2. What gave you this idea?
The inspiration for the website came from my mum – a very lovely lady who recently turned 70. Someone who has been single for too long.
Early last year she asked me if I could help ‘find her knight in shining armour’. I looked at a number of different online dating sites but couldn’t find any that I wanted to recommend to her.
Most of the sites out there are either difficult to use or share people’s profiles across other dating websites. I saw an opportunity to create a site that was easy to use, was incredibly safe and somewhere I’d be happy to encourage my own mum to sign up to.
I also thought how special it would be if the ‘child’ could write a little about their parent – in my case, if I could tell the world just what an amazing person my mum was. I chatted to her about this and what she thought of a website where all the parents had something equally special written about them and she seemed to particularly warm to that idea.
The more I chatted and tested the idea with friends and colleagues, the more I realised there was an appetite for this.
And so, as all good sons would, I set up myLovelyParent.
3. Is this something that is proving popular?
Yes, it’s incredibly popular.
It’s still early days for us but already we’ve had over 3,000 people join the site. For that to happen in under six months is incredible.
There are a number of reasons for this – more ‘older’ people using technology, myLovelyParent being one of the safest online dating sites and of course the fact there is a world of adult children out there who would love for their mum or dad to meet someone new.
4. What would you say to the prejudice that older people shouldn’t be looking for love again after a loved one dies?
I’d say that prejudice is fundamentally wrong, short-sighted and heartless. And if that prejudice does exist then myLovelyParent isn’t the place for you.
5. How does it work? Do you nominate someone who you know wouldn’t do it themselves?
Yes, exactly that.
It’s very simple – adult children who have a single parent (or maybe aunt, uncle, mother-in-law etc) write a little about the person they think would like to meet someone new.
This sends an invitation to their parent with a link to complete their profile. If they chose to do this, the myLovelyParent team will receive a notification to check the profile and approve it.
They are then able to use the website and get in touch with other members.
Something I’ve heard from lots of mums and dads is they haven’t dared talk to their children about the idea of a new relationship. For many it has been the act of their child signing them up to myLovelyParent that triggers some kind of permissioning and catalyst, in turn bringing them closer and allowing for these conversations to take place.
6. Tell us anything else you would like to mention about the site.
The past couple of months have been the most rewarding for me. Every other day I’m hearing from couples who have met through the site and I honestly couldn’t be happier.
But it was a recent email that really impacted on me. It was a benefit of myLovelyParent that I hadn’t expected and am now hearing time and time again.
“I asked my son to sign me up. I didn’t really expect him to be willing – he’s in college, very busy and still just 19 years old! I could not believe what he wrote – I am so moved by his testimonial about me, which would not have happened without you. I’m sure you are going to hear this a lot, but this may be one of your first and most meaningful expressions of gratitude! Thank you for launching this site! Even if I don’t meet a mate, it means so much to me to hear my son’s view of me. This is truly priceless.”