Gerry Turner is adding a golden touch to classic Bachelor traditions.
And for the star of The Golden Bachelor, this includes bringing a new approach to the fantasy suites.
"I think as you age—and at least where I'm at—a fantasy suite isn't an open gate to physical intimacy," Gerry, 72, exclusively told E! News' Francesca Amiker. "It's the open gate to an emotional and intellectual connection. So, I know that the general assumption is that the fantasy suite is for the physical part, and it really isn't for me and it wasn't."
As he put it, "It was the time when I was able to have open and frank conversation with women without the eyes of America on me through the cameras."
These private discussions made a big impact when it came to his decision-making process, too.
"Believe me—when I say that it was the most important time of the journey, I'm not exaggerating," Gerry added. "And it has to do with the conversations that happen behind closed doors and not a physical activity."
In fact, the retired restaurateur said these talks created a whole new level of intimacy.
"If I had gone behind the locked door for the physical intimacy, I wouldn't have come out with the right decisions that I made after those nights," he shared. "I would have missed some very, very important information that was exchanged."
The debut season of The Golden Bachelor follows Gerry as he seeks a second chance at love following the 2017 death of his wife Toni. And he believes his late love of more than four decades one would have wanted him to embark on this process.
"I had a lot of soul-searching with respect and my relationship to her on whether or not this was the right thing to do," the Indiana star told E! News. "I kept going back to the conversations that we had over the years that when one of us passed, the other one was so empowered to continue on with their lives and find happiness. And we had those conversations—I think many couples do. So, that was the message I took with me as I started the journey."
It's a journey Gerry feels good about as he said he was "genuine and honest" and "did the right thing" at every turn. Although, he admitted he did break one of his rules.
"The only thing might be a little bit of embarrassment when my granddaughters see that I failed my commitment to not kiss anyone on the first night and I did," Gerry said. "And then in short subsequent manner after that, I think I kissed everyone on the show, including the cameraman and a couple of the audio people."
The Golden Bachelor premieres Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. And while sparks may fly that first night, Gerry hinted fans will want to stick around to see who gets his final rose.
"If people were to watch that first night and try to pick favorites based on my reactions or based on things that happen that first night," he explained, "they would be far away from what the end result is."
And he chalks that up to the journey as a whole.
"It took me a long time to get to where my final decision was, I will say that," Gerry added. "As more information was absorbed and processed, it led me down a certain path. It wasn't like I had a hard time finding my way. I really had good clues, but I had to be awake and alert to see them when they happened."