5 Tips for Dating a Single Dad
When first meeting someone special there’s always a little trepidation that things might not work out perfectly from the get go. Finding out a guy has kids can be one of the most daunting things he can say in those first encounters.
1. Bail If You’re Not Ready
The worst thing you can do once you find out he has kids is pretend it’s OK when it isn’t. You’re about to join forces with a Dad-Kid Team; a duo (or trio) of human beings who have experiences a sort of loss when the parental unit broke up. Don’t fake it, or they’ll sense it — and be hurt by it.
2. Expect a Delayed Meeting
Because a child’s bond with their mother is often the ultimate of relationships, it’s natural that a father might want to be really sure about a woman before introducing her into the mix. Some guys wait as long as six months before even considering it. After all, if it doesn’t work out between a dad and his new girlfriend — and this happens repeatedly — he is going to start worrying about the image he is portraying to his kids.
3. Be Patient
If you also have children, you understand why it is going to be hard to party until 5 a.m. three nights per week. If you don’t, be considerate. Depending on his custody situation, he has responsibilities that may claim entire long weekends, holidays or whole weeks at a time.
4. Get Over His Ex
No matter what the intensity of a guy’s relationship, it’s likely that once it ends, he never (or rarely has to see her again. This isn’t the case with a single dad. Asking him not to see his ex, who is the mother of his children, is impossible. You are going to have to accept that she will be a part of his life forever, even if it’s just for brief meetings dropping off the kids, or discussions about their child’s future.
5. Don’t Over Do it
Even the most laid-back of dads has boundaries. Once you are ready to meet the kid, discuss any potentially awkward situations, as much as possible, in advance. Get specific. Can we watch a movie with kissing in it? Should I pretend I’ve never experimented with drugs? How do I answer if they ask me if I believe in God? Kids love to test boundaries, and messing up on one of these questions could be an instant deal-breaker with the kid, so don’t go in unprepared. Even if the kids like you, trying to parent them could be a major turn-off for dad. Make sure you and he are on the same page, and make sure you handle every situation with class and decorum, and the challenges will get easier.