Dating as a single father is probably one of the most frustrating experiences that a man can go through.
No matter how hard you try to pretend you’re not, at the end of the day you’re still a man with potential lady-repellent. Overall, most women love children and love to play with them. The difference between your child and the “other” children is that your child is YOURS and shares genetic code with a another woman.
A single woman who doesn’t have children of her own is going to look at your child differently – because if she’s dating you, she’s dating your child.
Subconsciously the female mind is keyed into things that as a man, we’re just not aware of. Our minds are wired differently, and women view children in more granular and deep ways than most men can dream of. We may see our child as a bundle of joy, but the non-parental partner sees a beautiful child AND a living, breathing, relationship technical difficulty.
Biggest Concerns Women Have When Dating a Single Father
Am I Becoming a Mom?
This is probably the biggest fear that I’ve heard. Children are a huge responsibility, and someone who hasn’t experienced it may see raising children as a crushing weight that can be overwhelming. Am I becoming a mom? Does he expect me to help raise his child? What will happen to our relationship?
Do I Have to Know His Ex-Wife?
Let’s face it; women love attention and affection. A woman loves to know she’s the only woman in your life and she puts value in that. No woman wants to feel like she’s in second place, and an ex-wife can be a constant reminder that your current lady isn’t Number One. This can drastically affect her faith in your affections towards her, and really varies based on your relationship with your Ex.
In the long run, your girlfriend is dating your ex-wife, in a twisted sort of way.
Secondly, meeting the ex-wife (or ex-husband if roles were reversed) forces a woman to compare herself to your Ex. No one wants to feel judged, and we are all our own worst critic. How do you feel when you look at your ex-wife’s new man? Take that and multiply it by twenty.
But He Has a Child…
You can’t change your past just like you can’t predict the future.
The fact that you have a child with another woman is something she’ll have to deal with. There’s a profound emotional intimacy that people share when they have children, and women tend to be hyper aware of this. The fact that you found this intimacy with another woman and created a child can leave a the woman you are dating gasping for breath because of how she sees this bond and connection. That doesn’t mean that you can’t share that intimacy with another woman.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the issue that makes most women see divorced fathers as “tarnished” or “damaged goods.”
What’s a Guy to Do?
What I have found through personal experience, research, and discussions with other men, is that communication and patience are the keys for almost all of these concerns.
Be upfront about your situation and don’t hide that you have a child.
If you really are “shopping” for a mom, you need to be extremely honest about this. If you are not, do your best to clearly articulate what you are looking for with your girlfriend. Ask her to share what her concerns are and address them with her.
Be clear on your expectations.
Your Child Is Your Responsibility
On that note, raising and disciplining your child are your responsibilities.
You can’t pass the buck to do this. You are the parent and the authority figure. It’s your job to teach your child to respect the relationship you have with your lady, not hers. If you don’t step up to this and nip it in the bud early, then expect lots of problems later on, especially with teenagers. If you let your child step on your partner, you’re probably going to find yourself single again.
Being a single father is a big deal.
It’s tough and comes with a lot of difficult choices and discussions. Be honest and communicate with your partner. Be patient and help her when she has a tough time with the situation. Communication is the key to unlocking the potential of a worthwhile relationship that you, your partner, and your child can enjoy together.