Being single is hard enough. Dating is difficult, scary, and usually exhausting both mentally and physically. As women, we tend to overthink, over worry, and definitely overstress. So, you can imagine all that brain power being put into overdrive when there are kids involved, especially when you have no control because they aren’t even your own children.
So, how do you prepare yourself for dating a single dad?
I can’t stress this enough. You’re going at his pace, no matter what. And it’s hard. It’s frustrating when you want to move forward and make progress, but there may be times when you feel like you’re interviewing for the role of “new mom” way before you even get to enjoy a cup of coffee with just dad. He’s being cautious, and his walls might be up. Not only for himself, but for his children. And so are yours because, well, you’re trying to develop a new relationship out of thin air and you’re probably carrying around some emotional baggage from past relationships that haven’t worked out—or in some cases, have crashed and burned.
A relationship with anyone has a lesser success rate if you two aren’t on the same page…or reading the same book. Expectations, fears, concerns, and the game plan moving forward have to be completely out on the table for both of you to see and discuss.
3. Know your limits
Both of you are going to be uncomfortable at some point. Any kind of new or change is challenging. But if you both feel it’s worth it, then you have to trust that boundaries don’t mean rejection.
Above all, be honest—first with yourself, and then with your partner. If you feel unsure, if you’re not certain about where you stand, or if you start to feel yourself spiraling down that drain of insecurity and freak-out-mode…take a breath, say a prayer, and restart at the top of the list. Patience—you’re probably rushing or pushing. Communication—talk to him about it because whatever has you worried might be all in your head. Know your limits—in regards to what you can or can’t handle as far as contributing to a relationship. If you can’t agree on the foundation or core building blocks of establishing a life together, then you might need to reevaluate and ultimately walk away. It’s important to share basic values.
I’ve come to discover that parenting is a “members only” kind of club. You’ll never be taught the secret handshake or be given the security code to the door without a child to call your own. But if a parent chooses to come outside, chooses to date you, get to know you, value you, and take the risk to include you in that future picture…you’re in for an awfully big adventure. One that might scare you or challenge you, but it also could inspire and encourage you to build a life you never had planned for or expected. And with a little grit and a lot of grace, you might just find yourself happily dating a single dad.
For a fun and helpful podcast episode about dating, listen to Single? How to Thrive in the Online Dating World with Kristin Fry – 037!
You’ll also like You, Your Man, and His Baby Mama All Need Grit and Grace, 5 Important Things to Discuss as a New Couple, 5 Tips for How to Re-Enter the Dating World, 7 Dating Tips for Successful Relationships, After Years of Dating, Should You Keep Waiting?, 7 Things to Look for in a Man, and Stepmother: the Most Difficult Job in a Family.