Dating As a Single Father – Put Your Children First

Being a single father certainly comes with its own set of special challenges. How do you balance your own life, while caring for your kids? How are you supposed to go on dates? These things can get messy and they can certainly get complicated, but there are answers to these questions. Though you may not think so at the beginning, many single fathers figure things out. They find that dating is possible, but you have to keep your priorities in order. Though your social life and dating life should be a focus, your children have to be the overwhelming number one on your list.

The bigger question then becomes, “How do I get this done?” It truly is a balance, and single dads have to be flexible with their dating preferences. You might not get to go out on a Thursday night, as your kids will want meals or help with their homework. The key is to put them first and let the rest sort itself out.

Weekdays are mostly off limits
When the school year is up and running, the weekdays are going to be tough from a dating perspective. Whether talking about soccer games, dance practice, or just school events, you’ll likely have something on your plates. Some dads try to slip in a quick date here or there, but this ends up in disaster more times than not. Do yourself a favor and plan dates when you have time to get away and not be worried. When you’re trying to rush through a date on a Thursday night with your kids at practice, chances are that you won’t be much fun anyway.

As an alternative, plan dates for weekends when your kids will be doing something else. Young kids love to sleep over at their friends’ homes, so try to set something like this up. If your kids have friends, then you can encourage this type of slumber party. Remember that the best way to make this happen is to actually host one of these parties yourself. That way, the other set of parents can return the favor and take the kids off of your hands for a night.

Finding someone to respect your situation
A legitimate concern for all single dads is finding a person who identifies with what you have going on. If you are a little bit older, then you will have more luck with this. Older women are sometimes in the same position or they have the maturity to handle your lifestyle. As you go on dates, be up front about your kids and your responsibilities. Take pride in the fact that you are a full-time worker and a full-time dad. Most women will find this attractive and you will have a solid foundation to start with. Just remember that your kids have to be the focus of your life, so if a person is not prepared to deal with that, then you should start looking elsewhere. Likewise, if you can date someone who adds something to your kids’ lives, then that is an added bonus.

In the interest of full disclosure
Talk about your dating with your kids on some level. Obviously do not let them in on the most intimate details of what is going on, but be up front with them. This way, they will not resent you for spending some of your time on dates. This will also make them more active participants in your life, which will help to grow the bond between you and your children. The most important thing, however, is to be respectful of your kids through the whole process. As a single dad, you have a responsibility to more than just yourself. You owe it to your kids to handle dating in a more reasonable, mature way. A good rule of thumb is to always think of what impact your actions will have on your kids before moving forward.