Jodie Edwards and her dad, Stuart, have always been close — so she decided to let him play Cupid and help her find love on Tinder. (Photo: Jodie Edwards)
Jodie Edwards, 23, has an enviable career as a writer for top magazines and an active social life, but no partner to share it all with.
Tired after three years of singledom and going on scary dates she’d arranged through apps like Tinder, she enlisted the help of a much more old-school matchmaker: her 53-year-old father.
“My dad and I have always got on well; we’d go shopping and watch football together,” Edwards, who lives in Coventry, England, tells Yahoo Parenting. “I hadn’t been on Tinder for very long, but I thought it would be fascinating to see what kind of guys my dad would pick out for me.”
Not only did Edwards hand over her dating reins to her dad; she chronicled the experience in an article in October’s Cosmopolitan UK.
“What if, instead of showing an interest in every stranger with good hair I laid eyes on, I hand over my iPhone to someone else?” she wrote. “Someone who has known me my whole life, with dating experience from the days when you actually had to leave your house to hook up?”
Her dad has been happily married to her mom for more than 30 years, she wrote, so she figured he must know a thing or two about finding the right life partner. With some persuasion and a tutorial on swiping left and right, he agreed to play Cupid.
The first dating lesson her dad taught her was to ignore a man’s written bio and age, and go for someone who lived close to her and was “a fresh-faced gent with kind eyes,” she says. “He avoided the laddish types surrounded by three mates in Ibiza, and unshaven guys with scruffy clothes.”
“I’d expected him to be more discerning, but then I remember that when he met my mom, he was dazzled by her Farrah Fawcett blow-dry and kitten heels long before he fell in love with her intellect and wit,” she wrote. “It seems that initial spark of attraction is crucial, whichever generation you’re from.”
Her dad found two guys for her. “The first was Kyle — he was a handsome personal trainer, and we met for Mexican and some drinks,” she says. “We got on really well, but he was jetting off for a fortnight in Spain a couple days after we met, so the conversation fizzled out.”
Still, dating Kyle taught her a second love lesson: to be forward. After some initial Tinder flirtation, “[dad] went straight for the jugular: “Want to go out for dinner tomorrow night,” she wrote. “Just 5 minutes later, my phone buzzes with the words, “sure — Mexican?”
After Kyle, her dad matched her with a guy named David. “We met up, and although he was shy at first, I found him really endearing and we’re now currently dating,” says Edwards.
While arranging their first date, her dad went with the same forward, cut-to-the-chase approach he used the first time. At the restaurant, David told her, “I was impressed with how forward you were … most girls wait for the guy to make the first move.”
So far, getting her dad involved in her love life has worked out well for Edwards. But is it a good idea for everyone? Not necessarily.
“I think it’s a sweet story, but if we did an experiment on 100 people matched by their parents, I’d be curious about the result,” psychotherapist Rachel Sussman, author of The Breakup Bible, tells Yahoo Parenting.
“It’s great to run someone you’re dating by Mom and Dad to see what they think of him or her, but parents should want their kids to learn how to find a match for themselves,” says Sussman. “Your dating years are like being in dating school, and you learn what qualities you want, how to trust your instincts, and how to communicate with someone by doing it yourself.”
“I think it’s okay for parents to chime in, but you need to learn that muscle yourself — if parents do it for you, it’s just one more way adults are not letting their kids become independent,” she says.