Anyone can attest, dating can be as difficult as it can be exciting. However, compared to simple dating, dating as a single dad adds complexities to the entire equation that make even having coffee or a dinner exponentially arduous. The keys to dating in this scenario, however, are simple and finite. First, you have to plan. Second, you have to be considerate. Third, you should be open and willing to clearly communicate.
1. Best online resources
First and foremost, you should avoid online hookup sites or apps. Avoiding these types of hookup sites or apps is important because you are restricting the number of people who can articulate healthy needs in appropriate ways. These types of sites often focus on the short-term goal of sex rather than the long-term goals of attraction and establishing a relationship.
Instead, develop or pursue the hobbies you like that also involve the opportunity to meet other women or people interested in those same hobbies. This might require some planning, but you should attempt to avoid hooking up. Instead, attempt to meet up, as it were, using totally free dating sites that focus on healthy relationships and activities of interest.
2. Types of dates
Types of dates should include those focused on exploring interests. Dates centered around coffee and dinner are typically conversational dates. These are important, but by the time you are a single father, you already have certain interests. Similarly, she (or he) will, too. Focus your dates around the activities that interest you, which may include diverse things like archery, darts, or cards.
Also, suggest dates that center around her (or his) interests as well, which may include fishing, sight-seeing, or rock climbing. Whatever the interests, no matter how diverse, you should be considerate of the other person’s interests because it is important to know one another’s interests–be they crocheting, comic books, or welding art.
In the initial stages of getting to know one another, attempt to not bring the date around your child. Most dates will not lead to a long-term relationship, so you need to be considerate of your child and not introduce fluctuating chaos into his or her life.
4. Due diligence
As you date, you should conduct background checks on your date. Investigate social media for inappropriate comments, behaviors, or any indication that he or she could introduce something detrimental to your child. You must be considerate of your child’s needs.
Although investigating your date might seem odd, your child’s safety and secure development should be top priorities. If anything seems odd in your investigations, politely put an end to the budding relationship. Do not let the person attempt to use logic as a way to continue the relationship.
5. Initial introduction
If you find someone in whom you are interested, introduce that person–at last–to your child. However, you should introduce your date as a friend–and nothing more. As a friend, your date should visit and within six to 10 months become friends with your child. Do not rush this process as your child must like the date. You cannot simply rush into a relationship because your date is, say, low on rent and really, really needs a place to stay.
6. Places to go or avoid
This step is a time to consider the needs of your child. The places you go should involve his or her interests. If your child is interested in soccer, you should invite your date to a weekend soccer game. Dates do not always have to be night-time events that lead to sex. Instead, they can be day events that lead to ice cream and laughter. If your date tends to yawn at whatever event your child is interested in, you need to politely end the relationship and begin again.
Places to go include the following.
- libraries for studying
- intramural sports or activities
- science centers
- sports events
- the park
Places to avoid include the following.
- liquor stores
- your date’s home or office
Note: you should be introducing your date to your child’s world. You should not be introducing your child to your date’s world. Although this might sound inconsiderate to your date, the time to introduce your date’s world to your child is after the moment your child emotionally accepts your date.
If this sounds too inconsiderate to your date, you might need to remember that children’s brains do not fully develop until they are approximately 25 years old. As an adult, your date should be able to process things that your child physically cannot. Consequently, your date should, as the saying goes, deal with it.
7. Your date’s world
You can now introduce your child to your date’s world and if things are progressing appropriately, you can ask your child if he or she would like your date to be around on a more permanent basis. Then the child can get to know your date’s world.
Although this process of dating as a single father might sound complicated and drawn out, it is not. It simply requires fathers to re-conceive what it means to keep their child’s interests in mind.
Of course, these steps should be modified slightly if the child’s concerns call for it. However, if you can communicate and re-communicate to yourself and to your date how important your child is, everything will turn out well in the long-term. This is hard work, yes. However, it is necessary. After all, if a single father or a date is merely interested in the short term, all that is required is a hook-up app, a babysitter, and some privacy.