Online dating is something I know very little about. As a married woman, I don’t tend to look at online dating sites. But the thing is, things change in the blink of an eye.
Ok, let’s get something straight. My marriage is fine (checked with my husband, we are good). Or I hope it is anyway. So why am I writing about online dating? Simply put, my parents split up recently. It was a massive shock to everyone. No-one saw it coming. But it turns out my father was having an affair with a blonde dingbat who is ten years younger than him. 34 years of marriage went down the toilet because of my dad.
It’s been a few months since I received the 7 am phone call from my mum, telling me that my dad was toast. I actually thought she was phoning me to tell me someone had died. It’s been a rough ride for her. But one of the things she said she had no interest in was adult dating. Well, that’s what she said. Since she began recovering from the spilt, she’s been getting hit on left, right and centre! The first guy was a taxi driver that takes her to work. He just flirted a bit but she said it was nice to be noticed. The next guy (who actually asked her out) was my age! I wasn’t sure if I should be horrified or impressed.
As nice as all of that is, dating is going to be a minefield for my mum. She’s over 50, works full-time, and has a grown-up family. She is trying to find herself again and discover what she likes, not the likes that my dad imposed on her. Over 50s dating can’t be easy, where do you meet people? What are the rules around dating now? Or do the rules around older dating the same rules as 20-30 years ago?
I can’t even get my head around how this would work for her, but then again, she is my mum. But one thing is clear, she is starting to make some new friends and becoming aware of the dating world. Not that she is really interested at the moment. There have been jokes about “not letting a man” near her, to which I told her there was lesbian dating in County Down. That shut her up, there have been no sex jokes since. But’s it true, there is a thriving gay community in Northern Ireland and plenty of opportunity for gay dating in Belfast.
My mum still has a long road ahead of her, and although she might not be in the mood for dating now, I’ll be there to support her when she faces the dating game.