems he and Theresa Nist did.

Joan Vassos Recalls Talking To Gerry Turner About Where They Would Live

Joan Vassos and Gerry Turner got on like gangbusters on The Golden Bachelor when they got to go on a one-on-one date. It was just the next morning when the school administrator got the call from her daughter that required her to leave. However, in her short time in Bachelor Mansion, it seems she and the 72-year-old widower found time for a pretty important conversation regarding where they would live if they ended up together. Vassos told CNN:

That was actually the first question that Gary [sic] asked me. We sat down for the first time together and he said, ‘You live in Maryland, I live in Indiana. How do you see something like this working?’ … My answer to him was – and it still is my answer – I think you almost have to live a dual life.

Gerry Turner ended up proposing to Theresa Nist — a resident of New Jersey — on The Golden Bachelor’s finale and marrying her on live TV just months later. Unfortunately the union was short-lived, as the couple announced in March that they were divorcing. While confusion and rumors continue to swirl over what happened, the fact that neither seemed willing to move for each other seemed to be a factor in their split, which has me worried that history might repeat itself with Joan Vassos.

Joan Vassos Says She’ll Never Leave Her Family

The Golden Bachelorette has not yet begun filming, and no casting information has yet been released, but hopefully the production will take into consideration the fact that Joan Vassos has no plans to relocate from Maryland. She said:

I’ll never leave my family. They are the most important people in the world to me obviously, and I would expect that to be the same for the person that I end up with because family is so important to me, that would have to be a key part of their personality.

Joan Vassos not only wants to remain committed to her own family, she said she wants to find a man who is equally committed to his, which likely means she doesn’t expect whoever she ends up with on The Golden Bachelorette to relocate for her either. It sounds like she’s already preparing herself for the possibility of a long-term, long-distance relationship, as Vassos continued:

You have to be willing to … travel and be with that person and maybe spend a couple of months or a couple of weeks at a time … and then maybe eventually, you figure out a destination that would work for you and your families or have another house where everybody gets together.

It’s certainly possible for two people to maintain a relationship, or even a marriage, while being based in two different places, though I’m not sure that would be the ideal situation — especially if you know going in that that’s how it would have to be. At least The Golden Bachelorette contestants will presumably know this from the outset. There’s also the possibility that the show will cast more residents from Maryland or narrow their search in some way.

Still, with Joan Vassos going into the experience with the mindset that she’ll likely be living a “dual life” with the man she chooses, I'm now a little wary of the upcoming season, especially after Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist's breakup. We’ll see what happens when The Golden Bachelorette premieres on the 2024 TV schedule this fall! In the meantime, you can catch Jenn Tran’s season of The Bachelorette, which premieres at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 8, on ABC.