Seven years ago, Philip Dunn, 75, and Veryan Greenwood, 61, both lost their long-term partners.
After years of being single, they both wanted to find love this year and found each other on Match.com.
But just shortly after their first date, lockdown hit and Veryan decided to move in with Philip so they could still see eachother.
As 2020 comes to an end, their whirlwind romance continues to thrive and the pair, from Sussex, got married just before Christmas.
Philip, a well-known Brighton artist, said: ‘Just as I was about to give up, I came across Veryan’s profile.
‘I had been on my own for seven years after my wife, Carole, tragically took her own life in April 2013. We were married for the best part of 35 years, and her death has terribly affected me. I was wrapped up in grief, guilt and anger.
‘However, I didn’t like being alone and I wanted to find a life partner.
‘So, I decided to send Veryan a message and she responded. At first, she thought that I was too old for her. However, I told her that being an artist had knocked 10 years off of my age.
Philip shut his gallery for their date, expecting to be back for an hour but they got along so well, he ended up being closed for the rest of the day.
He said: ‘We immediately got along very well. It was fantastic.’
They met again a few days later and when the lockdown was announced at the end of that week, they’d hit it off so well they took the leap and Veryan moved into Philip’s cottage.
Veryan admits that before meeting Philip, she was ready to give up on love. She hadn’t checked her dating site profile in over a month until one day she decided to look and found a message from Philip.
She said: ‘Dating websites can be very depressing. I was ready to give up.
‘I got married in 1980, and we were together for six years. However, due to incompatibility, the marriage ended but we remain good friends.
‘After my marriage, I had one long-term partner before meeting Philip. We had just started to live together when he was sadly diagnosed with cancer. After an 18 month long illness, he passed away in July 2013. Philip and I were bereaved at a very similar time.
‘The dating websites felt a bit like having a job with tedious emails from people that you’re not really interested in.’
Veryan had actually heard of Philip before and was a fan of his work so was excited when she saw his message.
She added: ‘When we met up it was lovely.
‘When I saw him I liked his face and his smile, and then when he spoke I loved the south London accent he had.
‘He was very down to earth.
‘When the lockdown was announced it just felt organic that we should move in together.
‘After I moved in with Philip, it was fantastic. We were in a new relationship, and lockdown gave us the opportunity to spend a lot of time together on our own.
‘It was a bit of a culture shock for us both, as we had lived on our own for so many years, but I have my own room at Philip’s home if I need some space, which I use for meditation and as a dressing room.
‘We also spend a lot of time outside gardening and reading our books.’
Just three weeks after their first meeting, Veryan realised she was in love with Philip and asked him to marry her.
Philip says that he was very surprised.
He added: ‘I was shocked but I immediately thought it was fantastic. The phrase ‘carpe diem’ came to mind.
‘I ran upstairs as I’d remembered a diamond ring that my late wife had inherited, which I found in my sock drawer.
‘I was then able to give it to Veryan that night as an engagement ring. It worked out very well.’
The pair were due to marry on November 14, however, due to lockdown two it was postponed and the pair were finally able to tie the knot on December 19.
Philip said: ‘It has been a whirlwind romance, we are madly in love and so happy to find companionship with each other.
‘Although it is early days for our marriage, so far so good. It has been very nice.’
Veryan added: ‘I am really enjoying calling him my husband. Suddenly we both have a happy ending.’
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