8/10/2012 3:35 PM
No one has an easy time of it in the dating world. But, single dads who are dating have more potential complications to deal with than other parents.
Mentioning that you have kids and they live with you. This obviously needs to come out early. Yes, it’s going to lead to a few women rejecting you out of hand. Dan Ruyter of Memoirs of a Single Dad said, “I think it's more difficult for all primary custodial parents to date than any other type of dater - moms or dads. I think society is more accustomed to single moms while finding a single dad with custody catches people off guard sometimes.” But, the rejections may happen less often than you would think. I’d advise getting it out there during your first conversation with someone you’d like to date, and possibly including it on your dating profile. People who don’t mention that they are parents come off as being uninterested in their kids. “Children aren't 'baggage', they're blessings!” Ruyter explained.
Introducing a new love interest to your kids. As we’ve mentioned before, this is a personal decision, and everyone sets the line at a different place. Ruyter had one important thing to add, “What you definitely want to avoid is a revolving door with dates and your children. If you truly feel your new relationship will be around then I say introduce them. If history says your relationship won't last more than a few months or less, why expose your children to that?”
If you are not at a place yet where you think you are ready to commit to someone, and your relationship is not going to last, it’s probably better not to introduce your kids.
The day your ex flakes on their turn to take the kids. It happens to every single parent eventually. You have a big date planned, and at the last moment, your ex has something come up on their end.
These eventualities one of the reasons it’s really important to have a good support network. Some of the best go-to people for last minute child care are other single parents. When you develop a group of friends and family and all have one another’s backs, you can better deal with scheduling bumps that come up.
However, there are still going to be times when only a parent is the right person to have on-hand, such as when your kid has a school event. “You have to remember that when you date as a single parent it's not just all about you; you have to find the best fit for you and your family, too!” Ruyter told us. “I cherished the time I had with my son; it was sacred to me.”