You’re sure that he’s the one. Maybe you’ve seen your fill of other guys already, maybe this person’s love at first sight, but whatever the case may be, you’re sure that this is the guy.
This is the one you want to spend the rest of your life. And he feels the same way too!
There’s just one problem; he’s already felt that way about someone else before.
Maybe it was a one-time fling he had several years before and maybe it was a long-time relationship that’s ended just recently.
The important thing — or so you want to believe — is that he doesn’t feel that way about her anymore.
All of that is in the past, long gone, ancient history. He loves you and is eager to continue his family with you.
He’s not just a single ex-husband but a single dad at that.
You know, rationally speaking, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; yet, emotionally, it feels as if it is a bigger obstacle.
There is a lot of baggage to unpack when it comes to working out a relationship with a single dad.
That said, you do love him and want to believe that love is worth it. So, what can you expect and, more importantly, how can you make this work?
How Do Single Dads Handle Dating?
The first thing to recognize is that in some respects single dads date the same as everyone else — that is, awkwardly.
The silly smiles, the nervousness, the cutely embarrassing attempts to transition from a few common interests to make “Would you like to get some coffee?”.
It sounds as if it is anything else than the cliché opening it is — single dads approach the substance of dates the same as anyone else.
The logistics of planning them can be a bit different. After all, that single dad has to account for one or more children as well.
Will he be bringing the kids along, will he be leaving them at home, or will they be with someone else to watch them?
If he brings his children along, is that him being an especially attentive father or one so swamped by parenthood that he can’t find a sitter — in which case, how would dating him even work?
Leaving them at home, is that a sign that he knows how to balance being a single father and dating or that he’s prioritizing one over the other?
How should you feel about his prioritizing you over them?
That is a lot of heavy things to sift through.
Maybe this guy’s totally worth it.
It is necessary to note, however, that some issues will come up. You need to know what you’re getting into and that a slightly altered set of dating standards may need to apply.
If he’s always running a little late to dates, that may not be disinterest or flakiness. It might be him working overtime to try and get things dialed in with his kids before racing to come meet you.
What to Expect Dating a Single Dad
This transitions neatly into an even bigger existential question when discussing single dads and dating — namely, what to expect dating a single dad?
One thing, you can expect it to be a more work than a regular relationship at first for obvious reasons.
Dating itself is a lot of effort and by definition, a single dad has less free time and effort to spend on you. at the outset than a man with no children.
There are a few special things that you’ll want to keep in mind when dating a single dad, including:
- Vulnerability regarding his past relationships and present emotional state
- Work schedule
- Dad schedule, which will likely have to take precedence over yours, especially in the outset
- Kids, who may be understandably awkward or nervous around you at first
Do Single Dads Prefer Single Moms?
“Here’s the story of a man named Brady…”
Let’s be honest; no, your single dad and potential partner is not likely to be looking for a Brady Bunch-style union between himself and “a lovely lady” bringing up her own kids.
The fact is that single dads are, you know, adults too. They prefer whomever they prefer. Some may prefer single moms, others not.
Don’t exclude yourself from dating a single dad over this.
Why Single Dads Are Better
It’s easy to say that single dads aren’t “better” per se than other men.
Obviously, men and women are just as good as they are individually without all those labels and that extra baggage.
At the same time, however, there’s no denying that single dads have an undeniable aura of difference about them.
Then again, you must consider your feelings regarding that. How would you feel being around or even helping to raise children who aren’t your own?
And while it’s naïve to be dating someone old enough to be a parent and assume that you’re his “first,”
How would you feel knowing you that weren’t even his “first” when it came to going all the way to pregnancy and parenthood?
We’ve mentioned “heavy things” before — are you in a place in your life where you can emotionally and financially handle that heavy load?
These aren’t easy questions to answer. There’s no shame in struggling with them or even leaning towards no because of them.
It’s better to be honest about your limits than rush into something that you’re not ready for and that you’ll thus both later regret.
On the other hand, while effort is needed to power a relationship, commitment is needed to seal it. A single dad can have a big advantage over other guys out there.
By raising these children on his own, he’s already been forced to deal with commitment. Assuming that he’s a good father (if he isn’t, why are you dating him anyway?), he’s shown that knows how to “do” commitment.
He isn’t just some casual flake or Tinder narcissist.
He’s a dad. He knows how important it is to put the driving, diapering and other needs of his kids before his own.
While it’s true that being a single dad weighs him down more than others, free-as-a-bird options out there. Isn’t learning how to deal with the weight life throws at us a sign that we’re growing stronger?
Forget looks, cars, money, even sex — personal commitment and emotional maturity are what separates the boys from the men.
With a single dad, for all the weight on him, you might have found “a real man.”
Where to Find Single Dads
So, you’ve explored dating a single dad and have decided that yes, you’re up for the challenge. Now, where can you find a single dad?
The short answer?
Well, there’s a dating site for just about everything. Google them and you’re sure to find options that cater to that niche.
The Longer, More Truthful Answer?
You don’t find single dads so much as a singular single dad. You’re (hopefully) not dating him because of that everything on his plate.
That can make getting started a little harder, sure, but again, dating is all about commitment and effort. If he and you are ready for both here’s hoping that you’ll make a truly singular couple.