Joan Vassos dishes about her dating life before ‘The Golden Bachelorette’ casting


Joan Vassos has dished about what her dating life was like before being announced as the new The Golden Bachelorette star.

After appearing on Gerry Turner’s The Golden Bachelor season last year, Joan admitted dating was “still hard” during a recent appearance on “The Golden Hour” podcast, which is co-hosted by Kathy Swarts and Susan Noles.


“I haven’t figured out the formula yet. I don’t love online dating… I don’t think people are super truthful. I had an online date that I walked into the restaurant and I looked around, and I was meeting this man at a restaurant to have a drink,” Joan shared.

“I looked around and was like, ‘Oh, I guess he’s not here!’ I went and sat down, and I see this man waving at me from across the bar — and I’m looking at him, and he looks nothing like his picture! He looks completely different! So I just feel like that is kind of typical of what you get when you do online dating.”

Joan explained how she said “yes” to social gatherings as a result.

“I go out a lot and I’m very social, but in the normal everyday interaction of being out with friends and whatever, I haven’t met anybody,” Joan said.

When asked if she was on dating apps, Joan replied, “Nope, I don’t like them!”

“Being on a dating app was like a full-time job, and I have a full-time job!” quipped the 61-year-old grandmother and school administrator from Rockland, MD.

“So to stay on top of the messages and being, you know, witty and having a good [rapport] with somebody, you know, it takes a lot of time and a lot of thought. And if you don’t answer, then you feel like you’re being rude to them, but you’re at work.”

Joan, however, boasted about how she’s good at judging men and determining if they’re worth her time.

“I could go on one date and not, like, be lured by if they’re really attractive or maybe [if] they drove a really nice car,” Joan insisted.

“Those are things that probably mattered way more to me when I was younger, and those things are important — I want somebody who is attractive — but I will probably give them way more time and spend a lot more energy trying to get to know them.”


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Joan said, before her stint on The Golden Bachelor, that she began dating again about two years after she lost her husband of 32 years, John.

“Going on a dating app sounded like a lot of work, and I was right, even though I hadn’t been on it… One night, I came home in a bit of a mood because we had been at this restaurant that was very big and very crowded, and every single person there was in a couple,” Joan lamented.

“I sat down on my sofa and I turned on The Bachelor, and it was like the universe was talking to me because there was an ad for this new show, The Golden Bachelor, and it said, ‘Fill out this form!’ I picked up my phone, and I filled out the form. And here I am!”

But Joan admitted that when she arrived at The Bachelor mansion, she didn’t feel fully ready for the experience and she was “nervous” to let her guard down and trust the process.

“I wasn’t sure I was [open to love], but I said, ‘This will be a good experience,’ and my heart opened up. That literal seven-day period is when the switch flipped a little bit for me,” Joan recalled.


Had Joan not been selected for The Golden Bachelorette, she revealed that she would’ve been interested in looking for love on Bachelor in Paradise.

“You actually get to spend time with the person. I would personally really love to do Bachelor in Paradise. I feel like they spend so much more time together and they have a lot more time to get to know one another,” Joan explained.

“[But] I’m going to need air conditioning in my room!”

While Joan was a little anxious during her time on The Golden Bachelor, she insisted that she’s truly ready to find love now.

“I really want love. I want to have somebody in my life. I feel like life is better when you share it with somebody. I truly believe all that,” Joan said on the podcast.

“As far as my heart being completely open, I think it’s nine-tenths of the way there. So I think I just need to spend a little more time in… The Bachelor environment. I really want to find love, I just don’t want to do the work of going on a dating website.”

When ABC announced Joan as the Golden Bachelorette earlier this week, the network said she’ll bring “grace and charm” to viewers’ television screens on Wednesday nights at 8PM ET/PT this fall.

“She is a remarkable woman whose life has been defined by her resilience, zest for adventure and strong family values. It was those family values that led to her heartbreaking decision to leave The Golden Bachelor,” ABC teased.

“Despite that and other challenges she’s faced along the way… [Joan] remains an embodiment of strength and grace as a devoted mother of four, grandmother of two, and school administrator, while finding solace in the music of Elton John, spending time with her dog, and cooking.”

More than 43 million viewers tuned in to the premiere of The Golden Bachelor, and many fans quickly fell in love with Joan, a blonde beauty, in the first several episodes.


On The Golden Bachelor: The Women Tell All, Joan got emotional when watching her journey back on the show, and she told host Jesse Palmer how she felt really bad about disappointing and hurting Gerry.

“If circumstances had been different and you stayed, you think it might’ve worked out with Gerry?” Jesse asked the bachelorette.

“I think we had a good chance,” Joan replied.

“Gerry helped make me feel visible. He looked at me and he cared about what I was saying and he wanted to get to know me. Society makes us feel like we’ve had out chance, we’ve had our children, and now it’s time to support the next generation and kind of take a backseat. And Gerry opened my heart.”

Joan told The Wrap in November 2023 that she briefly considered returning to The Golden Bachelor and resuming filming once she helped her daughter because she felt like she had “unfinished business.”

However, Joan soon came to realize that her daughter’s mental health was still suffering and she needed to stay by her side.

Even though Joan didn’t return to The Golden Bachelor, she admitted to Jesse on The Women Tell All that she “held out hope” Gerry would also quit the show and chase her down.

“I did think a couple times maybe I would come around the corner, coming home from work, and [Gerry] would be sitting on my front porch,” Joan confessed.

Joan said she sometimes caught herself thinking about what could have been with Gerry.

“I went from wanting to find somebody to craving it now. It was such a good feeling and I’m working hard to find it; I’m not giving up,” Joan shared.

Joan took to Instagram shortly after The Golden Bachelor episode featuring her exit aired on ABC, and she gave “a huge thank you” to viewers for “expressing their concern” about her family.

She also hinted that she’d like to continue her journey to find love on TV, writing, “Sometimes the timing doesn’t work out with finding love. I hope one day I will get the chance at love again.”

Gerry ultimately selected Theresa Nist as his winner and the couple got engaged during the November 2023 season finale.

The Golden Bachelor couple got married in a live televised special dubbed The Golden Wedding on January 4 on ABC, but they announced their decision to divorce just three months later on April 12.


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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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