'Golden Bachelorette's Joan Vassos Shares the Advice Gerry Turner Gave Her Ahead of Her Journey (Exclusive)

Joan Vassos got some words of wisdom from Gerry Turner after she was named the first-ever Golden Bachelorette.

ET's Denny Directo spoke to the newest franchise lead just before filming for her season kicked off, and she revealed that her ex, whom she dated on The Golden Bachelor, gave her some advice about her journey for love.

"We text all the time. He's a very, very good friend," Joan told ET of Gerry, who's since gotten divorced from his final pick, Theresa Nist. "He did this so well. He kind of created the road map that we have now. There's no rulebook, and he kind of wrote it a little bit."

"He exemplified somebody who is very open and vulnerable. He said that's what you need to be from day one, because you don't have a lot of time," she continued. "This is a quick journey. You can't leave anything on the table. I feel like day one, starting conversation one, everything you do here is important."

On The Golden Bachelor, Joan had to leave the show early due to a health concern with her daughter, making it all the more surprising to her that she was chosen as the franchise's next lead.

"I so thought that I was gonna be that girl who left that nobody remembers. I truly believed that was gonna be the outcome," she said. "I really was sad about that, honestly, because I loved being here. I think the process worked. I was sad when I had to leave, so having the opportunity to come back and [having] people actually remember me a little bit [is amazing]."

Gerry Turner and Joan Vassos

Gerry Turner and Joan Vassos on 'The Golden Bachelor.'

John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images

As for why people remembered her, Joan, whose husband of 32 years died in 2021, speculated that her story had a lot to do with it.

"I think the story about a family resonates with so many people, and so a lot of people related to that," she said. "I got so many messages about when I had said that I felt invisible as you get older... I didn't think anybody in the world felt that way. I thought it was just me. It resonated with people... I just got lucky, honestly."

Now that she's in this position as the first-ever Golden Bachelorette, Joan admitted that she's nervous about what's ahead.

"I think back to Trista, the first-ever Bachelorette, and she's an icon. She's the OG," Joan said of Trista Sutter, who is married to and has children with her final pick, Ryan Sutter. "I don't know if I'm ever gonna be revered like her. Her love story was perfect. She has a lovely family, she has a beautiful husband, she has adorable kids. She had the perfect end to this journey, so I hope I have an epic end like she did. It's a lot of pressure."

To get past that pressure, Joan told ET that she thinks about the positive impact The Golden Bachelor had on so many.

"I think it's really more about the bigger story, that this is people our age dating. The hope is that by watching someone doing it successfully and having fun, it still being dignified and that you can be a little selfish and that you deserve love," she said. "I am just an example. I am just one of the many people that should be doing this and feel like you are entitled to have love in your life."

"I feel like it resonates across so many things, just the concept of finding love and it being hard," Joan added. "Meeting love out in the wild, organically, is not super easy. People now do dating apps and set you up. There are many ways to find love, this just happens to be one of them and it's on TV."

Joan Vassos

Joan Vassos poses as the first-ever Golden Bachelorette.

Disney/Ramona Rosales

That it is on TV is happy news for audiences who loved watching Joan and the other women on The Golden Bachelor. The newly minted reality stars formed beloved off-screen friendships from the series, and is something Joan hopes she can showcase on her season.

"I keep asking the producers. I would love every single one of them to be here," she said of the women of The Golden Bachelor. "I am still good friends with literally all of them, and very good friends with some that I talk to on a daily basis. We are super close."

"They also get this journey. They will be the best people to give me advice," Joan continued. "... I would love to have some of them on, and I would love them for the TV factor because they are darn fun and I trust them."

Joan's journey for love will air Wednesdays this fall on ABC.