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What to Expect Dating a Single Dad

Updated on November 6, 2016

Dad

Dad and Child
Dad and Child | Source

Reasons why a man becomes a single father

There are several reasons why an eligible bachelor becomes a single parent some of which are

* A change in life goals between spouse

* Infidelity on the part of the man or the woman

* Divorce due to irreconcilable differences

* The unavoidable death of a patner

* An having a child out of wedlock

* Being the only legal guardian of a relations child

Dating a single dad

You can’t choose when cupids arrow strikes the heart more than the very air you breadth, love comes in different packages and challenges, your love interest could be tall and strapping, short, successful or a longstanding acquaintance that suddenly you won’t do without.

Finding yourself in a committed relationship is difficult enough but when it has to do with a single parent the stake increases, single parenthood on either side can be challenging in a budding relationship. While knowing what to do and how to manage the situation without losing yourself is another thing altogether.

A Father and his daughter

A father and his daughter
A father and his daughter | Source

Reasons for single fatherhood

Divorce

There are many reasons an eligible man with an amiable personality, nice manners and great job becomes a single parent, the situation could have come about because of divorce. Being divorced does not mean the person cheated on his wife, abused her or caused grief to his former spouse.

Many things could cause a perfectly decent man becoming divorced, sudden change in life goals and incompatibility are valid reasons, others could be genetic or illness. The union might have produced a child making the divorced father a single dad.

Being widowed

The death of a spouse can come whenever it chooses and this could apply to old or newly wedded couples, anything could lead to the death of a loved one even after have a child or children together, the death of a companion will change the status of the father into a single dad.

Never married

There are many bachelors who have children out of wedlock, different circumstances especially youthful exuberance, experimentation and a fling could bring about a child. A man in this situation would grow to love his child and might not be compelled to get married making him a single parent in this category.

A father carrying a child

A father carrying a child
A father carrying a child | Source

Friendship and dating

Whilst going through the dating circus a single woman might find herself attracted to a man who could turn out being a single dad, there are few things that occupy her mind. If they relate well and are compatible then the most important question is if the relationship is heading to the altar, would she prefer starting her own family or becoming part of another family unit.

Women generally prefer to start their own family so dating a single dad might affect her dream and vision, but there are women who find romance despite the presence of children.

To establish a meaningful relationship with a single dad the woman needs to understand the delicate balance and intricacies that arise from such an arrangement, the dad’s first responsibility is to the child or children and the woman willing to establish a relationship should understand this fact.

Before she embarks on the journey of love she must be aware of the divided attention shed get from dating a single parent, this doesn’t mean he loves you less but practicality means a responsible man looks out for his children and protects them at all costs.

Dating a single parent

How to establish communication with his kids

Kids generally resent the intrusion of a new person into their dynamic family, if they are younger that the age of seven getting closer to them is much easier than dealing with teenagers, teenagers usually resent new women in their dads life and they are unwilling to change their lifestyle and succumb to new rules.

Single dads tend to pamper their teenagers especially if they are girls so resenting their dads love interest is a natural defense mechanism and because they love him they do not want to see him hurt, taking stock of the girls feeling when entering such an arrangement can be beneficial to the woman in love.

Establish a friendship

When there is trust and you fiancé allows more interaction between his children and his love interest, the woman should refrain from forcing herself on the kids, be observant without being intrusive, show support and friendship by understanding their pain and challenges.

Try not to impose your views but lend a helping hand without rocking the already established family unit; familiarity would naturally develop the relationship between the children and the new woman. Instructing them on what to do and how to behave will only bring enmity and resentment, allow the father do his job, this would give you an insight of how he handles family issues.

With time they would seek your council, respect you and become more approachable and friendly, by establishing familiarity being supportive and unobtrusive will eventually yield trust and friendship between the children and the new woman.

By not pushing yourself on them and making demands, being patient and taking timeout to understand the man, avoid unnecessary competition for his affection and having lots of patience is the magic wand in dating a single dad.

A child playing baseball

A child playing baseball
A child playing baseball | Source

Having a sleepover

Sleeping over is a very bad idea many couples make this mistake especially in the presence of children, children are very susceptible to bad parenting. Showing them that sex before marriage is acceptable gives them a wrong idea and it could have very damaging physiological and behavioral repercussions on the child.

If you must do your hanky-panky then do it when the kids are not on the premises or have gone to stay with their mother, always consider the children’s development in anything you do with the father. Respect is reciprocal in the single parenting game, so keep your boundaries and the children will keep theirs do make them categorize you as one of dads women

Competing with the children

Competing with the children for his attention is a romance killer any day, even single men without children need their space or they feel suffocated and trapped. Try not to intrude on their special family time between father and children, seeking the same commitment and attention would only lead to an end off the relationship.

The erroneous notion that having the mans full attention would strengthen the union would only destroy it, any decent fathers priority is to his children and family first so competing for attention with the kids would only lead to disaster. His children would always take precedence over you, that the way it works so you can’t take priority over the child in the father’s eyes.

Having a combative or competitive nature results in undue pressure, insecurities and emotional turmoil should e kept in check, let them have their time with their parent that should be his first priority.

Showing too much affection

There is nothing wrong in being affectionate but displaying to much affection either to the man or his children is a party boomer, many fathers are uncomfortable with this practice. Showing too much affection for his kids might interpret a dishonest person trying to gain favor in order to establish a presence.

Children especial the little ones resent a show of intimacy or affection in their presence, this only enforces their notion that you’re trying to take their dad away from them. They observe your interactions and affection for their dad; try to minimize your affection especially in the presence of his kids.

Affection should be limited until familiarity is established and even then, you cannot take the place of their mother and showing to much affection to the dad might look immoral and establish a negative precedence for the young child.

Some mistakes women make in dating a single dad are:

* Competing with the child for the mans affection

* Showing too much affection to the child and the man

* Having a sleepover

* Too much intimacy in the presence of the child

* The woman needs to respect family time

* She needs to get to know the man, good and bad character

*Keep boundaries

Respect family time

A good father always devotes adequate time for his family irrespective of the absence of a mother; he takes care of their homework and does the basic things attentive fathers do. Infringing upon family time sends negative signals and message to the man and his children.

Fighting for his attention and affection would only backfire, any good parent would stand with his family before his fiancé, and the woman should understand this simple rule and respect the father in him over the lover man.

Never impose on their quality time, by demanding attention, by monopolizing the fathers time you are sending a wrong message to the man and his responsibility. Family time is what the dad makes of it, identifying his family time would give you a better understanding of the family unit and where you fit in the scheme of things.

When there is trust an invitation into their inner circle (family time) would eventually come which indicates that they are ready to share their most special moments with you. Getting into their family time should evolve naturally especially when there is familiarity and trust.

Rather than impose yourself understand what matters to them in this delicate and special time, family time offers a rare glimpse into the family unit you might become part of.

Get to know the man

Get to know the man you are willing to start a family with is very important, by understanding the dynamics between the father and child, his temperament and behavior gives you a clear picture of the family unit. Affection between dad and child can be a clear indicator of how their dynamics work, he might be at his best behavior because you are around but the way the child reacts to his presence cannot change.

Trying to win the child’s heart in order to get to the father will not work, men do not work on emotion but logic, aggressively pursuing any agenda of friendship with the mans child could have negative consequences. The child might have resentment at being put in a position she/he does not like, patience in dealing with the father and child is the only way to establish a friendship.

Study the man thoroughly, he might be a good father but that does not mean he would make a good husband and companion. Even though you might be marrying into a family unit you should remember you would be living with the man and all of his good and bad character.

Never rush into a relationship with a single dad take your time to understand the circumstances behind his single parent hood, the mother of the child might have only separated and might make a comeback in future leaving you high and dry.

Avoid married men who profess to have difficulty with their wives as a reason for being temporary single parents, if they are not formally divorced then the man is an adulterer.

Dating a single dad

What is the secret to dating a single dad

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Keep boundaries

Do not try pushing the child into forced friendship, allow them have their family time and resist aggressive behavior. Keeping boundaries allows the child make up his mind whether he likes you or not, you can not force friendship or acceptance no matter how hard you try.

Most fathers are reluctant in sharing their children with their love interests and the woman interested in a long relationship should understand why he should protect his family. Let them keep their boundaries and with time, trust and understanding they will let you in.

Sometimes what ever the woman does isn’t enough for the child, she should not be b e taken aback by a child unwilling to compromise that is how life happens at times. If after all said and done the father is willing to start a family with his fiancé and you are willing to take the plunge I say go ahead.

Last word

Love is a compromise between two different personalities when a child or children are involved many personalities are involved. Maturity, patience, commitment, friendship and honesty is the only magic when dating a single parent, and you might just find that lifelong happiness you crave.

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