Dating a Single Dad Advice
Dating A Single Dad Advice – There are millions of people who are parents that are dating. However, as many soon realize, dating is not the same when they were young and child free. Whether you are a single Dad or you are dating a single Dad, here some “dating a single Dad advice” that will help you navigate!
What to Expect When Dating a Single Dad
There are differences between dating a child free person and a single Dad. A person who is dating a single Dad should have different expectations of dating. It does not mean you cannot have an enjoyable dating experience! Here is what to expect when dating a single Dad.
You Will Not Meet the Children Right Away
When you are dating someone you really like, you want to know about their life and know the people that are important to them. Do not take offense if the single Dad you are dating does not introduce you to his children right away.
Children are dealing with the separation between both of their parents and even though it may have happened a few years ago, it still can sting. Parents are cautious, especially in the first few months, to introduce their children to someone new.
Parents do not want people coming into their children’s lives, spending a lot of time with them, loving them and then leaving. It is not healthy for the child. When the relationship gets serious, then meeting the children can be a slow and gradual process. This is also good for you. It allows you to take the time to learn the needs of the children and the gravity of slowly learning how to be a bonus adult or bonus parent (if you are thinking this relationship will eventually lead to long term commitment).
If You Date for a While: Expect To Meet The Ex
Even though you are not obligated to meet the EX as soon as you start dating a single Dad, it is important to know once things get serious and you have the potential to be around the children, the ex may want to meet you.
This can be stressful for you, your boyfriend and the co parent of these children. It is important to know that you need to protect yourself, especially if the relationship is toxic.
The EX needs to know that you are a safe person to be around their children. That is a right a co parent needs to know, especially if you will be spending time alone with their children. A meet up and some small talk should suffice if you have been serious for a few months. You are under no obligation to meet up if you are not spending any time with the children. You should only consider this if the relationship is getting serious.
Your feelings matter as well. If you notice that your boyfriend has a toxic relationship with his ex, the last thing you want to do is get involved. There is problem and lack of communication on both sides and you don’t deserve the toxicity. Sometimes, the anger of the co parent can be directed at you to get back at the other co parent. Put yourself in a protective space and try your best to make these interactions productive for everyone involved.
If co-parenting is healthy, then you can expect the meeting to be just to validate that their children will be safe with you. Many families often times forge an acquaintanceship or even a friendship with the co-parent of their boyfriend.
The Children Will Come First
You are so important and if you are appreciated and even loved while you are dating a single Dad. Remember that the children must come first. That does not mean you are less important, but it means your boyfriend is honoring his responsibility to his children. This does not end when they are eighteen. Though the relationship will slowly change in adulthood, every parent is responsible and wants to love and care for their children until the day they die. That means their children’s problems will wear as their problems and that sometimes dates will be canceled due to emergencies with the children.
Though it can be hard to have an important date canceled every so often, it does show you a great quality that your boyfriend is loyal and a good caregiver to his children.
They will not be available every evening or weekend
Single Dads are often times sharing custody of their children. That means they will be busy with their children. From doctors’ appointments to recitals, their children are experiencing life and Dad will be there to enjoy these milestones with them. Weekends are a busy time for children and Dad will be busy at least every other weekend caring for the little ones and spending time with them. Take some extra time to do things for yourself, visit your family and friends and keep an active life when the person you are dating is caring for their children.
They May Not Spend Money the Same Way as You
If you have an extra $100 you may take yourself out for dinner, buy yourself something nice or save it. A single Dad is going to spend that money differently. He may put the money towards his children. Along with child support if he sees his child less, or putting it towards the children or house if his children live with him, you can expect money to be a bit tighter as he is trying to support his family.
That does not mean he would not want to spend time and have lavish dates with you. It just means that you two will find wonderful ways to date without spending the extra cash. This does not apply to all single Dads, but especially in the beginning, it can apply to quite a few. Don’t take it personally as divorce, child support and caring for children can be quite expensive.
He Will Always Communicate With His Ex
Partners cannot expect all communication to be cut off with their ex. They will always need to co-parent and will need to speak even when the children are adults. Post-secondary school education, health care, weddings and birth of grandchildren will always bond your boyfriend and his ex. These are healthy relationships.
As your relationship with your boyfriend grows and evolves, you too will have a role in the raising of these children. You will probably love them as well and want the best for them.
With communication with an ex comes boundaries. It is healthy for you to want a good co-parenting relationship for your boyfriend and his ex. It makes things smoother. If they are acquaintances or friends that is great too. If he is treating his ex kindly, it does not mean he loves his ex still. What it most likely means is he loves his children and this is their mother.
If you feel any bad feelings that something is going on behind your back, it is best to talk about it and end the relationship, rather than put restrictions on communication between them. It’s always more complicated when children are involved!
The Responsibilities Single Dad Dating Advice
The responsibilities of a single Dad are not the same as the ones of a child free person. Walking into a dating situation with a single Dad you have to know that this father will have:
To be with his children and put their needs first. That means breaking plans with you to help them, changing plans last minute if one of them need their father, taking calls in the middle of your time and more.
Financial Obligation- Dating Single Dad Advice
This single Dad will need to save money for his children. This could mean child support for the kids every month. It could also mean extra money if extraordinary expenses arise. They may be law owe alimony to their former spouse.
It is possible that they have given away half of their assets if they were previously married which includes but is not limited to a house and vehicles.
They may also be a little strapped for cash, especially at first after a divorce. Divorce is expensive and painful. Lawyers, court fees, motions and even psychologists can add up quickly.
Money may be tight or you find your boyfriend may have a comfortable living situation. Either way, you may have to accept that he spends money in different ways than a child free person would.
What a Single Dad Needs To Expect From You
Dating takes two people and that does not mean that you are the only one bending for this relationship to work.
If you are also a single parent, your single Dad has to understand that you will also have to have time for your children as well. Coordinating is based on your relationship, your jobs and your children. Do not put your family aside to accommodate his. You will be able to find time when you set up your needs and he sets up his from the early start of your relationship.
If you are not a parent, you need to set up realistic boundaries as well. You cannot be the only one making accommodations. Though your partner cannot choose you over his children, he can certainly understand that in order to achieve long term relationship happiness, he is going to need to understand your boundaries as well. After a few dates, if you feel the relationship is getting serious, you have to ask yourself a few questions and express your boundaries and concerns.
What Relationship Do You See For Yourself Having With His Children
Do you like children? After meeting the children, you will be spending a lot of time with them. That means you will be with his children during their ups and downs. They are human and have emotions about their father dating. The children may also have days where they are sad, crabby and just not feeling happy. It is normal. But what role do you expect to play in their lives? What role does your partner expect you to play in their lives?
Are you going to be the adult who is the fun one? Are you comfortable parenting his children or will this role change or evolve over time? It is important that you set boundaries and goals of what you want in this relationship as well and what you are capable of.
Boundary- You cannot be expected to be an instant parent. Taking time to ease everyone into this new family situation is important.
What Relationship Do You See Him Having With Your Children?
If you are a single parent as well, what relationship do you see this single Dad having with your children? You want to make sure that he is like a bonus adult but you still want to make sure that you are calling the shots as far as your children go.
Speak to your children about slowly integrating your boyfriend into events.
Do Not Let Him Meet Your Children Right Away
If you have started dating, enjoy that time! Do not rush to introduce your child to everyone you are dating. They are still hurting from the split between you and your ex. Even if it has been many years ago! Leave the dating a new person to you and only begin to introduce your boyfriend when you know this is someone serious enough that you want to spend a long time with. If you are just dating, there is no reason for your children to be introduced to anyone.
That You Are a Partner but Not a Parent
Do you see yourself in the future as a parent? If you do not, you may want to reconsider getting into a long term relationship with a single Dad. You will be with his children more and more as the relationship progresses, but most likely, you are not expected to discipline the children.
Boundary- You are not the child’s Mom and Dad but you deserve respect. You do not deserve to be abused in any way from the children. You should expect a mutually kind and respectful relationship.
Your boyfriend should be able to take over when a child acts up and deal with any situation properly. It cannot be expected for you to parent immediately. It puts you in a position where the child may become resentful for you for trying to take co-parents “place.” Dad must be responsible for his children as he would in any other social situation.
Lay Ground Rules on How He Can Parent Your Children
If you have children yourself, lay some ground rules on parenting. Especially in the beginning of a serious relationship, it is important that he does not step into that “Dad” role. He has to act more as a bonus figure. Just like you, this is always a balancing act and never easy. You must keep a keen eye on everyone’s feelings and make sure to address your children when they are having challenges.
Whether it is your family or single Dad’s family, it is important that the parent is the one who is doing the parenting! If either of you has any concerns, make sure you have an honest and open communication system to make things easier.
He Has To Make Time for Your Family
You are doing such a great job going into your boyfriend’s family. There will be times where your single Dad boyfriend will not be able to get together at your family events. He does have to make an effort to get to know your family and your friends. Though children and the elderly are the most important in every family in terms of care, he still has to make time to be a part of your life.
Boundary- His children are his life and so important, but you deserve time as well. It can feel like a balancing act for a single Dad. However, it is important that your family knows that your partner is serious about dating you and getting to know your loved ones.
The way to make your relationship successful for both of you is trust. Now that burden does not fall all on you. It has to be an equal trusting relationship with two people working hard to earn and keep trust. In an ideal world, we would want you to have an easy time. Realistically, many of you are dealing with custody battles, child support, conflicting exes, doubting family members and so much more.
Remember why you were both drawn to one another and remember to build that foundation based upon trust, love and mutual respect.
Boundary- Both of you need to work on this equally, no matter how it can feel there is never enough time.
Red Flags if…
You believe that you don’t want to have children in your life
It is your right to want what you want! There are many child free people. However, you cannot ask a single Dad to give up his children or put them on the backburner for you. Choose a partner who is childfree as well.
The top dating a single dad advice we can give is communication. A single Dad can be a dream come true and you can be a dream come true for a single Dad. If you both are good communicators, you can achieve anything together. Be sure to communicate your feelings or challenges and encourage him to do the same. Regular, healthy conversations can stop future fights. Putting on a united front is so healthy not only for you both, but for the children involved. Stay in communication and keep the love burning!
He Is Interested In His Kids but Not Yours
We don’t expect your single Dad to walk into a family and be super Dad but we do expect him to be kind and caring to your children. If you find your boyfriend is not interested in your children, a serious talk must be had and decisions will have to be made.
You Believe that Your Needs Are Not Being Met
Even though you boyfriend has to put his child or children as a priority, you still are so important. If your boyfriend is breaking plans to help his ex with challenges that do not concern children or family, there needs to be some important conversations. Though the children must always be the first priority, your family and relationship should hold a high priority.
Having healthy boundaries and respecting yourself is integral in order to have a healthy relationship. If you keep finding yourself on the backburner and you believe you have been understanding and obliging to these circumstances, it is time to put a hard stop on what is happening and set boundaries.
If You Feel Dating a Single Dad Is Not For You
You gave it a try, but it is too much work. That is okay! It can be hard on many people to deal with the ins and outs of dating a single father. It is time to understand your feelings. If you are sure you cannot do this, speak to your partner about ending things. Though it will be tremendously hurtful, it is better to leave early than years later when the children have a massive attachment to you. You and your partner deserve happiness. It is okay if you learned this lifestyle is not for you. As long as you give respect to your partner and end it in a respectful way, everything will eventually be alright.
Some of the Best Things about Dating a Single Dad
When you are dating a single Dad, you see that they are very responsible. They love their children and work hard to take care of them. A good single Dad is loyal, mature and is usually excellent with children. There are so many great things about dating a single father.
Single Dad Dating- Dating Single Dad Advice
Dating Single Dad Advice – If you are planning on dating single Dad, you can have a long lasting and healthy relationship. It will be different from other child free person but it can work. If you are understanding and willing to communicate your needs and expectations, you two can build a beautiful relationship.
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