In this week’s advice column, Ms. X counsels a daughter who is flipping out over her mother’s search for online romance.
Dear Ms. X,
My mum is 62 and looking to date. I want to be good about this but I AM NOT. I think she is going to meet all kinds of idiots and then we will be forced to endure whatever happens next. She was widowed seven years ago and she and Dad were married for 26 years. She totally doesn’t know what it’s like out here on the front lines.
What if she gets sent dick pics? Old man dick pics – or worse, young man ones! Omigod. I really want to be okay about this but I am not.
She is quite cute too so this feels like it could go so badly. Which sounds terrible but I hope it makes sense.
Desperate Not to be a Daughter in Law (27)
I kind of love how when we try to be super “cool” with something it can all come crashing down in a giant shit fit of un-coolness.
Look, I think you are going to need to get on board with this somehow. And the best way to approach that is to have some kind of conversation with your mum about your fears.
Highlighting what can go wrong in the modern dating environment could be useful for her, too. But let me be clear here – I don’t know if it IS as terrifying as you portray it. Your mum could just as easily meet some schmuck at the tennis club as she could online.
Schmucks are amazingly equal opportunity like that.
So tell her and then talk to her about internet safety stuff. Talk about what she wants and what your concerns are. Does she have good mates? Because if she is a little isolated or surrounded by people in couples then maybe it’s not just a romantic relationship she’s looking for and she needs a few extra friends as well.
She might be worried about retirement looming. It could look like a vast ocean of alone time punctuated by visits from a daughter that doesn’t want her shacking up with someone new (that’s you btw, Caller).
So after talking to her maybe you will feel better. Maybe you will even feel comfortable enough to offer her some practical support in her quest to either meet more people generally or people to date specifically. Or a portfolio of both those options. Talk about things she could do to meet more people generally and what hobbies or interests that she has that could lead to this.
Then, if need be, set some boundaries in place in case she wants to over share. I’m going to assume you don’t want to know about her burgeoning intimate life (yes, I mean your mother having sex)so tell her where your cut off point is. She needs mates and a GP to talk about shagging with, not you.
Maybe set her up with a nice dating profile and a suitably anonymous Gmail account for a start. And remember – the woman is 62 not 92. I imagine she had some kind of life before your father unless you are flicking me a quick email from the Exclusive Brethren compound.
Now I am going to leave you with one of my all-time favourite pieces of advice:
Don’t have a $5 reaction to a $1 situation.
Translated – you are freaking out before there is a problem.
I wanna make lowfi sci fi tv shows
But it wont pay bank
I shade under building houses ATM
But I’m getting burnt up
My IRL cant faze my IMH
Ok. Or as the kids say…K.
After a bit of wtf I workshopped this with some 22 year olds and a 44 year old who is on lots of hook-up websites.
So, I think you are a builder and you want to make TV. Sci fi to be exact. You are worried that you won’t or can’t make the transition to doing this. You are worried about messing up your life.
Now you can turn to Urban Dictionary for my reply which is in the spirit of your question.
Don’t Andre me here dude. Or don’t Andre yourself even.
Just go and make something and stop procrasturbating (hold up – that’s my new fave).
Go on. See what happens.
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