How to Date a Dad

How to Date a DadYou’re finally dating a guy who all your friends simply refer to as “a great catch.” He’s smart, funny, attractive and totally sane.

But there is one problem—he’s a dad.

Look, I know you have no problem with dads or kids. But this does complicate things.

It complicates things because this “great catch” is in a joint custody situation.  And he’s often busy. As a father, he’s sometimes completely unavailable.

And to make matters worse, his ex-wife may be someone you have to deal with on occasion.  She might even show up when the kids are with her…at a moment when you thought you had “dad” to yourself.  Like in a situation where she needs to look for a missing shoe and homework assignment one of the kids left at his place.

So naturally, you’re asking yourself, can I handle this? Am I ready to date a dad?

Unless you’re restricting your dating prospects to men under 30, chances are, you may end up dating a dad at some point.

In 2013, an estimated 17 percent of single parents were men. That’s equivalent to 2 million men nationwide.

There are also many reasons why single dads are a great catch.

First, caring for another human being changes people. A dad has less time to make small problems the focus of his attention.  So he may be more accepting and less interested in arguing over little things.

Caring for another human being also teaches patience. Parents understand that everyone does things at a different pace.

Finally, caring for another human being puts things into perspective. Parents know that no one needs to spend $150 on a bottle of champagne to celebrate a milestone.  Parents find joy in all sorts of places.

How to Date a DadSo what’s the upshot of dating a dad?

Dating a dad gives you a chance to date a guy with greater emotional depth—a guy who knows who he is, what he wants, and how to give back.

Okay, so you’ve decided that you’re into this idea. You’re going to date a dad.

But how do you make this work? The following ground rules can help—

1.) Throw out the ground rules you’ve followed in previous dating situations. Accept the fact that this is going to be different.

2.) The kids are part of the package. No good parent is going to date someone who can’t accept that their kids are their first priority. To put it bluntly, get on board with this or get out.

3.) The ex is part of the package too. Unless you’re dating a dad who is widowed, his ex is going to be on the scene. And if they are decent people, they may have found a way to remain friends for the sake of the kids.

4.) Even if you’re dating someone who makes a lot of money, the budget could seem tight.  Don’t assume you’ll be going on a cruise once a month. Dads have other priorities for their savings.

5.) Don’t be a diva! Kids get sick. School concerts can go 2 hours past the expected end time. Sometimes your plans will be delayed or cancelled.

Still in for the ride? There are 2 million single dads out there waiting to find a match!

His Secret Obsession

Discover something every man is secretly obsessed with.

It's something he CRAVES... More than love, more than money, even more than sex.

This one secret obsession holds the key to winning a man's love, attention, and total devotion for LIFE but not one woman in a thousand even knows it exists!

And those that do almost never share it with another soul.

Learn More

Why Men Shut Women Out - A Special Report By Slade Shaw. Get Your Free Special Report
Get Your Free Report

7 thoughts on “How to Date a Dad

  1. Dani said:

    I am wondering about your insight regarding some ground rules for the Dad towards his woman partner? Being a father is one thing but maintaining healthy boundaries and expectations of the children, albeit age appropriate, is another.
    In my experience, many of these fathers do not see, understand or foster healthy boundaries for their children but nearly all of them expect a lot of understanding from the woman they date.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Dani. That’s a very important topic you’ve raised.

      And you are absolutely right. For the relationship to flourish, a parent must take on the significant responsibility for creating the necessary boundaries and expectations from the children in order to create the space your relationship needs to thrive.

      Because you can’t do it for him. You can’t create the boundaries with his kids because you are just starting the process of forming a delicate new relationship with his children.

      Still, it’s important to work as a team. Because he’s so much “in” the family dynamics with his kids that it’s easy for him to not even realize or notice them. So he needs you to gently point out the ways his family dynamics and ways of relating to his kids are helping or not helping to create the boundaries and positive interactions you need.

      • Beth said:

        YES. In my experience, most dads have zero rules or boundaries for their kids. This is VERY stressful for the women/future stepparent. And trying to talk to a man about his kids needing rules or boundaries is about impossible, because they blow up if you even hint that their kid is anything but perfect.
        I’m on a stepparents group where 3 of the women said they divorced the father because his kids were out of control, and the father would do nothing to control his kids or make them behave.
        It’s the women who usually gets the short end of the stick when dating a man with kids.

  2. Tatjana said:

    I dated an awesome dad but emotionally unstable guy. His emotions for his son are deep and sincere but he is so emotionally broken for everything else. Not all great dads make great boyfriends. After a year of dating he admitted he is emotionally broken. Sad part his kid was like my own so I lost two of them at the same time. Life…

  3. Jarrett said:

    What about the opposite? The woman has children and the man you are dating doesn’t nor has been married?

    • Sandra said:

      My relationship with someone just came to an end after almost two years because of “grown children”. Every morning his Son would call even if we were on vacation. His daughter is very attached to “Dad” and she dominates and excludes me when I’m present. We had a few words in the beginning of our relationship and from that day she wouldn’t even say hello when I we were in the same room. I did my apologies just to try and form a relationship. Didn’t work. Even offer for my guy to go and be with his kids and exclude me. We could meet up later. I was good with this. SO it’s not just the small children that live at home it’s the dominate grown kids that can ruin a great love you shared with their Dad. So very sad!

  4. Deb said:

    I love this article James! What a great reminder of the benefits of dating a dad and also tips on how to succeed. At 42 years of age many available men have kids and it is so essential to know how to work within the situation. You hit the mark again!

Leave a Reply

The name and comments you enter will be posted on our website. Your email address is not posted or shared. View our Privacy Policy.