Tips on Dating a Single Dad

If you’ve met a man who may be “the one,” but he comes with children, that may not be a problem for¬†you. However, not understanding¬†his¬†challenges as a single father or not knowing how to handle situations unique to single-parent dating can sabotage an otherwise healthy relationship. Keeping in mind a few realities about building a relationship with a man with children will help increase your chances of finding true love.

You need to accept you’re #2 in the beginning of the relationship

Be Flexible

A teenage heartbreak, toddler’s high temperature or failing geometry may not seem like a crisis to you, but it may be enough reason for a father to cancel a date. Don’t be disappointed when –not if– your man cancels in order to deal with family problems. Be understanding and let him know you understand and that you’ll talk later when he has things under control. Don’t press for the exact place and time of your rain check. If you had dinner plans, offer to stop off for some Chinese or pizza and bring dinner over. He may have time to spend with you, just not the hours needed for a complete date.

Screen Your Friends

People judge you by the company you keep. While your best girlfriend may be wonderful once someone gets to know her, if she smokes, drinks, swears and can’t stand kids, those facts will raise red flags with a dad with kids. An article at specifically advises single dads to evaluate a woman’s friends to see if she is a suitable potential partner.

Don’t Parent

If you become a serious partner and/or wife of a man with children, you’ll eventually have responsibility and authority for disciplining and advising his children. The key word here is “eventually.” Scolding or correcting a child or giving a child advice on diet, sex, religion or other life choices is inappropriate while you are still getting to know a man. Discuss parenting issues with your guy when children aren’t around so he knows you’re interested in children and respectful of his responsibilities and boundaries.

Don’t Sleep Over

Children learn their morals and ethics from the behavior of their parents, and as you date a man with kids, his children will naturally view you as a potential mother or mother figure. If you send a message to children that premarital sex is acceptable, it will be hard to convince them otherwise when they start dating as teens. Sleeping over also sends a message that you are becoming part of the family, and if you end your relationship with your boyfriend, you will be telling children who may have grown attached to you that you are choosing to end your relationship with them, as well.