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Tips For Women Who Want to Date a Single Dad

Updated on February 28, 2018

Dating single fathers

Some years ago, a lot of women chose not to date a man with children for various reasons. But, with the changes in family dynamics, that option has changed drastically. With the rise of marriages ending in divorce or separation more men are now single parent households. Circumstances have caused some of them to have full or partial custody of their children. Some of the children are very young, which can be very demanding upon the men, and somewhat stressful to women trying to forge friendship or relationship with them. Before even going on a date with a single father, a woman should take time to consider the implication. There are plenty of women who do not consider children an obstacle to romance. But some of these same women fail to recognize the intricacies and certain conditions that must be acknowledged and understood if they want to establish a meaningful relationship with a single father.

Some of these single fathers have full custody of their minor children, and this can make dating a challenge for both the man and woman. It’s easy to get excited over a new relationship and push away any doubts believing they would get used to the man’s children, only to discover that getting used to being around someone’s else’s kids is not so easy. The fact is, not everyone loves kids. For women who truly enjoy being around children, they may well grow to resent the time required to be spent with a boyfriend’s child. According to single dads, there are a number of common mistakes that repeatedly are made by women who have hopes of being the special lady in their lives. The key is in women knowing themselves and what they want and can deal with in a relationship. Here are some tips:

Displaying too much affection

In a new relationship, it’s easy to get swept away by the romance and warm, frizzy feelings. Some women love the idea of an instant family. But bestowing too much affection on your partner in the presence of his children, and being too affectionate with their children might be counter-productive. Men are sometimes cautious of letting their children get attached to a new partner, as they don’t want the child to be sad and disappointed if the relationship doesn’t work out. This must be respected.

Take things slow

In my case, it wasn’t long before my boyfriend and I were sitting on his living room floor with mountains of pictures of his daughter surrounding us. On the other hand, many women may feel pressured to meet a new boyfriend’s children. In this case, be sure to have an open and honest conservation with your partner. Let him know that you simply aren’t ready to make the commitment to meeting and becoming a part of his children’s lives, yet. Although your sentiments may change, at the very least you and your partner can be on the same page when you make a decision about how and when you will be introduced to his children.

Do your research

Take time to get to know the father and the child. It’s likely that if you’ve been dating for a while, you’ll have heard countless stories about what is going on his child’s life. Several fathers emphasize that the women in their lives must be patient and get a good understanding of them and their relationship with their offspring. Making the extra effort to get to know a little about his kids before you actually meet them will go a long way when you spend time with them. Talk to your partner and ask them about his kid likes and dislikes. It never hurt to have a conservation topic on hand in the event that his children are particularly shy around you. Having this common ground will immediately allow them to connect to you some way, regardless of whether or not they open up to you completely from the go.

Don’t force the situation

Don’t force the situation. Most fathers are reluctant to expose their children to their dates until they feel the relationship has longevity. On the other hand, some women want to rush the process, thinking that if they can win the heart of the child, the father’s heart will follow. That is not the way it works. Instead of being aggressive, women should be patient and let the relationship develop naturally with the child.

Respect special time father spends with child/children

Some women don’t respect the father’s time with the child/children. When a woman constantly tries to infringe upon the time a dad devotes to his child or children, she sends a negative message to the objective of her affection. The children may feel that their father’s new significant other is hoping to replace their mother. When you are dating a single dad, you should respect the relationship the father has with his child. Of course, it is up to you and your significant other to determine what role you will play in his children’s lives, because rather than respecting that special time the father spends with his child, some women attempt to curtail it, intrude upon it or otherwise impede it. Some women not only want the same attention and time (and perhaps money) they also feel that the success of their relationship with the dad depends on competing for his attention. When a woman competes with a man’s child, she always end up the loser.

Respect your boundaries

If you’re dating, it’s usually good to keep things friendly. Don’t overstep your boundaries and attempt to discipline his children. Respecting your boundaries is also critical when you are dating a man who has children with another woman. Hang back if there is a dispute between parent and child. Typically, I like to keep my opinion to myself concerning my boyfriend’s daughter, unless he asks me directly what I think.

Sleeping over

A woman spending the night when the child is at home indicates bad judgment. It is a mistake for the woman dating a single father to sleep over, until the relationship has a definitive and mutual commitment for longevity.

Using inappropriate language and bad behavior

Women dating single fathers should really be conscious the way they address their significant other around their children. There is way to discuss a problem in a respectful way. They have to really be conscious of the presence of the children.

Don’t assume mother status

Some women want to quickly assume the mother status and that’s a mistake. Respect them. Don’t talk down to them, and keep a polite distance. Allow the child approach you. If they don’t feel threatened they will come to you when they feel comfortable. And kids do not like for someone they consider an outsider to try to tell them what to do or to discipline them. They will usually keep you at but comfortable distance until you gradually bond. Do not impose your will on the child. And do not come into the relationship trying to tell the man what to do, trying to change the order of the household or trying to play mother’s roles till you are fully accepted by the child.

Pressuring the man to father your children

Some women especially those who have not been married and who do not have children, put too much pressure on the men to have children with them, when the men are still struggling to handle their new status. Allow the men some time to overcome the challenges of becoming a single father before embarking on more procreation.

Being jealous of the children’s mother

Once the relationship is established, things may become even more complicated. If the child’s mother is in the picture, it can make for some awkward moments in the beginning of the relationship. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because the man has a good relationship with the child’s mother, there is still romantic involvement, and become jealous. Don’t forget they have a child to bring up together even if they are no longer married. Admittedly, this can be difficult. In most relationships, it’s not necessary to even meet a partner’s ex. However, when there are children involved, it’s often unavoidable. In that case, it is beneficial for the child if all the adults in his or her life can get along, it will make things much smoother in the long run as far as working out vacations and visitation schedules if there is no animosity.

Don’t be jealous of his children

Single fathers are proud of their children and will talk about them –a lot. Dinner dates can be interrupted by countless phone calls and text messages from them and mom. Or, in the alternative, your dates may be centered on his children, and they just might be the date with you. If you are not prepared to handle that, then leave him alone.

Financial issues

If at the beginning of dating you he lavishes you with great attention, dinner, flowers, late night calls, and suddenly the calls come less frequently, the dates are shorter, cheaper and more casual, he might have ran into financial problem. Often, the stress of being a single dad goes along with a huge financial obligation that may have been shared with the mom, and now it’s all him. His children will always come first, and most good dads will do whatever they need to do to make their children is even more tasking when his children do live with him, and he’s not receiving any type of financial assistance from the mother. Sometimes dating can become unaffordable when he has all of these things to contend with. Many fathers just opt to forgo the entire dating thing until the kids are provided for.


But, some single fathers actually handle dating rather well and a lot depends on how flexible, understanding and mature their kids are, and how secure they are with the relationship they have with their fathers. So when you first meet his children, be cautious how you approach them. They’re smarter than you think, and they may have done their research way before you crossed their threshold.

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