Co-Parenting Dads and the Dating Scene
(3 min 26 sec read)
These are the separated or divorced men who are attempting to work together with their ex to raise their kids, keeping the focus on what is most important… the children. That said, at a certain point dad realizes he may want his own grown-up ‘playdates’ and that means swimming in the dating pool again. If it has been a few years since you dated, some things have changed, and some have not.
There’s a lot to get excited about, with the plethora of dating apps out there that cater to a wide variety of demographics. As you mull over the best recent photos to post and a snappy profile description, you may have a moment of pause with the best way to position your title as ‘dad’ to potential dates. Let’s be clear if you’re interested in pursuing a real long-term relationship be honest and upfront about your coParent status ~consider it a badge of honor.
Get beyond the stigma that because you’re divorced, you are damaged goods – you are not. For her, whether or not she’s ever been married, it sends a message that you are not commitment shy compared to the other guy your age that has never had a lasting commitment. Being an active coParent is a plus in some ways, you may already know this. There are a lot of single mom’s out there looking for a single dad, chances are your kids are your world and that will be a strong point of connection with her as a mom. Being a coParent shows a level of commitment to your kids, as well as shows character and maturity that women, looking for something genuine, will appreciate.
Something that comes with age and maturity, perhaps more than the dating scene in your twenties, is a round of direct questions to see if you check the right boxes for her. If you’re connecting with a single mom at a barbecue, trust that free time may be in short supply in her life. As a busy single dad, it may be refreshing to get those questions up front and simply trust she wouldn’t be asking unless she thought you were her type (physically speaking).
Once you start making those connections, you’ll need to navigate the complexities of two family schedules to plan that first date. Perhaps the planets will align when you both have ‘off-duty’ time, regardless, stay open and keep a sense of humor. You know it may take some schedule jogging to make it work ~but like you, if she’s a parent, she’ll need space to manage her work/life balance.
One thing you will not want to do anytime soon is start off this new courtship as a playdate with the kids. Chances are she will want to keep the kids at home, and you should too. Find the time to meet her one on one and take your time establishing your relationship before introducing each other to your kids.
If you find yourself in a dating situation with a woman that does not have children but is open to your co-parenting situation you may find yourself at an interesting crossroads. Like in co-parenting most of its success is in communication. Understanding that a single co-parenting dad has a ‘working’ relationship with his ex may need an explanation, be sensitive to that. A small word of advice, even if you have conflicts with your ex, don’t feel the need to bring all of it into the delicate courtship. It may seem a little overwhelming for the one you’re dating. Be open and genuine, she may need assurance you have room for her in your (already) busy and seemingly complex life.
Although it may be easy to bury your head in the endless routine of co-parenting, leave yourself open to the possibility of making that connection and don’t get caught up in the traps of the dating world. While there is no secret formula to share, just know that there is a ‘right fit’ out there for you and your children from your former marriage.