(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

Ms Agatha Koh, 63, was not seriously looking for a new man in her life when she went on the dating site match.com a few years ago.

She was curious about the sites a younger colleague frequented and felt it would be “nice to meet someone”. Her husband had died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage about 10 years before, and it had plunged her into years of grief and darkness.

Then, she chanced upon Mr Teng Nee Peng’s profile. The widower went on at length about himself and how he was looking for a loving, sincere and honest woman for a long-term relationship, with a view to marriage.

In contrast, her profile was super short. She said she was independent and had four cats. She did not even use her real name.

Ms Koh, who works part-time in publishing, said: “I admired him for being so forthright. I thought he was so brave to put himself out there and when I saw that he is a biker, I said, ‘Pass’! My first impression is that he has a sense of adventure, so he can’t be a stick-in-the-mud then.”

When Mr Teng received her message, he was on a motorbike trip to Myanmar. They started chatting, and he asked for her photograph.

The 63-year-old, who is a retired project manager in the con- struction industry, said: “When I saw her picture, I thought, ‘She is quite a hot chick’.”

By the time they met online, Mr Teng had been dating for a while. His wife had died five years before, living just 10 months after her diagnosis of end-stage colon cancer.

After she died, grief sucked the life out of him, he said. “It was very difficult. We used to do everything together. After she died, I tendered my resignation as I saw no point in working any more,” he said. “I was walking around like a zombie.”

After the grief had eased, he decided to look for a new partner.

Before he met Ms Koh, he had met three or four women through match.com. One divorcee in her 40s used a shot of a Korean actress as her profile picture; she turned out to be “a bit rotund” and nothing like the actress at all.

None of these meetings got past the first date.

In November 2013, Ms Koh came along and the pair quickly hit it off.

Mr Teng said: “We felt very comfortable with each other. I was struck by the fact that she has a mind of her own, she is cheerful and frank. And she took a chance on me.”

After less than six months of dating, they decided to marry.

“At this age, there is no need to pussyfoot around the topic,” Ms Koh said. “I looked at him and I just knew I could spend the rest of my life with him.”

Ms Koh has no children from her first marriage. Mr Teng’s two adult sons were very encouraging about his new union, he said.

Their family, friends and even Mr Teng’s late wife’s mother were all very happy for them.

In 2015, the pair said I do – at the age of 61.

They had the works, as Ms Koh describes their wedding: A church wedding and garden party for 150 guests.

So far, their marriage has been wonderful, Mr Teng said.

Ms Koh said: “Both of us had happy (first) marriages and we brought that love and happiness into our marriage. We were not looking for replacements (for our former spouses) as we have dealt with our grief first.”

Theresa Tan

More Info: www.straitstimes.com

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