Dating a Single Dad: Everything You Need to Know

a dad holding his son

These days, there are plenty of dads who raise kids alone. That means that if you’re a woman who’s in the dating game, it’s pretty likely that you’ll end up dating a single dad at some stage. So, what do you need to know to make this relationship a success?

Dating a single parent brings with it a certain set of considerations, but it can also be an incredible experience. 

Whether you’re a single mom looking for a partner who understands your lifestyle or a girl who’s fallen for a guy with kids, we’ve compiled a list of useful insights for you.

Dating a Single Dad: The Basics

Are you starting a new relationship with a single dad? If you are, here are some things you should keep in mind.

Slow and steady does it 

Know from the get-go that when you’re dating a single dad, everything is a little more serious. They’ve to look out for their kids.

Since they’re not totally self-involved, dating a single dating can often be a more measured experience than dating a footloose and carefree single man.

Children are part of the parcel

You should be very clear on this point, if you’re dating a single dad, children are part of the deal.

This means that you’ll probably have to be pretty flexible when it comes to topics like sleeping over, chill time, and the way you go about getting to know each other.

You should be prepared to nurture relationships with his children if you want a lasting one with him. So if you’re not a fan of kids, this relationship might not be the one for you.

They do come with ‘baggage’ 

The hard and fast truth is that if your man has children there’s a high likelihood that the children’s mother will also be involved.

We’re all adults and everyone brings their baggage to a relationship. But in the case of dating a single dad, you need to be able to cooperate and communicate with your man’s ex. 

Sure, they had children and were once romantically involved, but that doesn’t mean she is a threat to you or your relationship. Keeping your insecurity and jealousy in check when you’re trying to date a single dad can be challenging, but it’s key. 

READ MORE: Are you a single dad who’s ready to date? Learn more about single parent dating

Adjust and adapt: plans may change 

As a parent, plans are often out of your control. You never know when your child might feel sick at a sleepover or upset at school. Learning to be flexible is essential if you’re dating a single dad.

Even when he falls in love with you, one of the hardest realizations is accepting that you will not be his number one priority. 

He’s a father. His child will come first. They are dependent on him, and as a single dad, he’s committed to caring for them.

This doesn’t mean he can’t love you with all his heart, it just means that he can’t drop everything for a romantic weekend getaway. He already has a little person who thinks he’s theirs.

Seeing a busy single dad can feel a little like dating on a deadline. Grabbing a quick coffee date or squeezing in catch up calls once bedtime stories have been read can be tough. It can be particularly tricky in the early days when you’re still getting to know one another.  

Our advice? Focus on the quality of time that you spend together and not the quantity.

READ MORE: Our ultimate guide to dating as a single parent

The Advantages of Dating a Single Dad 

So now that you know the basics, here’s why dating a guy with kids can be pretty amazing.

The world no longer revolves around him 

A man who is a father has gained a great deal of wisdom. He understands that the world doesn’t revolve around him.

Being a father, he knows what it takes to be aware of other people’s needs. You’ll probably find he’s very patient and understanding of your emotions. 

He has responsibility nailed 

Having children expands the very definition of responsibility.

His priorities go beyond just having a good time and he’ll impress you with his capacity to think ahead, plan a schedule and a budget. Parenting can be the greatest school ground for partnering!

No time to waste 

If he shows up and puts in the effort, you can be sure it’s serious or that it has the potential to be.

When you’re dating a single dad, he doesn’t have time to waste on dead-end dates. Time is of the essence and that means you get to skip ahead, past the game-playing. 

If he makes time to see you, you can be pretty sure that he’s into you!

READ MORE: Let’s look at co-parenting and love

EQ and IQ 

In a relationship, emotional intelligence is often more important than intellect.

A good father has a special skill set of sensitivity and perception that enables him to read emotions easily. He’s probably attentive and self-aware. These highly valued qualities are usually pretty rare in single men. 

The more the merrier

You get to know and love not just one person or partner, but also his children. In the long run, you can create a new family dynamic together. 

As the saying goes, love multiples when it divides.

He can cook 

Let’s not underestimate the value of a man who can cook a decent meal, with vegetables and without complaining!

Not only is it handy, but it’s also sexy. Studies show that guys who can cook are in high-demand. 

So, that’s everything you need to know about dating a single dad. By prioritizing patience, understanding, and an open mind, this relationship could just be your best one yet. Good luck!

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