Let’s face it: there’s a lot of dating advice out there for single moms, but what about the two million single dads out there looking for love?
Every single parent knows that there is a very delicate balance between their love life and their children – and this is especially true for single dads. So, what’s a dad to do?
The first thing to remember is not to take it personally. For many women, dating a single dad is a new endeavor, especially if she doesn’t have any children of her own. Your relationship standards may have changed since your previous relationship ended now that you have a child. Single dads, even if they don’t have full custody, still have parental obligations to their kids, and like any good parent, those obligations come first.
The landscape of family has evolved drastically in the last few years, with more and more courts granting fathers custody. In fact, the number of single dads has jumped by almost 30% in the last decade. Single dads face a lot of the same challenges as single moms, but there are some fundamental differences. For example, many single dads prefer to date women with children, perhaps because these ladies know what it’s like to have kids and date.
Another key tip is to proceed with caution. This means immediately disclosing to the lucky lady that you are a father, and gauge how she responds. You also should only introduce your new girlfriend to the kids when you’re ready – and when you are sure that the relationship is going somewhere. Never confuse the kids with a new face every few weeks.
How the kids feel
Single dads and moms often reach a tough hurdle when it comes to how the kids feel about their parent’s new love interest. Sometimes, kids are downright hostile and hateful. During this period, simply reaffirm your love for them – they might just be upset that mom and dad really aren’t getting back together. Or, the new girlfriend may actually be nasty to them when you aren’t around. It’s important to take your kids’ concerns seriously.
Other times, the kids will fall in love with the new girlfriend right away. This is great for everyone, until you break up – or she moves in. The main thing to remember is to keep everyone’s expectations low to avoid hurt and confusion.
Your kids should be your ultimate priority, but if you really have found a new love, you should be open and honest with her as well. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to avoid regular conversations with your girlfriend about why you make choices in favor of the kids. If you don’t she may feel neglected and unimportant.