Single parents get a bad reputation when it comes to dating as being an unwanted option or even fetishized in some cases. This is especially true for single dads, who may be viewed as too complicated to be a potential romantic interest for some. However, they have far more good points than bad and can be a rather attractive option in the dating pool.
If you want to meet and date single dads, then keep some of the following in mind.
Be Open to Meeting Single Dads in Any Situation
If you actively want to meet single dads with the intent of dating them, you need to remain open to things. Chances are, you won’t find a single dad at a regular hangout or hook-up place like a bar or club. You can run into them at the park, the gym, or even the grocery store! Staying open to the idea of dating a single dad also means that you need to keep in mind that he’s not going to be the only one involved in the relationship. This includes his kids, his former spouse, ex-in-laws, and his friends and family who may be concerned about his foray back into the dating pool. There may also be your friends and family who may express concern about the relationship as well. The rules of dating are also going to be very different when the person you’re dating is a single dad, and you may encounter situations in the relationship that may be new or strange to you.
Look At Local Events Single Parents Might be Present
Many people make the mistake of thinking that you can only find single dads at places dedicated to kids. In truth, that’s not always the case. A lot of single parents, moms and dads alike, will try to go to places where they don’t necessarily have to be a parent to go to but are still friendly enough for their kids should they come along. Local events are usually one such option, as they are designed to bring the community together and attract a wide spectrum of people. Going to such an event might be a single dad’s way of taking a break from being a parent and/or his or her own chance to meet someone new. It could also be their way or relaxing and enjoying themselves away from other things in the lives of them and their kids.
The Kids Will Always be Priority
Many single parents put their kids first, and you need to keep that in mind if you’re dating a single dad but don’t have kids of your own. This means that a date may have to be put on hold because their kid has the stomach flu or they have to go to parent-teacher conferences instead. The boundaries that are set when dating a single dad are usually with their kids in mind, so don’t be upset if they are not okay inviting you over for dinner or don’t want to spend the night at your place. Also, don’t expect to meet a single dad’s kids as soon as the relationship starts—they may want to wait until things become a little more serious and then have introductions happen in a controlled environment.
Go Slow When You Just Starting to Date a Single Dad
Dating a single dad means that you can’t rush through things—and it’s not always because they have kids. Some single dads are divorced and are just getting back into the dating scene and/or have been seriously burned by their past relationships. If their marriage ended on bad terms and/or their ex is still a major part of their life, going slow is probably a safe bet. It may be even more necessary to go slow if they’re also a widower, as there are issues of timing and their own grief about their marriage that needs to be taken into consideration. If their relationship with their former spouse lasted a long time, then they may be having trouble remembering the social cues of dating and you should cut them some slack. Go slow with the relationship and help them out as they adjust.
Have Patience When Dating a Single Parent
Many problems with dating single dads involve a lack of patience on the other person’s part. Too many people try to treat the situation like regular dating and expect things to work in the same way. You can’t expect things to progress at a normal pace or try to jump ahead, and then become frustrated when you encounter a detour. You also can’t constantly blame their kids when something goes awry either, regardless of if you just think like that in your head or say it aloud. Remaining patient about all the added bumps that come along with dating a single dad will help ensure that the relationship lasts. It will also help should things become serious enough for you to be introduced to his kids and be involved in some capacity with their lives.