Meeting people seems to be getting harder and harder, especially in this digital age. One father, however, has an idea on how to help. Three American brothers are about to get the surprise of their lives when they land in New Zealand because, unbeknownst to them, their father secretly placed a dating ad in the New Zealand Herald.
Earlier last week, an Oregon man named Neil placed an ad in the New Zealand Herald hoping to set up blind dates for his three sons during their upcoming vacation.
“Hello Parents. We are from the States (Oregon), visiting your beautiful country. My wife and I have three wonderful, successful, handsome, alas unmarried, sons between the ages 28-32,” the ad read.
“We are not expecting, just hoping, to introduce our sons to nice NZ daughters. At the very least we’ll embarrass our sons and the truth is, we do find some enjoyment in that.”
Neil told the Herald that he chose to place the ad as a way for his sons to meet new people while traveling.
“We like to travel and I have gone with my kids to Europe, Australia and Japan, but we have never really interacted with anybody and in my mind I was just interested in them getting to know people, meeting people their age, and maybe develop some lasting, permanent relationships,” he told the Herald.
The story has since gone viral, with over 4,700 likes and hundreds of shares on the Herald’s Facebook page.
"We are not expecting, just hoping, to introduce our sons to nice NZ daughters."
“Omg, this is hilarious, dad is such a crack up, I hope they have an awesome time here, the good thing is it won’t be hard for them to interact as us kiwi’s are genuinely friendly,” one user wrote.
Another user had a different reaction and wrote: “No, nothing creepy about this at all…”
“Good on him!!! They all look like happy attractive young men, and I really hope they meet someone genuinely awesome that they can click with,” another user wrote, ending her comment with a heart.
And another decided to lend a helping hand, sharing and captioning the post of the ad: “All the single ladies…”
Neil told the Herald he’s already gotten over 200 responses to his ad, and he’s basing his replies on the sincerity of the responses.
“I’m somewhat surprised that I have got quite a lot of responses,” he told the Herald. “It is hard to tell how many are genuine. A few are maybe just scammers but for the most part people are really amazingly nice in your country.”
The best part is Neil says he doesn’t plan on telling his sons until they’re either on the plane en route to New Zealand or when they’ve landed.
“I have never done anything like this before and they don’t know,” Neil said. “They are utterly clueless, which I love.”
He was also more than happy to provide additional details about each of his sons.
The youngest is 26-year-old Benjamin, who works as a consultant in Seattle.
The middle son is 28-year-old Jeremy, who is involved in a couple of not-for-profit organizations.
And the eldest is 31-year-old Matthew, who works as a realtor in Portland.
“I know one of my sons uses these dating sites and is always going on introductory dates and meeting somebody, but he hasn’t had a serious relationship for quite a while,” Neil said.
And so, he decided to take things into his own hands.
“I decided to help. I have no idea what will happen, but at least we will be able to meet some people,” he said.
“I’m sure they will be surprised and annoyed, but I am sure they will laugh,” he said. “We have a good relationship and are always joking with each other. They know I am a little unusual in that regard.”
With a bit of humor, and a little fun on their father’s part, who knows—maybe “lasting, permanent relationships” will be formed. If that happens, Neil said, ideally, he’d like his daughters-in-law to live close by.
Either way, Neil said, “I would just be happy if my kids have a happy, healthy relationship.”
The family will be in New Zealand between Dec. 26 and Jan. 7, and the ad concluded with an email for anyone interested to meet the boys.