Dating as a single dad is challenging.
It makes you read articles like this one.
Because balancing your role as a father and a good partner to the woman you’re dating…
While giving proper attention to both can feel impossible.
But don’t fret. This guide is here to change that.
You’ll find concrete steps on:
- How and where to date women without getting hit by a year-long dry spell
- How to manage both your life as a father and your dating life
- How and when to say to a woman that you’re a father
- And what women really think about single dads
Here we go:
Are women open to dating single dads?
What studies say
If you think you might have worse chances dating as a single dad, here are some surprising facts:
First, the dating site Zoosk surveyed 3051 women about this topic. The result: nearly all women (92%) said they were ‘open’ to dating a single dad, and 55% of the women were ‘very open’.
That’s darn good news if you ask me.
Second, one study was trying to find out the most attractive character traits in men that attract women.
And one of the character traits that stood out at the top for women was kindness.
Is there any better expression of kindness than a guy who cares for his kids?
Compare that to a 22-year-old who only thinks about where the next party starts or how much protein he needs to grow his biceps.
Third, having helped hundreds of single men, including single fathers, to get and keep the women they like for over a decade, I can surely say having kids was never an issue.
It’s all about how you go about it, and that’s what this guide is about.
Let’s get practical.
Dating as a single dad: 7 Steps to find love and avoid freaking out your kids
Here are the steps to successfully date as a single dad…
Step #1: Let go of the past
I can’t believe nobody talks about this.
Divorce is not easy. Less so the emotional burden that comes with it. If you’re still affected by it, you’ll express it in different, often unconscious ways, even if you think you ‘might be over it.’
This can and will sabotage your dating life.
Let’s say you still feel hate towards your ex.
You’ll project that hate onto other women if you never address it. You’ll give her the fault for anything you don’t like. And boom, you’re in the same spot again in the blink of an eye.
Single and enraged.
Handling these emotions with care is important so you can enjoy your future relationships without regret.
The following 2-step exercise helps a lot with that (especially if you’re still experiencing emotional roller coasters from your divorce):
Exercise 1: Get a confidence boost whenever you’re feeling low
Take a sheet of paper and write down all the reasons why it’s good that you’re not in a relationship with your ex right now. Don’t overthink; just write down whatever comes to your mind for 15 minutes without distraction.
After 15 minutes, you should have a couple of reasons. Great, now make a voice memo. Record all the reasons you just wrote down by saying them out loud and hit save.
This will come in handy whenever you feel bad about your divorce. Just listen to your recording to break out of negative thinking immediately.
Exercise 2: How to let go of repressed emotions
This is where you tell your ex what you really think. And I mean everything: what’s pissing you off, how you feel, and whatever you wanted to tell her but couldn’t before.
Now, you might do this in person or write her a letter without ever sending it to her. I’d recommend the latter. This is what’s called a hot letter, made famous by Abraham Lincoln. The advantage: You can let go of all your thoughts and frustration. No filter. Chances are, you might even curse, which is fine.
The goal of your letter is to empty your body and mind of the thoughts and emotions that are nagging you, not to win an argument with your ex.
Even better: you can burn the letter at the end as a symbolic way of letting go.
Try it out yourself.
Step #2: Get back into the game
Most single dads limit their options before they even start dating.
That’s especially true if they are in their 30s and 40s. They feel like they have long lost their peak in attractiveness. They may not be in their best shape, suffer from hair loss, or something similar.
The good news:
First, science suggests that men ripe like good wine. Many women prefer older men, so that’s a plus.
Second, several things can help you feel more confident and deserving of attractive women.
I wrote a full article on reclaiming your sense of attractiveness and becoming a confident man. So, if you currently feel like you could need a bit of a confidence boost, this is where you start.
Step #3: Meet new women
Where do you start?
And how can you balance meeting women with being a caring father?
Nowadays, there’s a plethora of options to meet women.
Sure, you can go online on apps like Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge, but it can take some time to make it work unless you’re willing to invest your time (and money).
In my opinion, there’s a better way to get quick results:
For example, you can join groups and classes. But not just the ones where many women are (looking at you, yoga).
Choose something you‘d also visit during your free time. Otherwise, the only thing you’ll get out of this is the resistance of “having to go there.”
Go on Facebook or meetup.com and look for groups that suit your interests: sports communities, public speaking events, photography clubs, and local cooking groups. The options are endless.
Now, there’s another reason why I recommend joining local groups, which has to do with time management and scheduling.
Step #4: Set a schedule for dating
What gets scheduled gets done.
The same applies to dating. If you’re serious about your dating life, make a schedule for it.
If you have a busy day-to-day life, you could take Sunday off to spend some time on dating apps or, as mentioned above, join some group activities to meet women naturally.
There’s no way about it: the more you can combine meeting women into your daily life and hobbies, the better you’ll be able to manage everything at once.
In the book Atomic Habits the author, James Clear, talks about setting up your environment for success.
By designing your environment in a way that automatically helps you to reach your goals, you create a system that relies less on willpower and discipline.
Set up your free time with activities you genuinely enjoy, and dating won’t feel like a burden you must commit to on top of your busy schedule.
Or, you can do what one of my clients did: he turned his commute from work back to home to a daily opportunity to meet women.
Instead of using the car, he walked 30 minutes through the city center, where he’d see attractive women almost guaranteed, 5 times a week.
It can be as simple as that.
Step #5: Go on dates and make them count
Breathe, feel, live.
Allow yourself to explore and date a few women.
To make your dates successful and not waste time, check my article about the most common first-date mistakes men make.
Next, master the art of how to seduce a woman and how to build sexual tension. These skills will be your main weapons to make your dates more fun and flirty without being extremely funny or relying on pickup lines.
And if you feel you need to get used to dating again and could brush up your conversation skills, these questions to ask a woman are a good start.
Also helpful: the top signs a woman is sexually attracted to you to give you a better sense of how well your dates are going.
Lastly, remember to keep your dates at a distance and not introduce them to your kids so they don’t get attached unless you think she’s the one…
Step #6: Talking to your kids, ex, and your new woman
How can you enjoy your dating life and ensure everyone knows what to expect?
As for your kids, you want to ensure you only introduce a new woman if you’re serious about her.
Experts recommend introducing a new partner in stages and not rushing the process. For example, talking about other women as friends is a good solution to get them used to a new woman slowly.
But also think about your ex’s perspective.
What do I mean?
Imagine your ex dates a new guy who spends time with your children. Wouldn’t you want to know what type of person your kids spent their time with?
So it’s essential to be transparent with your ex and let her know who you introduce your children to.
Lastly, you want to set boundaries with your new woman.
Let her know what’s okay and what isn’t when spending time with your kids, for example, not hugging or kissing. Communicate this early on with her so you and her know what to expect when spending time together.
Now, this raises the final question:
Step #7: How, When, and What to tell your date if you have kids?
Let’s take a look.
When to say you’re a single dad:
This depends on you.
Let me explain:
First, a first date should be about getting to know each other and not discussing long-term plans. You might want to meet a woman just for a night or casually date her, so does being a father matter?
Second, most men don’t know how to tell a woman about their kids. They get driven by insecurities and assume a woman will be turned off.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t look for advice on how and when to tell their dates about having children.
So they end up acting needy and sabotaging their chances with women.
Now, I don’t say you should hide the fact that you’re a single father. Even Charlie Sheen, in the series Two and a Half Men, brought his nephew to his dates to get better results:
The only difference: he knew being a father displays character traits women love (kindness, being reliable).
Bottom line: if you’re 100% sure you want a long-term relationship and know how to communicate it confidently, tell her whenever you want.
If you just want to meet women and see where it could lead, it’s okay to wait until after the first date or after you sleep together.
How to tell her you’re a single dad:
You want to show her you care about your kids and are a good father, regardless of what happened with your ex.
You want to reassure your date that you’d be a great dad if you also get kids with her. Show her you’re a mature, confident man.
When you’re on a date, show her a picture of you and your kids.
A smiling kid says more than a thousand words.
Step #7.5: What do you say if she asks about your ex?
Women can get jealous easily.
She’ll wonder if you still have feelings for your ex. And since you have a kid, you and her would spend tons of time together with your kid.
That’s a big commitment from her side, so she wants to ensure she spends her time wisely.
So whenever the topic of your ex comes up, you want to assure her she doesn’t have to worry about it and that you’re over your past and looking excited into what the future brings. Of course, you genuinely need to feel that yourself.
If not, go back to step 1 and do the exercise!
Now, how do you do it?
Say the following:
“My ex is great, and I wish her all the best. But we just wanted different things in the end.”
This sentence is powerful because it shows her you are over your ex, don’t hold grudges, and know what you want. It shows her your feelings for your ex are history and not part of you anymore.
Your Efficient Dating Advisor,
Herman The German
Frequently Asked Single Dad Questions
Is it hard dating as a single dad?
Being a single dad is doable but challenging. No matter who you date, you must always consider your kid’s safety and happiness. Also, you need to consider your ex’s feelings, as she might worry about who you introduce her kids to. And on top of that, you need to find the time to go out and meet someone.
What is dating like for a single dad?
Dating as a single dad feels like being a professional street juggler. You have to pay close attention to many moving parts to keep your dating life going: You need to make time for your kids, maintain a good relationship with your ex, and provide financially while meeting someone new.
What is the hardest thing about being a single dad?
As a single father, the hardest challenge is finding the time to be part of your children’s lives while working so you can provide for them (and potentially your ex-partner as well). This makes finding someone new hard as you have to deal with an enormous financial responsibility.
What is the average age of single fathers?
According to the Pew Research Center, most single fathers are in their 30s and 40s. This is not too surprising since it’s usually when most people go through their first divorce. But the total number of single dads has steadily risen in the past decades, so it’s not uncommon to see single fathers in their 20s.