6 Tips for Dating As A Single Father

dating as a single father

(Today’s post is from guest blogger Mark Braivo in this 3-part Single Father Series. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here)

Dating as a single father is a tricky proposition, but let me simplify it for you:

Make your children your main priority and the rest is simple.
Your role as a father is the most important at this stage in your life. We all cycle through roles, first as sons, then students, then employees, husbands, and fathers. Many of these overlap, but only one can be the main focus at any point.

6. Your role as a father is the most important at this stage in your life

Unless you are in a committed, long-term relationship then discretion is the name of the game when dating as a single father.

Going on first dates? Hooking up with girls on Tinder? Got some friends with benefits? Doesn’t matter, your kids should know nothing about it. Zero.

Be careful, hide the evidence. Kids are perceptive. A girl leaves a shirt at your house you better believe your daughter is going to notice and ask questions.

As the kids get to be teenagers, resist the urge to vent to them about your dating life, this should be zero concern of theirs. Get a “rat pack” of guy friends and share with them.

5. Date outside of your kids’ “circle”

Don’t date mothers of your kids’ friends, teachers at their school, neighbors, etc. There are plenty of women out there that have no connection to your children’s lives. Date them.

There are landmines everywhere once you start dating within your kids’ social circle, just don’t.

Remember, your kids are your first priority, your dating life comes after that. Be mindful and diligent in this practice.

Don’t use your kids as screeners for your women. You shouldn’t be introducing a woman to your kids until you’re in a committed LTR with her, period.

4. You don’t need your kids’ approval of the women you date

This is your frame. If you feel she is LTR worthy, and she has earned the right to meet your kids, then introduce her to them as your “girlfriend.”

This label is important, kids need to know who this person is. Calling her your “friend” just confuses them because they know there is more to it, kids are perceptive. Don’t play games with them.

If you’re not calling her your “girlfriend” then she doesn’t exist to your children. She is a non-factor when you are with your children.

3. Don’t fear single mothers

They get it. There is only one type of woman who will really understand that your children are your first priority, and that is a woman with kids herself.

I dumped a childless woman a few weeks into a LTR because she made a comment that she hoped my “children don’t take up too much time.” Next. She was done. She was never going to understand that my kids come first.

An added benefit of dating a single mother is the ability to share parenting advice, and outings with all the kids can be a blast.

One caveat here. Understand why she is a single mother and this will give you a window into her character. Tread carefully and take time to vet them properly. A woman who walked out on her family to “find herself” will make a poor LTR.

2. Be honest with the women you are dating

As a single father you don’t have time to be indirect. State the days and times that your kids are your priority, and that you will unavailable to them during that time, especially before it has become a LTR.

Obviously there is no reason to even tell a ONS that you are a parent, none of their business. However, when looking to date for any period of time it is essential to share your status as early as possible.

Being a single father will not turn a woman off unless you approach it in a sheepish, apologetic way.

Own the fact that you are a single father and that you are proud of it.

If you carry it with confidence it will be a non issue. A man in demand will still be even if he has children.

“When I’m not killing it in finance I’m raising three great kids” is a great way to breach the subject in a positive manner that exhibits value. Then change the subject, it is of little more concern to her unless things approach LTR territory, at which point she will already know and have considered the repercussions.

Manage your time well and there’s no reason you can’t be a successful single father and have an amazing social and sex life. Prioritize your time well and there should be plenty of time for both. Don’t waste time with women that want you to choose them over your children. Focus on the ones that appreciate your value and understand your priorities.

With the rare exception, I don’t give up time with my children for time with a woman. Unless you have full custody there should be plenty of time for both. My weekends with my children are focused on quality time with them, there’s plenty of time on the opposite weekends for sex.

1. Don’t be in a rush to remarry and carefully consider whether you should at all.

Step, or blended, families are tricky at best and a disaster at worst. Getting kids involved in another living situation when they already have two homes isn’t to be taken lightly.

My girlfriend and I use the phrase “happily unmarried to each other” to describe our committed relationship. We both have kids, we don’t live together, and have no plans to marry.

Remember, you set the example for your children’s future relationships. You aren’t with their mother, but that doesn’t mean you can’t steer them down the right path.

About the author:

My name is Mark Braivo. I blog about divorce and fatherhood over at vigorandspirit.com. I also push the boundaries a bit on my Twitter feed, please follow along.

Read More: A Single Father’s 5 Biggest Challenges

WRITING 101 (2)

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