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Dating for single dads can be rough. Life is hard enough raising a healthy child, and a lot of single dads are overwhelmed at the thought of adding dating into the mix…
So, what are the best steps to dating for single dads?
1. Keep Your Kid In The Loop.
2. Balance Your Personal Life With Fatherhood.
3. Get Over Yourself.
4. Ease Into It.
5. Go Easy On The Meet & Greets.
6. Use Tech To Make It Easier.
7. Having Kids Is A Perfect Screener.
8. Approach Sleepover With Caution.
Single dads often focus so heavily on their kids that they can neglect their own happiness. The thing is, how happy you are will have a big effect on your parenting. Do this for yourself.
Single parents that find renewal in a fulfilling, loving relationship will find their happiness radiates through to your kids.
Even if kids are initially resistant to meeting someone their dad is dating, eventually they’ll come around when you meet the right person.
Brush off any negativity and take a hard look at what you need to feel your best and go for it. Trust us, kids will see the difference and they’ll be happy you did.
Follow these eight detailed steps to help you navigate the bumpy waters of jumping back into the dating scene:
1. Keep Your Kid In The Loop
It’s easy to understand why a lot of kids resist the idea of their dad dating someone new. Have a talk with your son or daughter about it to clear the air.
Of course, this depends on how old they are and how well they’ll be able to understand. Explain the benefits that your happiness will have on the family.
Once they’re on board you’ll have more confidence to give dating a try. It’s also important to remember that you’re the adult.
Even though you should be sensitive to how your child feels about you dating, it’s ultimately your decision.
Just reassure them that you’ll still be there for them and that they are a priority.
No single dad should feel guilty about going on a date.
2. Balance Your Personal Life With Fatherhood
OK, you’re ready to get out there, stay calm.
Take a breath and remember that you are a single dad with responsibilities. The times when you come home stumbling drunk from an all-night bender are long gone…
Try not to do anything you’d be embarrassed about if your kid saw.
Buuuut this doesn’t mean you should be a prude either…
Get out there, have fun, blow off some steam, but keep a lid on it. Now’s your time to try out new things.
If you’re into brunettes, go for a blonde. If you like catching a movie, date someone’s who’s really into fitness.
Push the boundaries of what you think you like.
3. Get Over Yourself
Tons of people get divorced. Even more have kids.
Even though you feel like you’ve been dragged through the mud separating from your ex, other people have been through the same thing.
Nobody is going to flinch when you say you’re divorced or a single dad. If they do, then they are a waste of your time anyway.
A lot of people even seek out dating single dads. There a quite a few websites dedicated to tips on finding available single fathers.
Now, being a father shouldn’t be something you should treat as an asset and dangle out there to catch all the dad-lovers, but it’s ok to talk to about your kids.
Just have confidence that people are out there hoping they meet someone like you.
4. Ease Into It
Dating for single dads means carrying of lot of baggage back into the dating scene.
If you find yourself constantly bringing up your ex on a first date, then it’s probably a little too early for anything more than just a casual date.
We get it, it’s a part of your life, but until you can feel and talk rationally about your previous relationship then why should you burden someone else with your drama.
Be real enough to self-critique and know where you stand when it comes to your ex.
Still, the fact that you still think about an ex is no reason to stay at home and watch TV alone on a Friday night. It should just tell you what stage you should be at when it comes to dating.
Maybe you’re up for something more casual that gives you some missing adult social interaction.
Meeting new people is the best way to get over heartache. It’ll will help you realize that it’s a big ocean out there.
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5. Go Easy on the Meet & Greets
Avoid bringing the new fling around the kids.
Kids with divorced parents already struggle enough with attachment that it will only mess with them if you introduce people into their lives too soon.
An eventual breakup could be traumatic, especially if they become really attached to someone you’re dating. That’s the last thing you want.
Kids can also become numb to meeting new people, to the point where they remain removed when you really bring home someone special.
Have a plan when you’ve found someone you want to introduce to your kids. If your kids are old enough, set some expectations before it happens.
The same goes for whoever you’re dating. They’ll probably want to know what to expect.
Most of the time it’s a good idea to meet on neutral ground. You don’t to have that scene of awkward silence in the living room.
It’s a great idea to meet up somewhere that’s kid friendly like a movie, an arcade, or a fun restaurant.
If it sounds like you’re stacking the chips in your favor, that’s exactly right! Board games and other activities are a great way to make it some conversation is focused on something everyone can get involved in.
6. Use Tech To Make It Easier
If it’s really been a while, take some time to brush up and see how it’s done these days.
This is super important if you’re a pre-Tinder, Bumble, Hinge guy. Apps have taken a lot of the anxiety out of contacting or asking out strangers.
They also allow you to be as upfront about your history as you want to be. This helps narrow your search to people who are looking for the same thing, whatever that is.
So, whether it’s something casual or you’re ready to finally get to know someone, dating apps are one of the best ways to make it work.
Ask a single friend to help you with the best approach for dating for single dads and they’ll help you out.
They’ll also let you know which apps target specific audiences and any pitfalls to avoid.
7. Having Kids Is A Perfect Screener
People who date you will know coming into it or soon thereafter that you have one or more kids.
If they have a problem with it, see ya later...
If they stick around, you can probably count on several things. Most likely, they like kids. Hopefully, they are self-sufficient enough to know that your world can’t completely revolve around them.
They have probably been through the ringer one or two times in their lives themselves and know what it’s like.
Dating with kids means you’re likely to get to know people on a deeper and more meaningful level than if you weren’t a father.
That’s a good thing. It’s probably going to be easier to find healthy relationships.
Most of the time the people you end up starting a relationship with again will help you be a better father.
They’ll help cover for you with chores when you need to be somewhere for your kid.
They will know that they can’t monopolize your time. A new relationship with a mature person able to handle dating a single father will mean you’ll have someone to lean on when times are tough.
8. Approach Sleepovers With Caution
It’s on everybody’s mind, when’s the first sleepover going to happen?
But bringing someone into your home when your child is there should be handled with care. Casual flings should be kept out of their view.
They shouldn’t have to eat breakfast with someone for the first time the same day you are. When you choose to have someone over, handle it like an adult.
Only people you are very serious with can make the cut. Sleepovers should only be done with partners you’re dating exclusively.
It’s shouldn’t be a huge surprise when your kid spots them walking down the hall in the morning…
It Just Requires A Little Finesse
Remember, dating for single dads can work. It can absolutely work!
There are a lot of single parents out there looking for love. Others are looking for a good time. Decide what you want and get after it.
Even though you’re a father, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be happy. If you’re ready, or even if you’re not quite ready, take a chance and get out there.
Trust us, you and your kids will be happy you did. Just follow the steps, take it slow, and remember what your priorities are.
Pretty soon you’ll find someone special that will make you feel as great as you are.