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Is Dating a Man With a Child Worth it?

by Kimberly Delarosa

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels


ONE NIGHT I WAS SITTING ON THE COUCH WATCHING THE MOVIE BLENDED.

The movie is about two single parents who went on a blind date together, and the story unfolds from there. During the movie, there’s a scene when Lauren (played by Barrymore), is talking to her friend Jen (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who is distraught after breaking up with her boyfriend:

Lauren: “What happened with Dick?”

Jen: “He just dropped a major bomb on me.”

Lauren: “He’s married…”

Jen: “No worse. He’s got, kids.”


It immediately brought me back to when I was in my twenties and how my mother would advise me never to date a man who has kids. “That’s too much drama, and you don’t need that.” In the dating world, it’s common for single mothers to have a difficult time dating. We see how often divorced single mothers are stereotyped whereas for men finding a date seems to be a piece of cake.


Society portrays how men are easily able to date at any age or stage in their life. That is unless you’re a single dad. It turns out that single dads get it just as bad as single mothers do.

IS DATING A SINGLE DAD A GOOD IDEA?

First, let’s address the elephant in the room when dating a single dad, which is the judgment. Whenever we meet someone who’s divorced, we automatically question their value. If this person is so great, why are they divorced? What happened in the past relationship? Will they even have time for our relationship if they have a kid? These questions can stop someone from really giving them a chance, which is why dating a single dad seems impossible.


“It can be difficult for the dad, especially if they have full custody,” says Austin Miller, a relationship editor for Daddilife – a parenting website for dads. Miller points to another factor on why dating single dads are difficult, which is time: “I know many single dads say that dating can put a strain on their lives due to simply not having enough hours in the day.”

At first, it might seem like dating a single dad sounds like an awful idea. Why add extra drama to your life that you don’t need? But I ask you, what are you willing to do for love? Let’s say your dream guy does have a kid, would you walk away? If your love is strong, you want to make this relationship work. It’s not impossible and if you see your future with this person, then know you’re entering into a unique relationship.

IT TAKES SOMEONE WITH PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THIS WILL BE A RELATIONSHIP LIKE NO OTHER.

Dating a single dad means that you are entering into a relationship not just with him but with his child(ren) and even the co-parent. Laura Louis, a licensed psychologist and founder of Atlanta Couple Therapy, suggests partners that date single parents enter the relationship knowing this fact. “Don’t go into a blended family thinking that this is going to be easy. You have to consider the age of the children, the relationship that the dad has with the other co-parent, and how you're going to nurture that relationship with the children.”

When you’re dating a single dad, you’re willingly accepting the fact that you will be sharing him. Your heart will need to make room not just for him but for his little one. It’s important to recognize that if things were to become serious, you’ll be participating in parenting duties even if you just started dating. This helps to better understand him, which can create stronger trust between you two.

 
 

IT’S A RELATIONSHIP THAT TAKES TIME TO CREATE WHICH IS PERFECTLY OKAY.

Timing is essential, and children always need time to adjust to a new person entering their life. Jade Bianca, a dating coach who specializes in dating after divorce, echoes this advice to her clients: “My rule of thumb is don't introduce a significant other until they are significant. You don’t want to rush it. When the time comes, make it short and sweet. At the end of the day, the children only care that the love and attention that they have with their dad won't be taken away.”

The last message you want to send is that you are taking their mother’s place. This is why it’s best to give his child(ren) space while also letting them know that you’re open to them whenever they’re ready. Being willing to adapt and learn through the process can make your relationship thrive.

SINGLE DADS KNOW LOVE, AND THEY ALSO KNOW HOW TO LOVE.

When I was single, I remember women talking about divorcees as being “sloppy seconds.” It was clear just how undesirable single dads were in the dating world. But I’ve come to believe that love comes when you least expect it.

Love isn’t linear. Like the ocean, it comes and goes in waves and can pull us into another direction. The past doesn’t dictate our future, it only builds the foundation for what’s to come. And single dads know a thing or two about the foundation, commitment, and love. So, if you ever wonder how much love a single dad can give, take a look at how they love their kid. Their love can be endless, but only if you’re willing to try.

 

Resources:

Austin Miller, Relationship Editor of Daddilife

Dr. Laura Louis, Licensed Psychologist, and founder of Atlanta Couple Therapy

Jade Bianca, Dating Coach and Matchmaker

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