My sister and I have an ongoing conversation about how to convince our mother, a beautiful and single woman in her sixties to join an online dating site. We’ve toyed with the idea of setting up a profile behind her back and playing matchmaker, but that seems a bit shady for our tastes. My mom laughs us off when we try to talk to her about how great it would be to meet someone online and dismisses the idea in an instant. She says she’s perfectly happy alone, but I can’t help but wonder if she would be just a little happier if she had someone to go to the movies or dinner with once in a while…someone who isn’t my sister or I. Turns out, I’m not alone. Dubbed “Wing Kids“, there are a new generation of digital daters who are encouraging their parents to start online dating, some even going to great lengths to do so. While I know that the decision to join an online dating site will ultimately have to be her own, here are some ways I have encouraged my mother to even consider it! Hey, it’s a start.
1. Set a good example.
Our parent’s generation didn’t grow up doing everything on online, and many older singles view online dating with a heavy dose of skepticism. It’s one thing to tell them how safe online dating is these days, and that it isn’t a breeding ground for creeps and criminals, but it’s quite another to show them. If you’re online dating, make sure you don’t only tell your single parents the horror stories, for every time you call your mom up to complain about a bad date make sure you call her twice to tell her all about the good ones! I met my husband online, and my mother absolutely adores him, I actually think she likes him more than she likes me! Therefore, I take every opportunity I get to remind her that if it weren’t for online dating, he wouldn’t be a part of our family.
2. Baby steps, baby steps.
Before you go setting up an online dating profile for one of your parents without them knowing or giving you the green light, start slowly. Many people will say no to a new venture simply because they don’t understand how it works, and it seems too overwhelming and scary. Sit down with your mom or dad and open up your computer and simply show them what online dating truly looks like, using your own profile as an example if you have one. Explain that there are specific dating sites for mature daters, and that when it comes to who she communicates with, she will call the shots. By easing them into the online dating world, they might feel more comfortable attempting it one day (soon, hopefully!)
3. State your case.
I am horribly guilty of joking too much about online dating with my mom. I tell her ridiculous things like “don’t you want to go on a hot date?” or “your next husband is waiting for you!” In reality, these aren’t the reasons I want her to start online dating at all. Her husband, her one true love and soulmate, died suddenly about fifteen years ago and she’s been single ever since. It breaks my heart to think of my mom never having another companion or experiencing the flutter of butterflies in her stomach when spending time with someone she has chemistry with. Overall, I just want my mom to be happy. My biggest fear is that she’s lonely and is hiding it from my sister and I. Since online dating worked for me and countless others, in my head and my heart, it’s worth a shot for my mom too! Instead of making online dating an on-going joke, these are the things I need to explain to my mother. Whatever your motivation is for encouraging your parent to sign up, let them know. It will be much harder for them to dismiss your talk of online dating if it comes from your heart.
Have you had any luck convincing your single parents to try online dating?