If you have a check list of attributes you seek in a potential partner and one of them is that they be child-free, you’re denying yourself access to a pool of wonderful men for no good reason.All it requires to successfully date a dad is to follow a few simple protocols and have a bit of patience.My husband, Tim’s father, died three years ago, and I think Tim is looking for a father figure. What could a 40-year-old man have in common with a teenager? Should I keep quiet and pray it ends soon or speak up?Tim starts college this fall, and I am hoping he’ll find a more appropriate boyfriend there. — Name withheld I completely understand your angst about this — who would want her son in the arms of a “predator”? It’s very common for guys with kids to write in their OKCupid profiles: “My kids come first,” or “My daughter is the center of my world! You want a potential mate to know that your life includes the giant presence of a kid or four. Plus, if you’ve gone through divorce or another crisis that landed you as a single parent, you are no doubt concerned about giving your kids extra care and sense of security. But it is even trickier if one or both of the parents put the kids before their partner.You also want women to know you’re a devoted dad (it’s no secret chicks get hot for guys who are great with kids! It’s no surprise that so many blended families I know struggle with adjusting all parties to a home where everyone is suddenly expected to revolve around the new relationship. One dad I went out with nearly boasted when telling me about a four-month relationship that went sour because his girlfriend did not understand why he’d abruptly leave in the middle of dinner because his tween son would call, upset about some matter with his hockey coach.
But in this moment when men are struggling to claim their place as equal parents while society expects divorced dads to be the lackadaisical weekend father, I get why you are compelled to go overboard with your expressed devotion. If you are indeed ready for a real love, create a space for her.
You don’t have to be bosom buddies, but you should be able to get along and be willing to communicate when it relates to the little ones. “Children shouldn’t be involved in parental dating until you’re really serious and it’s a committed relationship,” says Gilda Carle, Ph. “Children become easily attached, and you don’t want to disappoint or hurt them if things don’t work out.” A single dad who adheres to this really cares about his kids and isn’t just casually bringing women in and out of his children’s lives.
Since he’s already got a child (or two or three) that he’s busy with and responsible for, he may not want any more.
Ultimately, failure to put their partner first was a sign these guys were not ready for a serious relationship, or at least not with those particular women, and that is totally normal.
But it’s not cool to pay lip service to intentions of growing a serious, long-term relationship and from the onset demote your lover to second-rank — even before you message her on