You’re a single dad, and that means your dating life is definitely not what it was before. You’ve gotta be more discerning now, and though that means that booty calls are no longer a regular item on your dating menu, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your new status. However, let’s face it: your taste in women is going to be different now, and that’s okay. You are, after all, looking for an eventual stepmom. So, here are some steps in order for you to get back into the dating game as a single dad.
Take Your Time
Relaunching your dating life as a single dad takes time and preparation. After all, you’ve been through the emotional wringer and now you’re not just dating for yourself anymore. “There are so many folks out there reeling from a bad divorce who put new romance before everything else,” says Chris, a single dad of two who is now in a long-term relationship. “Too many situations I’ve witnessed where the kids are an afterthought, neuroses and anxiety winning the day and their attention.” So get introspective. Think about what your past relationship(s) have taught you. Recognise patterns and bad, as well as good, habits. Process what type of relationship and woman you, and your kids, really need. Healthy attracts healthy, and you deserve a happy, healthy relationship.
Evaluate Your Prospects
This might seem obvious, but before you go out on Date Numero Uno with Leggy Attractive Brunette, you should know whether she likes kids or not. And not in that “Yeah, they’re cute . . . from afar. How often do you see them?” way, but in the “I ADORE kids! I LOVE that you are a Dad!” way. “Kids impact dating because a good parent puts said kids before the rest of it,” says Chris. “This is extremely difficult for more people than you’d expect.” Also, patience, compassion, and someone who doesn’t routinely get wasted on Friday nights are all good signs to look for in a date, too. “Women should know that dating a single dad puts them in priority sequencing, where certain things are concerned, behind his children. This is difficult to stomach for some.”
Be Proud That You’re a Single Dad
You love your kids, but you might be loathe to shout it from the rooftops—or, at least include it in your eHarmony profile—because you feel it might deter the ladies. Well, first of all, see above: if she doesn’t dig you being a daddy, then you don’t want to give her any sugar. Because the wrong women will run for the hills, but the right one won’t. The right one will love that you are a dad. The right one will think that you being a dad is the best thing about you. Also, by professing your single dad status, you are showing women that you can provide a loving, stable home life and that is very, very sexy.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Being a single dad might mean you’re not as flexible with your time anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your fun with your set schedule and your new girlfriend. “The enhanced part of dating-with-kids is that you get a set time off, if schedules are followed, and you can do what you want with that time,” says Chris. “Fitting sex in there is fun. You feel like you’re in high school again.” With your time off from the kids, you might also want to explore hitting the gym or pursuing other hobbies. Not only are those great opportunities to meet women, but also working out releases testosterone, which helps boost your libido. Enough said.
You’ll Get Serious
As you already know, kids make everything serious. Life as you knew it as single dude, no longer exists. You’re more grounded now. You have less patience for drama or dating in limbo. So because of this, you’re going to be more serious about dating. Time is precious, and you’re not into playing games anymore. “Yes, you get serious about dating,” says Chris. “Serious about defining it ‘booty calls and fun nights’, no strings or commitments, or serious about a longer term thing with all that that means.” And like Chris says, “Communication, as with all things, is key.” And women will appreciate your honesty.
Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine. You can follow her on Twitter @briannehogan.