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Mom Wants to Try Online Dating


"My 75-year-old mother wants to begin online dating.  I am quite shocked, as Mom has some difficulty managing on her own.  How on earth is she going to handle dating? I currently help take care of her home.  I cut the grass, make repairs, take her on trips and help with investments. I suppose she could do these things herself, I just do not think she is capable of handling a new relationship. What do I say?"


It sounds like your mother wants some companionship. Is that an unreasonable desire? At 75 she may not be willing to live the rest of her life alone or without any escort to social events. I recommend giving her some space and letting her enjoy life. You have not described someone who requires your help with basic activities of daily living. Helping to maintain a property is not the same as cooking, driving to appointments, or bathing. 

I do recommend, however, that you share my thoughts with her before she jumps into the dating pool once again. The waters can be warm and somewhat heady, but one always needs to be aware that sharks also share the sea.

First of all, online dating has become one of the most common ways for individuals to meet. It is mainstream these days. What may have seemed to be a route used by only desperate people in the past; is now a commonly used outlet for budding relationships. With that being said, it should be approached from a different perspective than the more organic meetings through others or acquaintances through church.  When meeting someone in person she first connected with online, her first couple of dates should be brief and in very public places. She should either escort herself or have you help so that she isn't escorted by a stranger. Also, she needs to be aware that sometimes people present themselves very differently in person than online. By understanding this, she can go into the experience with more confidence.

I recommend that your mother explore her finances and will with an attorney and you before she ventures down this path.  The reason I recommend this is the fact that you are already managing some of her finances. She should seek legal advice on how to protect herself and her assets if they are significant. She would not want to find herself in a situation where someone is taking advantage of her. Once that is accomplished and she has heeded my earlier advice, I think she will be more than ready to jump into the dating pool.

I recommend that she talk with you about the people she meets, using you as a sounding board. It seems like you two have a close relationship already. If she trusts you, she will also trust your input about her dating.

I wish you the best.

- Mary