The divorced dad dating is an interesting guy. Aside from the trauma he has been through in divorce, the divorced dad dating, in my opinion typically lacks self-confidence, and self-assuredness. This is usually because he is trying to work, raise his children now as a single parent, run his household alone, and attempt to find love again, and the overwhelmingness of the change can feel difficult and exhausting.
What the divorced dad sometimes fails to realize is that he is sexy and well-respected by the divorced or single woman. There is nothing better than to watch a divorced dad with his children, and loving and caring for them.
This email came from a 42 year-old divorced dad dating who shares custody of his 10 year-old daughter. I thought it was interesting how he categorized his dating challenges according to the ages of the women he has met:
Younger women, 34 – 39, who are divorced or single moms have kids older than my daughter, so they ready to see the world again and don’t want to spend more time with a younger person in their lives.
40-42 most likely their kids have already gone to college, so they are even more than ready to date someone with more free time
34-39 with no kids and never married are very independent, they don’t know what it means to be in charge of a little one, and many want their own child, so they want someone with a lot of free time but ready to become a dad, which to be quite honest, I would totally do it again, with the right person of course, so it’s difficult for them to commit with a guy like me.
40-42 never married no kids, forget it, they want someone who is completely free.
OK, so first of all, I had my first child at 36. I know that is on the older side, but I know countless women who started having children in their early to mid thirties. I think my point is, I don’t think these demographics are all together accurate. I think every person has his or her unique story, which includes when they met someone, fell in love and had a child (or more).
On dating sites, if you put in your age range, and request that they have kids, I would think there would be many, many available women.
I think this guy is correct in that if he dates a woman who has never been married or who has never had kids, (and let’s say she is younger than 45—so it is still possible for her to have children) then she will want kids of her own. Which seems not to be a problem for him. And, if she wants kids of her own, she would most likely be accepting—and happy to have a stepdaughter.
Where I think this guy is wrong is, there are many, many women (divorced and never married) in their late thirties or early forties who never had kids, (and don’t want any) but would still be open to being a stepmom to a 10 year-old. A woman might look at the child as a chance to have the responsibilities of a stepmom and to experience love and bonding with a young child that she wouldn’t otherwise have. She might enjoy the opportunity to be a mentor, a coach, a source of additional love and support for a child. It could prove to be a tremendously rewarding and fulfilling experience.
The key is for this guy to have balance with the women he dates. He can’t expect them to hang out with his 10 year-old on every date, but the women should want to be around his daughter some of the time, or the relationship won’t work. Relationships are all about give and take, about doing things for your spouse and having him or her do things for you. It’s about being selfless at times, and that includes including your date’s kids in some of your dates. And, it should be looked at as a positive! In other words, the couple is in a win-win. They win if they get to go out on a romantic date alone, and they win if they get to spend time laughing and doing kid things that they know the daughter would enjoy.
Here is what I want to tell this man. He only needs one match. Just one. That’s it. I’m not saying it’s easy to find true love, but knowing that it only takes one makes it seem more realistic, right? Somewhere out there is a woman who is going to meet him and fall in love. She will then meet his daughter and fall in love not only with her, but more in love when she sees her boyfriend love and nurture his daughter. Great dads are a complete turn-on for women! Again, we love seeing a loving father with his daughter. It makes us more in love seeing those wonderful qualities in action.
The key is for him to be himself and not settle for someone who doesn’t want to spend time with his daughter, because his daughter is such a big part of his life. In other words, the daughter comes with him. It’s a package deal. You want it or you don’t. That should be his attitude. And until that person comes along who wants the package, this guy should continue to do two things: go out with women and spend time with his little girl.
To this guy: You’re doing great! Just keep being a great dad and the rest is going to fall into place.
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of her novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationship column, Love Essentially, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Pilossoph lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she’s divorced.