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Tips for Dating a Single Dad


OK, as promised, the HUB, http://hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Date-The-Single-Mom, has inspired my own. What really caught my attention in that article was the part about coming over late and leaving early, basically not being visible to the kids while they are awake. And I will cover that shortly.

First of all, I am a single dad with primary custody. (which despite how hard I fought in court, was pretty much granted because she agreed to it. The law is not a single dad's friend) My kids spend every other weekend with their mom, plus long vacations and most of the summer. If you are thinking about dating a single dad I hope this helps you understand what lies ahead.

I think there are 3 basic types of singel dads: 1) The dating dad. 2) The LTR dad 3) and the 'searching for a new mommy' dad. I'll start with type 3 first. My instinct is to say this type of guy is bad news. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, (like him being a widower), most guys like this are going to be a LOT of work. They probably can't handle the kids, how are they going to handle you in their life? Unless there is a reason you emotionally need to attach yourself to already half-raised kids, I would avoid type 3.

Type 2 is likely a dad who is very sure of what he wants, or at least that he wants it full time. The only thing I could see as a downside is simply that he could be stuck in his ways, and you will need to fit into a mold. If you are ready for long-term, then its not a bad situation. Even better if you want kids, but didn't want to HAVE kids. I know women who don't want to participate in the physical process of having children. Adopting is one option (if your BF or husband is ok with not actually having his own), and joining a partial family like type 2's is another. That is the most important thing you have to remember when dating a single dad - you are JOINING a family. Do not expect to create or establish the family dynamic, its already present and you need to adapt to it if you wish to stay. That's not to say that there isn't a slow process of adjusting to you as well, its just not nearly as instant as it is when you have the guy first and then kids come along.

Now type 3 (like me). Most women seem to understand all the 'work' they do at home, but completely ignore the fact that a single dad has to do all that as well. I understand that "well why is he single?" angle, but there is also a "he must be very responsible and mature" angle as well. If an ex-wife is baggage, move on. If the kids are baggage, move on QUICKLY. Frowning at us having kids will never endure you to us. Type 3's are not necessarily looking for another mom, we've already figured out how to raise kids. Other than simply being an adult in the household, there are no expectations of you, how easy is that?! You might be surprised at how the kids adapt to you and seek you out as a parental figure.

Single dads like myself, are not really looking for the next wife. Its dating 101 all over again, but with special circumstances. Out time is limited. between work and the kids schedule, we have little free time. You need to be ok with that, and able to go as slow as necessary. I have every other weekend free, but you need to understand, I am going to want MY time too. Whether that's persuing an interest of mine, or hanging our with my buddies, you need to be prepared to not get every minute of my free time. Depending on how much money I earn, you also need to expect some spending restrictions. I don't mean that Applebee's is the best I can do for a 'nice' dinner, but is highly unlikely we are receiving ANY alimony or child support. In fact, its very likely that even with custody, we're still paying some. (yeah, the courts suck that bad)

In many cases, as is the case with me, "dating" is something we probably haven't had the opportunity to do in some time. Going out with you a couple times is not the same as commitment. At this point in our lives, we have a very good idea of who we are. We also know our kids and what type of woman will fit into our lives the best. We might even be picky. But it's a two part process. We have to feel you are special first. THEN we introduce you to the kids. If a guy waits too long to do that, that's a warning you should not ignore. I'm not talking about staying the night on date 3. Or going with us on a special outing. My kids know Daddy is dating, and I have no problem with them meeting 'her'. But out home is our sanctuary, and letting you come in and get comfortable is a huge step. Hiding you completely from the kids is a sign of someone who is more interested in being a player than a dater.

Intimacy is missing, not just the basic manly desire for sex. Now, that issue about showing up for the night. Coming late nad leaving early should be viewed as respect for the kids. If you feel slutty doing it, find a guy without kids. When you do spend that first night, as much as we are enjoying that its YOU in bed with us.....we also miss having that in general. The degree to which we snuggle and hold you has to do partly with us simply enjoying the moment, as they are rare. It isn't just a simply thing, but it also doesn't reflect some deep emotions and feeling either. That all comes with time. Also understand, that when you do begin to hang out in the house around the kids, we may be tentative about being openly physical. That will change as time passes, depending on how quickly things become serious and head towards permanent. We're not afraid of the displays of affection, we're being careful not to overwhelm the kids. So there is a good chance that dates will be less frequent than you'd like, especially if there is physical attraction. Because its easy to arrange the overnight visit. And we both know, sharing the same bed in some manner of undress, is going somewhere! Arranging dates and get togethers outside of the bedroom is not as easy.

Dealing with the Ex (or baby mama): This is undoubtedly the most imprtant thing you need to know. First thing - DO NOT BE JEALOUS. Believe me, if we wanted to get back with her, it would be very very easy. (if she's available). OK? let me repeat - we do not want to get back with her! However, we do need to deal with her at least until the kids are 18. Some guys have managed to be fiends (ONLY) with their Ex's, and that's an ideal situation, because the animosity and jealousy should be nonexistent. In most cases, we hate dealing with her. If we have the kids a lot, she has at some point along the way made our lives miserable. Cost us money by repeated trips to court, sticking her nose into our previous dating life (NO ex ever gives positive references) or by not making the effort to co-parent effectively. Its hard enough for us to try to establish rules and such when we can't openly discuss it with the ex, the last thing we need is for you to insist on some changes. We may bitch and complain about how "her" family does things, but we're just bitching. We have probably accepted some things don't change, and we are just venting. We may also let small things slide that seem rude or inconsiderate, like the Ex being late to pick up or drop off the kids. We don't like it either. But some things are just not fighting over, especially in front of the kids. Single dads turn the other cheek A LOT, in order to spare the kids some unpleasantries. Best thing you can do, is recognize we are trying to be a good man, be the bigger person, and just support us. We are very aware when 'her' tardiness or change of plans affect YOUR time with us, and I for one go out of my way to apologize and make sure you know that I know, and that I am sorry.

So......what have you learned? I hope you either learned you aren't the type to date a single dad, or plenty of things about how to proceed in doing so. Single dads are not for everyone, but in most cases, they have plenty working in their favor. They are employed, dedicated, responsible and generally more mature. That's a huge upgrade over mcuh of the single single guys out there. And if you prefer to take it slow, or you enjoy the 'friends with benefits' type of arrangement (isn't that just what "dating" used to be anyhow?), then a single dad might be perfect. Its not like they have time to hound you for attention, LOL.

Good luck! And thanks for reading.


Ocean20 on June 04, 2015:

This is a great article. And I thank you for writing it from the perspective of the single and very involved dad. All I have to say as a single mom that dated a very involved and present single dad, that pretty much fit this article to t a "T" is that single dads dating single moms have to be as strong and supportive for us as you are asking us to be for dads. My experience has not been that case, empathy seems to be a one-way street. Somehow it is endearing and even heroic to find a single dad who is completely devoted to his children's lives and well being, but it is simply minimum standards or expected for mothers. In the dating game, this can create a lot of double standards. If I can put up with my ex's antics, still organize and manage my time to show a special somebody they are a priority to me and establish good boundaries so they feel special and enjoy dating me then I feel a single dad should very much be able and responsible to do the same. The challenge is on them. I agree patience and understanding are essential for everyone. But if a single dad really likes me and knows I am a good thing for him and potentially his family then even more reason he should be on top of his game. Everyone is human. Nobody is the victim. We should all be doing our best and if we are that is all that matters. And if we shift too much of the responsibility to each other or stay "set in our ways" even if those ways have to do with children, that is a recipe for disaster. Life and people evolve and the best ones find a way to constantly evolve with it.

Doing the right thing on November 19, 2014:

I’m a 34 year old divorced woman dating a 34 year old man with a 5 year old girl. We both divorced/separated a little bit before meeting and this is our first relationship post-divorce. Luckily my divorce was a clean break and I honestly have no issues from it other than monetary loss. He has his daughter for 4-5 hours on Monday – Friday and she stays overnight every other weekend. We’ve been dating for over a year and are very much in love. I enjoy our time together with his daughter. She has bonded with me and I care for her very much. I am constantly reading and researching to make sure that I (and we) are doing the right things with regards to his daughter as I do not want to mess up this little girl. We’ve agreed that we’re in this relationship for the long term, talked about moving in together and making long term goals, like saving money to buy a house.

We do have different parenting styles. He’s more lenient and I’m more authoritative (I have a lot of nieces and nephews that I spend time with so know how different children can act). I don’t interfere with his parenting or disciplining his child; I only enforce his rules, such as saying please, thank you, and no, you can’t have another popsicle. He panicked when the time came to move-in together and claimed that his daughter was not ready for him to explain to her that I would be sleeping over. Due to housing issues, I moved-in with him with an understanding to give him time to figure out how to explain me to his daughter and that I would not stay overnight when his daughter sleeps over. So for four nights a month, I pack an overnight bag, leave at bed time, stay with friends or family and come back home in the morning.

A few days ago, he mentioned that the “transition would be soon” (i.e. me staying home when his daughter sleeps over). I finally asked him what that meant last night and he said that he’s trying to figure it out. He admitted to me that he cherishes his alone time with his daughter and loves it when she comes into his room in the morning to cuddle. He said that he’s not ready to give that up and not ready to let me in that part of his family, but that he loves me and wants me to be a part of his life. I told him that I’m happy to give him one-on-one time with his daughter. I feel like he doesn’t know what he wants and it’s either I wait or I don’t. I feel like I’ve given everything to him and been patient with him, his daughter and his ex. It sucks and I feel like there’s a barrier that I can’t cross. I love him and his daughter very much and want to be part of their little family. I feel like perhaps he’s not as ready as I am and I’m not sure if he ever will be. I don't know what to do. Do I wait and spend the next few months not feeling welcome in what's supposed to be my home with him? Do I move out and get a place on my own and let him figure it out? Or do I make the hardest choice which is to let him go?

Brandy on September 24, 2014:

I loved this article. I personally think there is nothing sexier then a single Dad. They are patient, they have their priorities straight, and they make the most out of the time they have. They are amazing.

confused on September 05, 2014:

Great article. I am dating a single dad of a 14 yo girl, the 3 of us have a great relationship. She and I have a very close relationship, she confides in me, calls me to spend time with her and tells me she appreciates and respects me.

The only issue I am dealing with is he will not allow me to stay the night when she is home. If the 3 of us go away and stay in a hotel it is okay to share a bed, but I can not stay the night in the home. This hurts me. How can I adapt this this?

Jesse from California on August 18, 2014:

The point of this article is that us single dads our still looking for someone to make us laugh, only because we have kids doesn't make us dead. I'm not looking for a mom for my sons, they already have one. I'm looking for someone that enjoys spending time with someone funny, caring, responsible and honest.

Stephanie on August 12, 2014:

Amen, Shannon. I was confused, as well.

a girlfriend to a single dad on July 08, 2014:

That a 5-year old post keeps eliciting new comments from people getting here via www searches shows that this is a topic of much interest and importance to the people involved in these kinds of relationships. I have the impression that their is few guidance out there and the situation is especially daunting when you find yourself in this type of relationship for the first time - both for the partner and the single parent.

I am a little confused with the original poster's concept of "dating" (named "type 1" above, which the author identifies himself as) while also suggesting that the new girlfriend better become part of, compromise with and integrate into the existing household and the children's lives. If dating does not mean commitment, why introduce or mix the two worlds, i.e., the relationship and the family? If dating has no long-term perspective, why have the children get introduced and used to someone who is likely gone again at some point? Personally, i do not see the benefit of "dating" a single parent over a childless partner as it likely introduces way more limitations for yourself than you would encounter with someone without kids. And I don't see how this is good for the children and their learning about relationships either.

But what if both of you are interested in a LTR and tying to figure out how to blend your two worlds (aka relationships according to "type 2" above)? That's where I have and am looking for thoughts and input myself - 32, female, now committed for 18 months to a lovely dad (47) of two daughters, 10 and 13, whom I love dearly - and from where I want to contribute my insight gained so far.

When you enter into a committed relationship with a single parent, lets assume you are aware that s/he comes in a package and that the children will become a part of your life if you are making their parent a part of your life. Lets say even though (at times) difficult in practice given your previous relationship experience where it was different, in theory you accept that the children are #1 and their needs come before you. So you are willing to learn, move along, try it out, and make it happen.

The original poster and many single parents stress that their children are the #1 priority and as the girlfriend (who is childless but still has her own ideas about parenting that can't be totally wrong and useless) I agree that the children's needs be met. If my partner were to neglect his children for me, he'd lose my respect and I'd lose my attraction for him. His being a great dad is one of the things I so appreciate in him.

What I often miss in the parents' side of arguments though is a more balanced understanding and approach towards a framework where the children and the relationship are two separate and very different things that both need to be nurtured and tended to in different ways given different types of needs. Basically, I am trying to say that if you really want them both to flourish you better also actively invest in both.

The original poster spends many paragraphs expressing all the requirements and compromises the girlfriend has to look to, mentions in the last paragraph what is in it for her, and does not really elaborate at all on what the parent's part is in creating and molding the loving relationship.

Let me put it in a rather provocative way: why ARE you single with kids? Did you and your ex fail at your relationship that once probably started out strong enough for you both to decide to have kids? If you agree there was a failure, how so? Did you invest sufficiently in the relationship with your partner, how was your communication, did you spend plenty of one-on-one time with your significant other to continuously reinforce and grow the bond between the two of you? Where did you both fail and what was YOUR part in the failure? Did you ever reflect on these questions to make sure you do not unconsciously repeat those same mistakes in your current relationship?

I could not agree more with Nokomis' comment from two years ago. I feel that single parents, if they want for the relationship with their new partner to work long-term and long past the time when the children leave the house, cannot - as also the original post somewhat seems to suggest - simply expect for the partner to adapt to the situation, to accept that they are #2, to blend in, to make do with the existing family dynamics, and to be grateful for whatever opportunity of living out the love-filled relationship remains.

If you want to be a great parent and have a loving and fulfilling relationship with both - your children and your love, there has to be some balance between the two, regardless of whether your love is the bio parent or not. If your partner agrees with you that the kids' needs be met, you also have to agree and enact that your relationship equally has needs that need to be met if it is to remain fulfilling and worthwhile for both of you even after initial romance subsides. The same things that apply to nurturing and maintaining a relationship that starts off childless and brings forth children, also apply to a relationship that comes with children from the start. If you don't tend to it, it is likely going to wither. Yes, your partner has to put him or herself second to your child's needs, but still you have to see and tend to the needs that a loving and fulfilled relationship comes with, too.

Children require time, space and attention, but not 24/7 like helicopter parents may wish to suggest. Ideally, you want to raise your children to become independent human beings who can look after and take care of themselves, both in terms of their own needs as well as the needs that arise in the relationships they (will) engage in with friends, family and the significant others they are going to meet during their lifetimes.

I personally think it is vital to increasingly teach children as they grow older that EVERY member of the family needs their times and spaces, that there are boundaries and limits to the attention claimed to oneself only. The children do have a right to one-on-one quality time with the parent, the parent does have a right to quality one-on-one time with the children, but there is also a need for quality one-on-one time with the partner without the children.

Children from a divorce probably experienced a lot of how a relationship should not be done, so the opportunity of experiencing a new love relationship with at least one of the parents is ideal for modeling what a successful relationship may look like. It teaches children to identify and look after their own needs. Kids can be taught empathy and to understand and respect that there must be a space for mommy and/or daddy to enjoy quality time with their loved one because this is vital to any working love relationship. This allows the parent to keep their own space and look after his or her own needs, one of which is the desire to enjoy a loving fulfilling relationship.

For me, it is a warning sign if a parent is devoting little to no time to nurturing the love relationship while overemphasizing the children's needs 24/7, constantly asking for compromise and understanding, claiming that the childrens' needs are a priority over the love relationship. Children involved or not, if you want a love relationship to succeed, you have to work at your relationship without excuses and constantly keep developing your skill set in this domain.

If your childless partner agrees to be with you and thus with your kids, you are both still in this love relationship together and have to both make it work. You BOTH have to make time for each other and allow space for just you two, you have to engage in open communication in which feelings and opinions can be expressed safely, you have to listen to each other's feelings and concerns whether you like them or not (it is all valid and viable), you have to acknowledge each other's needs regarding the relationship and meet half-way, you both have to compromise repeatedly, and TOGETHER work out the ways that make the relationship fulfilling for you both so it will last. In a nutshell, it takes two to tango.

Melanie Lane on June 09, 2014:

Single dads trick you! I dated one for over a year and in the beginning believed things to be one way. He made me feel special, he made time for me. Yes, he loved his kids very much, but I believed he was great at balancing. We moved in together and within a couple of months it was all about ME conforming to the needs of HIM and his KIDS. He no longer made me feel special, alone time was out the door, and I couldn't understand how living together caused LESS quality time. Single fathers are selfish in relationships and expect things from you that they themselves cannot offer. They want to be nurtured by a companion but don't want their woman to need the same. I understand that relationships take compromise and sacrifice, but it's not fair to be the only one compromising and sacrificing. Children should see their parent(s) in happy, fulfilling relationships where the partner is treated as an equal. To single women without kids: do NOT date a single father as you will not be reciprocated in your efforts. To single dads: do not date women without children or make it seem like you are capable of giving them the attention and love they desire just to let them down in the end! Be fair and date someone that can relate to your lifestyle! Dating someone without kids so their life HAS to revolve around you and yours is just plain selfish!

su brook on May 20, 2014:

IMPORTANT QUESTION! I'm 23 years female old dating 30 something years old with 3 and 4 years old DAUGHTERS. He is mostly UNEMPLOYED, wants to be full time dad,living with his mother for about 8 months now( i try to respect that) But i dont even get to see them anymore because of his crazy mother. He doesn't put enough effort to get his place. I like to move on and meet someone new but he keeps sending his daughters pictures to me and telling me i'm abandoning them. Yes i can see what he is DOING but it hurts knowing that i'm not going to see those girls. They love me! Do you guys think i should just walk away from them before they get even older or try to be present in their life as much as i can after the break-up?

Thank you for reading this, i just don't have anybody guiding me, and i feel like he is desperately trying to keep me in his life!

Vision100 on March 20, 2014:

I was married 29 years and raised 2 kids, who are both married and on their own. I am an attractive, 51 yr. old, and have been dating a 51 year old single dad of a 5 yr old son. When I started dating, I was looking for a man who had no children or older kids so that we would not be tied down raising young kids. He's starting over financially which makes dating difficult and has his son most weekends. It's been a year now and I am in love with him.

My challenge is this...I'm done raising kids and he's just beginning. He's son is an only child and is very spoiled. Life revolves around his son. We live an hour from each other so we don't get to see each other on the week nights as well. He told me in the beginning the extent of me sharing him with his son would be every other weekend, but it has never been that way. He jumps at every opportunity he gets his son on the weekends since the ex works 2 jobs. I'm feeling resentful because I don't get much quality time alone with him like he had promised initially. I'm 3rd priority on his list. BUT, I love this man very much! We enjoy each other thoroughly when we are together. When he does have his him, his son consumes his time because he wants all of his dad's attention.

We have been fighting recently because of lack of time together. He's a great, loving and kind man...need advice please!

singledaddave77 on February 25, 2014:

I've been split with my ex for over 4 years and I've now had custody of my kids for the last two.

My daughters asked me last weekend if Daddy was dating ladies, to which I suddenly realised the last time I met women in a dating situation!!

The remark kinda got me thinking, Do I want to meet another woman?, Do I want another relationship? Do I potentially want to introduce another woman into this little family? Do I just want friends with benefits?

My buddies have tried to set me up with acquaintances etc but as my life revolves around my 35 hours at work and parenting my daughters I never even managed to arrange a first date. Too wrapped up and not enough time.

Now I'm thinking should I wait until my kids are a lot older before I begin dating again. The whole familial love vs intimate personal love war is raging on with no side taking the upper hand. What to do.....

Maisie on November 07, 2013:

Me and my boy friend was been separated for a long period of time, I came across different spell casters and they were all unable to bring back my lover. I was so sad and almost gave up on him, when i met a spell caster called Dr.Grant, who helped me get my lover back. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldnt believe it would happen. He also helped me with success spell, I have been living happily with my lover now and will be getting married soon. Here is his email address grantingheartdesiresspell@gmail.com to contact him if you need his help

Jeanie on October 23, 2013:

Oh and one last thing, regarding the article.... who says as girlfriends we are jealous of your ex. Do you really think men are the only ones who are so arrogant as to think that all they have to do is put a tiny bit of effort and they can return to their ex. Well news flash, that works the same for women. Why do you think as ex's we play the bitch then the flirty nice.... hello, to keep you as a safety net in our back pocket. Its called intermittent reinforcement and is a highly productive means of keeping someone coming back. (yes multiple degrees in psych) However, you may stop and reflect that maybe its not jealousy but frustration. As you guys have no qualms about making all these unbelievably unreasonable demands on your "girlfrineds" and acting like "true men" and yet are completely whipped by your exes. (So what was the divorce for then?) Maybe stop and think.... that your girlfriends are fed up being disregarded every time you are too chicken to stand up to your ex and maybe she just wants you to "grow a pair." Between being whipped by your ex and letting your kids control your household as you guys overcompensate by constantly doting on them every second with complete disregard for anyone else... its not just sad, its pathetic. Remember, we as women have been doing this for decades, maybe you guys should get a clue. As we do not place such unrealistic, selfish demands on you. Its called respect, something most single fathers have not learned for women and single mothers out there who are trying to maintain these ridiculous relationships singlehandedly.

Jeanie on October 23, 2013:

Oh and one last thing, regarding the article.... who says as girlfriends we are jealous of your ex. Do you really think men are the only ones who are so arrogant as to think that all they have to do is put a tiny bit of effort and they can return to their ex. Well news flash, that works the same for women. Why do you think as ex's we play the bitch then the flirty nice.... hello, to keep you as a safety net in our back pocket. Its called intermittent reinforcement and is a highly productive means of keeping someone coming back. (yes multiple degrees in psych) However, you may stop and reflect that maybe its not jealousy but frustration. As you guys have no qualms about making all these unbelievably unreasonable demands on your "girlfrineds" and acting like "true men" and yet are completely whipped by your exes. (So what was the divorce for then?) Maybe stop and think.... that your girlfriends are fed up being disregarded every time you are too chicken to stand up to your ex and maybe she just wants you to "grow a pair." Between being whipped by your ex and letting your kids control your household as you guys overcompensate by constantly doting on them every second with complete disregard for anyone else... its not just sad, its pathetic. Remember, we as women have been doing this for decades, maybe you guys should get a clue. As we do not place such unrealistic, selfish demands on you. Its called respect, something most single fathers have not learned for women and single mothers out there who are trying to maintain these ridiculous relationships singlehandedly.

Jeanie on October 23, 2013:

Krystal, I totally get it. Its funny as the author states that the "benefits" of dating a single dad are that he's "responsible and has a job." I ask this, responsible for what? His kids? His personal happiness? As he puts no effort toward us. And he takes responsibility for nothing more than his own satisfaction. I have 2 children (one with special needs even ) as well, and have been a single mom for years, I assure you... our children don't even enter their mind as we are still the ones forced to make all the sacrifices and meet their conveniences and whims. They care nothing about the feelings of our children or us, and will always lynch us the minute their child even pouts. And as for the "job" lol. Who are you kidding.... nothing is spent on us... maybe flowers and dinner in the first 3 months of courting if we are really lucky, but after that.. forget it. They prefer the verbiage girlfriend cause they are too cheap to pay for a call girl, and really that is all we are to them and are treated as such. No commitments, no sacrifices, and no strings.... "Friends with benefits" while they enjoy the benefits and always have one hand on the exit door should we not bend to fit their expectations. I often ponder, how stupid am I?

krystal on October 22, 2013:

I agree 100% with Jeanie. I made the mistake of dating a single dad. He doesn't understand or appreciate the sacrifices I make. I miss dating younger/single/fun/attentive men. I think the guilt of leaving the kids keeps me staying and he makes me feel responsible for their happiness but...the truth is, they are not mine and I told him it was way too early to meet them. Now, I want out, out OUT!!!!

jeanie on October 21, 2013:

I find it amazing that the girlfriend is expected to "fit 100%" into the mold. I see the single dads making no effort in changing anything to accommodate or even appreciate what the girlfriends sacrifice to be in these relationships. The men maintain the same schedule they have always had. give up absolutely nothing, and expect the girlfriend to come only when called and convenient to them and to vanish when not. Additionally, if they have an only child their obsession at times with the child can be unnatural, especially if an 11 year old girl. You wonder as a girlfriend why you are even there when all he does is stroke his daughters hair, sit next to her, rub her back,hold her hand, and give all his attention to her. We have to continually hear about the ex wife, are pushed aside or completely disregarded at whim for either the ex's choice or a childs manipulation, and there is absolutely NO respect for our time or our lives. We go beyond bending over backward in these relationships with little to no appreciation and with the men thinking that they are "Gods gift" and we should be grateful for the scraps of time they occasionally throw our direction so they can take us nowhere, to do nothing, but so that they can get laid. Wow.... what a deal.

mscuriousty21 on April 10, 2013:

I really learned a lot in your article. I do dating a single dad with one child . You just have to be open-minded and more patience in dating a single dad. Maybe if he's interested with you, he will find a way, but if not, maybe you just have to forget him. But i do hope, even though i'm 21 years old, that someday he will realize that I can be his his partner. :D

sabrina on March 08, 2013:

I saw a comment testifying of Esango great power and ability to re unit once love and ex lover so i copied its email and sent him an email and i he replied following all the instructions my husband is back with me now i want to thank the gods of Esango for helping me to cast a love spell that brought my husband back to me within 48hours of me contacting him,you can contact Esango priest on email address :esangopriest@hotmail.com

ssotocruz on February 22, 2013:

thank you so much for this article! I recently started dating a single father and he is currently going through the custody battle. I have some really strong feelings for him but haven't been too open with him because...well im almost 23! Getting into a relationship with a single father is a big deal! A LOT of people my age would definitely run the other way but my feelings for that man and the laughter in his daughters eyes keep me pinned down.

Confusntransitin on January 30, 2013:

Thanks, I let it go and decided that he just wanted a piece of tail and told him that I was not the one and gave him a couple of choicwords for wasting my time and let it go over a week ago, I really would rather not deal and just stop but I'm making myself continue to be open and just push through.

Flipside on January 28, 2013:

Wow! Been on both sides. Dated and married women with children. Now Single dad with twins mostly with me. I was always put last in relationships when women had children. Trust me relationships wont work if you don't put each other first. Never met anyone married for 50 yrs who said 'kids first'. Doesn't mean children should be neglected, but they don't need to think the world revolves around themselves either.

Confusntransitin on January 20, 2013:

I am a single mother in a friendship with a single dad with 3 children. Honestly we met when I ended and situation that I was ready to be out of and did not expect to really meet someone so soon. And well I really didn't think he was interested and well he is just confusing. I normally rush things but that was in the past, and I am continuously remminding myself that I cant always do what Im use to doing in the past if Im expecting new outcomes from the future. After reading your article things do kinda click a little better. He is in his 40's and 35 is around the corner for me. I have been involved with him for almost 3 months, Honestly we both have busy schedules and although professional different types of jobs. We are still special friends he says he is not seeing anyone else either. But it is just very limited to see each other and I question if he is really into me like I would want someone to be. We do alot of messaging and have been intimate twice on the weekends its his kids time and sports and I have one child so I guess it is not as demanding . But to me I don't know I would think after 2-3 months you if is a go to the next step or trying more to see that person. Coffee shop, park bench I don't know Im a woman. We are not even in a relationship and last week I pretty much have had enough and decided that if he wasn't ready to do more that I couldn't continue things at his convenience and said that I could be his friend and expect nothing else. No Drama, the next week he is complaining about me going cold on him like what we had didn't matter to me. I called myself stepping back and it was a week long of messenger fusing and I hate arguing and was just drained. I don't want to jump to quickly if this could be something, but I don't want to waist my time. Like I said by birthday is coming up and on a weekend day I feel if you can give me a definite answer about something a month away, u r not into me the I want you to be if Im coasting. Oh I have been to his house it was a must before I continued talking to him after he had been at mine. So yeah I am exactly what my header say's, I hope people are still responding and replying because I don't really have a close friends here that look like they could give good advice and well it is embarassing if I don't do what they suggest because I hate when people do useless complaining. Oh he is a widower for his older children with a toddler from an ex- fiancé. If this should help you tell me to run for the hills. So here I am Confused in Transition.

Don't have to be 2nd. on December 05, 2012:

I find some of what people are saying as totally not acceptable behaviour from their Single Dad Boyfriends.

I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, he's 25 i'm 21, we started dating when I was still 19!! And I am still managing this and able to be mature about it despite my young age

My boyfriend has a 6 year old son, 50/50 time, (recently changed to 80/20 time, him being the 80%)

My boyfriend is amazing, he doesn't believe in someone being above someone else, we are all equal, I am his partner who he chooses to be with and his son..is his son, his responsibility and so highly important and special to him.

His ex (babymama) is horrible, she is literally psychotic, she is jealous and she acts aggressively, she is abusive (verbally) she is manipulative and she USE to have my boyfriend wrapped around her finger, running in to save her from boyfriends or fixing her problems for her.

I told him my point of view on the matter, how can he be so involved with his ex's life if he wants to start a future with me? It is not fair on me and it needs to stop. He agreed, he only ever got involved for fear that his son was being psychologically damaged by her crazy antics and it was clear that these were never going to end, and running in to save the day never actually got him anywhere, infact it just made his son have to watch his parents fight and his mother Psycho out (hit things, stab furniture etc)

He accepted that if he wanted to be with me, he needed to not be involved in any personal way with his ex, only swap overs and child related matters (school fees, sport events, bills, medical)

He is reasonable and he did NOT want to be involved with his ex he was only scared for his son and felt guilty, which we both agreed he could not fix because she has him 50% of the time and hes not there and he cannot control what happens, better to concentrate on his own time with his son and not try to control the uncontrollable (her time with him). Fight through court instead of having his own personal life destroyed trying (and failing) to keep HER in check.

If your Single dad boyfriend didn't want to be involved with his ex, he would find a way not to be, if he's telling YOU to get over it, it just sounds like he's hiding feelings for his ex and not ready to be in a relationship with you.

As for finding time alone together and all of that?

It is hard!!!!!!! But if your boyfriend is understanding and empathetic of what you are going through too, if he is willing to compromise and not just make you fit into his life, but to make a life TOGETHER, then he is worth it.

My boyfriend often involves me in his time with his son, we all do something together if both his son and I are around at the same time (which is often!), but he does not always make it the three of us, if his son is around he also finds time for us to be alone, his son can watch a movie in the lounge room whilst we watch a movie alone in the bedroom, or his grandma can look after him and we go to the movies!

Do parents who are together not take nights off from their kids too?? He never ever makes me leave or asks me not to come over or makes me not see him because his son is around, In fact his son asks him as soon as he picks him up from school where i am and when i am coming over.

I asked his son what he wanted to do during school holidays and he responded with "play games with you".

It is natural to feel jealous of your boyfriends child at times, you would be superwoman not to feel jealous ever. It is okay to feel resentment and jealousy, you cannot stop feelings and should not feel guilty for feeling that way it is 100% natural. How you act on those feelings is another thing, You cannot purposely push the child away from his father, you have to behave fairly and not selfishly. SOMETIMES it is okay to be selfish to an extent, a non harmful extent! , I think sometimes it IS okay for you to be the centre of attention to your boyfriend, and my boyfriend thinks that's okay too!

I wanted to hold his hand whilst shopping but his son was ALWAYS hanging off him (yes it's cute but i'd like to hold my boyfriend's hand!)

I talked to my boyfriend about it, he agreed that his son is almost 7 and he doesn't need to be holding his hand in the supermarket constantly or hanging off his shirt, Yeah its reasonable when crossing the road or on the side walk near the road, but also its not necessary in supermarkets or standing still! My boyfriend worked on it, told his son he needs to let go of daddy's hand and he's a big boy and can stand without hanging off of him (getting his shirt stretched and being hung off was getting annoying anyway so it needed to be done, and he realised that when i brought it up)

and then my boyfriend starting grabbing MY hand to hold where appropriate. (There is ALWAYS a way to compromise).

It may be seeming to some people that the child gets neglected or its not OKAY to not ALWAYS put your child first, but it is okay!

Do children in a 3 child family always come first all the time? No!

If a child is always put first constantly they are not going to become self sufficient adults, they need to learn to enjoy their own company as well and not to constantly demand others to entertain them.

We do lots of things with the child, we take him swimming once a week (an extra to his swimming classes) which was my idea, because he has no water confidence and I thought hey he's never been shown that swimming is fun! not just all lessons! and now his swimming is improving greatly.

I cook with him. We play games with him on the play-station, i jump on the trampoline with him..

My boyfriend also spends time with his son one on one but he doesn't tell me i can't come over in order to do it, he does it when I'm not around, when I am working or at Uni or otherwise engaged, he doesn't actively say 'you cant come over' and i respect that, if i've text him and said what are you doing and he says playing cames with "child" then i decide that maybe I wont come over until later, after bedtime, or the next day.

We both see it as we have plenty of time to spend together we aren't breaking up any time soon and if we don't see each other much one week then that's okay.

My boyfriend and i are partners, I support him and he supports me and we talk about everything and sometimes we fight, but we always respect each others opinions and what we both want, and what is good for the child and we work out ways for us both (all) to be happy.

My boyfriend is the best guy i have ever met, he is loyal and responsible he is funny and caring and protective and most of all he is understanding and can compromise !!

I would not date a single dad if he was not willing to compromise to adjust life to fit me in it, if someone wants you in their life they will try their butt off too, you are not the only one who has to try and compromise in a single dad relationship!!

No it is not easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dating a dad is NOT EASY at all, it's the hardest thing, and it hurts a lot and you will get frustrated and upset and sometimes jealous and sometimes resentful and sometimes sad!

But if the man is worth it, if he is supportive of you and tries his hardest for you as well, then the situation is worth it.

Nothing Good Comes Easy.

Ladytexan on November 22, 2012:

Thank you for writing this. I really needed that lesson, well put. I also liked howyou tied all the negatives with a positive upside of he's just being a gentleman towards babymama. I know my man is a good man but he turns cheek towards baby mama, the vents later.

I aways thought his venting was complaining, I always been like if your complaining fix it.

Thanks again for allowing me to understand.

Confused on August 13, 2012:

I am 21 years old, and have been dating my 26 year old, father of a 4 year old for a year now... His son lives full time with his mom in another province, and is only down for a couple months, twice during the year. I love his son, and I know he's definitely taken a liking to me... However, I've been made to feel like a waste of time. I would never come between him and his son, and he knows that. Normally the plan for us is my boyfriend stays all week with his son after work, i stay at my place. Come Friday night, I maybe get 3-4 hours awake time with my him, and then we sleep and hes up early Saturday to spend more time with his son. I am okay with that... I understand he only has him so long.... And then come late Sunday, i get another 4 hours of awake time... then again of course, we sleep. I never felt like I was asking a whole lot of him to give me those couple hours a week.... But he has made me feel like he doesn't want to give me that time anymore.... So does that mean that I should have to just sit back and wait for his son to go home.... Because that seems like the only time he will want to spend time with me. . . .

Frustrated on June 17, 2012:

I'm divorced with no kids dating a divorced man with a 4yo who I get along with brilliantly. We have been dating for two years and he has 50/50 custody of his kid. We live together so I'm with them all the time.

Things between me and the BF have been far from perfect, but our major problem is the ex. He divorced her and she still loves/wants him. She refuses to acknowledge me. She will find the dumbest excuse to talk to him. When I question their constant communication I get the whole "it's because of our kid" defense.

Recently I found out he had been talking to her about OUR relationship problems and that really upset me. He tells me it's because she's his best friend. He gets angry with me because I'm "jealous", when I tell him this all upsets me.

She is still very close with his family, and they love her. He even told me his family was angry at him for divorcing her.

THIS dynamic of the dating a single dad I'd like to see addresses. Certainly I'm not the only person in this sort of situation.

I told him I'm totally ok with being #2 in his life, but right now I feel I'm sitting at #3 behind the ex.

Jenny on June 11, 2012:

I just want to know why we don't look at sharing time with family & friends is just NORMAL behavior?? We are both adults and we have lives that include spending time with my siblings and parents and for him his parents & daughter. So it just makes sense that if you want to spend time with someone because you like or even love them, that you will spend time together doing all the same things you would normally do! The only reason it bothers me that our dates get cancelled because my boyfriend either has his daughter or because his parents are in town visiting is that the soultion to the problem is SOOO simple! There's no reason to exclude me - no reason we can't do something together with his daughter or I couldn't be invited to dinner with his dad one night if he's visiting for the week. And for that matter, no reason he can't come to my family dinner. Life doesn't have to be that serious! If you like somebody go ahead and include them in your life - it's really that simple. If what I'm really waiting for is the guy to realize that I'm ready to be a real partner in life - then simply spending time together - including time when other family members, especially kids, shouldn't be that big of a deal. The problem is that it still stings to be excluded and that's pretty easy for a guy to fix.

kcampbell1983 on June 02, 2012:

I'm a 29 year old divorced woman and I'm dating a 23 year old father of a 13 month old daughter. I've overcome many obstacles and relationship struggles in my life and have enough experience to understand the struggles he's going through. For one thing he's dealing with a broken heart from a woman he had a child with whom he was going to marry and for reasons unknown to me she left him 7 months pregnant. They are going through a very nasty custody battle and he so loves his daughter and wants to be in her life. That's one reason I'm attracted to him among many. At the same time he's very focused on establishing his career and has made it very clear those things are his priority, doesn't need a relationship and isn't ready for anything serious until his career is secure. He's built up very high walls and is having a difficult time letting me in. I feel like He's very scared to start a new relationship because he doesn't want to go through that pain again. We've only been together for 2.5 months and he's started pushing me away and pulling back. I'm not expecting him to "get over it overnight." I just want the chance to be included into a little of his daily life since he's not comfortable having me in his child's life yet. He only sees her 3 days a week for a few hrs and its supervised by his ex. I completely understand that and have no issues accepting the stipulations. However we had a conversation just before I left for Annual Training for the Army (his ex is Air Force) and he agreed to start taking some wall down when I got home but the.conversation quickly turned sour at the end where he made the status of our relationship clear. I can't help but think it was because I found wound and exposed it. It's been almost 6 days since our last conversation and I've only received one short text from him which was 3 days ago. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I've sent him one text a day for the past 3 but I've had no response. The last one I sent was today giving him this link and letting him know I do understand. I can see clearly the other side of this storm if he chooses to push through it with me and its an extremely rewarding and healthy positive relationship. I'm in it for the long haul but I don't know if he is. What should I do? Just give him space and not try to contact him or do what I'm doing and be patient? When should I be concerned things aren't progressing?

kcampbell1983 on June 02, 2012:

I'm a 29 year old divorced woman and I'm dating a 23 year old father of a 13 month old daughter. I've overcome many obstacles and relationship struggles in my life and have enough experience to understand the struggles he's going through. For one thing he's dealing with a broken heart from a woman he had a child with whom he was going to marry and for reasons unknown to me she left him 7 months pregnant. They are going through a very nasty custody battle and he so loves his daughter and wants to be in her life. That's one reason I'm attracted to him among many. At the same time he's very focused on establishing his career and has made it very clear those things are his priority, doesn't need a relationship and isn't ready for anything serious until his career is secure. He's built up very high walls and is having a difficult time letting me in. I feel like He's very scared to start a new relationship because he doesn't want to go through that pain again. We've only been together for 2.5 months and he's started pushing me away and pulling back. I'm not expecting him to "get over it overnight." I just want the chance to be included into a little of his daily life since he's not comfortable having me in his child's life yet. He only sees her 3 days a week for a few hrs and its supervised by his ex. I completely understand that and have no issues accepting the stipulations. However we had a conversation just before I left for Annual Training for the Army (his ex is Air Force) and he agreed to start taking some wall down when I got home but the.conversation quickly turned sour at the end where he made the status of our relationship clear. I can't help but think it was because I found wound and exposed it. It's been almost 6 days since our last conversation and I've only received one short text from him which was 3 days ago. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I've sent him one text a day for the past 3 but I've had no response. The last one I sent was today giving him this link and letting him know I do understand. I can see clearly the other side of this storm if he chooses to push through it with me and its an extremely rewarding and healthy positive relationship. I'm in it for the long haul but I don't know if he is. What should I do? Just give him space and not try to contact him or do what I'm doing and be patient? When should I be concerned things aren't progressing?

Christie on May 28, 2012:

Are you strong enough to date a single dad? I have been dating my boyfriend 2 years it took a year for me to meet his now 6 yr old daughter whom I adore. When the ex found out we we were dating her goal beacme to make his life a living hell if she knew I was around she would take the daughter out of his life for months. there were times I would leave for awhile because I felt it was me keeping him from his kid. The truth is its not its her and her jealousy and those are her issues. Love him be there for the kid if you have to walk out of the room when she calls so it doesn't hurt you. Court is 2morro finally and I hope we get are wishes for me to get to continue to be around. Its a struggle are you strong enough?

Cara on May 24, 2012:

Im 22 and my boyfriend is 30 w a 4 yo child... I definitely love the man and have just recently met the kid and hes a gem just like his pops. Buuut... My bf wants me around morning noon and night and i can tell the kid is resenting it a little and i am terrjble w kids and terribly uncomfortable around this young fellow and quite frankly, i don't blame him for not warranting my intrusion. Its clear him and his dad are best buds and im the blemish. I don't know if this is something i can handle. Maybe im too young.

Dating a Single Dad on May 15, 2012:

This was definitely a good read! I am currently dating a single dad who is also recently divorced (about a year). We are taking it slow which works for both of us at the moment as I am really busy with work and like to take things slow in general anyway. But I have never dated a single dad before and am still cautious and uncertain of how the "rules" are to be abided by. I have not met his daughter (she's 3) but have spoken to her on the phone. We’ve been together for about 2 months and up until last weekend were sort of still in the “dating closet”. Well, last weekend he invites me to his friends party with all of his friends and told me that I was the “first girl anyone there had ever seen him with besides his ex-wife”. This made me nervous and at the same time flattered me as I guess he thought I was special enough to introduce to his friends. My worry is that I know his ex-wife doesn’t know about me yet and I think that this news should come from him and not from someone at that party. I know if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t want to hear by word of mouth that my ex-husband is seeing someone else and possibly having my daughter spend time with this new person.

I really like him and want to continue this to see where it can go, but I feel that there might be some drama brewing. The last thing I want is to hurt his ex-wife and have the baby mamma drama knocking at my door. Thoughts, anyone?

Sarah22 on May 13, 2012:

A very interesting read. I have recently started dating a single dad, im 22 years old so i wouldn't say iv had many life experiences when it comes to 'serious' dating. However my situation is, he is in the army.. so works away alot and has an 18 month old child, the ex (also in the army) is still very much in love with him. I find this SO hard, i may have trust issues already from previous relationships.. but i keep having doubts in my mind that they will rekindle the relationship, because they will always have that tie. Something I don't have with him. Im not very maternal, have never really been the sort of person to want children - except id like the CHOICE that if i decide i do in the future, i have that option. except now he has 1 child, he doesn't want anymore.. that is non-negotiable i think. So im stuck in this ruck where i feel like i WANT to stay and be a part of his life, i understand i wont be number 1 priority.. kills me to say that too because i don't really want too be 2nd best but i have no option. But the ex is the issue, they are still on talking terms.. text and call and whatever, but he talks about her alot! i don't want to hear about her? and the child... SO much talk of the child, that may be me being selfish and i can understand he is proud of his child and likes to tell people about him, but its constant. I guess im just looking for some advice really, very early on in the relationship but im trying to do the right thing. I don't want to stay and be a part of their life and then leave all of a sudden, maybe because im writing this i've already made up my mind that im going to leave? if you have any advice of help please let me know :)

another single dad on May 11, 2012:

Marie, are you trying to say that single dads don't make as many sacrifices as single moms do? Do you really have the crass to turn your life situation into a sexist thing and make that bold comparison? How can you think a dad doing everything on his own doesn't make all the same sacrifices as you have? This is so ridiculous i'm honestly not even sure why I've given it the attention and response I have.

Marie on May 08, 2012:

Yeah, single dads are no comparison to single moms. I raised 3 kids on my own. I often worked almost 80 hours in a week and took my kids to football and soccer practices. I managed to take care of my kids even when I was sick. I decided as a single mom to move away from a dead beat dad. So I was in a state all alone and had no help from anyone. I started dating a single dad and like me all his kids are grown. The only difference between me an him is that although his son is 22, the ex-wife so he claimed is still putting his son's things together. Children just do not know the sacrifices that you make as a mom.

Another Single dad. on May 04, 2012:

Hey there "Iced coffee", you've come to the wrong place to complain about baggage! Take a look at what this forum is about! I think your looking for the 'I'm selfish, ignorant, and completely unbelievable' forum. Try using keywords like asshole, and dumbass to search for said forum.

Good luck!

Iced Coffee With Lot's Of Cr on April 24, 2012:

Not Interested In Men With A Kid! Take Your Baggage Elsewhere!

Annie@singlemummy.com on April 16, 2012:

You should be aware that a single dad has been through a lot. Being involved with someone who is divorced is not the same as the usual people that you date. You just have to be aware that this person's priorities and outlook have changes as well. Great and informative article. Keep it up.

Mygirlsdaddy on April 08, 2012:

I've just been able to leave the mother of my daughters after years of her addiction. It was because she had been with someone else and I found out the sad truth. I feel like such a bad father because I left my girls in danger with her because I knew how she was but I wasn't strong enough to leave her until now. I'm scared about raising them without a mom but I've been their best friend and care giver since they were born. They're 2 & 4 and I ask often if they need to talk about their mom not being around but the 2 yr old doesn't understand and the 4 yr old just says "Daddy, you take care of us and she wouldn't even get us water,your the best Daddy in the world" I'm not sure but I try.

Jo@yahoo.com on April 08, 2012:

Single parents do not date until your kids are grown. If you do, then the kids DO need to be put second sometimes when it comes to your private life, at least to a healthy degree. Both partner and children need the same nurture from you. Otherwise, if you can't include everyone together (at all times), it will never work, and you will produce a child who will always control you, even into adulthood and will finish off every relationship you enter..Everything has it's special place, balance is the key.

a mother falling for divorced dad on April 04, 2012:

Well, I am in a very unique situation. First off, I am a single mother, never been married and my daughter will be 11 years old soon.

Secondly, the man I am falling in love with is a divorced dad, not sure how long he has been divorced maybe a year or so, and has a lovely 6 yr old boy, whom I have come to love and care for as well.

My daughter, and I were separated for 3 years before I was able to bring her up to live with me finally, and is having trouble, letting any man come near me, unless she approves of him.

I am sure and certain he is into me, as i am into him, and things would be perfect, if only, my daughter would not be so rude to him.

Yet I know her fear, yet his son, has come to like both my daughter and I, and per his dad's cue, has asked us both to join them on several occasions, to go to the library, to go fishing, and the last was to have dinner out.

The first two times, I wanted to say yes, yet she did not want to go at all, so I said no, with a heavy heart, the last time, I got tired of her attitude and told her to that I was not going to miss another chance, and I went, she did not.

We enjoyed ourselves, and mind you this was my first time eating out with any man! and his son helped ease my nerves too.

I also asked him out first, along with his son, before he started getting his son to ask us out, along with my daughter, I love him, and admire his work, and the man he is.

Is this at all wrong or ok for us to move onward?

The thing is that I am renting from this man, a room in his home, for my daughter and I to live in and call home.

He and I were both upfront about our kids, and well its not like he nor I could hide them, right?

I have recently moved in, and have been there for almost 2 months or so. The house is in great shape and he is working the front yard right now, and I admire his devotion and love for his son. His boy comes every two weekends, and he normally sees him once during the week.

He communicates with his Ex, more in regards to know how the boy is doing, if he has been sick, and to talk to his little boy as well.

Another Single dad on March 29, 2012:

Ok so I feel kinda like a dip, I named myself "another single dad" totally not knowing that a previous commentee also named himself "another single dad" then i went and read his comment and as it turns out we are actually very similar! I too own my own small business, i only have one kid tho not two. what he wrote... I could totally relate to. This just seemed odd and thought i should share/apologize to Another single dad for taking his username accidentally!

Single mom 29 on March 28, 2012:

Thank you for your input. I'll see if he'll talk to me next time I see him.

Another single dad on March 28, 2012:

dear Single Mom 29,

I found myself in a very similar situation as to what you described about a little less than a year ago. It certainly wasn't the exact same situation but with similarities. After about 4 or 5 months in she decided she wanted to tell me she loved me. I felt pressured but didn't want to hurt her so I responded accordingly. that wasn't the only reason things went down hill but I really didn't like it. I lied to her about how i felt about her. I told her I wasn't happy with our sexlife... It was fine, I told her she was too insecure... she may have needed to work on it but i don't think it was as bad as i made it out to be. I didn't tell her that i didn't actually love her.... because i did actually love her, but i just didn't want to say it yet. I didn't see these things until a good 4 or 5 months after we broke up. I think I lied to order to push her away. The damage is done now and I tried to apologize but its over now anyway. My point here is... I realized after the fact that I didn't give her credit where credit was due. I didn't appreciate her aside of the casual thank you for a nice gesture but that's just good maners. we all know it doesn't mean anything until someone actually goes out of their way to thank you and show you they see and recognize the efforts you've made for them.

I was so preoccupied with my daughter that I took her and her efforts in our relationship for granted.

I dont' know if my experience helps you understand where he may be at emotionally. I'm saying it may be possible that he sprung the L word a little to early even for himself. Give it just a little time and then ask if you can have just a few min to talk. Explain how well you understand his side of the situation. explain that if space is what he needs you'll give it to him, but you'd like a little better explanation of why things changed so suddenly. YOU CAN'T GET UPSET! no matter what he says. you need to stay very relaxed and just do as he asks. If once you get a decent understanding of why things changed so suddenly and you want to change the status of your relationship based on founded information then you can do so. I Don't think it would be wise to assume anything at this point until you've given him the chance to explain. or rather in this case he gives himself the chance to explain. If i were you I'd ask him if it was something you did and how you can fix it. Other than that I dont' know what to say, i'm as baffled by the sudden change as you are. Good luck!

Another single dad

Single mom 29 on March 27, 2012:

Hi. I'm a single mom of 3 girls under 6 years old and I've been seeing a single dad for the past 9 months. He has 2 kids. His son is 13 and lives with him fulltime and his daughter is 2 and lives out of the country. About 3 months of talking on the phone everyday and doing the coming over late and leaving early thing he out of nowhere introduced me to his son when I brought them dinner ( he usually just came outside and grabbed dinner and I would leave). After meeting his son the early morning escapes stopped and I would make breakfast before school. Then his son began sports with school and my family and I would go to his games, I was even asked to go when my bf had to work and couldn't be there. Then

We were having dinner and a movie night and nights when we would sit at home and watch our favorite shows I even started wrestling with his son because it was easier for him to practice with me than his dad. Then one day about a month ago my bf told me he loved me then the relationship changed. He stopped inviting me to games and no more dinners or movies. I haven't been to his house in about 2 weeks. Then lastnight he said he loves me and admires me but he needs space. I don't know what that means. Do I not call? Should I pack up the stuff he left at my house? What do I tell my kids when they ask for him? I'm lost. I love this man. I love our life together I love his son. We even planned a trip to Mexico to meet his daughter. I don't know what went wrong. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Leo21 on March 25, 2012:

Hi I was wondering is it ok to as a single father that you are dating about his kids. I'm pretty new at this so I was just wondering if that would be ok or would that be alittle personal?

justhere2exist on March 19, 2012:

just reading this article made me sighn up for this sight,Just decided to search in a google bar "30 year old single father"Not that i'll be on here much.Please excuse my grammer and colorful ways of explaining things...


I am single dad that just turned 30 with a 10 y/o boy and 8 y/o girl.I'll try not to write a book,but I quess you could call me a widower except we were divorced and seperated before she passed away.I won't go into to much of that because the 1 year anaversary of her death is coming up..It really hurts my kids that she's gone.

They both live with me as i'm their primary care provider,yes i do it all by myself.I found dating any girl to be hard,and from were i see it,single woman that are perants seem to have a better chance in the dating game whether be online or what have you.Most woman don't want a guy with kids anyway,however my friends that only see their kids only once a month seem to date more.I'm not looking for a new mommy or to replace what my kids lost,I just want passion and romance but woman seem to think their getting set up to be step mothers..So far there has only been one girl I "dated" after my ex,I lowered my standards do to being lonely, but it was all great in the begining I guess with all relationships,after 3 months she started showing her true colours and to make a long story short,she was very mean to my children!Funny thing was she had kids herself.I'll admit after a while I didn't want to do the whole brady bunch thing but i didn't want to be alone neither.

There has been a few one nighters here and there but I'm just not into hooking up at clubs and being all metro like jersy shore.

All i as a single dad wants is company and a female friend I can make love to.I don't want to start over and think you other single dads are crazy to do so.All most guys want in a situation like mine is a woman we can confide in,Injoy that little life we have outside our normalcy.All we expect is you and nothing else,becuase your that joy and reward we get after working so hard to keep our family healthy.You give us sunshine where all we are used to is the late night hours of solitude.

If your a woman dating a single father then i'll assure you that he apreciates you and what little time you have together.Us single dads know what we want but if your just gonna leave when the going gets tough then go ahead,we are used to it.But don't be at the bar or club complaining to your girlfriends that you can't find a good guy or a man that wont cheat on you,because really you don't want one.you like the playing feild game..must be like shopping right?new season new trend..

Emily on March 13, 2012:

after reading this, who the hell would date a single dad when they can have the good life...freedom?

Kathleen on February 24, 2012:

Wow, your post totally confirms that I want to date a single dad. I'm a single Mom, and I feel the same way. About the ex, the home being a sanctuary, all of it. My young daughter and I have a stable, happy home... I could be single forever and feel ok about it. Reading this article makes me want some Brady Bunch action. :)

haitchi on February 10, 2012:

I have 5 kids, from 19 down to 7. Fed up of people moaning about their kids. I look after them myself and am doing college. Grow up guys and suck it up :)

Kori on February 10, 2012:

Hi DrFinny! Thank you so much for this article, it helped me understand my situation (and my boyfriend with 2 kids) a lot more.

We've been together for a couple of months but the challenges are just setting in now. I knew he was annulled and had kids way before we dated as we were friends and workmates before. When he started pursuing me 6 months before, these kind of challenges weren't present yet as he rarely saw the kids, who stay with their mom. But now because he has a better relationship with the mom and kids, he sees them a little more - and that is affecting our time together (time together physically - we go out a little less now, but we talk to each other daily twice or as much as our schedules permit). I am currently in the process of adjusting and it's really hard.

Thankfully the ex-wife is not an issue, as he had someone after her. The exes aren't issues. The kids are nice kids, as he always tells me about them. He is a very wonderful man - loving, hardworking, dedicated, smart, mature, sexy, funny and honest - at the same time he's also a great friend. He's also older, so he has this wisdom that I couldn't find among single males my age. To see him also be a loving dad to his kids is inspiring for a single girl like me. I'd want to be like him in the future. It's just the lack of time that I'm currently finding really difficult. We talked about this already, and I've told him what I feel. I am just thankful that our communication lines are open.

Thank you also for all the ladies here who shared their own frustrations and experiences.

Eric on February 06, 2012:

I am a single father to an autistic boy. I am owed years of child support. The courts have done very little to help me. Years ago when I first graduated Humboldt County threatened to suspend my teaching license when they made a mistake & misapplied 1 payment. Oops they were sorry :) Men who commit fraud assault other tweekers & have half a dozen failures to appear & generally behave like The Creature end up in jail.

more than just the sum of my partners on January 24, 2012:

Ok. For the people who struggle with the fact that these children are constant reminders that this person was with another lover, go find a 16 year old virgin to propose to you. Puh-lease. A relationship is so much more than the joining of genitalia, and whether a person has children or not, chances are you are not the first partner. If the existence and presence of a human being with specific genetic makeup that is not yours hurts you, then consider seeing a psychologist to help you gain love for yourself, and to help you learn how to truly feel self-worth. No matter how you phrase it or what your mental logic tells you, being threatened by any aspect of a child is a huge indicator that you have not grown to your own full potential yet. Nurture yourself for a while.

In regards to why someone dating a single parent is so low on the totem pole...friends are already permanent structures in the ever-important children's lives. Single parents create consistent social lives for themselves and their family. No way would I ever cancel a weekly hang out with my friends for a new person I am dating. I want my children to learn the value of the people we already have in our lives who love us. How can I teach them this if I show that friends are a disposable priority?? My friends have been in my life for years...anyone I'm dating has not been. My suggestion is to create situations where you can invite your significant other to invite his/her circle of friends. Spice Girls had it right. Chicks before Dicks, Bros before Ho's. Anyone who doesn't follow that mantra is probably going to end up clingy and needy. Why so needy? Because they've gone and alienated themselves from their reliable support system for the sake of your totem pole status.

I am a single mother of 2 girls and I can vouch that this article doesn't just apply to single men. I really am appalled at the folks who see children as reminders of something past. Children are not chattel. They were not property gifted to one parent by the other. They are human beings who need nurturing environments and are very sensitive to change. You had your time getting nurtured as a child, now let this kid get his or her time.

Relationships should not be one person requiring something from another, but one person admiring and being thankful of what is shared by the other. Children are THE most valuable asset any parent has. If you get brought into a circle that involves them....you should feel honored. If you feel crapped on...it is time for you to quit wasting space in the wrong circle.

daddydater on January 08, 2012:

hi, sorry for all the typos in my last letter. I am educated and know how to type but it's early and I'm typing fast. Will do better next time :)

PAULA on December 28, 2011:

I just started dating my high school sweetheart again after being apart for almost 5 years. We were together for about 7 years prior to our breakup. during the time we were not together he had a child. seeing and being with him again feels better than it ever has and feels like its where i should be, however I'm having such difficulty no longer being #1. i feel so selfish, but after being with someone for so long and being used to a relationship being one way and it having to dramatically change is such a struggle for me. he's such an amazing father and id love to be involved more in his daughter's life, but i feel like he has this wall up. he has his daughter friday-monday and during that time he likes to spend it just the two of them since he doesn't get to see her everyday. he is completely unavailable and its rare that i actually hear from him. i understand it, but i struggle with it. perhaps I'm too high maintenance or needy. i fight this inner battle when i see his daughter. someone posted something that brought me to tears when reading, "kids are a constant reminder of your love for someone else...and the woman has to realize that she is always going to be 2nd, 3rd, or 4th...to children that she didn't even give to you. Nothing worse than knowing that all your mans money and time is being spent on children you didn't even have any part in bringing to this world." i struggle looking at his daughter knowing that it wasn't me that gave him this child. i have so many worries and fears inside of me that i have voiced to him, but it just never goes away and i don't know what to do. i love this man and i always have. since this is all new I'm going to stick it out fora little bit and take it a day at a time and see how it unfolds, but wow, dating a single parents is very difficult!

Alpha36 on August 14, 2011:

I just recently became a single Dad and have temporary primary custody over my daughter, were still in the court process. Thanks for the article. Believe it or not, there are a lot of dads who step up. In my case my soon to be ex-wife was an addict, she chose the drugs over us!

help! on August 03, 2011:

Good on ya girl! I have the same struggles daily! I hope one my single dad understands everything i go through to be with him or I hope that I'll have the strength to leave the man I love and move on with my life! It's so hard!

kellyb1144 on July 16, 2011:

UPDATE: I gave up and split up with him. I think of him daily, but I guess I am just not cut out for single dad dating. Sad, but true. Well, now I know, I guess.

Single Dad on June 05, 2011:

Wow!...This is what i believe to be a true perspective of single dads dating....Thanks!

kellyb1144 on May 06, 2011:

I am hearing all of the frustration from other women dating single dads. How silly of me to think that I was alone. I actually felt guilty because I am so irritated at how little time I get to spend with him. I understand that his son needs to come first. I understand that he has all of these awesome qualities that come from his dedication to his son and his desire to be super-dad. I get all of that.

But I miss him and he has his son 3 weekends a month, no weeknights, but his job keeps him away and of course, he needs 'his' time, as well. So our ONLY argument is on the amount of time we spend together. I have broken up with him several times, only to be talked back into our deal together. He's so awesome, hot, sweet and unavailable.

I love the honesty by the other posters on here. Thank you, ladies for your truth and for your desire to figure all of this out. Do I stay or do I go? I ask this each and every day. I know who he is and I want to be with him, but it's the lack of time and money that I wrestle so hard with. Do I complain because he's taking care of his little boy? Do I get angry at the fact that I can't see him when I want? Or have a weekend once in a while? Or expect a nice dinner or gifts? He has next to no money due to all of this and I have tolerated this for months. I read that as I type it and I find myself ashamed for the very word 'tolerated'. It's so complicated.

The bottom line is that I love him and his son is darling, but I just don't feel like there is room for me. And I just don't know what to do about that. So I sit in it and I think and then I decide to do the same thing again tomorrow. Hopefully, I will come to a conclusion that works for me and fits. For now, I love him and he loves me and that's, I guess, good enough for a Friday.

But it sucks, honestly. It's really hard.

Gina on March 14, 2011:

Thank you so much for this article!!! I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 months now and he has an 8 month old. He is in the midst of shared parental custody (aiming for primary). I have been stressing over how to deal with some of the emotional aspects of dating him such as time, attention, and well the overall fact of dating a parent. This article really helped to open my eyes. Thank you so much for your insight. This has really helped me to see what he is going through and how he is dealing with things. I really appreciate this.

Single mom on January 11, 2011:


I am a single mom, my husband passed away 2 years ago, i sought of regret introducing my boyfriend to my kids so soon. We split up September last year and a week later I took him back cause my kids had gotten so attached to him and I did not want them to be hurt.

I would suggest any single parent to take their time before introducing your kids to your new relationships.

SingleDad#1Fan on September 24, 2010:

OH-MY! I have to give u a standing ovation! Your words put me as ease and made me understand this relationship I am in. I recently met a 35 yr old Daddy of two full time kids, 10 girl and 15 boy. He is also a police officer, 8 yrs on the force and in school. I myself,36 yr old female divorce with no kids. I am a caregiver and a full time student. I adore this man and have full respect for all he is. I've learn early on, this man's thinking process is definitely more mature and in-tack then the douche bags I have dealt with. I can not wait to find out what is in store for us. We are still at the very first stage..I am there at night when the kids are asleep. I told him I didn't want to meet his kids unless its serious. So thank you. :)

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