Later in Love: Two Ontarians Get a Second Shot at Romance After Trying “the Dating-Site Thing”
Bernadette Rose, 72, and Peter Taylor, 76 at their wedding in October, 2022. Photo: Lynn McCandles
Bernadette Rose, 72, a former nurse, and Peter Taylor, 76, a retiree from St. Thomas, Ont., reluctantly took to the internet to find new love.
Bernadette Rose: I lived and worked in Toronto until my marriage ended in 2012 after 27 years and two kids. I moved to Cambridge, Ont., to look after my sister, who died, and then I moved to London to be with another sister. Ever since my marriage ended, I felt like sort of a burden to everyone. Like, “Who will take Auntie Bee now?”
Peter Taylor: I was married for 51 years when my wife was hit and killed by a car, actually right around when Bernadette’s sister died. I have two kids, including one who lives nearby in St. Thomas, but it was a rough time and I was lost on my own. So, I decided to try the dating-site thing.
BR: My sister and cousin made me sign up for a dating site. I wasn’t happy with them, or it. Nobody was interesting or interested. I’ve been young, too, and I know what old people look like, even to me. Sometimes I’m shocked when I look in the mirror. What the hell? Who is that?
PT: Bernadette’s picture wasn’t very good. It was too small and kind
BR: It was the only picture I had of myself on my phone.
PT: Well, her profile wasn’t very good either, in that it didn’t say much, so I didn’t know anything about her. I was hesitant, but my daughter reminded me that you can’t judge a book by its cover. She said, “You never know. Just send a quick note.”
BR: One night, at 2 a.m., I was watching TV and checked my phone. There was an email that said, “Hello, my name is Peter. Would you tell me more about yourself?” That was it. Usually, the guys told you all about themselves. He was just different. We started communicating [in April 2021] and we never stopped.
PT: We met in person the following March. I drove to pick her up and took her out for a glass of wine.
BR: He turned out to be so shy, he could hardly look at me. But he was very nice, quiet, unassuming. We got along so well.
PT: The last time I dated someone I really liked was more than 50 years ago. The difference in dating is incredible, just unbelievable. In one way, it’s so much easier, but in another way, it’s much harder. Online, you send out a message and you get no response and you never know why.
BR: There are good things, too. When I see pictures of Peter from high school, he played football and had a brush cut. I was a hippie chick. We’d probably never get to know each other, let alone be a match and fall in love. [They married in October 2022.]
PT: Even if you’re not sure, it’s easy to invite someone out for a glass of wine and find out. The way I looked at it, if it didn’t pan out, it was just a few hours and a few bucks, and that would be just fine. But it did pan out.
—As told to Rosemary Counter
A version this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 2023 issue with the headline ‘Swipe Right’, p. 25.
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