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Dating a Single Dad: Benefits, Challenges, Rules, Tips, and Everything Else

Dating a Single Dad: Benefits, Challenges, Rules, Tips, and Everything Else

Updated on Jun 29, 2022 | Published on May 25, 2022

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Dating a Single Dad - Benefits, Challenges, Rules, Tips, and More

Are you interested in dating a single dad? Wondering what it feels like to date them? Or, are you yourself a single dad wanting to date again? Feeling anxious about your next step? 

Well, it’s only natural because relationships are never that simple. When there’s a baby on board, it becomes even more confusing… because kids are unpredictable and moody.

But don’t worry, to remove all your worries and anxieties, I’m here with this think-piece. You’ll find all the answers here whether you’re wanting to date a single dad or are yourself one.

So, don’t delay anymore and seize your happiness here…

Signs single dads are ready to date again

If you’re a single father and recently lost your wife to death or separated from your partner, you may often hear “Get married to get rid of the loneliness” or “It must be hard, why don’t you bring in another wife?” Don’t listen to them… know if you want to date. 

Or, if you want to date a single dad, you might feel confused if he’s willing to date. But no worries because you’ll soon know it. C’mon, let me show you…

1. You don’t reminisce about your marriage often

She’s your child’s mom and you have a history, so caring and worrying about her from time to time as a fellow human being is normal.

However, if you no longer think about her from a romantic or a partner’s point of view… that’s your sign.

If you don’t feel jealous, hurt, or resentful for your partner dating a new man, that’s also a way to understand you’re ready.

2. You feel ready to let another woman in

After separation, a single parent can’t trust any suitors because they want to protect their child. Nobody plans to be a single parent, so accepting the role is initially hard.

So, another good sign that you’re ready to date is when you’re ready to trust other women and imagine beginning life with another person.

3. You feel a little something for someone new

A sure shot sign that you’re ready to date is when you feel the butterflies around someone. If you get a crush on another person, there’s no better sign than that.

4. You feel fulfilled around someone special

Not everyone wants a love life with a person with responsibilities.

However, if that person makes you feel loved despite having a tougher life, respects and encourages you, boosts your confidence, and makes you smile… know that you want and need them.

Of course, you’re ready to date!

5. You don’t mind blending families

Lastly, if you don’t have unrealistic expectations from your date and are open to dating a single mom and you don’t mind a blended family, that’s when you’re truly ready.

If you don’t wanna get involved with a single mom, you’re probably looking for a replacement mom figure for your kids and yourself… not a new individual.

But two people make a relationship, wondering if you’re right for him? Let’s know that quickly…


Signs dating a single dad ISN’T your best choice

You’re fit to date a single dad if you bond well with him and his kids. Different families have different dynamics, so defining your readiness to date a single father isn’t that simple.

However, you can understand that dating one might lead to a toxic relationship. So, let’s know when to avoid a relationship with a single dad…

1. You feel jealous of his kids

If you try to make him choose between his kids and you or feel jealous of the child, you can’t date a single parent.

Your competition for love and affection with the children will ruin your relationship.

If he feels that you make him choose between you and his child… the answer will always be the kid. Further, such dynamics may result in an unhealthy upbringing.

2. You want a spontaneous relationship

If you don’t know how single parents work, well “spontaneity” doesn’t exist in their dictionary unless their child is old enough. They can’t bear to leave the kid with their grandparents on short notice!

However, if they have reliable childcare facilities or families and their child is willing to stay with them, you might have a few spontaneous trips very rarely.

But if spontaneity is a must for you, steer clear from this.

3. You want to impose your parenting style

Everyone has their unique parenting style and it’s never perfect. If you want to raise their child your way forcibly, dating a single parent isn’t a good idea.

However, if your parenting style clashes or you think he’s disciplining his kids in a concerning manner… this isn’t the right relationship.

Think about it in-depth, when you’ll have your own kids with them, he can’t be a good dad as per you… you can’t have a long-term relationship this way.

4. Your pace doesn’t match

If you two stand on different pages about revealing your relationship to the kids and blending your family, it’s a red flag.

Even if you want to enter the family soon, he might put it off for later. After all, his children’s emotional health is important to him.

However, if you can’t wait for that, move on.

5. You dislike kids or his kids

An alarming sign is disliking children or specifically his children.

Your friends and family might tell you that you two click great as a pair and with time you’ll work out with the kids… but honestly, that’s a farce.

If you can’t accept another person’s child as your own, a relationship with a man with kids is a nope!

Another issue can be you want children but your partner doesn’t want any more responsibilities.

Honestly think what you want and feel and don’t think you’re bad to want something different. Know that your relationship won’t work and leave amicably.

Did you clear all the hurdles? Think you’re fit for a relationship with him? Wondering if you’re too good for him? Let’s know more about the…


Benefits of dating a single dad

Relationships always work on give and take law. Even if you must be selfless, you can’t always get the shorter end of the stick… that spoils the point of the arrangement.

So, are you curious if you’ll gain anything at all from dating a single dad? Think him having children is a bad sign? Stop assuming so soon because you must check the pros of dating a single dad…

1. You find the perfect meaningful relationship

Single fathers aren’t into dating games as raising kids all alone taught them that the human heart is fragile. Since they have serious responsibilities, they aren’t around for casual flings.

He won’t abruptly change his feelings or ghost you which is wholesome and satisfying. There won’t be drama and you’ll learn a lot from him.

2. You don’t need to protect your personal space

As a single father and full-time worker, his hands are always full of responsibilities. He’ll either look after his kids or into his laptop.

You won’t feel smothered in the relationship and always have your precious space and time if you date a single parent.

3. You won’t be dating an insensitive jerk

Unless your partner is a fresh single dad, he’ll understand raising a child needs emotions, connection, nourishing, and caring instincts.

He becomes habituated to treating a child sensitively and naturally that trait seeps into your relationship.

4. He’ll be protective – not possessive

Another of the best parts of dating a single father is that he knows the difference between “protective” and “possessive”.

He’s used to protecting his kids with his safety net and his newfound motherly instincts. However, he also knows when to relax and let the kids have fun.

So, if you date him, he’ll protect you genuinely rather than acting all possessive. He won’t stop you from living life your way unless he knows it’s dangerous.

5. As you know, he’s completely dad material

He already has enough experience with his own kids. He knows almost everything about raising children.

So if you don’t have kids yet, when you two start dating seriously and consider children, you can rest assured that you have a good dad to help you through.

6. He’ll love you not for your body

A single father saw his pregnant wife throughout and after pregnancy with a bloated tummy, messy clothes, stretch marks throughout her skin… and he didn’t leave her.

Surely, he doesn’t care about external beauty and will cherish you as a person. He won’t look for another woman if your body isn’t in shape.

7. He’s a responsible man

If you ever fall into a sticky situation, a single dad won’t bail out of it. He’ll try to help you through your problems patiently because of his sensitivity.

He won’t take serious issues lightly and will act maturely when required.

8. He’ll be your dad’s BFF

Your dad will love him because they both have kids and can connect with fatherhood. Even if your dad opposes you dating him initially, they’ll hit off just right.

9. He’s great with awkward and messy situations

Throughout his single fatherhood, he met his children’s teachers, friends’ parents, and even the neighborhood bully’s folks.

He knows how to handle the most random and uncomfortable situations like a pro. So if you ever face such a social situation, he’s a reliable one.

10. You get an idea of functional and healthy relationships

If his wife didn’t pass away, he’s probably in touch with her because of parenting duties. When you date him, you might get some parenting coaching too. I mean dating with a kid on board isn’t easy.

Even his ex might help you out. Through this, you’ll understand that even after breaking up, relationships don’t need to get bitter.

If you were in a toxic relationship, you’ll understand the clean difference.

11. You learn to save money

Being a single dad taught this man a lot about saving money and its value. He has to fund his child’s growth and development and take care of his living conditions.

When you’ll notice he saves so much to care for his child and himself and surprise you, you’ll learn new saving tricks. You’ll even find cheap dating spots with him.

12. You’ll eventually confront your insecurities and grow

If his child is still young and innocent, they’ll unintentionally ask you about your insecurities and flaws.

It might be about you applying makeup meticulously every day to feel attractive… when you’re pretty even without.

Or, your entitled behavior and demanding nature from the child’s father. Or even your unnecessary and impulsive fights.

You eventually grow out of negative feelings (like jealousy) and behaviors (immaturity) around a pure soul.

13. He doesn’t get grossed out

If you’re sick and vomit before reaching the washroom, he won’t lash out at you. He knows it’s normal and understands it fairly because of his experience.

14. You learn to navigate out of jealousy

Your partner having an ex around and being on good terms with them might trigger jealousy. But if you stay together for a long time, you’ll know they’re an inseparable part of his life.

But that doesn’t mean you’re a nobody. If he loves you, he’ll show that you’re an important person until your heart rests. This trait is all because he can deal with children’s insecurities.

15. You have infinite fun

With a child around, you get to channel your inner child and live moments full of laughter. This is necessary to make a child happy.

In the process, you feel great to show off your childish traits and have someone (or rather two people) appreciate them.

But they say all kinds of relationships have pros and cons. So, to know the downside of this idea let’s know the…


Disadvantages of dating a single dad

Despite the positive aspects, there are equal cons to dating a single parent. He already has enough responsibilities on his shoulders so it won’t be easy.

Plus, if his wife is still in the equation, things might get complicated. If you’re unsure about handling them, let’s go through them here…

1. You won’t be his #1

Dating a single parent is tough because he’ll never prioritize you over his kids. His children will always come first.

Usually, partners know that the child needs more attention, but sometimes you may feel they’re your rival.

He has so many responsibilities that you can’t expect him to be responsible for you.

2. You’ll be stuck in a schedule

Once again due to his responsibilities, in a dating relationship with a single father, you won’t have spontaneity. He must plan everything beforehand and in great detail because it involves his child.

All of your plans will include the child, so you can’t expect surprise plans.

3. You won’t experience crazy romance

A single parent alone provides for their child emotionally and financially. He won’t ever have enough money, time, or energy to spoil you with romantic gestures.

You’ll always know that he has responsibility and can’t expect too much from him. 

4. You may feel a pang of jealousy

If he’s still in contact with his child’s mother, you’ll feel jealous for sure. After all, they have a special bond and a child brings them together in one picture.

When she’s around, they look like a perfect family and you like an outcast. Possibly, it’s just your overthinking but the pain is real.

However, sometimes the kid’s mom might purposefully try to meddle in your relationship because the kid is a huge part of her life… but your partner will be clueless as ever.

5. Your relationship depends on his kids

The hardest part of dating a man with kids is that the stability of your relationship depends on his child’s mood. Even if you mean the kid no harm, if they don’t like you, that’s the end.

Perhaps the man will date you but you’ll be in the background. But mostly, single fathers don’t date anyone their child dislikes.

6. His last partner’s things are all over

Single dads are busy taking care of their children and job and hardly have a minute to take care of the house. He probably never bothered to get rid of his last partner’s clothes.

You might feel hurt if you’re the sensitive type… but can you blame him? He already has too much on his plate.

7. People target you with dad jokes

If you guys make your relationship public, many of your folks will make fun of you… unless you’re a single mom. They’ll forward you random dad jokes and ask if that’s relatable.

When you’re in love, you’ll boil with anger if anyone disrespects your partner. It might ruin some of your social bonds.

8. His house is always messy

If you have a hint of OCD, you might fear visiting his house because of the mess. He has a kid at home so obviously, things are never in their right place.

You might begin cleaning his place every time you visit or might even get hurt with a Lego.

9. You need to control if the kid doesn’t know

Forget about PDA, but if your man didn’t tell his kid about dating you yet, you don’t get to spend quality time in his place.

If you hang around with the kid or at his home, you may never get a kiss or hug.

Further, if the child becomes curious about you, you’ll just hurt while saying “I’m a friend”.

10. You constantly feel pressured to be a mom

If you’re no single mom, his outdated folks will constantly criticize you for not being a mom material. They’ll compare you with his ex… which probably he or his child didn’t do.

For single moms, his hostile family members will chew your dignity off. In a roundabout way, they’ll call you freeloaders, opportunists, and similar stuff.

Deep inside, even he might expect you to play mom. 

11. Some single dads have double standards

This isn’t a given for everyone but some single dads have really high expectations from their prospective partner.

Since you’re not his baby’s mama, he hopes you’ll have an A-grade body and great parenting skills. If you face such issues, leave the jackass, Hun.

12. Your breakup might hurt the kid

There’s this fear that you won’t click well with the kid. However, if you bond well with them, they’ll grow dependent and attached to you. You might become the perfect motherly figure they ever needed.

But sadly, this has a downside… if you guys break up, that child will break down. They’ll feel neither their mom nor you love them. They’ll hate “mothers” or relationships… you have no idea how it’ll affect their growth.

13. He might be really flawed

Another tough possibility that you won’t notice initially is that your partner is really at fault. Perhaps, he separated from his kids’ mom because he was unbearable.

Perhaps he’s toxic or just too imperfect to be a good partner. You never know until you take off your rose-tinted glasses and it might be very late into the relationship.

14. You might have priority issues among kids

If you’re dating as a single mom too, there will be trouble among the kids.

You hope to provide your children with a father figure who prioritizes your child. However, he has his own kid and will always take their side more.

Further, if you don’t have kids yet, you might want some in the future, again you’ll want him to care for your first child more.

Blending two families is tougher than you expect, so think again.

15. You’ll always feel insecure and scared of what if’s

What if his ex still wants him back? What if he still has feelings for her? Will he go back if she wants him? Will he love me more than her? Will he compare my parenting skills with her?

His ex-wife might be out of sight but not out of mind. You may feel insecure because he made kids with her and she made him the happiest man with the child.

Are you fine with all that? More worried about what the single dad expects from you? No worries because we’ll soon know their desires here…


What do single dads look for in a relationship?

If you’re not a single parent, you won’t know what a single dad wants from you. Well, parenting all alone is hard and he will have lots of expectations. But hey, they don’t want anything extraordinary.

They don’t want to bear their child’s expenses or put the child to sleep. Rather, it’s quite simple like these…

He hopes you will…

1. Accept their children

You won’t have the same bond with his kids, not instantly at least. You may have your own child and obviously feel more connected with them.

However, single dads want you to promise that eventually your and his children will be equal soon and you’ll call all of them “our” children, instead of your and mine.

2. Be optimistic and encouraging

Being a single dad is hard as sometimes they feel they’re not enough for the kids. “Perhaps, their mom would love them more” such doubts linger in a single dad’s mind and even if he doesn’t express such feelings, he hopes you’ll say “You’re the best dad ever”.

Other times, he might get into a fight with his psychotic ex. Possibly she wants you out of his life and threatens to drag him to court. During such times, he hopes you’ll say “It’ll soon be over…”

3. Make him believe you’re a keeper

You don’t need to behave a certain way physically to prove yourself worthy. That’s not on a genuine man’s mind. However, he wishes that everyone around him will compliment you for your soul.

You may say that’s not in your control, but if you’re compassionate towards him and his child, someone will eventually say it… at least nobody will say bad things about you.

4. Be trustworthy

Possibly he was hurt and someone broke his trust… it might be the children’s mom or someone he dated afterward.

He might not have deep-grained trust issues… but hopes you’ll prove that you’re a trustworthy person. When the right time comes, show him you won’t ditch him if you get someone better.

5. Show that you trust him

Any of his ex or the kids’ mom probably questioned his loyalty. When a man is truly loyal, such remarks shred his soul.

So, show him that you trust him… that you believe in his loyalty and reliability.

In this world, genuine men fight to prove their loyalty. However, not everyone can treasure them. So remind him that he’s a wonderful man and is everything you ever wished for.

6. Genuinely want him physically

Sex is hardly a possibility if he’s a full-time worker plus a father. Sometimes you’ll hate that his kid can’t do his homework all alone.

By the time everything is done, he falls asleep and sex takes a backseat in your relationship.

But he still wants to feel cherished and desired as much as you feel.

He wishes that you’ll become playful in between his chores and tutoring the child. Send him racy texts and pictures during work or accidentally touch his crotch… he hopes to sneak behind his child to make love to you.

7. Ask him for help for an ego boost

Being strong and independent is always sexy, but sometimes he wishes you’ll depend on him.

He also wants to show he’s capable if you’re in trouble and be thankful that he’s around. He just wants you to play the damsel in distress only a bit.

8. Appreciate him

Now or in the past, men were always stereotyped to be robust, work hard, provide for everyone’s financial needs, and take care of their families without a complaint.

How many times does he get a “Thank you” for doing that? It’s all his responsibility but he’ll love to feel appreciated. So, even if the world doesn’t, he wishes you will.

9. Never play games

We all played dating games at some point… playing hard to get, making him jealous, saying no but wanting him to figure you out. A single dad can’t bear it anymore as his life is too complicated.

He wishes you’ll be honest and communicative and never add to their stresses.

10. Have good ethics and morals

At some point, he’ll introduce you to his kids and you’ll play a major role in forming their character. So, he hopes that you have the right character too.

Since he’ll entrust the half responsibility of his children’s upbringing, he expects you’ll behave well, flaunt good morals, and teach them the right life lessons.

But of course, you may also get a break from playing momma during your bad days… even he needs that.

Wondering what you must keep in mind if you date him? Well, let’s give you a bridal makeover here…


Rules of dating a single dad

If you’re unsure what are the musts and must nots in your relationship with a single dad… don’t feel low because you’re not alone.

Nobody knows everything from scratch so you’ll soon learn how to cope with dating a single dad and make everyone including yourself happy.

So, let’s get it all at your fingertips here…

1. Be his backbone

Single fathers have it hard with all the responsibilities so the least you can do is be supportive. Don’t be a burden in his life if you can’t help him out with parenting or the chores.

If you become his support system, he’ll eventually crave you in his life. If you make his life stressful, he’ll want to end it. Be understanding and help him with little stuff whenever you can.

2. Incorporate patience and tolerance

He has issues… whether he’s a divorcee or a widower. His taking up so many responsibilities and not having trust issues from cheating or not grieving for his late wife… doesn’t go hand in hand.

Sometimes you’ll regret choosing him, but tolerate his issues if there’s love. You can’t take his ex’s place and don’t even try that. Patiently wait for him to notice you.

3. Brace yourself for the baby mama drama

If he’s co-parenting, he’s in contact with her regularly… after all, the kids crave their mommy more. They’ll spend the weekends together as a family and you’ll feel jealous.

Or, she might try to put you in your place or break you up. She might genuinely need help and while you’re on a date, your partner will rush to her.

She might be a genuine person or dramatic AF so try to deal with it.

4. Recognize his efforts

When you know a man has kids, you might mention his kids more naturally. However, he’s out here dating you… he wants to focus on you and expects you to reciprocate it.

Don’t get me wrong… asking about his kids is totally great but read the room. Don’t treat him like a dad 24/7. He’s your man so treat him that way on dates.

Show him you’re interested in him as a man and not a father of 2.

5. Never force him to commit

Single dads can’t play around because his life is plenty tricky… he can’t handle it anymore. Surely, he doesn’t want to play with you. However, don’t force him to commit or marry you.

He must address his kids’ feelings and balance his life as a father and partner. It’s not easy when you’re not the mother of the kid… it sounds so cruel but he has his own baggage.

6. Don’t hurry the introduction

Don’t coerce him to introduce you to his children and family. Let him take his time while you focus on deepening the bond. Further, his kids might not be ready so consider that.

To him, his kids are the most precious and important, so don’t expect to meet his family before the kids. The reason? Someone might snitch on you to them and ruin your impression.

7. Avoid stealing mommy’s seat

You might soon become the kids’ stepmom/parent but don’t try to play mother with them. If he’s a divorcee, they still have a mom, they’ll hate you if you try to replace her.

In case he’s widowed, their mom is a sensitive issue, so don’t even bring up the word “mother” unless they’re comfortable. You may ruin your relationship, so be careful.

8. Befriend the kids

While spending time with the kids, instead of being a stepparent, impress them with your friendliness. Be a friend and partner in crime… once in a while, and give them candy when their father won’t allow it.

Brew your secrets and cherish their secrets. Be someone they can confide in but don’t ever help them break strict rules.

9. Show empathy for his wounds

While you nourish the kids as a friend, don’t forget to be there for your partner. During his darkest hours, guide him through to the light. If you think he’s suffering, ask him to communicate and listen.

Remind him you’ll support him throughout everything and never let go of his hands.

10. Be more assertive in bed

Single dads have many responsibilities starting from waking the kids, cooking, and feeding, sending and bringing them to and from school, and helping them with homework, and extracurricular activities.

He’s dog-tired after that, but don’t let your sex life rot because of it. Be more initiative in the bedroom. Show him that you want him badly.

11. Build a flexible schedule

Since he’s overflowing with responsibilities, you gotta work around that. Take note of his daily routine and mold your schedule accordingly. Otherwise, you can’t make this relationship work.

Moreover, don’t expect he’ll devote his free time to you. Communicate about his plans and then decide.

12. Shut out the insecurities

Sometimes, even after making plans, he might be unable to keep promises. It might be the children, family, work, or his ex-wife. But that doesn’t mean you’re any less to him.

Dating him will be hard but be patient and don’t let insecurities engulf you. He’ll eventually have enough time for you. Remember he still loves you and is serious about you.

13. Take the lead in romance

He might not always remember candlelight dinners and stargazing. Further, he might lose the touch with his romantic side if he didn’t date for long.

To remind him what it’s like to date and have a partner, arrange romantic dates yourself.

He might not be able to leave his kids at night, so plan something at his home or when he leaves the children to daycare or other family members.

14. Involve yourself in family stuff

In the growing years, kids need lots of support and help. They have school projects, birthday parties, KFC treats, and even need someone to escort them to and fro school and other activities.

If you have extra time, jump right into the mix. Help them out and slowly transition into a part of their family. However, if he isn’t ready to let you in, step back.

15. Help him with resources and connection

He has too much on his plate so give him a helping hand. If his faucet got blocked, bring over a plumber to fix it. If he can’t pick the kid or attend their sports festival, attend on his behalf.

If he struggles with work, stay over with the kids, feed them, help them complete their homework, and put them to bed. If you can’t do it yourself, get a reliable babysitter.

16. Don’t let the green-eyed monster interfere with your and the kids’ bond

The kids will always be his first priority. They’re his own blood, so don’t be jealous. You might feel lonely if you don’t have your own kids.

Work on your jealousy and get rid of it for good instead of suppressing it. Otherwise, it might become fatal for your relationship.

17. Lock out the clinginess

Respect his personal space and try to feel satisfied with yourself. Emotional independence is vital before starting a new relationship with a single dad.

He can’t satisfy a clingy partner and you’ll mostly be on your own because of his multiple responsibilities. However, you can always join in to help him to feel less lonely.

18. Match your flow with the kids

Sometimes the kids will fall sick randomly or have an important exam or school event ahead.

Their lives and health are always unpredictable. Don’t blame the little bunnies because that’s how life is.

For this unpredictable course of action, you might need to change your serious long-awaited plans. Learn to slowly merge with their flow.

19. Brush up your parenting skills

If things work out great and you decide to get married, work on your parenting style. Get parenting self-help books and prepare yourself to be their second mom/parent.

Moreover, ask him if he’ll want any kids from you (if you’re a woman). If you’re on the same page, that’s cool.

But if he wants but your body can’t… or you want but he doesn’t… that’s trouble. Talk it out soon.

20. Prepare to fight the “package” issues

When your families merge into one, both of your circles will have different reactions and that can impact your relationship and the children.

Your folks might warn you that he won’t love you, his folks might convince him you’ll abuse the kids, and so on.

Make sure you don’t let the negatives seep in. Reassure the kids about your bond and stay strong.

However, if you’re the single dad we’re gossiping about for so long and not addressing directly… my apologies, mate! Well, you gotta groom yourself a bit too, so let’s quickly head in…


Rules of dating for a single dad

While I was busy preparing your partner to support you and your kids, you were always on my mind (I swear!). Because relationships don’t work one way… you both must work it out together.

So, if you’re a bit skeptical about starting a new relationship, let me remind you of the basics and you may decide afterward…

1. Date because you wanna

If you just had a divorce or breakup or your wife passed away, you don’t need to date right now dude.

Take your time to get over your issues because you probably have lingering feelings for your ex/late wife.

Date only when you feel comfortable and ready! Others may say “Your kids need a momma”, NO! They need you more than anything and not a replacement.

2. Discuss it with the kids

If you’re ready to date, talk with your children. Remind them that you’ll always love them and prioritize them. If they don’t understand the big words, give them examples like

“Daddy wants to have a special friend to go to the movies and have dinner, just like you do with friends. If daddy is out having fun with a friend and you fall sick, daddy will return to you immediately.”

3. Find a genuine person

Pick someone that understands that your children are your priority. You can’t give up on your responsibilities for them.

Communicate your priorities, responsibilities, and schedule before you date someone. Only if they can understand your situation, date.

This is why many single dads seek single moms to understand them and not get jealous. However, as per relationship coaching, there’s no guarantee a single mom won’t get jealous.

4. Don’t force your kids to meet them

When you find someone, share the news with your kids. They’ll ask her name, how she looks if she has kids… but that’s all. They won’t be ready to meet her so soon.

Further, if you have more than two kids, one may be ready to meet her while the other isn’t. Respect your kids’ wishes as everything will work out later.

5. Don’t try to introduce anyone too fast

You may not find a suitable woman fast. So, you might date more than one person within a month. In this case, it’s better to not introduce any person to your children unless you’re sure.

If your child gets attached to someone you lost interest in or ghosted you, things may get messy. Push the introduction as late as possible.

6. Don’t ditch your kids for dates

Be sensitive about the time, frequency, and time limits of your dates. Don’t leave your kids to a babysitter if you promised them a game night.

If you do, they’ll know how much you care about them. To avoid giving them the wrong impression, be very careful about your schedule.

7. Keep your partner’s contact private

Always keep your phone lock-protected and refrain from sharing your partners’ email, contact, or address with your kids.

Don’t share how you feel about that woman or describe her in front of your kids.

Be an adult and be respectful of other women in front of your kids. Imagine 20 years later how they will feel if you describe your date as “hot”.

8. Tell your kids it’s not betrayal

Kids don’t understand adult relationships so they might think their parents split or their mom passed away because their dad had an affair. Clear such misunderstandings even before they think of it.

Tell them there’s no connection between the two and that you never betrayed their mom. Otherwise, they’ll despise the new parent.

9. Plan the introduction in a neutral place

When you’re ready to introduce your kids to your date, make it short, choose a family restaurant and avoid one another’s houses, and don’t force your kids to mingle with them.

Your date may not love your kids or vice versa… so keep zero expectations.

10. Only let her stay the night if you’re serious

If your date will stay over, make sure you decide to stay with her for the rest of your life.

Don’t invite random women frequently to your bedroom. Your kids might learn the same when they grow up… so set the right morals.

So, brother, think deep and hard and promise you won’t peek while I share a few words with your partner. So, let’s brush you up a bit to date a single dad with these…


Tips to dating a single dad wanting to date

That wasn’t the end of it fortunately/unfortunately. You probably hope to make your dating experience with a single father even more sweet and optimistic and remove any possible doubts in your mind.

So, let me make the situation favorable with some tips…

1. Think if you’re okay with a single dad

Before you begin your search for a single dad, ask yourself if you’re ready to tolerate everything.

You won’t get enough time and attention. You might not get to have your own kids. His ex might interfere. Think hard before you tread on this path.

2. Confirm he’s divorced

Yes, there might be men out there who want to cheat on their wives with this lie. Carefully confirm about his divorce before you see him.

If he’s lying, his wife will cause unexpected and unwelcome trouble for you. Stay alert before investing any emotions.

3. Establish a truce with his ex

If he’s not a widower, then he’s still in contact with his ex. Take your time to bond with her and make peace.

You don’t want her to randomly disturb your life. Rather than for the kids and your emotional stability, focus on an amicable relationship with her.

4. Push forward your deal breakers

Don’t just focus on your date’s exterior, think about how he is as a person. If you have some experience in relationships, you probably have a few dealbreakers.

If there are more than five, write them down on a piece of paper and give them to him. Figure out if he has any of them and negotiates based on your needs.

5. Know his family rules and boundaries

He’s a family man and to raise his kids he possibly has many rules too. Ask about his rules and boundaries to make sure you don’t step on a landmine.

Further, you’ll know if there are any parenting skill issues or clashing styles. You can understand a lot about a man from his rules and boundaries.

6. Don’t stick around if you can’t commit

If you’re only into casual dating, don’t meet him. Single dads hardly have time for casual hook-ups.

Moreover, if he unknowingly introduces you to the kids and the kids like you… it’ll be heartbreaking to leave them. You’ll scar them if you break up.

7. Don’t involve emotions too fast

Contrarily, you might like this man and his kids but what about him? He or his kids might not like you. In that case, he won’t try to stretch the relationship too far.

You can’t help it because this is how dating a single dad is.

8. Learn about stepfamily

If you have zero ideas about being a stepmom or having stepchildren, learn about how it works. You’ll get self-help books on parenting styles and treating your children sensitively.

You might also know what to avoid mentioning to help them heal from their parents’ separation or death.

9. Discuss what you learned

Not everything you read will match with your date’s family. He might have different ideas about parenting or his children might be mature to handle some topics.

Discuss everything you learn with him and know what’s applicable in his family.

10. Sprinkle a good sense of humor

If you can make the dad and kids laugh, you’ll bond well with them.

Watch their favorite cartoons with them, take them to the playground and share laughter through everything if you want to stay long. You won’t replace their mom, but you’ll be their BFF.

Now I’ll move on to your partner, so you have an equally enjoyable and meaningful experience in the relationship. So, Mr. Single Dad, let’s check some… 


Tips for the single dad

You’re drowned in responsibilities so obviously, I’ll try to diminish them as much as possible.

With your kids and a full-time job, you probably have no time to yourself. It’s great that you’re willing to return to the dating scene.

So, let’s make the situation enjoyable without wasting your time with these dating tips…

1. Chat before the face to face meeting

If you seek a partner on online dating sites, delay the meeting as much as possible. Try to know your date through texts. Share what matters to you and whether they’re okay with your rules and boundaries.

Share your parenting methods and get their feedback on them. Understand the type of person to avoid wasting your time on incompatible partners.

2. Try to be friends first

Most stable relationships begin with friendship: this is a universal truth. So, try to bond with her as a friend instead of going in too hard with roses and chocolates.

And stop worrying about the friend zone, because friends have the most chances.

3. But also show you’re interested

Tell her confidently that you find her attractive. Be a friend and say how attracted you’re to her.

This will convince her that you’re really into her and “being friends” doesn’t mean you friend-zoned her and she has no chances.

This way, grab her attention and make sure she doesn’t look for new mates.

4. Love yourself first

After the separation or demise of your wife, you’re probably broken. However, don’t start dating in that condition. You won’t find a good partner if you can’t love yourself wholeheartedly.

Start dating only when you’re sure you love yourself and won’t entertain anyone disrespectful towards you and your children.

5. Think from the children’s POV

Act gracefully in front of your children because they unintentionally find meaning in your actions. Don’t hurt the little souls even accidentally.

If you suddenly tell them “This is your new mom” or kiss her in front of them… think what you’d feel at that age if your father did something similar.

While you know how hectic your life is, your partner-to-be might not be aware. So, let’s show them a glimpse of your possible life situation here…


What to expect when dating a single dad?

Depending on the situation of the single dad’s life, the child’s age and temper, and even the custody over the child, you may deal with varying.

So, let’s get an idea of what you must brace yourself for in your new relationship…

1. The kid’s age

If it’s a baby or toddler, they’ll need the father mostly to survive. But you can help him out with it. If it’s an old enough child, they might not accept you instantly.

2. Child custody

If the dad has complete child custody, communicate about how the relationship will work. When you’ll meet the kid, if you’re allowed to visit or stay over in their house, when you’ll have dates, etc.

If the parents have joint custody, you might only spend time with him when the kids stay with mom.

When the relationship gets serious, only the kids’ parents get to decide if you’ll meet them, so don’t push it.

If the mom has complete custody, it’s similar to dating a single man without kids. However, know why they don’t have child custody, just to make sure you’re with the right man.

3. The dad’s decision

In the end, it all depends on him about what he thinks is right or wrong for his child. Don’t force them into something they aren’t comfortable with.

Otherwise, he’ll simply leave… so wait until you bond with him and he doesn’t misunderstand your requests.

Ready to date but don’t know where to search? Let’s take a quick ride through these…


5 Dating Apps for Single Dads

Not all dating sites are accepting of single parents. Some are just for hookups but you hardly have time for that as a single dad.

Whether you want to date a single dad or are a single dad yourself, think it’s hard to find serious partners? Not anymore with these life-changing dating apps and sites…

1. eHarmony

It will help you understand your potential date’s personality and find the right match without wasting your time. The app is popular for singles that want serious relationships.

2. Zoosk

The app allows you to sort and find your perfect match according to vast options. This is a great app even for single dads and moms with children and helps others find you soon with their sort and find options.

3. Higher Bond

This is a new app to be launched in 2022 for Christian singles that are interested in only serious loving relationships.

If you land on their interest list prior to their launch, you’ll have a free membership for 3 months.

4. Christian Mingle

It’s a popular online dating site for Christian single dads. This stands among the most open and accepting internet communities for single dads.

5. Catholic Match

This app is specifically for catholic singles that seek love for marriage. It’s a top site for Catholics and is recognized by multiple famous catholic leaders.

Possibly, that wasn’t enough info for you to date a single dad. If you’re new to this, your mind is buzzing with more questions, so let’s clear your confusion…


FAQs of dating a single dad

Dating a single dad is never easy because his kids are the greatest part of his life. You might feel doubtful if it’s at all fruitful to accept him with open arms, how they’ll be while dating and if they have any particular preference while dating.

C’mon, let’s replace the dark buzz from your mind with real answers…

1. Is it ok to date a single dad?

If you both click and connect well, there’s nothing wrong with dating a single dad. Just because he fathers another woman’s children, doesn’t mean you mustn’t look his way or not think of dating him.

2. Do single fathers make better parents?

One of the pros of dating a single father is that he has good parenting skills.

He has the experience and learned first-hand about nourishing and growing a child. His dormant maternal instincts are pretty active.

3. How do single dads handle dating?

For a single father, dating is super hard because he has many commitments like his children, work, parents, and even himself. He was probably away from dating scenes for a long, so he’ll possibly be a bit shy and awkward because he lost his touch. But he’ll soon get the hang of it… because of instincts!

4. Do single dads prefer single moms?

There’s no fast and steady rule for this one.

Some single dads may think it’s better to date a single mom. It’s so she doesn’t get jealous when he pays more attention to his kids. But jealousy doesn’t work that way and the couple might not get enough time if both have to care for their respective children.

On the flip side, a single dad dating a single woman without kids is more practical and helpful because she can work around his schedule.

5. Why is dating a single dad good?

Dating and relationships are never easy. However, there are basic benefits to dating a single dad. Since they already have children, they’re mature and responsible.

They understand skinny women or muscular men (in case he’s bi and you’re a man) aren’t the only lovable people.

They’ll always be busy so if you’re career-oriented, you get a lot of time and space. And of course, they’re mostly sure about their needs and don’t want hook-ups.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Dating a man with kids depends a lot on the kids themselves. The man needs to consider his children first… but don’t feel resentful, won’t you hope the same from your father? 

In fact, if the man doesn’t prioritize his children, that’s a major red flag. Because if he can’t cherish his own blood, how will he ever shower you or your child’s unconditional love?

So, be happy if the man is mindful of his kids… but also, that’s no reason to stay in a relationship if you’re unhappy. Just make sure you don’t contact the kids until you’re ready to commit. 

At the end, who you’ll date depends a lot on you as an individual, so follow this guide and your instincts for the best decisions.

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