"I actually tried to come back."
Joan Vassos proved family comes before everything when she made the difficult decision to leave The Golden Bachelor during the Oct. 12 episode after receiving a call from home. Joan chose to leave despite receiving a group date rose from Gerry Turner when she learned her daughter, who had recently given birth, needed her help.
After her early exit, fans wondered what could've been if Joan had stayed in the mansion. And, it turns out, the 60-year-old private school administrator was just as curious about her connection with Gerry.
"I was coming back," Joan revealed in an exclusive interview with E! News at the Women Tell All special taping. "The producers arranged a flight for me and everything."
But Joan's plans changed when her daughter, suffering from postpartum depression, still wasn't in a place where she felt comfortable leaving again.
"I couldn't do it," Joan explained. "I wanted to come back very, very badly. I think Gerry and I had a good connection. And we didn't have closure, like we had unfinished business."
While Joan was unable to return to the show, she was able to finally have a conversation with Gerry during the Women Tell All special.
"It felt good to talk about the abrupt leaving because I was there and then I was gone and I was gone forever," she shared. "And so getting back and seeing all the other women and then even having a teeny little conversation with Gerry felt very cathartic. It felt like I finally had a little bit of closure. So it felt really good to me."
And Joan was able to offer an update on how her daughter is doing after her experience with postpartum depression.
"My daughter, her husband, they're great," she shared. "And it's all taken care of."
Now that her family is happy and healthy, Joan feels ready to continue her search for a romantic partner after losing her husband in 2019. And she would be willing to look for love as ABC's first Golden Bachelorette.
"I would be open to it," Joan said. "I believe in the process. Oddly, I kind of came into this as a little bit skeptical and I see how it worked. It's like speed dating on steroids. And people find love on the show and I want to find love still."
Ahead of Gerry's finale, check out the relationship status of every past Bachelor Nation couple:
The Golden Bachelor finale airs Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. on ABC.