Gilbert revealed her new "sweetheart" on Instagram — Simon MacArthur, a photographer and close friend of Rayya Elias, Gilbert's former partner.
Dear Ones: It’s a beautiful spring day in my corner of the world, life is everywhere bursting forth with a sense of rebirth and renewal, and this seems like as good a moment as any to tell you that I am in love. Please meet my sweetheart, Mr. Simon MacArthur. He’s a photographer from the U.K. — a beautiful man who has been a friend of mine for years. (Even more touchingly, Simon was a beloved friend of Rayya’s for decades. They lived together in London over 30 years ago, and they adored each other forever like siblings. This, as you can imagine, means the world to me.) Of late, Simon and I have found our way to each other’s arms. And now here we are, and his heart has been such a warm place for me to land. I share this news publicly, despite the fact that our love story is so new and young and tender,for a few reasons. For one thing, I just want to say: If you see me walking around with a tall handsome man on my arm, don’t be buggin’. Just know that your girl is happy, and following her heart. But also this: I will always share anything personal about my life, if it could help someone else feel more normal about their life. SO...if you have lost a loved one to death, and you thought you’d never love again, but you are feeling a pull of attraction toward someone new, and you’re not sure if that’s OK? Let me normalize it for you. Let me say: It’s Ok. Your heart is a giant cathedral. Let it open. Let it love. Do not let your gorgeous loyalty to the deceased stop you from experiencing the marvels and terrors of your short, mortal, precious life. It’s OK to live, and to love. Or...if you are falling in love in middle age and it’s terrifying, because you feel just as dumb and crazy and excited and insecure as you did at 16? Well, let me normalize this for you. It’s OK. You will always feel 16 when you are falling in love. Or...if you once loved a man,and then you loved a woman, and then you loved a man, and you’re wondering if that’s ok? Well, darling. Let me normalize THAT for you. It’s OK. Love who you love. It’s all OK, and it’s all impossible to control, and it’s all an adventure that I would not miss. That’s all I wanted to say. Onward, and I love you all. ❤️LG
"Of late, Simon and I have found our way to each other’s arms,'' Gilbert wrote, captioning a touching snap of the two of them. "And now here we are, and his heart has been such a warm place for me to land."
Elias died last year of cancer.
Gilbert stunned many when she announced in 2016 that she was leaving her husband of a decade, Jose Nunes. A couple months later, she revealed she had fallen in love with her longtime best friend, Elias.
Nunes was featured in "Eat, Pray, Love" and played by Javier Bardem in the film adaptation starring Julia Roberts as Gilbert.
Gilbert has written at length about her battle with grief following the death of Elias. In her post about MacArthur, she added she would always speak candidly about personal matters.
"It’s OK to live, and to love," she wrote. "Or...if you are falling in love in middle age and it’s terrifying, because you feel just as dumb and crazy and excited and insecure as you did at 16? Well, let me normalize this for you. It’s OK. You will always feel 16 when you are falling in love."