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Grandma's Dating!

Dear Philippa:

My active 70+ mother wants to find some companionship online? What advice should I give her? Come to think of it, I could use some advice in that department too.

�Phoebe, Torrance, California


Dear Phoebe,

Parents, adult children, and grandparentspeople of all ages are finding each other online these days. A 70+ relative of mine had a brief e-mail friendship with a gentleman she met online. Some people prefer to limit their online activities to e-mail friendships while others take online dating to the next step.

So, where should your mother start? Many of the online matchmaking sites (like USASingles.com) include areas for seniors. Try also looking up SingleSites.com which is an online directory for online dating resources. She should take a look at the ads in her age category and have some fun reviewing both men and women so she can get an idea of how people use the online medium and the kind of things they say.

Whether you are 70 or 27, the same guidelines apply to being successful at online dating. Focus your profile or ad so the kind of person you want to attract will recognize them self in your words. Otherwise you will end up having to screen out many people who aren't your cup of tea.

You state that your mom is an active woman so she will want to attract an active man. She should be "we", rather than "me" oriented by letting the man know about the fun times they'll have togetheron the golf course, enjoying the theater, going on nature walks-rather than just talking about activities she likes to do. Keep the profile or ad light and friendship oriented. It should sound like she has a full life to share with the right person. And she should show that she has a sense of humor.

Your mother should not mention her financial situation (such as owning her own home) unfortunately there are all kinds of people in this world and some of them are con artists looking for lonely ladies.

Realize that people tend to exaggerate things about themselves; so keep an open mind, a sense of humor, and use a little caution. As you develop an e-mail relationship, plan to have a short phone chat early on so you can find out how this person sounds. Why build up a great friendship that you hope leads to romance offline if you can't talk even talk on the phone? If that short chat goes well, then plan to meet for a quick cup of coffee somewhere close and familiar. Let friends or family know where you are going and let them know you will call them at a specific time when the meeting is over.

Remember that you do not have to meet anyone if you feel in any way uncomfortable. Do not provide your phone number unless it is a non-personal, non-traceable, voice-mail number. Call from work or somewhere your number can not be traced through caller ID.

Everywhere I give speeches and present seminars I get a kick out of the seniors I meet who are embracing the technological age and expanding their circle of friends through this medium. Just think of all the stories you and your mother can share about the men you are about to meet. Enjoy the adventure!


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