Peter might still be struggling to find love on The Bachelor, but fans are already looking forward to the next Bachelor installment: The Bachelorette. On Monday, March 2, Clare Crawley was announced as the next Bachelorette, and she's making history. At 38, Clare is the oldest Bachelorette ever in the history of the series — she'll turn 39 on March 20, per Gold Derby — and she's ready to find true love.
Clare's Bachelor journey actually goes all the way back to 2014, when she competed in Juan Pablo Galavis' infamously dramatic season of The Bachelor. She was a runner up, and made headlines for confronting the lackluster bachelor when she left the show, telling him, "I've lost respect for you," later adding, "I would never want my children having a father like you." Clare later appeared in Seasons 1 and 2 of Bachelor in Paradise, and returned to Bach Nation to compete in 2018's The Bachelor Winter Games. She actually got engaged on the show — during the live reunion special — to Canada's Benoit Beauséjour-Savard, but they broke up two months later. Now, she's back for a fifth shot at love. And this time, she's the one handing out the coveted red roses.
Clare marks a pretty big move for the reality TV dating franchise. The show's most recent crop of Bachelors and Bachelorettes have been in their 20s — Hannah Brown was 24 when she took on the title of Bachelorette, and Peter is 28, with a final three consisting of two 23 year olds and one 26 year old. At 38, Clare is definitely a welcome change of pace. And she sees her age as a real advantage going into the Bachelor mansion. "It's just more years under my belt, more learning and knowing what I want, what I don't want, and what I won't settle for," she told Good Morning America.
In recent seasons, fans have been clamoring for an older lead, hoping to avoid some of the petty drama that seems to happen when a house full of 23-year-olds is competing for love. Even former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, who was 31 when she filmed her season, called out the show for casting young with Hannah B., noting to Page Six, "If you're wanting somebody who's committed to marriage and a proposal... then you're going to have to choose older."
Clare seems very committed to finding a husband through this journey, so hopefully, she'll have an equally mature crop of men to choose from when The Bachelorette premieres later this year.