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My mum is obsessed with online dating(28 Posts)
And it's getting ridiculous.
She's 66 years old, she won't entertain anyone her own age, she's talking to multiple men at any given time, she's permanently glued to her phone and her tablet, she meets more than one person in a day, she's spent the weekend with someone hundreds of miles away the first time they met (he was 25 years younger) she's looking for someone she can move in with so she can sell her house. She's ratty when she's out as she wants to get back to her tablet or take a call from a man.
Her house is a mess, she barely acknowledges family when they're in the house, she doesn't care about anything but her phone and these men.
She's lost lots of weight, is dressing very young, is very concerned with her appearance, lots of make up and is taking and sending risqué photos.
She gets very angry if someone or something gets in the way of her plans.
This is not my mum and I'm worried sick. Is she having some kind of breakdown? I feel like I've lost my mum and it's awful. I don't know what to do.
I think there is something missing in her life for her to be acting in this way. But she's a grown woman, what can you do? Maybe she likes her life now and is having fun as opposed to being always there and just a mum. Who knows? But if she is not in danger - you can't stop her can you. Maybe have a word but don't do it in a disapproving tone.
Does she have any social life with her as family? Do you go round hers expect it to be pristine, and you all be fed and entertained? Do you see her regularly? Not suggesting thats the way of it but I've known of people who complain about their mum's lifestyle when they only see mum once every 6 months and yet talk as if she should be sitting at home waiting on them, and only fulfilled by having grandkids around. Nothing else.
Try to have a word. Calmly and non-judgmentally. I don't think your mum is truly happy and all this with the men may be to block that out. Go easy on her
Try and have a discussion about risk, as a starting point. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust will probably have some good online advice. Her spending the weekend with a stranger is very worrying. Sounds as though she has started to crave the excitement of new encounters.
I probably should have given more detail in my initial post. I'm happy for my mum to meet someone, my dad died 12 years ago and I've always told her it'd be nice for her to find a partner. I even helped her set up her online dating profile.So I don't have any issues with that, but honestly, she's a completely different person and it's her behaviour that's worrying me.
I was worried sick when she went to meet the guy she spent the weekend with, she wouldn't tell me anything about him, where he lived, who he was and purely from a safety point of view it was madness. I tried to explain that to her but she got really cross with me.
I actually share a house with my mum so obviously I can see how she's behaving and how different she's become. I can't talk to her, when I try or my daughter tries she doesn't hear us or just isn't interested and takes a while to respond. I take her shopping and a 10 minute trip takes 45 because her phone is constantly pinging and she has to reply instantly.
I love my mum to bits and want her to be happy but I feel like she's not here anymore
I've also found out that she's told people that she's putting the house on the market in the spring. She told other people, not me, and I live here and pay the mortgage. That's really hurtful. I thought we were so close, but I always knew that my brother was the favourite. I'm not saying that in a pissy way and it doesn't bother me, I'm just stating a fact. Other people have noticed it and have also noticed the way she's started treating me. She's behaving like a stroppy teenager.
She was always said that her mother favoured her brother even though she was the one who was around and did things for my grandmother. She was hurt by that. Now she's doing the exact same thing to me.
As a bit of an aside - why are you paying the mortgage? Is this in lieu of rent - I think in your shoes I'd take a massive step back.
Stop paying the mortgage. Move out and use the money for rent instead.
Whether she's having some kind of "breakdown" or not, it doesn't sound like a good environment for you to be living in. I'd let her get on with it, and you move out to your own little space.
Make yourself safe by moving out if you don't have a financial stake in the house.
She sounds giddy with the excitement of finding all these men to go out with. She seems to be seeing their flattery as sincere compliments. I think most of us know that a lot of guys online will say what it takes to get what they want.
When my dad died his life insurance wouldn't pay out. They had remortgaged and the new policy didn't cover him for the first however many days, he was diagnosed with cancer 3 days before it would have kicked in.
My mum was left with a massive mortgage that she couldn't manage. I didn't want to leave her on her own - she and my dad took me back in was I was 19 and pregnant and my daughters dad left us. My dad died when my daughter was 6 and I stayed. Family is very important to me, I'd do anything for any of them, although there's just 5 of us left.
When I was a child we moved around so much and I hated it. I think it's had quite an effect on me and I didn't want to do that to my daughter.
I don't envy you OP. Having to bear witness to that. I'm sure she'll get it out of her system eventually. I've behaved in the past in ways I now regret. But at the time I would listen to nobody about how reckless I was being. Feel for you.
My Dad died of cancer, and then my mother got cancer. I moved in with her to help with recovery, and I do my bit financially. She is better now so I am moving back out to a recently purchased home for my family. While I agree that family are important, it is also essential for you to have some capital for a home of your own one day and some independence. There is a possibility your mother will attract some loser online who wants to move in for free digs, or she may bring home a man while you are there who makes you feel unsafe. You need to think about yourself for a change - the martyr doesn't have a happy outcome. Your mum is an adult and she is free to live her life as she chooses. The chances are that if she continues online, she will just end up feeling sad and disillusioned by a long line of disappointments. While people do meet someone special online, I think the odds are pretty low and she is bound to meet lots of idiots if she is very active in this scene. Let your mother make her own mistakes, but don't sponsor them by paying the mortgage while having nothing to show for it. That could be your housing deposit!!!
Thank you for your replies, it's good to know I'm not being unreasonable.
The latest is she went 100 miles away on a coach to meet a guy and spend the night there before getting the coach back the next day. She got all the way there and the guy didn't show up or answer her calls. She text me and I drove to get her at 11pm and bring her home. We didn't get back until 2.30am. She didn't want to talk about it.
She said she was going out tonight for a drink with someone she's been talking to for a while. He's a young Romanian builder with no family and no friends. She was meeting him across the other side of London so my daughter drove her there. We're all worried about her safety. My daughter didn't like the look of the area so stayed, out of sight, until the guy turned up. He looked to be in his 20's 😔 Rightly or wrongly, my daughter decided to follow them. They walked for about 20 minutes past pubs and coffee shops and then turned into a dark alley. Obviously daughter couldn't drive down there so she lost sight of her.
Mum hasn't been on whatsapp since 8.20pm which is unusual for her. I've sent messages as has my daughter and mums friend. I had to ask her if she knew where mum was going and she said mum said she was going to a pub in the city for drinks. Obviously that was a lie.
I'm worried absolutely sick. I don't know if she's coming home, I don't know when would be an appropriate time to worry if she doesn't come home or reply to any of us.
I think there must be something wrong with her for her to behave like this, but what could it be?
The roles are somewhat reversed here....she isn't 15, you are not her mother and have to let her get on with it.
Re mortgage -are you on the deeds?
I think 24 hours is the minimum to put in a missing persons report. Hope all is well OP
Really hope she came home last night. This needs to stop but I've no idea how you can get it through to her.
Don't know what to suggest about everything else, except just be there for her and tell her how much it upsets you.
Don't mean to sound rude (or ageist,) but it really is a weird way for a lady only 3 or 4 years off her 70's to behave.
Sorry I couldn't read and run. Is your mum ok?
very odd behaviour. i also agree with everyone else that you have to provide stability for your dd not your mum. she is making her own decisions - that you don't agree with. you can't stop her. you can stop paying her mortgage and ensure you have a roof over your dd's head. what about saving for a deposit for your own property or is that less important than funding your mum's lifestyle?
she should sell the house and buy a much smaller mortgage free house. this situation is untenable.
ah sorry i've just seen your dd is old enough to drive. i think you have to protect your own financial asset otherwise your mum is just bleeding you dry.
tippz I am 63 next month and use dating sites - albeit with a little more prudence!
Hello, thanks for all the replies. Yes, she messaged late last night that she wouldn't be home and came back around 10 this morning. I haven't said anything yet but I need to, I know that.
Maybe this is some kind of late mid life crisis type thing? Or some kind of depression? She had a very bad bout of anxiety at the beginning of the year which resulted in her not eating. She's carried this restrictive eating on since then, although she says she feels better since the Dr increased her dose of Citalopram, which she has been on since my dad died.
I've spoken to her friend who is also worried, but haven't spoken to my brother. He knows she's doing online dating but isn't aware of all the ins and outs. I think she'd be cross if I told him everything though.
This is a really difficult situation. I have a chronic illness which is now beginning to flare up from all the worries, worries about my mum and financial worries combined as well as what I'll do and where I'll go if she does sell up 😞
Hi OP. Glad your mum is back. The situation you are in is bound to have an effect on your health. You need to sit her down and explain the impact of her reckless behaviour on you. As I mentioned upthread - I am in my 60s and use dating sites occaisonally - but as safely as possible.
Tell your brother everything. You need support. If your mum is cross, she's kinda brought it on herself.
You must discuss your living arrangements too. Surely your mother isn't going to leave you homeless, on top of all the unnecessary worry she's caused?
sorry you are in this situation OP - i think you mum is just lonely. She's not that old and perhaps she feels she needs a man in her life? Was she married young? perhaps she's only ever remembered life with a partner and feels since your dad is gone (sorry to hear btw) she needs to find someone to sort of 'replace' him. Also - was she married young? was your father her 1st boyfriend? Could she feel that she never got to 'date' and so feels now is the right time?
Hope you feel better soon OP.
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