Shepard “Shep” Rose has enjoyed the spoils of single life, as documented on Bravo’s hit reality show Southern Charm. But after four seasons of playing the field, the 37-year-old businessman is hoping to settle down — something he was motivated to do more and more by watching costars Thomas Ravenel and Whitney Sudler-Smith.
“Thomas and Whitney are Exhibit A and B of lifelong bachelorhood,” Rose says of the Charleston, South Carolina, duo (ages 55 and 49, respectively). “I’m not saying they’re not happy, and I think the world of them both, but I don’t want to be in their shoes when I’m their age.”
That fear is part of reason Rose jumped at the chance to star in his own reality dating show spinoff for Bravo called RelationShep, which premieres Monday. But there was one thing he didn’t want to do: put out a casting call for dates.
“I didn’t want to meet people who just wanted to be on TV. That’s not interesting,” Rose explains. “In fact, I had infinite respect for the girls who weren’t that into the filming aspect. That always impresses me, and that draws me in and attracts me.”
He also didn’t want to just stick around Charleston — which is why RelationShep will have friends like Cameran Eubanks take his search a little wider, setting up blind dates for him with their single female friends in cities across the country like Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin and New York City.
“As much as I love Charleston, that ground has been tilled for me, so I was adamant about it being traveling,” he says, adding that the most eligible matches from his multi-city tour will be invited back to Charleston to get to know him on his own turf. “I was also adamant about it being friends introducing me to their friends, too, because that’s how I like to meet people. I’m always begging my friends to set me up. I’ll be like, ‘This is ridiculous. I’m dying on the vine here!’ So I wanted it to be as organic as possible.”
But settling down will also mean leaving his “ladies man” reputation behind — something Rose is all too happy to do.
“I understood why that title followed me, because I like to meet girls and have a good time, but my ladies man reputation sort of got exasperated,” he says. “I never aspired to be like Warren Beatty or anything. I don’t have a silver tongue, I’m not trying to make promises I can’t meet. I’m always looking for someone who’s unbelievable to blow my hair back, and I will happily forsake others if and when I find her.”
RELATED VIDEO: Will Southern Charm‘s Most Eligible Bachelor Shep Rose Finally Settle Down?!
As for whether Rose met his match, fans will have to tune in and see. (“The way it turns out is pretty surprising,” he teases.)
And if it doesn’t, there’s one thing Rose won’t be doing if he finds himself back on the market: hooking up with fans who only know him from the show.
“I might have indulged a little in the first couple of years when it happened, but I am very weary of it now,” he says. “I tried to give advice to my friend Austin Kroll, who was in last season of Southern Charm. I think he shared my previous enthusiasms. I was like, ‘Man, be careful. Get to know these people. They might not have any good intentions at all, except being with someone who is on TV. And that’s kind of gross and weird.’ ”
RelationShep airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.