Think of it as a real life Sleepless in Seattle for the wired generation.
A new dating website gives adult children the reins to help their single moms and dads find love.
MyLovelyParent.com is the brainchild of 35-year-old devoted son Matt Connolly, whose own mother served as the site’s catalyst. The idea is to have tech savvy young people ease their older parents into the world of online dating by setting up a profile for them and vetting candidates for mom or dad’s approval.
“The inspiration for the website came from my mum – a very lovely lady in her 60s, who has been single for too long. Early last year she asked me if I could help 'find her knight in shining armour,’” Connolly tells the Daily Mail.
“I looked at a number of different online dating sites and couldn't find any that I wanted to recommend to her. So I decided to set up www.myLovelyParent.com,” he adds.
The stats reveal that Connolly’s idea could hit the mark. Statistics Canada reveals that as of 2011 approximately one quarter of all seniors live alone. And in the U.S., more than 20 million adults over the age of 50 don’t have another person to come home to at night.
Seniors are also embracing the Internet in huge bounds, dispelling the myth that people over the age of 60 view technology the same way most people look at unanesthetized dentistry.
Since the leap to online dating may be a stretch for people raised in an era when humans mostly interacted in person, Connolly feels the younger generation can help.
"One of the roles, a really vital role the child has, is saying digital can help you meet new people, websites are good," Connolly tells the Guardian.
Young people over the age of 18 can sign their older relatives up – anyone from a parent to an aunt or uncle or even a family friend.
Children can then browse through other profiles to see if there’s anyone who would tickle mum or dad’s fancy.
From there, parents receive an invitation to join the site and can continue to fill out their own profile. The first three months are free.
Connolly hopes older folks trust that children have their best interests at heart and want to see them with a good partner. They may also be able to spot qualities in a potential match that the parent may not immediately recognize.
To make sure the site isn’t used as part of the arsenal in a long-standing revenge plot against a mom who forced you to eat your broccoli every night or a dad who, without fail, told embarrassing stories about you in front of all your friends, each profile is carefully checked out by staff before it starts circulating and can only be viewed by other members. In addition, no email addresses are ever made public.
So far the idea has caught on with daters and their offspring alike. The site has signed up 1000 members since launching last month.
“From a female perspective, if a guy has such a good relationship with an offspring that they are prepared to write something for the site, then that says something about him - and his relationship with his child,” single mother Nick Cutts tells the Mail.
What would Tom Hanks do?
Watch the video below for a frank discussion about whether it is odd for a woman to date a much younger man.