What Dating Single Dads Need to Know
Raising kids is tough enough, therefore adding the prospect of dating to the equation, and you’ve got quite a challenge. Anyone you invite into your life as a single father will have impacts your child in some way. Considering the qualities to look for in the woman who may one day be part of your child’s life are very important. But regardless how your circumstance arose, you deserve to date. You have got to understand that children suffer greatly from having only one parent. Appearing to carry on as normal for the children require sacrifice. Usually, both mother and father have to be able to set aside their differences long enough to inspect the damage that they have both done to their children. More often than not though, parents got so engrossed with their emotional grief that they fail to notice that their children are suffering even more than they are. Having said that, here are some tips, for a single father navigating the dating scene while keeping your kids interests at heart.
If you’re newly single, don’t rush into it
The decision to start dating is an individual affair. If you are single, you can date. Of course, the reality of how and when to start dating, depends on the circumstance and your readiness. Timing is particularly sensitive for widowers because you must have mourned your partner for a specific period depending on your social or cultural or religious requirements. Divorced dads are usually dealing with limited time with their kids, so they can feel guilty about dating. Regardless of your circumstances, you’ll know it’s too soon to date if you need to talk incessantly about your former wife emotionally.
She must be fun to be with
The great priority and ultimate aphrodisiac in life is having fun. It’s what keeps a relationship together. Don’t let the stress of the breakup and the dividing of things wipe out from your memory what it means to have fun. Therefore, when you’re meeting potential new partners, it is crucial you ask yourself, “Is this woman a fun person to be with?” because if you’re just interested in a woman because you need company, but she has no idea what fun is, she may not be the one for you or your children.
She has to be patient
You’re sitting together having a wonderful intimate conservation, sipping coffee, completely oblivious of the world around you, and your kid rushes in and starts talking loudly and everything sexy comes to a stop. But quickly now, you look over at your date and get a sense of her reaction to the interruption. Then you notice that there’s a frown on her face. Not good. She’ll be angry with your kid when he dares to interrupt whenever you are with her. This will create tension in the home. Your date must be patient, in order to have a good relationship with your kid.
Be sensitive about when and how much time you spend on dates
Never sacrifice time with your kids for time with a date. This means no dropping the kids off at neighbor’s or grandma’s house when it is your weekend with them. If you do, it’ll speak volumes to the kids about your lack of love for them.
She must be flexible
Dating can be difficult to fit into your busy schedule. Plans may be changed on a moment’s notice sometimes you have to pick your child up. The woman you’re dating should understand that your kids are your priority. You never know when there will be an emergency, when you’ll have to leave a date or cancel—and that might make her jealous. Since you know that being a single father will always mean that the unexpected will be the expected regardless of your child’s age, you need to ask yourself, “Is the woman I’m dating a flexible and right kind of person?” Because if she’s not, she’s not going to understand when you have to cancel intimate plans to take care of your kid who decided it was a good weekend to start throwing up.
She must be affectionate
What makes any relationship work is the commonality of the things the partners do together. You kiss or hug your children whenever you can because they’re the ultimate symbols of love and affection. With this mind, does the woman you’re dating feel the same way about affection as you do? She can talk about the feeling of love for you and your kid, but what does she do to manifest that feeling? Remember as a single dad, when you want to show your children that you love them, you’re not going to resonate with someone who doesn’t. Why bother thinking or introducing to your kids a woman who doesn’t share your feelings for them?
Be honest about your single dad status
Many single fathers who are trying to re-enter the dating scene feels that single women will not be interested in them. They feel that many ladies will see their child or children as a burden, and they fear that women won’t be interested in getting involved with a man that has taken on the major responsibility of fatherhood already. As a result, some of them attempt to hide the fact that they have kids. But what is the use, after all, you aren’t going to be able to hide the fact that you have kids forever. What if the woman that you lie to winds up being a lovely and understanding person? Wouldn’t you be kicking yourself if you ruined your chances just because you were afraid to be honest? Also, how good would you feel about yourself as a father, if you went around denying your children all the time, just because of women? You should be honest about your status because your children are a major part of who you are and what you are about. What’d the point of getting involved with a woman who might not be interested in you if she knew you had kids?
The ex factor
Whether you are divorced or widowed, a former spouse will inadvertently be a factor in whether the kids accept your social life. Every situation is unique: maybe you are a widower, maybe you are separated or divorced, maybe you and the kid’s mother were in a relationship that ended, maybe you and the kid’s mother only had a fling. You have to explain that your dating has nothing to do with the marriage ending. It can be tricky, since sometimes if the mom isn’t dating yet, she may try to discredit your dating in front of the kids. The kids may also struggle with your new dates. They may feel you’re betraying their mother, and may keep them from getting close to new date. In addition, the woman that you date is going to be curious about the mother of your child or children. You should be forthcoming about your relationship with the mother of your child, but if there is animosity between you and your ex, you do not need to share that information with your dates. Also, avoid at all costs comparing your date with your ex. She does no longer need to be a part of your romantic life, and you should only speak about her when absolutely necessary. If you are constantly bringing up your ex, your date will sense that you are still in love with her, and that is the last message that you want to convey.
Meeting your kid/s
You should not involve your kid in your dating life until you are in a somewhat serious relationship with someone. It is irresponsible to allow your child to become connected to a woman that you are dating if you are not sure that there is potential for a future with this woman. As a single father, your child’s needs always have to come before your own needs and the needs of women that you are dating. If a woman wants to meet your child too early, explain to her that you don’t feel comfortable getting your kid involved yet. This needs to be an extremely low-key, short meeting. The initial introduction is an opportunity for your kids to check out your new love interest. Don’t pressure your kids to like her—and vice versa. “Have no expectations. It is a naïve expectation men have that the woman is going to love the kids. If she doesn’t understand, then she isn’t the right woman for you. Introducing women into your children’s lives too frequently can skew their perceptions. Children can get attached to them, and then if they disappear it can make children cynical and pessimistic about romantic relationships.
It may be hard to accept, but as a single father, your dating pool has some limitations. There are single women who will not want to date you, because many single women really are looking exclusively for men who have no kids and have never been married. However, there is no need to despair. There are still plenty of women out there who will see you as a great catch, so look out for such.