Having dedicated her life to keeping her former husband Steve Irwin’s legacy alive, Terri has made it her New Year’s resolution to start making her happiness a key priority – starting with dipping her toes back in the dating pool.
‘If you are looking for love, this may be the year that you find it #DatingSunday,’ posted Terri on Twitter, along with a photo of a heart-shaped strawberry.
With the first Sunday of the new year dubbed ‘Dating Sunday’ as it’s the biggest day for online dating, sources say Terri’s cryptic post was her way of telling the world she is ready to find love again!
‘It’s a bold step for Terri... It’s not quite going to be The Bachelorette, but she is ready for some excitement and fun, and to be wooed and romanced – and hopefully, at the end of it, find that special person,’ a friend tells New Idea. ‘[She] turns 54 this year and she feels it’s now or never if she is going to meet Mr Right... as far as she’s concerned, the search starts now!’
Deeply devoted to her crocodile hunter husband, in the years following his death Terri maintained she would never love another man again.
‘I don’t see that,’ the mum-of-two said back in 2013.
‘To me, Steve was my Prince Charming, he was my happily ever after and we got that. We got 14 years of marriage – we had the best, most fantastic, adventurous, wonderful life that you could imagine. And I was happy with that.’ However, as the years have gone by Terri seems to have softened her stance on keeping her heart firmly shut, with sources revealing Bindi Irwin has been integral in helping her mum move forward.
‘Bindi has been encouraging her all the way,’ says the source. ‘[Terri] had several heart- to-hearts with Bindi, and over Christmas she said to her: 'Mum, you really deserve to find someone nice.' And she kept telling her she would be a real catch for the right guy.’
Not only has Bindi been posting her own messages of support of her mum’s quest for love on Instagram, it was also her suggestion that Terri take her manhunt online!
‘Terri was horrified when Bindi first suggested it,’ says the source. ‘She is NOT looking for a Tinder-style hook-up.
‘But then Bindi pointed out that there are sites where they build your profile and carefully match you with someone suitable. Terri cast her mind back to her single days in her early 20s and remembered how she went on a couple of blind dates then. And it’s not very different from that.’
While Terri has found companionship in recent years with family friend Russell Crowe, the two have always maintained their close bond was based on friendship, with Terri revealing the actor is a ‘loyal’ and ‘dear friend’.
‘[Terri and Russell] have been friends forever and she is very comfortable with him,’ reveals the source.
‘He has been the man in her life when she needed one, but they both know that their relationship is unlikely to end in marriage. That’s not what they are about.’
So with no potential romantic suitors on the horizon, Terri is boldly going where any modern woman would go to find her special someone.
‘She has an open mind about the kind of guy she is looking for. She certainly doesn’t want a toy boy! Someone of her own age, who is kind, loyal, has a nice smile and loves animals would be perfect,’ says the insider.
‘She knows Steve would want her to find happiness again.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!