DAUGHTER’S DATING HABIT WORRIES ME
My daughter, who is 21, keeps meeting up with different lads she’s met on internet dating sites. Some of these men she meets just once, others she’ll see two or three times and then if they don’t want to meet again she’ll arrange to see someone else. I’m starting to get worried about her. She thinks this behaviour is normal and tells me everyone dates like this now and that things have changed since my day. What’s the best way to tackle this as I feel as if I’m making things worse and could end up falling out with her over it?
Your daughter is right – things have changed massively since we were in the dating pool and the related apps and websites are big business. The important thing is that she’s using these sites safely and, as her mum, I’m sure that’s your main concern. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust recommends that online daters only communicate with potential dates via the site and not through social media or personal email. It also suggests telling a friend where you’re going on a date and checking in with them before and afterwards, and reporting any offensive or suspicious behaviour to the dating site. Your daughter probably knows this, but say you’re bringing it up only because you love her and want her to be safe. I know as a parent you just want your child to meet ‘the one’ and have a nice boring, settled relationship. But most young people go through a lot of dates before this happens, whether they meet them online or not. In some ways, getting to know someone a little first online is a more sensible way to connect rather than going out clubbing and leaving with a guy you’ve only just met that night.