But on our 60th wedding anniversary Iris was very sick and admitted to hospital. Initially, the doctors wanted to discharge her after a few days, but changed their minds when they discovered a tumour in her colon.
During surgery it was found to be the size of a cricket ball, and afterwards she was very weak. I stayed with her all the time and sang songs, telling her how much I loved her.
But on August 12, my beautiful wife died and I was devastated. Life without my best friend and lover seemed unimaginable. My heart was truly broken, and the following weeks and months were shrouded in misery as I struggled to come to terms with my loss. I saw my children frequently and was made welcome and involved in their lives but it wasn't enough.
I wondered if I should accept that, at 80, my life was over and find the courage to bring my miserable existence to an end. However, one pleasant discovery during that awful time was the friendship and inclusion offered by numerous neighbours. So many of these different people offered me warmth and support.
They were not shocked or embarrassed by my frequent tears and even now, more than two years later, I often receive invitations to their homes.
During the daytime, I started to build a routine of housework, community classes and visits to stave off my loneliness, but it didn't alleviate the dread of going to bed alone each night.
Born into a very large family living in overcrowded conditions, I never slept in a bed on my own as a child, let alone in a single bedroom. Marrying young and having the children meant that I had never felt lonely before. At 80, I had to get used to living by myself and found it torturous.
That first Christmas, I spent time with different children including my elder daughter whose MS was now debilitating. The following April, eight months after Iris's death, she too died, and although a release in many ways, the loss added to my despair.
To help her father with the funeral, my eldest grandchild, Louise, returned from Canada and in her well-organised way, became my saviour. With a disabled mother, Louise had taken on responsibilities at a young age and grown into a very capable and efficient young woman - some might even say bossy. When she visited me, she pointed out the obvious - I needed female company and, importantly, Louise knew how it could be arranged.
I am not computer-literate, although before Iris's death, we had both learned how to email. Louise regularly kept in touch via the internet and was now keen to take my computer skills a step further through a dating website. She also knew which one would be suitable given my views on religion, politics and reading habits.
I have been a Guardian reader for decades and although sometimes appalled by the trivia that counts as news these days, it is a newspaper I am proud to support. Before Louise's intervention, one of those "trivial" aspects of the paper would have been its Soulmates service. Hence, without my knowledge, Louise registered me as: Within days, I had email responses from several women around the country and I replied to them all with my phone number.
I soon received a call from someone who lived quite close by, but it became immediately apparent that her aspirations were well beyond my pocket. Another, much younger lady with a voluptuous photo on her profile, got in touch too.
And despite assuring me that she was attracted to elderly men, I couldn't help but wonder how she earned her living. Although I didn't know it at the time, it was the next call that really counted. Jenny lived in Sussex but regularly visited London and we agreed to meet for a matinee performance of The Country Wife at the Haymarket theatre. Iris and I had always loved the theatre and when Jenny told me that she would be wearing a green jacket with matching shoes, I assumed that, like Iris, she would be dressed in a genteel manner for our first meeting.
Instead I found this apparently square-shaped woman, wearing a green anorak and walking shoes, outside the theatre doors, and I felt rather disappointed.
After the play we strolled around Covent Garden and had a cup of tea together. Jenny, a few years younger than me with daughters and grandchildren, had led an interesting life and travelled extensively with her husband until his death four years earlier. Both early members of CND, we shared similar politics and taste in music, and she was almost as opinionated as me. I was also amused that she was too embarrassed to tell her family that she had joined Soulmates. She should have been perfect, but something was lacking and I felt frustrated when I took the tube home alone on that early summer's evening.
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The Best Dating Sites for Seniors over 70
Our desktop site is easy to access from any PC, or if you prefer to do your senior dating while on-the-go, you can try our streamlined dating app on your cell. Available for iOS via iTunes and Android via the Google Play store, our online dating app is the ideal way to keep up with your dating prospects while on the golf course, on a commute, or even from the comfy chair at home. For some older singles, signing up to a senior dating site means taking another shot at finding love and even marriage.
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Dating sites for over 80
If you've been thinking about trying online dating for a while, it's time to take the plunge. With America's older singles increasingly turning to the internet to connect with compatible partners, there's no better time than today to get started.
And there's no better place than EliteSingles. If you're ready to take our personality test and to start meeting your matches, then sign up with us today. Just click here to get started. Age and Sex Composition EliteSingles logo Senior Dating. Please select your gender and search gender. Please use a valid email address.What are the Best Senior Dating Sites? - Lisa Copeland - Sixty and Me Show
Senior Dating: Ready to Start Your Next Chapter With Us?
Senior Dating in America — who's trying it? Meeting Mature, Single Men and Women With Us Some senior dating sites seem to think that being in a similar age group is all that's needed for two people to make a match.
More dating advice Making the most of senior dating.