Adults in their 20s and 30s will often see a parent start dating just as they themselves are settling down.
Once your parent understands that you’re not interested in locker room stories, though, it’s time to get over your embarrassment and put his or her happiness first, says Yvonne Thomas, a psychologist based in Los Angeles who specializes in relationships. “You have to accept them as living, breathing human beings who need love in their lives.” In fact, she says, it’s a good idea to say just that to your parent: I don’t want you to be lonely. You deserve love and happiness, and I want you to have a well-balanced life and be fulfilled in every way. “The point is to give permission to your parent to start dating again,” Thomas says.
In my case, by helping my father write his ad, I’d stepped up to the plate. After all, dating again is an enormous, frightening step for many people, and lending support was the least I could do.