By the time my boyfriend told me on our fourth or fifth date that he had a son I was far too hooked on this guy with a cute smile, lip ring and a quirky sense of humor. Needless to say, after having a long talk on our first real date that neither of us wanted to procreate, I was pretty shocked to find out…he’d already done that with someone else. But, like I said, I was hooked and figured I’d give it a go and see if we could make things work.
Why Dating A Single Dad Is The Best Thing Ever
And you know what?
My top advice right now to any other single woman out looking for a soul mate?
Date a single dad.
Here’s the thing: single dads have to know how to prioritize not just their job, but the people in their lives. Yes, it’s a juggling act and sometimes they’ll miss a catch and drop the ball, but if he’s worth keeping he’ll recognize a flub when he makes it. Single dad’s don’t have the luxury of playing video games nonstop, shooting pool whenever. They know what their priorities are because they’ve already learned the hard way. Yes, they’ll make mistakes, but chances are the mistakes they make are not the same kind of mistakes that leave you sitting on your sofa in a pretty dress waiting for your date to show up–but he’s out with the dudes. I’ll never forget when my boyfriend told me his son was the most important thing to him. My heart melted and yeah, I fell a little more in love with him.
Single dads have more fun. Period. I found that a lot of the guys I dated were far too concerned with how cool they appeared to be and weren’t that much fun to go out with. My single dad beau and I? We never lack for fun things to do. Play in the park? Yup! Play in the yard? Yup! Horse around in the house with card board boxes and the cats? Heck yes! Single dads have either worn out their desire to look cool, or just don’t care. Because truth is, their kiddo probably already thinks they’re the best thing since cupcakes, so why should anyone else matter?
You will never have to look for a fake reason to go to the movies to see the latest Disney/Pixar/Whatever movie is out. I used to borrow my friend’s kids to escape the dirty, judgey looks from people in the theater when it was just me there to see Kung Fu Panda whatever-number-we’re-on-now. These days, we just take our own kiddo.
Another thing I love about my single dad? We can talk about feelings and our needs without a huge, huffing show. Used to, if I needed to sit a guy down and tell him I just wasn’t feeling the love, there was a lot of finger pointing and throwing blame around. These days? We own up to what we aren’t doing right. We can talk about it. And get to a resolution that’s a heck of a lot more fulfilling than hashing out whose fault is what. Single dads have had to own up to their short comings and the needs of their kids long before you or I came into the picture. They’re just better equipped to handle those kinds of touchy-feely moments.
Patience. Single dads have had lessons in patience you and I can’t begin to fathom. Because kids are frustrating and it takes a lot of patience waiting on them to do the right thing or figure stuff out. Single dads are patient and much more likely to cut you, and me, a major load of slack when it comes to messing up, doing something wrong the first time or warming up to the new family dynamic.
Single dads are playing for keeps. They don’t want to introduce just anyone to their kids. It’s hell on the little ones to fall in and out of love with someone just like their dad will, so when he takes a chance on you, it’s not just for him. It’s for him, the little guy or girl and you. Yes, he’ll be patient while you freak out (or was that just me?) but in the end, he’s not out to jerk you around and dump you when he’s done. Because it’s not just his heart on the line in these relationships.
So some tips for the ladies?
Cut him some slack. He’s juggling a kiddo and trying to win you over. Be cool with nights at home, on the couch, watching something that isn’t a cartoon. Because chances are he needs an adult moment.
Let him complain about the ex, his kid, everything, and promptly forget it. It’s not personal, it’s just emotional and a lot of baggage that takes time and maybe twenty years to work through.
Be prepared to cancel fancy adult plans because of a sick kid and to rearrange your whole life because–they’re worth it.
I’m so very grateful that I didn’t freak out and leave my single dad dude at the restaurant when he dropped that bombshell on me. We’ve had some great years so far. 🙂 And, I’m guessing, we’ll have many more to come.