If you’re a woman dating later in life, you will run into the divorced dad. With the responsibility and juggling that goes on with being a single parent, these men have a hard balancing act when it comes to getting back into the dating game. On the positive side, divorced dads are mature, dedicated, and less likely to play games when it comes to getting serious.
But the question still remains; will you ever be a priority in his life? The kids come first. As a professional matchmaker for LunchDates, I hear that assertion time and time again when speaking with single parents. However, you could have the best of both worlds if you’re an independent, professional single woman in Boston. Here are my top five tips on dating a divorced dad:
1. Kids come first.
Runny noses, soccer games and (eventually) shopping for colleges are typical demands of children. They will remain a factor if you’re in a relationship with a single dad. If that’s not your cup of tea, move on.
2. Everyone’s parenting schedule is different.
Dating a single dad means compromise, and a lot of it. If you’re used to always getting your own way, you won’t last long with a single parent. Communication is key, as well as understanding that things come up last minute.
3. Drama – where’s the balance?
If he’s too close with his ex, you may become jealous. If he’s too estranged, there’s drama. Tread lightly on this subject until you get to know each other. It’s a loaded question and can leave a guy feeling uncomfortable if he doesn’t answer it “correctly.”
4. Ages and number of kids matter.
Young children are a real demand on single parents. As they get older (think teenagers), they are more independent but also need more shuffling around. If his kids are already out of the house, that generally means that he’ll have a lot more time to dedicate to you.
5. If you want to have your own kids, don’t bring it up on the first/second date!
I know it doesn’t make sense! Men are not biologically wired to want more children once they’ve had them. Plus, it didn’t work out with his kids’ mom, so he’s probably a little gun shy. You will scare a great guy away if you bring up your agenda for procreation when you’re meeting early on.
I have some incredible clients that are single dads. They are loving, patient, considerate, and really looking for a relationship. However, the woman they’re looking for needs to understand all the priorities of being a single parent. If you’re a single mom, you get it (hopefully). And if you want to be a mom some day, or find yourself dating a single dad, take it in stride. Single dads can be a great catch if you’re open to being flexible, compromising, and communicative. But then again, that should be the foundation of any great relationship.
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Aimee Burke is a Boston dating coach and matchmaker at LunchDates. Aimee specializes in date coaching for singles in the Boston area. She also serves as an executive matchmaker and recruits professional singles for her clients.
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