Former Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis thinks ex Clare Crawley overreacted “a little bit” to his tweet regarding the ages of her Bachelorette contestants, he exclusively confessed to Life & Style. “I also posted a tweet congratulating her a week earlier when she was announced, but it seems she missed that one.”

The 38-year-old notes that he doesn’t see Clare’s age as “an issue at all.” The Sacramento native turns 39 on March 20, which makes her the oldest leading lady in franchise history. “Age is just a number,” JP explains. “What really matters is the connection she will have with the final contestant. Then, how they are with each other after the show. That’s the real test.”

Bachelor Winter Games Star Clare Crawley Smiles in Red Dress
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The former soccer player tweeted on March 14 that it will be “interesting seeing her get hit on by kids [in] their 20s.” Clare clapped back and said that Juan Pablo is “older than 99 [percent] of them and still can’t practice compassion and kindness.” 

JP’s words even caught the attention of show host Chris Harrison. “And this is why she’s our #Bachelorette. She’s playing chess while the rest play checkers,” the 48-year-old wrote about the encounter.

The Bachelor Nation stud confesses he “was surprised and curious by the age group” of the guys that have been recruited for season 16. “I just thought as she is 38, the age group would have been in their early or mid-30s. I feel it’s going to be a very interesting season,” he says. 

Despite his previous statements on social media, Juan Pablo doesn’t think the ages of the men vying for Clare’s heart will be an issue. “What matters is the connection between them. The rest is just part of the show and the process,” he reiterates. “I remember from my season that she wanted to get married and have kids, so hopefully, she finds someone who is ready to start a family with her.” Clare was Juan Pablo’s runner-up during season 18. He opted to leave the show with Nikki Ferrell. They did not get engaged and split a few months later.

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All in all, the Venezuelan is “happy” for the hairstylist. “She has been looking for love for some time and she totally deserves it,” he admits. 

Time will tell how Clare’s journey to find love unfolds!

Reporting by Diana Cooper