Contributed by Annabelle King:
Having recently lost my father, leaving my still attractive 65 year old mother facing a not inconsiderable life alone, I had a personal interest to find out more about MyLovelyParent.com a new online dating site for older single people.
Online dating may be something you would think about for your sister, best friend or even for yourself, but have probably not considered for one of your parents. But with the over 55’s representing the fastest growing audience for online dating, this is a serious business. So, with many sites out there already for the more mature ‘dater’, how is this one different?
Simple and clever, the aim of this site is for us, the adult children, to encourage our single mum, dad, auntie or even an elderly friend to meet people online.
My mum would never in a million years dream of going onto a dating website by herself, but with my help and a bit of encouragement she, like thousands of parents across the world, is probably up for giving it a go. So when I registered my interest on the site which goes live today, I was registering on behalf of my mum.
It is this original insight that award-winning entrepreneur and digital strategist Matt has tapped into. And it’s a very personal one too. Matt was inspired by his own mum, a single lady in her 60s who suggested one day that he help her “find her knight in shining armour”. Indeed she has been the driving inspiration and sounding board for the whole business idea from revealing just how ‘on-line savvy’ people of her generation really are through to the potential pitfalls.
By involving your own child/children there is an added layer of security to the whole potentially scary world of ‘putting yourself out there’. I, as the ‘adult kid’, can vet and review what my mother is doing on the site, check who is contacting her, who she is interested in and generally just make sure that the experience is a happy one. Barriers are different for older daters – friendships are already established and it’s difficult to meet other single people and make new friends. Coupled with fear of technology and the stigma of meeting strangers online, there are many of our mums and dads out there who would simply be too scared to take the leap. But with us holding their hand and guiding them along the way, Matt (and his mum) reckon there’s a much greater chance they will go for it.
Staying safe is paramount to Matt and, he believes, to the success of the site. To illustrate this they have partnered with leading family and parenting charity Family Lives who advise people on their own how to deal with isolation and loneliness as a result of divorce, separation or bereavement. Support from the charity is weaved in throughout the site for those that feel uncomfortable in any way on their dating journey.
The website www.myLovelyParent.com is launching today and every pre-Christmas sign up receives a 3-month free subscription.
My mum and I will be there.