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Dating As A Single Dad (2022)

approaching women Jan 29, 2022
Single Dad hugging his kid

Dating can feel doubly daunting when you’re a single dad.

  • Raising kids as a single parent isn’t easy…
  • Neither is meeting new people…

But dating as a single dad is definitely possible!

And no matter what happened in your previous relationship, you deserve to find a partner you’re excited about โค๏ธ

Today we'll cover 5 strategies to help you navigate dating when you have kids including how to:

  • Arrive at the right mindset for dating ๐Ÿง 
  • Meet partners you’re compatible with ๐Ÿ“
  • Communicate about your family and past with women ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ

Let's dive in!

 


 

SINGLE DAD DATING STRATEGY #1

Have Confidence In Your Experiences

Man stretching his arms up, looking happy

An under-appreciated gift from any relationship past, particularly one that led to starting a family, is the keener sense of what you need from your next partner.

Knowing what you want is an edge on the countless singles who are still trying to figure themselves out!

Your relationship experiences, and the values you’ve developed from them, bring you:

  • More intentional dating ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ
  • More meaningful connections ๐Ÿ’
  • Less wasted time โณ

Chances are you’re looking for a woman on your level, who values stability and family, and sees the love you have for your kids as a plus.

Take confidence in your self-awareness, and let the clarity it brings you guide you toward the right partner for the next chapter in your life.

 


 

SINGLE DAD DATING STRATEGY #2

Remember There’s No Rush

Man sitting surrounded by cluttered belongings

No matter how awkward being newly single can feel, there’s no need to rush back into dating.

Leading a family is a major commitment. You shouldn’t expect to have the same energy rebounding that you did from breakups before you had kids.

Take the time to consciously ease back into dating, and pay attention to how you feel.

Particularly if you feel negative emotions toward your ex, or mixed emotions about the prospect of dating with kids, remember that you’ll fare better if you can find inner peace here first.

Dating can be intimidating, particularly after a major life change. Few people ever feel 100% ready to dive back in, but there’s a world of difference between:

  • Dating because you feel like you “should,” or because it might help you “move on" โŒ
  • Dating because you know what you want, and you’re ready to find it โœ…

Readiness to date is your decision. Only you know when the time is right. So remember to listen to yourself!

 


 

SINGLE DAD DATING STRATEGY #3

Be Open With Your Kids

Man playing with his daughter in a tent in their living room

When you’ve decided you’re ready to start dating again, as a single dad, it’s important to communicate thoughtfully with your children.

Your goal is to provide reassurance to your kids, while setting fair expectations.

Specifically:

  • Emphasize to your kids that they’re still the most important people in your life ๐Ÿ†
  • Explain that you’re excited to make new adult friends, some of whom may be the opposite gender ๐Ÿ‘‹

I’ve learned from clients that “friends” is often a great way to describe dating to kids, because it’s both honest and digestible.

 


 

SINGLE DAD DATING STRATEGY #4

Be Open With Potential Partners

Man and woman talking over coffee

Many newly single dads feel confusion about when and what to communicate about their kids to potential partners.

  • Should you talk about it on a first date? Or sooner? ๐Ÿค”
  • What should you say about their mom? ๐Ÿคจ

The reality is that women you seek to date should know two things ASAP:

  1. You have kids, and they’re a priority in your life. This is important to communicate before a first date, because you don’t want to waste time on a woman who isn’t comfortable with it.

    If you’re dating online, your kids shouldn’t be the focus of your profile, but you should absolutely include a photo of you with them, and a prompt about how they mean the world to you. This will help you attract the right women.

  2. You’re ready to date, and you’re not hung up on the past. She should know this before a date, too, because she’s not looking for a guy with baggage.

    This is often better shown than told. In other words, demonstrate your readiness by avoiding extensive monologs about your ex, and instead keeping your communications focused on what’s next for you.

I’ve worked with single dads previously who’ve worried that communicating about their kids upfront will turn some women off…

They're right: sharing that you have kids will turn some women off.

But this is a good thing.

If you have kids, you only want women in your life who are comfortable with that fact. The sooner you can filter out women who aren’t comfortable with it, the better.

Also, being a single dad doesn’t mean you’re required to only date single moms.

You may form connections more quickly with other single parents because of your shared experiences, but you shouldn’t assume women without kids aren’t interested…

Speaking as a woman without kids, there’s less of a stigma against dating someone with a family than many people imagine!

And whatever stigma exists often has more to do with emotional baggage from prior relationships than kids.

To summarize:

  • Do communicate honestly about your family ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ
  • Don’t be surprised if your family is a deal-breaker for some women, but don’t assume it’s a deal-breaker with all women โค๏ธ

 


 

SINGLE DAD DATING STRATEGY #5

Take It Slow

Man loading boxes into a car

Psychologists have observed that introducing too many women too frequently into your kids’ lives may negatively impact your kids’ perceptions of dating, relationships, and love ๐Ÿ’ญ

Consider waiting to introduce your lady to your kids until your relationship feels steady accordingly!

This may mean navigating a couple months of dating a woman before you introduce your kids.

That’s okay — this means more opportunity for you to get to know your potential partner without the kids around.

Before your new lady meets your family, explain to your kids that she has nothing to do with their mother.

This way, they don’t compare the two relationships.

New partners can trigger a loyalty complex in kids, where they feel like they’re betraying their mother by accepting your new partner. Setting the expectation that these relationships are 100% disconnected can help you avoid this challenge.

When it’s time, keep the initial meeting low-key and brief.

Do it somewhere that feels safe for your kids, like at your home. This can help ease tensions and assumptions.

Finally, avoid forming expectations around how your new partner and kids will respond to each other.

It’s natural to hope your girlfriend will automatically love your kids and vise-versa, but hope usually leads to expectations, and expectations usually lead to pressure ๐Ÿ˜•

Instead, let everyone gently ease into this new family dynamic together.

And good luck!

Also, if you haven't dated in a while, here are a few resources that can help:

 


 

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