Tips For Dating A Single Dad (10 Crucial Things To Consider)

by April Maccario

Dating a single dad isn’t really the same as dating a guy with no kids, the dynamics are different, and it requires more preparation. These days, it's easier to have a relationship with one, because most people have already been in a relationship, married, divorced, or widowed before the age of 30. It's no longer new or rare to find a guy who has already started a family, and it’s not something to be afraid of, even though it’s more complicated. 

The key to success in this kind of relationship lies in understanding him and the dating process as well. With a guy who hasn’t started a family yet, you're merely spending time getting to know him. It's a bit different with a single dad; there's this cute love triangle made up of you, him and the kids, meaning, you have to get to know them as well. 

The trouble is worth it if you’re in love, that’s a valid reason consider the chances of a relationship. If you're just getting into a new relationship with a single father, here are some tips that should guide you.

Being In A Relationship With A Single Dad - What To Think About

1. Are You Really Interested In Dating A Single Dad?

Single dads dating can be challenging, and that's saying the least about it since every case is different. If I'm candid, the dating world has changed as things aren’t as straightforward as they used to be. Back in the day, a single father dated because he wanted to initiate a stable, love-filled relationship that would possibly lead to marriage. 

Things are different now, just because he has a kid, doesn't mean he's serious about you. He might still be getting over an ex and is looking for a rebound to help him forget his previous relationship. Others are actually very serious about getting back in the dating the game, and hopefully finding the one. However, as loving and caring as they are, there’s still the fact that they have children.

You have to consider all the aspects of dating a single dad before committing fully and falling for him. Ask yourself simple questions like; does he seem serious about me? Do I like kids? Will I be able to cope with not being the center of attention all the time? 

2. Make Sure They Are Divorced.

Okay, so it won’t be the first time a lady has gotten lost in the web of lies of a man who insists he's divorced when he's not. It can be heart-wrenching committing to a relationship, just to find out months after that the man was untrue. Plus, hey, you don’t want that mama hen getting her hands on you, because it might just get ugly.

Before investing any feelings or considering both of you a couple, make sure you find out if he's divorced or completely done with his last relationship. You can't always be 100% sure about someone getting back with an ex, but it still pays to do your homework. If they had ended things with an ex years ago, it's safer to start dating him with fewer concerns and worries that the old flame could be rekindled. 

3. Try To Process Any Mixed Feelings.

It's important to treasure any guy who loves and cares about you and treats you like his queen. If that guy is a single dad, then that’s lovely, the fact that he has kids shouldn’t limit a budding relationship. However, have in mind that just like any other situation, things won’t always be perfect. They'll be days when he worries over his family, goes into mood swings because he’s struggling, or days where he has to visit his ex.

This can cause different sentiments to start spurring up in your mind; things could get too overwhelming to process. It might even be more challenging if you don’t have kids, insecurities could ruin your chances of being happy with this guy. On some days, feelings of disdain and jealousy could spring up. On other days, you'd feel guilty for not being understanding enough in the relationship. That's totally normal, just take it a day at a time.

Try to take a deep breath and remember why you fell for him in the first place. Remember that it won’t always be smooth and rosy, but with patience and love, things should work out.

4. Discuss Any Deal Breakers

Dating a single dad requires a level of tact, one of which is knowing what you want. Just because this handsome guy with adorable little cuties or grown, smart young adults seems like the best thing since grilled cheese, doesn’t mean you should throw away all your values. Every woman should have something she desires out of a meaningful relationship. Two people don't just get together for love, affection, or good sex.

It's important to know if your values, purpose, and dreams align; that way they'd be fewer clashes and quarrels. Have this type of discussion when things are starting to get serious, so you know if both of you are going in the same direction before it's too late. Essential factors like having more kids could be a deal-breaker for some, and it’s better to find out about your partner’s thoughts on time, so you know if you want to compromise or not. 

5. Understand That You May Not Always Come First

Single dads have to put their kids first before any romantic relationship, that goes without saying. You shouldn’t be with a guy who doesn’t love and respect his children. That says a lot about him, the basic things like making out time for them, playing video games with them, paying child support and being as present and loving as possible. Trying to stop him from performing his daddy duties could be selfish and detrimental to his kids. 

If you care about him, you'd want him to be a great parent, even though they aren't yours. Fathers who aren’t there for their kids get sad, disappointed, and regretful sooner or later, and he might not like you so much if he realizes you were part of the reason for this neglect. Give him the time and opportunity to be there for them, and maybe when they’re at their grandma’s or mum’s place, both of you can get the alone time you crave. 

6. Don't Try To Assume The 'Mother' Role Immediately.

Alright, so some single dads turn out to be the smoothest talking, caring men to ever exist, I mean, they’ve had experience from previous relationships. Plus, it seems all the sweet-talking practice they've had when persuading the kids to do their homework, eat their vegetables, or go to bed really pays off. So, when they start staring in your eyes and telling you all those sweet things, don't leap before you walk. 

He may want to take things slower than you imagined, so moving too quickly and trying to assume the mother role wouldn't be a step in the right direction. Try to be as natural as possible, playful and fun, but not too invested, forceful or pretentious. Instead of leading, let them take the lead on the kind of relationship they'll allow per time; that way, they'll be more accepting and appreciative of your company.

7. Ask For Any Ground Rules Or Boundaries. 

He may not be comfortable with you disciplining his kids, he may be too reserved to mention it, so it’s up to you to do the asking. Every parent has boundaries when it comes to their children; it’s only normal. Sometimes, not knowing could cause tension in the relationship, so it’s best you know all the ground rules and boundaries not to cross.

Communicate any concerns to him instead of taking matters into your own hands; this will make him trust you more. The chances of your love life blossoming come from the amount of respect you give to his family, without feeling upset, jealous, or left out. It may seem slow and almost annoying at first, but respecting their boundaries will pay off in the long run. 

8. Don't Mingle If You're Not Serious About Him.

Alright, so we are in the 21st century, and things have changed quite a bit, both women and men now date just for the fun of it, and don't care if it gets anywhere. Some people don't mean to be that 'out-going,' but don't really sit down to think about the perks of dating a dad with children. While you might not need the stability and assurance, the last thing a kid needs are different women coming in and out of their lives. 

If you aren’t sure about sticking around for the long run, don’t ask to meet the kids just yet. This eliminates any emotional attachment concerns that might affect them if things don’t work out between you and their father. Love isn't the only factor holding two people together; when it comes to a man and his children, you should be smart and tread carefully. 

They come first, so if anything happens, and you bail on them after bonding with the entire family, that love could turn to hurt and hatred quite quickly. 

9. Have A Sense Of Humor.

If you do love him enough and see both of you have a future together, then it's time to put on your charming face and clothes. The youngins love adults who can tell jokes, play with them, joke around, watch cartoons with them, and just be goofy once in a while. It increases the chances of them liking you. Plus, that’s if you plan to stick around long enough to become one big family. 

Pleasing the kids means everything, you may never replace their mother, yet merely knowing that their dad has a 'friend' who is funny and kind to them will make them a lot more comfortable and happy around you.

10. Have Some Me-Time

Don’t feel guilty if you have to take out some time and just rejuvenate and feel good about yourself. Dating a single dad is no easy task, and there's no rush to how fast things will progress. Dating success usually stems from two people who are already happy and know how to find joy and contentment with or without a partner. 

This would help whenever you feel left out of the equation, or when your partner needs some family time with relatives who are more accustomed to his ex-girlfriend or wife. Single dad dating isn't always straightforward, to be honest, sometimes he may need to take the kids over to their mum’s, and if they are still in good terms, they could still be spending time together platonically for the sake of the kids. 

In other words, when not invited for family functions, hangouts, or vacations, invest in some personal time and have fun. Get a massage, go out with the girls, and have a fun night out, cause when they get back, you may not have the time to do all that.

FAQs

What To Expect Dating A Single Dad?

One of the best tips you should consider when in a relationship with a single dad is to take things slow; be natural and caring but less clingy. Your partner may not have all the time to spend with you, but those moments you're together should be cherished and not rushed. 

How Do You Make A Single Dad Fall In Love With You?

The starting point of a fantastic relationship with a single father is not just caring about him but also his children. Ask him about his kids, support him, and be patient with him, when he notices the love you shower on them, it will be harder to get you out of his mind.

Why You Should Never Date A Single Dad?

If you're not ready to join your partner's family unit, it's better to end things early. Especially if you know you don’t like children so much, or know you wouldn’t appreciate looking after someone else’s kid. 

Do Single Dads Prefer Single Moms?

Most people would agree that single dads prefer a partner who doesn’t have kids of their own yet. The science is weird; you'd expect it would be the opposite since it's easier for single parents to understand themselves. However, I guess they consider having a blended family, instead of adding strain to an already complicated relationship.

Why Dating A Single Dad Is Good?

No relationship is easy, but some perks come with having a partner who already has children. They tend to be more mature, responsible, and comfortable in their skin, plus, they have enough on their hands, so you have time to focus on other things. Besides, most of them know what they want and know how to love; they don't want to play around.

In A Nutshell

Dating a single father won't seem like such a bad idea when you get to know him and his family more. I hope you enjoyed this list, if you have any more tips to add, please leave a comment below, I would love to hear it. I'd also appreciate it if you share this list with a friend or family member that might need it. Thank you for reading through, I look forward to reading your opinions on the matter. 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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