Dating a single dad isn’t like dating the average man. He has way more responsibility and you won’t be entitled to his attention 24/7. Single dads have incredibly tight schedules and little emotional bandwidth, and some of them date less or differently because of that. However, if you can handle the challenges, there are advantages to dating a single dad as well. Here are some things you should be prepared for if you enter into a relationship with a guy who’s raising his kid(s) alone.
He has extremely limited availability.
He won’t be the boyfriend that needs to have you at his side all the time. In fact, if you need that kind of boyfriend, a single father might not be your best match. They have limited time. Between work and children, his schedule is pretty packed and you might have to work around it if you want to build a successful relationship.
Late-night conversations are normal.
A single dad might struggle to divide his attention between caring for his kids and texting with you. In fact, even if you’re together, you may have to accept the fact that his mind might be elsewhere occasionally. Sometimes the best time to get him to yourself is later in the evening after the kids are bathed and put to bed. It’s only then that he truly gets to relax.
He’ll be an expert at handling your moods.
Single fathers are great at handling their children’s temper tantrums so your moods aren’t a big deal to him. It’s then that you may see his fatherly side come out. He can talk you down or pick you back up. Just don’t act like another one of his kids – you should be his partner, not his child.
He likely knows how to cook.
Ever wish a guy you’re dating would cook for you? Single dads know how to cook up a storm and they can usually do it on a budget and with just a few ingredients. They’re used to preparing healthy meals too, so you’re not likely going to have to put up with canned meat and pasta from a tin. Just make sure that you cook for him too. He likes to have a night off as much as you do.
Your relationship might move slower than you’re used to.
Single parents always have their children at the forefront of every decision they make, so they won’t bring a new woman into their lives easily. They’re going to take things slowly in your relationship. He wants to know if you’re someone that he wants to be involved in his kids’ lives. He wants to get to know the real you.
You won’t meet his kids right away.
No matter how much you say you like children and can’t wait to meet them, he probably won’t rush on this. If you meet his kids, you can be pretty sure he wants to keep you in his life long-term. The kids are the last test – if they like you, you’re golden. If not, he may not continue your relationship.
He’s got past wounds that aren’t easily forgotten or baggage he’s still carrying.
There’s a reason he’s single. Most parents split custody or the mother has full custody. If he has sole custody, there’s some baggage involved in his past. You’ll need to be prepared to be understanding when those past hurts and drama come back. Don’t get involved unless he asks you to. Be prepared to take a back seat while he deals with it.
He takes you on creative dates.
Dinner and a movie might be how it starts, but he can’t afford to eat out all the time. He’s inventive because he’s used to coming up with inexpensive ideas for outings for his kids. He’s the man that will take you for a picnic in the park with a basket of goodies he put together himself. He’ll take you to that free outdoor showing of the movie at the park instead of an expensive theatre. His dates will be something to look forward to.
He doesn’t have time for your childish antics.
It’s one thing to have moods, but it’s a completely different thing to act like a child. If you throw tantrums, create drama, can’t manage your own money and ask to borrow his, or otherwise act like a kid, he won’t stick around long. Because he deals with children all day long, he likely doesn’t want to deal with childish behavior in the woman he’s dating.
He doesn’t settle into relationships easily.
His relationships of the past have not lasted long. He’s not just looking for a girlfriend. He’s looking for someone to join his family. Most women can’t measure up to his expectations. He knows that joining a ready-made family is hard, so he won’t continue dating someone that he knows darned well isn’t ready for what he has to offer.
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