Parents helped to find love online

Kiwi sons and daughters are helping their single parents find love online by playing cupid on a new website for the over 50s.

Instead of traditional online dating sites, MyLovelyParent.com is a family affair, where offspring or another family member endorses their single relative.

It is easy to use, safe and gives an insight into the person's family relationships, said England-based founder Matt Connolly, 35, who launched the site to help his own mother find love.

She is a "lovely lady" in her 60s, who has been single for more than 20 years.

"I was just sitting around the dinner table with my mum and my girlfriend and she piped up with 'can you help me find my knight in shining armour?'. It was really cute," he said.

He looked at several dating websites, but found them "riddled" with unethical behaviour and there were none he was happy to recommend to his mother.

So he set up his own, where members have full control of their information and profiles are checked and vetted, he said.

"It's quite a 360 holistic picture of somebody. You can be whoever you want online, but this gives a layer of reassurance to people."

Since its launch at the end of last year, members have reached 1270, including a "a handful" of Kiwis along with British, Americans and Australians.

Members can currently sign up for free, but a subscription element will be added to the site later this year.

Nick Cutts, 61, asked her daughter Natasha to create a profile for her on the website after hearing about it on the radio.

The divorced mother-of-four from Cornwall has been single for 18 years and found other dating sites "big and impersonal", she told told the Mail Online.

She also liked the family endorsement aspect of MyLovelyParent.

"From a female perspective, if a guy has such a good relationship with an offspring that they are prepared to write something for the site, then that says something about him - and his relationship with his child," the Mail online reported.

She was primarily looking for companionship with someone of her own age and stage of life, she said.

So far the feedback has been really positive, said Mr Connolly.

"We have had feedback saying people are meeting up, which pretty much kind of melted my heart because it just shows it works."

His mother too, is happy to have found a new way to connect with other singles, said Mr Connolly.

She is on the site and is enjoying chatting to members: "She's loving it".

- Abby Gillies of APNZ

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