Online dating and conjugal bereavement

American novelist Joan Didion described her grief as an incomprehensible hole. After the sudden death of her husband, she wrote “The Year of Magical Thinking” to work through the pain of losing her best friend and accept the reality of her life as a widow.

“A single person is missing for you,” she wrote in her book, “and the whole world is empty.” Annie Hunte knows what that’s like.

Since 2004, Widowsor has supported an online community of daters who know what it’s like to have loved and lost.

Thousands of widows and widowers have signed up to meet empathetic dates in seven countries, including the UK, the US, and Canada.

Back then, I either dated men I’d met socially (typically in the local nightclub, dancing round my handbag) or knew through friends.

There was no panicking about what they’d look like in ‘real life’.

Truth be told, there’s no quick fix when it comes to finding love after 40.When it comes to online dating, I believe authenticity is key. I like Radio 4, The Times, and singing around the house to my 90s playlists. I’d like to find someone attractive and solvent, and if they play a mean hand in backgammon, all the better. There’s no point knocking five years off my age, using overly-flattering photos, or writing a girlishly-light profile. Only you will know if and when you’re ready to date again.If you’ve enjoyed a happy and fulfilling marriage, it can be easy to compare your previous partner with someone new.

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