Tell me about the new “Bachelor” Juan Pablo Galavis.
—Carina Gonzales, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Juan Pablo Galvais, 32, was born in Ithaca, New York, and raised in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, where he developed a passion for soccer and aspired to one day play professionally. Toward this goal, he returned to the U.S. to attend college and work on his soccer career.
Following graduation, he became a professional soccer player in both Venezuela and in the U.S., where he played for Miami FC. It was then that he learned he was about to become a father. Not wanting to miss his daughter Camila’s upbringing, Galavis hung up his soccer shoes and began a new career in sports and entertainment consulting.
Two years later, he realized his relationship with Camila’s mother, Carla, wasn’t going to work out, so he began his quest for a woman with whom he could have a serious relationship — one that could give his daughter the sibling she desires.
“You can meet a great girl and then she doesn’t want to get married,” he says by way of explaining his single status. “Or, you meet a girl and she doesn’t understand that you have a daughter. Or maybe you have a girlfriend and she likes your daughter a lot, but there is something about her that tells you she is not going to give you your first son. So it is not easy.”
Galavis shares custody of Camila, who will turn 5 on Valentine’s Day, with his ex, so she will not play a major role during his tenure as “The Bachelor.”
“When I am dating on a regular basis, whenever possible, I introduce Camila from the first date,” he says. “Obviously, I don’t tell her, ‘This is my girlfriend.’ I tell her, ‘This is a friend of daddy’s.’ That’s how I treat it. We don’t hold hands. We don’t kiss. We don’t do sleepovers in front of my daughter. That’s it.”
But Galavis says if he does find true love and get engaged, he will introduce his fiancée and tell Camila, “This is going to be your stepmother.”