Dating as a single dad

Dating as a single dad

Our #DaddyDebates podcast returns with season 2 and our first episode couldn’t be more timely. As Valentine’s Day is coming up we thought it would be the perfect time to sit down and discuss what it’s like dating as a parent, specifically as a single dad. As well as regulars and MFF writers Alec and Machel, we welcomed special guest Adam Pugh on to the show to talk about his experiences. Adam is an anti-racist campaigner and a single dad who came to spill the tea and share his experiences of dating as a single dad. Watch the full podcast episode here.

We’ve broken down the top 5 points from the podcast, here’s things to consider when dating as a single dad:

Dating as a single dad can be intense

As parents we don’t have much time on our hands and we certainly don’t have time to waste. So when we take time to meet other people and spend time away from our family, it has to be worthwhile. And this can make dating quite tricky. Before children, dating can be a slow process where you can take as much time as you want to figure out whether you are both compatible and whether you want the same things in life. But with children involved, that’s often a luxury we don’t have.

This often means that relationships can become quite intense quite early on as the initial ‘seeing each other’ phase is shortened. This doesn’t have to be a problem, it’s just something that needs to be managed and you both need to go at a pace that you are comfortable with -- one that doesn’t waste your time but also gives you both the space to explore each other and make sure you are making the right decisions.

Introducing your child to your new partner is hard

There’s never a perfect time to introduce your child to a new partner. Do it too early and you risk confusing your child if you break-up shortly after. Do it too late and you risk spending time building with someone only to find out that they aren’t compatible with your children. In the podcast we spoke about having to explain the end of a relationship to your children and supporting them through that grieving process.

As single dads our children always need to come first, so finding a partner who understands our approach in regards to when to introduce them to our children is key.

Sex becomes more complicated

Before kids, sex is something most of us wouldn’t think too deeply about -- it’s pleasurable and there is no one else apart from ourselves and our partners to consider. However, after becoming a parent we often become a lot more aware of our actions and their implications -- on our physical, mental and emotional state. On the podcast we spoke about wanting to hold off from sex with new partners until a deeper connection is formed. We also spoke about how this approach can cause a backlash from potential partners!

Dating apps can work

Earlier we mentioned that dating as a single dad can be intense. We know who we are and what we want and we don’t have time to waste with people who aren’t aligned with that. Dating apps are designed to cut out some of early phase of figuring out each other’s priorities, hobbies and likes and dislikes. We discussed how they have worked for us and whether we would recommend them to others.

Dating other single parents can have its positives and negatives

Typically, single dads will have their kids on the weekend. And typically, single mums will have their kids during the week. This means that if a single mum and a single dad are dating each other, making time for one another can become very difficult! On the flip side, dating someone who isn’t a parent can bring it’s own difficulties as they may not completely understand your challenges as a single parent. On the podcast we discussed our choices and our experiences dating women with and without their own children.

We hope you enjoy the podcast. Let us know what about your experiences of dating as a single dad. Connect with us on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #DaddyDebates to join the conversation.


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