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‘The Bachelor’ Tackling Age Differences This Season: ‘It’s the Younger Women Vs. the Older’

Arie Luyendyk, Jr and the contestants on 'The Bachelor.' Craig Sjodin/ABC

In the promo for season 22 of The Bachelor, viewers found out that age is definitely one of the hot topics Arie Luyendyk Jr. will be facing. On the Monday, January 1, premiere, contestant Bekah Martinez didn’t reveal her age to 36-year-old Arie. After some social media digging, it’s clear that she’s 22, which would mean she was only 17 when Arie Luyendyk Jr. competed on Emily Maynard’s season. However, will that matter?

Rebekah M and Arie Luyendyk, Jr on the premiere of ‘The Bachelor.’ ABC/Paul Hebert

Maturity is a hot topic this season since only six of the 29 suitors in their 30s. “The show hasn’t really tackled age in a way like it does this season,” a source exclusively tells Us Weekly, and it leads to a bit of drama in the house. “It’s the younger women versus the older women,” the source adds.

However, age was not an issue for Arie, he said in a press call before the premiere. “I’ve dated younger, I’ve dated older, so yeah, that’s something that definitely I think plays a theme throughout the season, but it’s just more about being ready, that’s the most important part, being ready to get married,” he told reporters.

For Arie, the search was just for the right woman, regardless of age. That was why it was important to him that all the women had real professions. “These are women who are looking for a real life and a real husband. These are all established women,” the source told Us. “He wants somebody that he can talk to that feels like a real soulmate.”

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.