Is It Time to Let Mom and Pop Set You Up on a Date?

With so many various online dating sites and services, reality TV shows based on hooking up, and matchmakers out there claiming to hold the keys to your locked heart, there are many places you can turn to in order to find a partner.

Through it all, however, there is perhaps no one that knows you as well as your parents, and letting them play matchmaker for you might not be as bad as you’re initially thinking.

Say what you will about some cultures with arranged marriages, but their divorce rates are much lower than that of other cultures. Sure, there’s no real freedom in choosing your spouse. What your parents say has to suffice for you, meaning the person they pick out will be the person you live the rest of your life with – at least until you decide to get a divorce. But few people in that culture seek divorce.

Are they happy? Well, no one can really speak to that; but if they were intently unhappy, you can bet that more would be getting a divorce, as that isn’t as frowned upon as you may suspect.

In other cultures, like the United States’ culture, people want no parts of their parents setting anything up for them. Hell, most of us can’t wait to get away from our parents so we can stop being told that “as long and you’re under my roof…”

It’s insanity to a lot of us. Our parents come across as intrusive and far too particular about what they “want” for us. However, they’re also right about a lot of things, as we frequently find out as our lives progress.

So why not combine the two cultures? On one hand, you still have the ultimate say. You have the freedom to say no. You won’t be forced into anything. There are no predeterminations here. You’re still in control of the entire shebang. But on the other hand, you’re seeking your parents’ guidance to find someone who may actually be right for you.

When you break it down and view it logically instead of fleeing from the idea immediately, it actually makes a lot of sense to let our parents play the proverbial matchmaker and pick out a potential mate for us.

One thing your parents have going for you that you can’t offer yourself and that friends probably won’t offer you – they love you to the point that brutal honestly is all that comes through. Yeah, okay; they might pad your ego about your weight or your hairline as you age, but they won’t pander to your sensibilities when it comes to picking out a potential date. They’ll only choose the person they feel is best for you based on their intimate knowledge of you. At least you better hope so.

This is a win-win – a no-strings-attached date with someone you might actually hit it off with.

Although, it can also be a lose-lose, depending on how you view it. I mean, how awkward will it be to have your parents feeling they have the right to pry into your relationship?  “Oh, how are things going with Susie? Are you two getting along?”

Yeah, you could kindly suggest they butt out in most other scenarios, but since your parents are the ones that actually hooked you up, you may feel a little more obligated to tell them about how your relationship is going. So it’s not all wine and roses after all.

And if you’re dating a good family friend, your parents may have the inside track on your personal affairs. Perhaps Susie is going behind your back via late-night phone calls and attempting to turn your mother against you. You’ll come home one day to a 2vs1 all-out brawl over the lack of attention you’re paying to ole Suz.

That’s a rather frightening prospect. But it doesn’t really get much more negative than that, outside of having to explain to your parents that things “didn’t work out” should you not take a liking to the partner they selected.

If you can deal with those minor issues, though, allowing your parents to set you up when they offer is definitely worth a shot. What else do you have going for you if you’re single? Sure, you can wait around on that dating site. Statistics say that you’ll eventually strike gold. Heck, even frequenting the bars might get you laid every now and again. But for a real relationship, you should be willing to try everything at least once.

If you are going to allow your parents to set you up, however, there are a few things you should do first to make sure that they’re not completely out of their clocks, which is unfortunately the case with some matchmaking parents who attempt to set their daughters and sons up with nuts.

First up, find out everything you can about the person. You want to make sure that this person isn’t some mental ward escapee whom your mother likes because they have “kind eyes” or some other weird trait that only a mother could love. Make sure they’re at least playing with a full deck.

Also, you should get a photo of this person. The only thing worse than a blind date is a blind date set up by your parents – since they’re already married and already old, their idea of “looks” isn’t the same idea you have.

Lastly, let your parents know beforehand that this is your date and you’re only going on it because you want to. Far too often, parents feel as if they can pry in every step of the way. Make sure you let them know before you accept that this is going to be your business from the onset.

If you can do these things, there’s absolutely no harm in going out on a date your parents set up. You might be surprised at the results.