Single dads deserve to date just like everyone else. Taking into account the high divorce rate, the likelihood of meeting one is pretty high. If you've met a cute single dad, you need to learn some things before you start dating him. Here are eight tips for dating a single dad.
Don't look for a casual relationship. Most single fathers are looking for a long-term committed relationship because their personal life affects their children. Kids easily become attached to people, so if their father breaks up with a girlfriend, they end up getting hurt, too. If all you want from him is casual dating, find someone else to date. You shouldn't get involved with a single dad unless you are really serious about the relationship.
Remember that it's a package deal. If you are dating a single dad, you need to remember that his kids will always come first so don't get jealous when he needs to spend time with them. He's already let you into his life and this is a big deal. You also should be ready to listen because he is going to talk about his kids a lot.
Take things slow. As we've already said, most men with children are serious about dating and relationships, so they usually take things slow to make sure the person is right for them (and by “them” we mean their children, too). You shouldn't play games because he definitely won't appreciate you playing hard to get. And don't rush to meet his children. You need to be absolutely sure that you're in this for the long run before he introduces you to his kids.
Be nice to his kids and have fun together. If you like the man, you must like his kids. Don't try to replace their biological mother, become their friend instead. Maybe you will officially become their stepmother one day, but first you need to build trust in you relationship with them.
Be nice to the other parent. Accept that the other parent will be present in his children's lives and, by extent, in his and yours, too (unless he is a widower). Your boyfriend will need to talk to his ex for the sake of their kids. Don't get jealous and don't let the other parent affect your relationship with the man you love. Don't confront the other parent or badmouth them in front of the kids.
Don't criticize his parenting style. If/when you get married, you will probably have a say. However, while you are just dating, you have no right to doubt his parenting choices, even if you have a child or children of your own.
Don't lie to the kids about your relationship. Don't underestimate children, they are not dumb. Most kids are very perceptive, so trying to pass yourself off as their dad's friend probably won't work. Carefully plan your sleepovers. If you haven't been introduced to his kids yet and you spend the night at his place while the kids are somewhere else, leave no trace when you leave. Don't have sleepovers with the kids around unless things are really serious between you two.
Forget about spontaneity. Single dads don't have much room for spontaneity in their lives because of their kids. If you want to surprise him with a romantic getaway just for you two, he will hardly appreciate it because finding a babysitter at the last moment is not easy. His life is carefully planned and you need to respect it.
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