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Dating A Single Dad (25 Things To Expect)

Getting to know someone outside your usual dating pool can be tedious, but with the right advice, you can scale through it. If you’re dating a single dad, there are certain things you should know before the relationship gets serious

Such vital things will prepare you for the future and ensure you reap the fantastic benefits that come with seeing a single dad.

To make sure you and your partner get along with each other, we created this article to give you an inside scoop of what it's like dating a single dad. If you’re curious to find out, continue reading.

25 Things To Expect When Dating A Single Dad

1. He’ll still be in contact with his ex

he'll still be in contact with his ex

When you’re dating a single dad, one of the things to expect is seeing his ex around often. They’ll have a platonic relationship, where they handle their responsibilities like co-parenting their kids, without allowing their previous relationship to get in the way. 

At first, this scenario will seem weird or disturbing to you, but over time, you’ll learn to deal with the ex’s presence. You’ll understand that she has a long-term association with your partner, and you’ll be able to acknowledge the role she inevitably has to play. 

2. People will bring up the dad topic

If you’ve only ever dated regular guys, it’s likely that people will question your choices when you date a single dad. They’ll get to know why you made the choice, and if you’re sure of what it entails. 

If you’re the type of person who can’t take the heat or accommodate some spotlight on your relationship, this is something to prepare for. Friends and family will try to interfere along the course of your relationship, advising you on what and what not to do. Therefore, it would be best to prepare to talk about your relationship a lot.

3. He avoids drama

You might notice a surprising thing when going out with an unattached father, which is, he avoids drama as much as possible. He won’t take situations as seriously as you might think he will, because he has mastered several commendable virtues while raising his child. 

While getting to know him, you’ll see how much he tries to focus on less trivial issues. This act will help you filter out what’s essential and what’s not. More so, it will help you know where to channel your energy appropriately. Fights that should occur will turn out to be simple conversations, which will teach you a lot.

4. He will be patient with you

It may seem as though an unattached father will have many expectations from you when you’re dating him, but, ironically, he’ll be quite patient with you. Bringing up a child incorporates a lot of patience, which he would have picked up over the years. If you’re not a single mom, he may understand that you’ve never been in such a situation before. 

He’ll however make sure you get accustomed to specific conditions, especially being around his kids. He’ll also take his time before introducing you to his children to ensure you’re comfortable doing so. He’ll also be patient after you meet them, so you’re not overwhelmed with the circumstances.

5. He spends money wisely

Raising a child will inevitably make any single parent money-conscious. They’ll have to prioritize the important stuff and curb any lousy spending habits they used to have. To cater to their family, you’ll see what it means to spend money wisely, and perhaps, be forced to pick up on a few things. 

If you’ve only dated regular guys, you might have used a part of your budget on surprise restaurant outings, trips, and many other trivial things. On the contrary, you shouldn’t expect these when dating a single dad because most of the budget will go to running the home.  

6. He makes inexpensive outings creative

he makes inexpensive outings creative

Except you’re dating a wealthy unmarried father, don’t expect tours or outings to be lavish or expensive. Being money-conscious while raising a child helps an unmarried father to be creative, especially with inexpensive outings. 

He’ll know how to start up fun games to keep the family entertained and use other innovative measures to transform a dull day at a cheap park into a memorable one. You’ll forcefully pick up on a few things and appreciate his effort to keep his kids happy. You’ll learn the importance of little things and be inspired to create fun moments with little resources.

7. You’ll have to act more maturely

Children have a way of bringing out the best in you when you’re around them. Concisely, when you’re with your partner’s children, you’ll consciously and unconsciously put aside all your childish behaviors. You would need to think and behave responsibly because any wrong move can get either you or your new family in trouble. 

Dating a single dad will make you more in tune with your age because your partner’s kids will be watching and might be adapting to the actions you take. You’ll understand what it means to be a parent and have another human being looking up to you.

8. You’ll handle your insecurities and impulses

Some of the things you’ve swept under the carpet will come to light when you’re dating a single dad with a kid. You’ll be forced to understand why you take specific actions and deal with them if they pose to be unhealthy

Kids will always be curious and poke around in many areas of your life, especially those you inevitably can’t hide. For example, if you have tattoos, be prepared to get some questions from your partner’s children on why you have them. Such actions will make you question yourself and help you to acknowledge some insecurities and handle them.   

9. He handles responsibilities correctly

Dealing with duties is the most common scenario you’re going to notice when dating someone with a kid. If he has split from his previous partner for a long while, he’ll seem pretty great at these tasks. 

He has learned to adapt to these procedures to keep the home running smoothly. As such, you might find yourself with less work or responsibilities. Your partner will learn to adjust and share responsibilities with you over time, especially involving the kids.   

10. He makes precise decisions

Raising kids doesn’t give room for making horrible decisions. One wrong move can cost a lot more than expected, so it’s essential to be head-on with all the actions you take. To that effect, you should expect your partner to make precise decisions throughout the relationship. 

He will rarely go back on his word because most of them have already been premeditated. It would be best to chip in your ideas before finalizing plans because it will be hard to change them at the last minute. More so, don’t expect him to prioritize your decisions because, after all, he knows best for his family.

11. You’ll have to handle your responsibilities too

As little as your responsibilities may be at the early stage of a relationship with an unattached father, don’t expect to have a pass without fulfilling them. Your contributions will be as significant as any other obligation your partner has to fulfill. 

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They’ll go a long way in making you a part of the family, so try not to neglect them. If you’re having a hard time handling these duties, it would be best to talk to your partner about it. He will be glad to show you how to manage them. This action is much better than pushing aside the responsibilities.  

12. He is understanding

he is understanding

Like with most unattached dads, raising a child brings out their understanding side. He’ll learn to be patient with people and understand that the world does not revolve around him. If you’re slacking, he’ll help you get back on track without making a fuss about how important those things are. 

He’ll be a lot more cool-headed than the regular guys you’d date because he has mastered patience and understanding with his kids. Most of these behaviors will take you by surprise, especially when you expect a reaction from him. On the contrary, he’ll handle situations quite calmly.

13. There’ll be a lot of cleaning

You can’t expect a household with children to remain clean at all times. Therefore, when you want to date a single parent, expect his place always to be messy. Such scenarios indicate that you’ll have a lot to handle, especially when you’re at his residence. Cleaning will be a constant habit if you’re trying to make yourself comfortable at his home. 

You’ll also need to know patience because after cleaning the living room, you shouldn’t expect it to stay tidy for too long. You’ll also have to get accustomed to certain habits that children exhibit. This act will keep you from reacting negatively whenever your efforts are disregarded.

14. You’ll need to learn control

It’s easy to crave being in power in other relationships, especially when you like things in a certain way. On the contrary, this action is quite impossible when you’re in a relationship with a single father. You have to acknowledge that you can’t control certain events in the relationship. 

Your partner will inevitably call most of the shots, like whether to reveal his kids’ existence on a first date or when you should see them. He does these things because he takes into consideration what works best for his family

Bearing this notion in mind, it would be easier not to overstep your boundaries. You’ll find it easy to run things through your partner before taking action.

15. You’ll realize how old you really are

Having children makes a person responsible and allows them to acknowledge how old they’re getting. Dating regular guys would make you feel young and blissful, while dating someone with a kid may quickly tire you out. Though there are many perks involved in dating a single dad, you should expect a reality check about your life and age due to the responsibilities you’ll be taking on. 

You’ll see the beautiful yet severe part of life, which is raising children, and with time, you might even start to crave having kids for yourself. It’s a pleasant experience that comes with a dose of reality.  

16. His kids will always be in the first place

Irrespective of the blossoming relationship you have with your partner, one thing to always acknowledge is that his children will always take first place in his life. They will always be his priority, and keeping this in mind will prevent you from being disappointed later in the future. 

It would be best to accept this position, even before things progress. This act will prevent you from having expectations that your partner won’t fulfill in the manner that you want. Your partner would love and cherish you, but understand that he would channel most of his affection and care towards his children.   

17. There’s no room for jealousy

After acknowledging you don’t hold the first position in your partner’s life, especially if he has kids, the next thing to realize is that there’s no room for jealousy. Your partner will undoubtedly pick his kids when giving an option; therefore, you shouldn’t make him choose between you and his kids. 

If he’s spending a lot of time with them or giving them more attention, acknowledge that it’s something he has to do as a dad. Getting angry about these things makes him think his association with you is something he has to pick over his children, which he can’t.  

18. Don’t overthink or take things too seriously

don't overthink or take things too seriously

Dating a single dad comes with numerous uncertainties. You’re unsure how the relationship’s dynamics will go, especially with a child involved, and you get nervous and start to overthink everything. You want to relate with the kids in the best way possible, and most significantly, get everything right. 

Understand that taking everything too seriously won’t allow you to accomplish what you want correctly. You have to relax and be entirely free with everyone to make a relationship with a single father work. Don’t overthink anything, or you might end up making the wrong moves.

19. There’s no shame anywhere

It’s inevitable for parents to let go of their pride and do some humiliating things to raise children. You should expect to see your partner act childish with his kids to get the entertainment going. Nevertheless, always bear in mind that there’s no shame in raising kids. 

Along the way, you might find yourself participating in such activities, which will inevitably bring you closer to the family. Though it may seem weird and unappealing at first, with time, you’ll get the hang of the situation and acknowledge it’s something that inevitably happens when you’re with kids.

20. There’s a lot more security

Some fantastic benefits come with dating a dad, which you may not get with regular guys. One of those factors is security in the relationship. A father is not necessarily looking for who to mess around with or consider other options when he already has one. He’s a lot more settled than the average man because he now has a child he’s looking after. 

You won’t worry about where he is, who he’s out with, or even the phone calls he makes because there’s a sense of responsibility that keeps him in check. This scenario helps you to settle down better, without the hassle typical associations entail.

21. You’ll still have a lot of time to yourself

Unlike widespread knowledge that dating a dad comes with many responsibilities that will keep you preoccupied with other things, you’ll undoubtedly have a lot of time to yourself. Since your partner handled all the duties before he met you, he’ll want to continue managing most of them since he’s already used to it. 

With the limited number of activities, you’ll have enough time to go to work, manage your business, and most definitely, hang out with friends. Therefore, don’t let the notion of less time for yourself prevent you from being with a man you love.  

22. He won’t take issues as seriously as you think

In every relationship, you should expect some turbulence once in a while. But unlike other associations, being with a single father is far less stressful. This notion holds because he’s likely not to take some issues as seriously as you might think. 

His primary goal would be to see his child happy, and from his prior experiences with failed or broken relationships, he wouldn’t want to give his kid hope and destroy it due to minor arguments. When there are severe matters, he will address them accordingly; otherwise, it’ll merely be a misunderstanding that shouldn’t have too much attention.

23. You’ll learn a few things about handling previous relationships from him

An unmarried father will indeed retain contact with his ex and work out different ways to make the association work. Dating such a man would reveal a beautiful aspect of how to handle previous relationships. 

At first, it would seem strange and redundant, but with time, you’ll understand the mindset he has behind this act. You’ll acknowledge the essence of letting bygones be bygones, and this will give you an improved perspective on how to behave with your previous partners.

24. He’d get along pretty well with other parents

Being a single father requires networking with other parents to get the hang of the job entirely. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised if you see your partner excellently handling conversations about almost any topic. 

You might start to feel a little left out when you start meeting other parents, but with time, you’ll get the hang of things. You’ll be able to learn faster if you develop a substantial interest in such topics while dating your partner.

25. He’s likely to get along with other dads, including yours

he's likely to get along with other dads including yours

Another way you might feel left out is when your partner meets with different fathers. Dads are likely to get along fast, so you might experience the two most important men in your life bonding pretty quickly. 

Unlike other relationships where you’d have to wait for this to happen, it happens swiftly in this kind of relationship. Although it may give you some mixed emotions, you’ll grow to appreciate the connection they have in the long run.


How do you know if a single dad is serious about you?

If an unmarried dad is serious with you, he will take out time to connect with you. Spending quality time with you would be a priority irrespective of his parenting responsibilities. When he’s eager to introduce you to his kid, you’ll be able to tell that he likes you a lot.

Why dating a single dad is good?

One of the factors that make being in a relationship with a dad great is his improved sense of responsibility from having a kid. He’s willing to take things slow and be understanding enough to allow the relationship to grow. More so, you can expect more commitment from him, there are exceptions of course.

How do single dads start dating?

Unmarried fathers take their time before entering relationships to ensure they don’t make previous mistakes. They would rather keep their child at a distance and allow the association to blossom before introducing their new partner to their child.

What do single dads look for?

A single parent would always seek to safeguard his child. Irrespective of their relationships, their maximum priority remains to shield their kid from harm. If they’ve built a level of trust with you, they will honor you with the privilege of meeting their kid, which puts you on the pedestal of their heart.

Do single dads prefer single moms?

Since an unmarried father already knows the hassles involved in raising a child, he wouldn’t want to marry a single mom and train up another child. An unattached father would prefer to meet a new lady so they can raise their own kids with each other.

To Conclude

Did you find this article insightful? Remember that there are many uncertainties when you’re seeing someone with a child. Nonetheless, if you want your dating life to flourish without having to break up in the future, you have to prepare for the unexpected. Kindly leave a comment below and share this article with others.

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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