Why New Bachelorette Clare Crawley Marks a Huge Change for the Franchise

Today, ABC announced via Good Morning America that Clare Crawley will be the next Bachelorette.

The 38-year-old hairdresser, who joined Bachelor Nation during Juan Pablo Galavis’s season of The Bachelor (you may remember her as the one who arrived with a fake baby bump), is a choice unlike other recent Bachelorettes. She’s older (in fact, she’s the oldest Bachelorette in the show’s history), and here’s why that’s an asset.

As longtime fans of the series can tell you, the culture of The Bachelor and Bachelorette has changed over the years. While it started with full-on adults looking for love, its since devolved into a series that’s essentially a launching pad for young aspiring social media influencers. Sure, love is still a main factor in the series, but as the ages creep further and further down, it’s more and more difficult to imagine that contestants are genuinely ready for a lifelong commitment.

Most people can tell you dating in your 20s is drastically different than dating in your 30s, as your priorities change. The inclusion of Crawley in the next iteration of The Bachelorette gives us hope that genuine connections will be forged this season with less pithy drama and even more people who are there for the “right reasons.”

Crawley opened up about her age on GMA, saying, “A lot of people put it out there as this negative thing, but for me, it just is more years under my belt, more learning and knowing what I want, what I don’t want and what I won’t settle for.”

So, what’s she looking for this season? “I want a man who is strong but is willing to take off the body armor, open himself up and be vulnerable, and I think that is some serious strength right there,” she said.

Crawley went on to explain, “It’s all what’s on the inside for me. If you line up the guys that I have dated in the past, there’s no one thing I’m looking for physically. It’s more, if they go out of their way for me, and they make me feel special because this is about me now and I’m ready for it.”

She added that she won’t discriminate in terms of age on her season: “I have been known to date younger guys, so that’s not a problem for me. The thing is I’m wondering if they’re ready for me, for my age. I feel like that would be more of an issue than me with them, because I feel so much younger at heart than my actual age.”

Who’s ready for someone to actually find love this season of The Bachelorette? We definitely are.

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Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.