Dating as a single parent can be difficult. Heck, while it can be fun and exciting, dating is seldom characterized as easy for anyone - there are always challenges, barriers and outright turnoffs when getting to know strangers. While much of the single parent dating advice that exists online applies to single mothers, single fathers are often faced with particular challenges unique to their parenting gender though.
Single dads are often found complaining about women who just will not date a man who is a single father, especially if his children live with him. Often, single and childless women are also quite vocal about not wanting to engage in drama with an ex wife or girlfriend where and when children are involved, contact with an ex is often unavoidable. There are certain ties that just cannot be severed no matter how much love is lost.
While single moms experience a lot of these same dilemmas, single dads often insist that there is a stronger bias towards them when it comes to casual dating. So what are single dads to do? What are some of the best ways for single fathers who have custody of their children to enjoy an active dating life and attract people who are open and willing to date a man with children?
If you are a single dad, listen up:
Accept That Some Women Will Never Be Receptive
Some women deliberately choose not to have children, nor do they want to date a man who does. Reasons for such decisions are varied. Never try to convince a woman that she is wrong for feeling this way or that you will be the exception and will change her mind. Instead, save time and frustration by accepting the choices of women who feel this way. Quickly eliminate them from your list of prospects and move on toward other women who are more accepting.
Socialize With Other Single Parents
You are not the only single parent in the world. In fact, there are probably scores of other singles right in your own backyard. Whether you meet these people individually or through online sites like www.SingleParentMatch.com, the idea here is to include them in your social circle and vice versa in order to increase your chances of finding someone who relates to your situation and who is more open to dating a man with children.
Date Within a Schedule
As a single parent, you wear a lot of hats. Your most important, however, is that of a dad. It is important that you prioritize your time so that your dating does not interfere with time spent with your children. You’ll find that even phone calls with a love interest are of a better quality when the children are busy doing something productive or are asleep or are away and spending time with their other parent. Be organized enough with your schedule that you designate ample time for your children, as well as time dedicated to romancing someone special. Ignore this advice and be prepared for a ton of stress, complaining and exhaustion from spreading yourself too thin.
Be Open With an Ex Before You Start Dating
Whether you and your ex are on good terms or not so good terms, communication about various aspects of your life should be clear. When it comes to dating, you don’t have to have your ex’s permission to do so, but in the interest of avoiding conflict, do let your co-parent know that you plan to start dating before you actually meet someone. Take that time to discuss boundaries that relate to your children and to respectfully listen to any concerns that your ex may have.
Do Not Introduce Children Too Soon
Your children do not have to be involved in every aspect of your life. Dating is one of those areas where you are entitled to get to know a person without them meeting your child before you've had a chance to determine whether dating is leading to a more long-term and serious relationship. If dates are still purely casual in nature, it is a good idea not to involve your children and risk anyone becoming too attached.
Be Honest About Your Parenting Status
Even if you do not have custody of your children or have shared custody of your children, always disclose the fact that you are a parent. This sounds simple enough, but some men tire of being stereotyped by women about being a single dad and will conveniently ‘forget’ to mention their status until several dates have passed. Nothing builds mistrust in a relationship faster than pretending to be someone whom you are not - and, in this case, you are not merely a single man, but a single parent. Note the difference. Own it. Be proud of it. And disclose it right away.
Do you have any tips to share about dating as a single dad? Have you tried www.SingleParentMatch.com or a similar site? What dating experiences and challenges do you find to be unique to single fathers?