We’d been married two years and her death left a gaping hole in my life.For the last few months, I have been seeing a chef my age I met on the site. Before we even met, she admitted she’d come to snoop through the windows of my house to check I was above board. The next day I changed my profile to read ‘widowed a few months ago’.I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, but I hoped a brief summary of my marital status would explain my presence online.Men are often lambasted for sexual malpractice with women they meet online, but women, it seems to me, are by far the more permissive gender.
He has been internet dating since he and his wife of seven years, Christabel, 49, a writer, separated in 2008. But in the flesh she was plain and dumpy, not sylph-like and pretty, and as soon as I spotted her waiting for me in a bar in Canterbury for our first date in January 2010, it was clear she had doctored her picture. It seemed more convenient than using the lonely hearts columns and I felt I was too old to chat up women in bars and clubs.Incensed, I walked up to her and roared ‘You’re not tall and thin! I stated clearly on my profile ‘my past is part of me’ because Christabel and I remain great friends. My longest relationship was with Alison, a 50-something financial broker I met online in July 2010.We enjoy regular Sunday lunches together and if there’s someone I’m considering introducing our sons to, Christabel — who’s been with a new boyfriend for the past two years — will meet her first. But I was torn between spending time with Alison and seeing my boys.After two years, she ended it, saying she didn’t feel like a big enough part of my life.
I also hoped, selfishly, it would persuade my dates that I wasn’t to blame for my single status; that there was a legitimate, if tragic, reason.
Kate had suffered a sudden brain haemorrhage a year earlier in September 2006.