Did you know that over 45% of U.S. seniors over 65 are single, either through divorce or death of a spouse? Over six percent of 55-65 year olds report using a dating site to find love (compared to only 10% of 18-24 year olds) and more and more retirees are turning to the web to find a mate every day.
Is your single parent looking to meet a life partner but scared to try online dating? Why not use your web-savviness to help them become more comfortable with online dating sites and apps so they can have a shot at real love? Here are few things you can do to get your single parent behind the idea of finding love on the internet.
Do the Legwork for Them
One of the most intimidating things about online dating is the sheer number of dating sites to choose from. The good news is, there are plenty of sites specializing in matching older singles that cater to the needs and worries of this demographic. Before you introduce your parent to online dating, check out sites like Silver Singles, OurTime.com, and even AARP’s online dating platform to see if one looks like a good fit for your mom or dad.
Start Them Off Slowly
A great way to ease a single parent into the online dating pool is to let them play around on social media first. Help your mom create a Facebook account to communicate and share photos with her friends, or show your dad how to talk to his favorite sportscasters on Twitter. The more comfortable they are interacting with others online, the more likely they’ll be to succeed at the sometimes cutthroat task of online dating.
Teach Them How to Stay Safe Online
Whether your parent is a stranger to online banking or has their very own Twitter account, entering credit card information and interacting with strangers can be a daunting task. Talk to your parent about the dangers of Catfishing and what kind of information not to give out to a stranger. And teach them to use a people search engine like Spokeo to do research on a potential match before meeting up in real life. Empowering your parent to make smart moves online is the first step in getting them comfortable with the idea of online dating.
Help Them Sign Up
Odds are, your parent is intimidated by the very idea of setting up an online dating profile. Choosing a photo, describing their wants and needs, and creating a personal “ad” can feel overwhelming…why not walk them through the process? Having an objective set of eyes on their dating presence can give them confidence, and you may have to teach them the right vs. wrong way to use everything from selfies to emojis.
Once your parent is signed up and active on an online dating platform, check in often. Make sure they’re not sending money to someone they don’t know, and offer to help them craft responses or even chaperone a date IRL if they’re worried about safety! The tables have turned and there’s no better time than now to help your single mother or father find the next love of their life, and you’ve got the tools.