“How Soon is Too Soon to Start Dating Again?”

A question I never thought I would hear from my aging and happily married mother. That is, until my dad died quite suddenly a couple months ago. My mom already had the Bumble app on her phone which I had suggested a while ago she might use to find new girl friends in the area. A few weeks ago, she proudly announced to me that she had switched the app over from the friends side to the dating side, and all I could do was laugh. We spent a good part of that afternoon and evening on the hunt for “my new daddy.” She insisted she wasn’t actually ready yet, but just wanted to “window shop.” That evening, scrutinizing these men’s profiles, was the most laughter I shared with my mother in the weeks since we lost my dad. I’ve told her, when she’s ready to dip more than just her toe in, I am here for her.

I spent most of my all-too-typical 20’s living in New York City, and enduring all the worst online dating had to offer. I met a handful of decent guys, but most of my first dates never went beyond just that. I was cursed with a kind, good-looking college boyfriend who set what felt like an unreachable bar. You can read one of my most favorite NYC dating misadventures here (link to rowboat story on my blog. No sense in reinventing the wheel.) Like with that date, as I told my mom, the most cringe-worthy experiences do have the most narrative value later on! Most of the dates I went on (and that number is well into the dozens) are kind of a blur now, but I feel I learned a great deal in those years about how to play the online dating game. I reassured my mom that I will make sure she has the best profile pictures and answers to her profile questions and I will even be the Cyrano to her Christian and write good strategic messages for her. I have always loved doling out dating advice, although I clearly didn’t have all that much success with it (I met my husband in real life and we never even really “dated” per se!), but my mother is the last person I thought I’d be regaling with my seemingly endless bag of tips and tricks. It’s a real role reversal, but one that I will gladly embrace.

 

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