Gerry Turner has made his final decision. On Thursday’s penultimate episode of The Golden Bachelor, the 72-year-old retired restaurateur had Fantasy Suite dates with his final two women, after which he decided which one he wants to propose to.
As he arrived in Costa Rica for the week ahead, Gerry reflected on what was to come.
“I thought by the time I retired at 55 I had had all the excitement I was going to see and all the high moments. Little did I know that 17 years later, I’m in the greatest adventure of my life,” he said. “… I can’t believe how close I am to finding the second love of my life.”
As for the connotation of the Fantasy Suites — a time when cameras leave the couple alone for the night, presumably to have sex — Gerry said he viewed the closed-door time as an opportunity to “ask the difficult questions that are strictly between two people, and also have the opportunity to be physically intimate with each other.”
Then, during a conversation with host Jesse Palmer, Gerry said that he “wouldn’t want to rush” a sexual moment with either woman.
“At this age, it’s more gentle, it’s slow, it’s something you can savor,” Gerry told the cameras of sex, “because it’s something that’s the most special [thing] you can have.”
First up was Gerry’s date with Leslie, during which they repelled down a cliff to see a waterfall. Afterward at dinner, Gerry and Leslie spoke frankly about sex, with Gerry revealing it’d been “a long time” since he slept with someone, and Leslie noting that it’d been a year for her.
Next, they moved on to the practicalities of their potential romance, such as where they’d live.
“At the end of the day I love you and I want to be with you. I don’t know what that means, but I think we can figure it out,” Leslie said. Gerry agreed, telling Leslie that if they committed to each other it’d be “till death do us part.”
“Till death do us part is foreign to me. I’ve never had that. I’ve been searching for it my whole life and even through two marriages,” Leslie said. “… I don’t want to be alone anymore. You’re everything I want, really. I want to do it.”
“Then we’ll do it,” Gerry responded.
They agreed to continue their night in the Fantasy Suite, during which Gerry told Leslie about a piece of advice he received from the first-ever Bachelorette, Trista Sutter.
“Trista gave me a piece of advice. She said, ‘Gerry, you have to find the woman that you can’t live without, not the one you can live with.’ I think you’re the one. I think you’re that one,” Gerry said. “… I don’t know how we’ll decide where we’ll live. We’ll have to figure that out. But I think there’s no one else I’d rather try to figure it out with.”
Leslie concurred, and with that, the cameras left the couple alone for night. For those who might be wondering what went down when the cameras were off, well, you’re out of luck.
“People want to know what happens in these Fantasy Suites. There’s a little bit of curiosity that they want satisfied,” Gerry said in a confessional. “Quite honestly, I feel like it’s none of their f**king business. But I will say this, the relationship with Leslie was significantly improved through the course of our night last night. I saw more of her, a lot more. I feel like she could certainly be the person that I spend the rest of my life with.”
After his unforgettable date with Leslie, Gerry headed into his one-on-one horseback riding date with Theresa distracted.
“It’s getting much more difficult to compartmentalize this,” Gerry admitted to the cameras. “I’m looking at Theresa going, ‘My God, what is wrong with you, Turner? She’s the ideal woman for you,’ but at the same time, I’m thinking, ‘What’s Leslie doing right now?'”
Gerry decided to push through regardless, and managed to have an eye-opening dinner with Theresa, during which they discussed her career, as well as her reasons for signing up for the show after giving up on love in the wake of her husband’s death.
“I thought, ‘This is probably why I didn’t find anyone, because I was meant to find you,'” Theresa told Gerry of getting the call to join The Golden Bachelor. “I seriously saw that as fate.”
Gerry and Theresa agreed to continue their evening in the Fantasy Suite, and Theresa revealed she hadn’t slept with anyone since her husband died.
“I’m ready,” she told the cameras. “I want to spend the night with Gerry. Gerry seems just as excited as I am.”
The morning after, the couple agreed that things felt “so different” between them, in a good way.
“Waking up with Theresa this morning, I feel like it’s the first day of the rest of my life,” Gerry, who told Theresa that he loves her while the cameras were away, said in a confessional. “… I realized we understood each other on a very fundamental level… All of the questions or trepidations that I had about Theresa were gone in the first hour or hour and a half of conversation. It was incredible.”
Theresa agreed, telling the cameras, “If he asks me to marry him, I would say yes.”
That all left Gerry with an “impossible” choice,” though he was able to make a decision.
“Right now, I’m dying inside. I’m in love with both of them, and in each case I’ve told them ‘I love you.’ With each of them I can see a life together,” he said. “Life with Leslie would be a very exciting life. She’s adventurous. She looks out for me and I look out for her. But Theresa and I have this bond. We know what the other person is feeling. We know what they’ve been through.”
“This is an impossible task at this moment. Someone is going to come out of this situation hurt beyond what I can imagine, and I’m running out of time,” Gerry continued. “At this point, I know I can’t put it off any longer. As hard as it is, I think I’ve made my decision.”
The Golden Bachelor will air its season finale on Nov. 30. Follow along Gerry Turner‘s journey for love with ET’s coverage of the show.