ABC/Craig Sjodin

Colton Underwood May Have A Baby Face But He's Grown Up Enough For Love

How young is too young for a Bachelor or Bachelorette? You can probably tell by looking at that baby face but Bachelor Colton is among the youngest of dudes in the soulmate-seeking spot. He's accomplished a lot in his young life, but for someone in search of a wife on national TV you may wonder how old Colton is, or how young — especially since The Bachelor isn't his first time searching for love on a reality show.

Colton just celebrated a birthday on Jan. 26, so he's now the ripe old age of 27. Yep — he was born in '92; a time for grunge and bootleg jeans. I was in middle school the day he was born, for context. It's only a semi-big deal because the history of Bachelor Nation suggests the average Bachelor has been closer to 30 years old. PopSugar stated Colton is the only leading man to film a season at just 26 years old with the youngest being from Season 5, Jesse Palmer, who was 25 during filming. This is in drastic juxtaposition to Season 6 where Byron Velvick filmed at 40. It's been said the choice to go younger this season was due to intense backlash over Season 22's leading man, Arie Luyendyk, who was 36 when filming with a couple dozen much younger women competing for his love — some as young as 22. His now wife, Lauren, is more than a decade younger than he is. That's quite the age gap, which can sometimes make for uncomfortable viewing. Placing a young guy front and center this time around with women all around his own age is ABC's chance to clear the slate. Basically, Season 23 proves age ain't nothin' but a number, because when you're ready for love, you're ready.

Regardless of how Season 23 of The Bachelor ends, there will always — probably, hopefully — be Bachelor In Paradise for any contestants Colton sends packing, or maybe even Colton himself. Gasp!

I hear all you naysayers. Who can forget the whole Tia thing on the last season of Bachelor in Paradise. It didn't appear then that Colton was ready for long-term commitment, but it looks like a lot has changed since then. Before filming began, but after the announcement of Colton as The Bachelor, former Bachelor, Nick Viall defended his age telling Entertainment Tonight, "There’s plenty of people who are 25, 26, and get married in this world. I don’t think he’s, like, crazy young. I think there’s a lot of people who get married at a young age."

Chris Harrison chimed in telling ABC News, "I don’t know if he’s ready and I think that’s one of the great and interesting things about him that will make him a good Bachelor. He says he’s ready, he thinks he’s ready, but is he? I don’t know that." I'm having serious Paradise flashbacks of Colton and Tia's breakup.

Whether Colton's 26 or 27, it matters not. He's the guy looking for love, and love is ageless. And anyway, the real issue isn't an age gap between Colton and a potential love interest, but whether or not she can hang with his dogs. Because, priorities, people.