Should Big Brother give advice?
March 3, 2011 10:27 AM Subscribe
How old should you be to start online dating? Should I (very gently) suggest it to my sister?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A bit of background: my sister's just coming off her freshman year of college (18 turning 19 this year). She's pretty introverted and a little awkward, but has intermittently dated a few (equally shy, awkward) boys these past few years, with varying degrees of success, but not recently. She's in a pretty academically-intense program, works part-time, doesn't have many hobbies conductive to meeting new people, but she just wants to go on a few dates once in a while. She's told me about going to bars a few times with friends (drinking age here is 18) but said that it was "too loud, made [her] tired, wanted to go home".
I know this because I (quite-a-few-years-older brother) am her primary confidant in these things (our parents are worse than terrible at this kind of thing). I usually just make some sympathetic noises and offer a bit of my perspective on things (I was a shy awkward nerdy freshman once, too). Another point to note is that she's usually not just venting at me or anything -- if I offer up a bit of advice she'll think on it a little bit, and sometimes we'll discuss it further (usually all this takes place on email, as we're both more comfortable with the written word than face-to-face conversation)
I've noticed that the kinds of situations she comes to me with are remniscent of a lot of questions brought up in AskMe ("I like him! I don't know if he likes me! We're both too shy to do anything about it!). I've also noticed that online dating crops up a lot in AskMe "introvert" threads. My sister's internet-savvy and has been interacting with people over the internet in a sensible, safe way since her early teens, so I'd think meeting someone online would be a natural progression for her.
Do you think it'd be a good idea for me to gently nudge her in the direction, of, say, OKCupid or something like that, or is that just weird? Is it ever a good idea to do that, regardless of age? If I do end up suggesting it (and she actually agrees to try it), what are some tips I can offer to help keep her safe? (She's generally pretty smart about these things, but I do have to do my big brother duties.)
(anon because some family members are occasionally on AskMe)