Dear Lisa: I’m only 25 but I thought maybe you could help me with my single 51-year-old mom. She talks about your column all the time and thinks your advice is great but she’s not doing anything to get out there and date. Every Saturday morning we have brunch and I ask her what she’s doing that night and she always sighs then says, “Oh maybe I’ll catch a movie with a friend.”
I would love to see her meet someone so she’s not alone all the time. When I ask her if she’s planning on dating (it’s been five years since my parents divorced) she tells me it’s too much work. She’s not that computer-proficient so that might be part of the problem. Is there anything I can do to help that will get her out there and start dating?
Becky: How fortunate your mom is to have such a supportive daughter who cares so much about her happiness!
I think the following 10 tips are something you can use to get your mom started in the dating world. I believe online dating — with your help — will be the easiest way for her to meet men.
1. Use your smartphone and take some pictures of your mom where she’s smiling and looking happy.
2. Take your mom shopping for some dating clothes and makeup that enhance her best features. Most moms haven’t thought to update their look from soccer mom.
If you’re like my daughter, you’re probably good at making suggestions for clothing that looks both fantastic and age-appropriate.
3. Prepare yourself for one of the hardest tasks that will require the most patience on your part and possibly a glass of wine for both of you. Teach her how to navigate through the pictures and profiles of the various dating sites.
4. Next, upload your mom’s pictures to the dating site she chooses.
5. Show your mom how to set up an email account for dating that doesn’t use her last name. She can give this to the men she’d like to communicate with outside the site.
6. Help her write a great online dating profile. When women first start dating, this can be a daunting task. It will help if you can remind her of what you think she’s good at and what you love about her.
7. Tell your mom to only use her cell number when talking to men the first time.
8. Check back in with your mom after a week or so, and encourage her to meet a new man she’s been talking to in person. As you may know from your own dating life, coffee can be a great first date. Make sure she’s given his phone number and name to someone close like you or a friend. Ask her to call that person when the date’s over.
9. Ask your friends and co-workers if they know of any men your mom’s age that might make a good match.
10. If you are single yourself, take your mom to a mother-daughter happy hour.