Kids help parents find love online

By Abby Gillies

Activity on Findsomeone reached record levels last month with members sending more than 240,000 messages and smile emoticons over the Christmas period. Photo / Thinkstock
Activity on Findsomeone reached record levels last month with members sending more than 240,000 messages and smile emoticons over the Christmas period. Photo / Thinkstock

Kiwi sons and daughters encouraging their single parents to find love online are helping set up profiles to push their mums and dads into the dating game.

The number of people helping their parents find love online is on the increase for a number of reasons, internet dating website FindSomeone.co.nz manager Rick Davies says.

"With solo parent rates no doubt higher than they used to be, that's no surprise to me. But also I'd expect these scenarios to decline in the coming years as the older generation become far more internet savvy," he said.

Of those aged 35 to 55 on the FindSomeone website, 45 per cent were solo parents, Mr Davies said.

Many children were also helping out their parents by creating profiles for them on internet dating sites.

An international website, which aims to turn dating into a family affair, has drawn in New Zealanders playing cupid for their single parents.

Family membes can endorse their single relatives on MyLovelyParent.com.

It was easy to use, safe and gave insights into the person's family relationships, said England-based founder Matt Connolly, 35.

He launched the site to help his own mother find love.

She is a "lovely lady" in her 60s, who has been single for more than 20 years.

"I was just sitting around the dinner table with my mum and my girlfriend and she piped up with 'can you help me find my knight in shining armour?'. It was really cute," he said.

He looked at several dating websites, but found them "riddled" with unethical behaviour and there were none he was happy to recommend to his mother.

So he set up his own, where members had full control of their information and profiles are checked and vetted, he said.

"It's quite a 360 holistic picture of somebody. You can be whoever you want online, but this gives a layer of reassurance to people."

Since its launch at the end of last year, membership had reached 1270 including a "a handful" of Kiwis, along with British, Americans and Australians.

Members can currently sign up for free, but a subscription element will be added to the site later this year.

Nick Cutts, 61, asked her daughter Natasha to create a profile for her on the website after hearing about it on the radio.

The divorced mother-of-four from Cornwall has been single for 18 years and found other dating sites "big and impersonal", she told the Mail Online.

She also liked the family endorsement aspect of MyLovelyParent.

Mr Connolly said so far the feedback has been really positive.

"We have had feedback saying people are meeting up, which pretty much kind of melted my heart because it just shows it works."

His mother too, is happy to have found a new way to connect with other singles, said Mr Connolly.

She is on the site and is enjoying chatting to members: "She's loving it".

- APNZ

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