General Question

RandomMrdan's avatar

Are single dads really all that bad?

Asked by RandomMrdan (7433points) January 25th, 2012

I don’t know what it is, but finding women who would consider dating a single dad in his mid 20’s is proving to be extremely difficult. It could just be the women I’m interested in? I don’t know.

I usually aim for women slightly younger than myself, maybe my age or slightly older though, I’m not opposed. I prefer a woman who is independent, single or divorced (I don’t care), no children, has a career (not a dead end job), and is attractive/intelligent (obviously).

Now, finding women that fit the description above isn’t difficult, it’s finding the women who would date a single dad that appears impossible. So what gives? Care to share your opinions as to why, or why you wouldn’t date a single dad?

And I already know I’m going to get blasted for not wanting to date a woman who has children. And it’s very simple. Women usually have the children with them 24/7 (full time custody), and it presents an unnecessary amount of baggage. And I realize, mine might appear to be baggage, but in reality my son is with me maybe 7 days a month. I’m up front about it, and tell the women of interest, “My son hasn’t met any women I’ve dated unless we become something serious”, in an attempt to relieve any unwanted pressure to fill some motherly void.

Oh, and I’m not a dead beat. I pay for child care, and child support. And I consider myself to be an all around decent person. I am physically fit, consider myself attractive, have a good job, a nice car, pay my bills, and in general, pretty responsible.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Share some opinions, or even suggestions. I’m all ears.

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51 Answers

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I think both men and women with children find it hard to find a mate. A single person doesn’t really want to start a new life with a person who already has the responsibility of children, especially nowadays when the collective opinion seems to be “every man for himself.” More difficult but not impossible – my lovely daughter married a wonderful man who has a son from a previous marriage. She actually liked the idea since she is not interested in having children herself.

tedd's avatar

Simply put, a lot of people (and women in general) don’t want someone who already has kids… at least not when they’re in their 20’s.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@tedd I kinda already know that…. but I was trying to understand a woman’s perspective, and as to why women feel that way, assuming it’s different than my own reason.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

The answer to that would be child support and divided devotion.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I suppose I can see your point, because when it comes down to it, it’s the reason I prefer not dating women with children. Somehow in my mind, I would see the divided devotion being an issue if my son lived with me, and I had full custody though. It’s like, anyone who considers dating me, looks 5 years ahead and asks themselves, “can I see myself living with someone who has a child?” (at least I can see women thinking that), and says “no”.

EverRose11's avatar

I don’t believe most people (both men and women) are going out of their way seeking out companions who already have children especially in this economy, what more in this freaking day and age and differently not while they are still in their twenties. But then that is just my opinion. Oh yes I could go on, but I am stopping any other sarcasm that was about to slip out of me and onto this site.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Beats me. I married a single dad (while we were in our 20s).

RandomMrdan's avatar

@EverRose11 I’m not expecting marriage or anything like that. I just want to get the ball rolling. See how things go. Do you honestly consider the economy when dating? I’d imagine you’d be more likely to date given a bad economy, since traditionally the guy pays =P.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@RandomMrdan You’re playing this all wrong. Kids are magnets for women if you show you’re a loving father. They’re slightly ahead of puppies. But don’t force it,let them come to you.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe you’re not far off. One of the things that made me fall in love with my husband was watching him interact with his kids. I remember relatively early on when we were dating, we were watching a movie in the living room, and he got up and peeked in on them and went in to tuck their covers around them (they were like 4 years old, at the time.) I remember thinking “yeah, I could probably like this guy.”

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a family member in his early 30s with 3 year old twins. He has 50–50 shared custody with the mom. He, too, is finding it impossible to find women. I don’t know if he is being picky or they are, but he spends a awful lot of time at home alone watching football. What a waste.
And he has a pair of well behaved 3 year old boys for bait! There’s just nothing more irresistible. He just doesn’t seem to close the deal. I don’t get it.

EverRose11's avatar

RandomMrdan my daughter is 25 and I know she is taking those issue into consideration, and bull-crap my daughter pays her own way she does not go for that the guy pays for everything routine, she is Awake and Aware times are HARD , she has seen many of her friend succeed and are living fulfilling and successful lives and then there are a number of her friends, a few cousins and acquaintances she knows that were flying high in April but got shot down in MAY<—Old Sinatra song in case you did not know.. Anyway I just basing my answer on the strong independent women I am around these days. Working or not , no they are not seeking some singe daddy for some sense of security.

geeky_mama's avatar

Dear @RandomMrdan

I met and married a man who fits your description.
Here’s how I’d describe us when we met – I was single, very independent, owned my own home and had a busy, successful career. I was in my mid-to-late twenties. I had a dog, a nice car and a house—but no kids.

He was a single dad. Late twenties to early thirties. He had a good job, a 16 month old daughter and a house…but was in some financial distress because his ex-wife had spent him to the brink of bankruptcy. (Oh and she’d cheated on him their entire marriage, too.) He had primary custody so he had his daughter much more than 7 days a month.

The problem was NEVER: “Can I live with a man who has a child?” The problem was always his Ex.
The fact is that you will never, ever stop interacting with the woman who is the mother of your child. The relationship is a triangle from the absolute get-go. As a step-mother and second-wife I can tell you the number one problem is not the kid (or kids) it is entirely having his and hers failed relationship forever after impact MY life.

Here’s another way to look at it. Women who are seeking someone to date want someone who is going to make them their top priority. They want to feel valued, loved and cherished.
The problem is that (if you’re a good parent) your son should absolutely come first.
If you have tickets to a concert but a sick kid (on your custody night)—guess what, you’re not going to the concert with your girlfriend, you’re staying home to take care of your son.

It takes a special girl to be able to understand this. It takes a less selfish single woman to be able to put her needs and wants second to a child that she may or may not have even had the opportunity to meet.

If she’s attractive, successful and intelligent…you probably aren’t the only option she has..and any other guy without kids is always going to be more predictably available and less financially constrained. (Where you have to pay day care and child support, etc.)

Last but not least..think hard about how your Ex (the mother of your son) is going to act.
If she’s bitter or unbalanced..she will likely be able to wreak havoc in your life (and by extension the life of any serious girlfriend or future wife).

EverRose11's avatar

RandomMrdan If she dated a single father it would be because she wanted to get to know you, IF IT WAS MEANT TO BE, she is the type of young lady that would Move mountains to make that relationship work.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@geeky_mama Thanks for sharing your experience! I’ll just try to stay positive and patient I suppose..

tedd's avatar

@RandomMrdan I don’t wanna be the dick here… but maybe the issue isn’t the kid, maybe the issue is you and the kid is just an excuse… lol.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@everyone Tedd is actually a friend of mine… disregard that last comment…

@tedd dick move.

EverRose11's avatar

RandomMrdan funny you asked this question my daughter broke off a relationship a year and a half ago with a man she loved do to his childish ways , moved half way across the world to keep distance for she did not trust herself, well soon discovered via old FB he was with a new girl less than 2 months and she the new girl got pregnant…OK so fast forward nine months pass, baby born, they break up he told her he would not marry her <—the new girl that is…SO here he is came halfway around the word to try and see my daughter…. says she is the one he loves ect, ect.so yup that’s why this question was one I dove into Trust me single daddy or not… The right girl for you will come, be it she has a child or not YOU WILL JUST KNOW! Leave yourself wide open and accepting..that’s how you invite SUNSHINE AND HAPPINESS into your life

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Women always think in dollars and cents. We are not money-grubbing, but it is in our biological makeup to think “security.” The child support going to another woman is an issue, not to mention the extras (Christmas gifts, medical bills, child care, health insurance, college money.) Even if the child doesn’t live with you, your devotion to him is just as strong, isn’t it? That would be an issue to a woman who is looking to start a family of her own. It wasn’t an issue with my daughter because her husband makes enough money to easily go around, and she wasn’t planning on having any children of her own.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I have a very unique situation to say the least… and yes, I have a strong devotion to my son. Medical, and healthcare isn’t an issue, as I am full time Air National Guard, and I get those taken care of. Financially, I’m comfortable though. But again, I can see your points.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @geeky_mama

My situation is different, but, as a divorced woman in her early 50’s with a grown and independent 24 yr. old daughter I too have had issues with men and their children.
I agree 100% that dealing with ex wives and the fact that the kids should come first, has put a damper on my dating desires. Also, it is freaking amazing how many men in their late 40’s and 50’s have really young kids from second marriages that failed. I have zero desire to date a man with pre-teen kids at my age.

I’d say though, that you may wish to mediate your criteria a wee bit. A single mom with one child as you have should not be eliminated from the possibilities. Most single moms have extended family, parents and friends that help with childcare needs.
Also, the career thing, maybe you shouldn’t refer to “dead end jobs.”

I am a very bright and enthusiastic woman that has chosen to NOT pursuit a huge career.
I have enough personal interests where I want my work to be fun, low pressure and enjoyable and to NOT consume my every waking moment.
I think it is very biased of you to dismiss the millions of women that are not in big ticket careers without finding out what their reasoning is.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Coloma We must be twins! I have also chosen to work in a fulfilling, low-pressure job. I am a widow and my kids are raised. I don’t want to date AT ALL because I don’t want to deal with someone else’s ex’s and kids, and I don’t want someone else telling me how to deal with mine!

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Coloma good point, and I guess I should rephrase my criteria.. because i’m not absolutely opposed to a single mother of one child. It really is circumstantial. And as far as the job thing goes… I meant absolutely no offense, what I really wanted to get at was… someone who has goals and aspirations that change, and grow. Never feeling as though you’ve reached your full potential. If that makes sense?

marinelife's avatar

You must be looking at the wrong women. I cannot imagine ruling out a single dad.

Coloma's avatar

@RandomMrdan

Yes, but remember, your idea of fulfilling ones potential might be different from anothers.
I am a writer and creative at heart, and fulfilling my potential is to give myself the space to write, which is my true calling. Also, really, the most important “potential” in our lives is based on personal growth, not necessarily career advancement.

The more free spirited woman may not bring home the $8k a week paycheck, but…you just might come home to your house being painted metallic bronze with a love sonnet and champagne on ice waiting. lol

@Skaggfacemutt

Haha, yep, I have a friend right now my age who is battling with her live in lover and their 2 teen daughters…OMG! Nooo! I listen to all this drama and think, ” Boy, am I glad I don’t have much to talk about because my life is so peaceful.”
I’m like..” yeah. my new cat is doing great and I think I am going to go out for a cocktail in my hot tub, blissfully alone. “lol

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Coloma For some reason, when I think of goals and aspirations, I think of career, and income. I think as long as the person is continually growing as a person, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. It’s people who feel content living a boring life that I’m not attracted to.

Coloma's avatar

@RandomMrdan I understand. :-)

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Coloma I wish you lived closer – we could talk about cats and hot tubs and cocktails!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My comment about babies being magnets for women sounds kind of evil doesn’t it? I’m not quite that bad.:)

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I just need to find the women who’s magnetism is opposite to my son’s magnetism!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@RandomMrdan Or get a puppy to go with the baby.

tedd's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe What about a baby, riding a puppy… wearing a tiny cowboy outfit ?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

You are mid 20’s. Women younger than you aren’t usually looking for a guy who’s a parent at your age and either are women slightly older. Many many women view a single dad who’s so young as someone not yet emotionally mature or socially responsible.

Are you well liked and respected by your parents and the grandparents of your child? Do you have job that’s viewed as not “dead end”? Do you support and live by yourself, providing well and responsibly for your child?

A woman as you’ve described is going to be looking at you just as closely, even more so if you want the attention of one without a child yet when you’ve already got one.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I am well liked among my family, as well as my son’s mother’s side. Actually, the mother and I don’t really have any ill feelings towards one another. It’s a rather long story that I won’t really divulge, but the long and short of it was we weren’t compatible.

And I have a good job, I serve in the Air Force, as a full time guard member. That is probably the most frustrating part… is I feel I have a lot to offer, and a lot of my qualities go over looked because of my having a son.

wundayatta's avatar

There’s a reason why the evil stepmom myth is so prevalent. It’s darned difficult to parent someone else’s kid, and if you’re in a relationship with someone who has a kid, you will be dealing with those issues, even if you want to try to stay out of it. There’s the kid’s mom to deal with and the dad and it is crazy making. Really, it’s nearly a no-win situation. It doesn’t surprise me that women would want to stay away from a situation like that. No one wants to be the evil step mom.

My feeling is that you are so focused on what you don’t want that you can’t see what is good about someone. You are like a lot of people, I think. Everyone wants all the criteria for others. I heard an article on the radio once. They said that people should lead with what they offer, not what their criteria are. What do you have to offer a woman? Think about that. Don’t worry about screening out the bad ones. You seem to have screens so finely meshed that no one can get through.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@wundayatta Wow, what an accurate description of a blended family. I have had the experience, and you really have a good insight.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I was just thinking the same thing…

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@RandomMrdan: What will swing things for you and maybe be a benefit in disguise is women with greater attention span, greater insight, greater faith, whatever will see your positives and potential enough to gamble. Maybe you’ve narrowed your dating pool but it will be made up more exceptional, generous women.

All I know is along with many others, I spent my 20’s and 30’s wanting a man partner with positives who didn’t already have kids. I’m 45 and recently married a man who has three kids! I’d like to think most women are a lot more flexible than I, I think you’ll have luck closer to 30, mid 30’s.

geeky_mama's avatar

@wundayatta – Oh wundy, so well said.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@RandomMrdan: I just thought of another thing we’ve all gone over in fluther a few times that could relate to what you’re feeling. You know how people often say, “I want someone who my intelligence or greater” ? Ok then, one of you is still going to want to be the one with greater and the same might be going on in the minds of the women close to your age group. Few of them have a career yet, few of them have deep relationship experiences yet so you are all kind of trying to get footing on a similar ground which is weighing your expectations against fears of settling, not setting your goals high enough, not having enough markers for which people can deliver beyond their idealism or talk.

Coloma's avatar

I think, bottom line, character trumps externals by a mile.
Jobs, looks, money, health, all come and go, but solid character is forever!
I’m not saying date a 3rd generation welfare mom, but, life is not black & white, neither are people, and while externals carry some measure of importance, what’s really important is sharing values, character, interests and fun!
My ex husband made a very good living but he was devoid of good character, and that is what sunk our marital boat.

By the same token, being a woman in a “gray” area, I might be “rejected” because I am not a mainstream, career oriented kinda gal, but, I’ll tell you what I do bring to the table. Total transparency, strong character and integrity, mental/emotional stability, boatloads of humor and creative verve, an enthusiastic and adventurious personality and a curious and playful outlook on life.

Too bad I’m in “men-o-pause” these days. lolol

zensky's avatar

The answer is in the question; you don’t want to date women with kids – why expect them to do so?

SpatzieLover's avatar

^10GAs for that @zensky

Are you currently your best self @RandomMrdan? If so, make certain you’re exuding it.
If not, you will be attracting partners that aren’t best for you. Work on altering, and opening your perspective.

LezboPirate's avatar

I couldn’t date someone who has a kid. Because then..eventually I’ll end up with a kid. And while I love kids, I love my freedom. I like to be able to send the kid home and be alone for a while. Even if the person doesn’t have custody..I wouldn’t do it. I’ve been there, right in the middle of everything, with parents that were no longer together. It’s horrible. I hated it. I would never deliberately go back to something like that.

My sister is living with and engaged to a single father. (Not so single anymore, but you know what I mean.) She loves it. But then..their Mom gave them up and left their lives completely. So there is no woman picking the kids up and telling them they don’t have to listen to a thing she says, because she’s not their mommy.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My sister is living with and engaged to a single father. (Not so single anymore, but you know what I mean.) She loves it. But then..their Mom gave them up and left their lives completely. So there is no woman picking the kids up and telling them they don’t have to listen to a thing she says, because she’s not their mommy.

@LezboPirate I so agree that that is the difference. In my youth, I would not have been open to “sharing” parenting (and at the time I didn’t really want to be a parent, either) with some other woman. That dynamic would have been too much for me at that age/life-experience level.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@RandomMrdan: It may not be this way for everyone but I’m not alone in observing a man with kids- his parents, his ex’s parents and the kids have a dynamic with him that a new woman and her family aren’t part of and are rarely integrated into. That exclusion is something a new, young woman may not be up for.

Soupy's avatar

I don’t want to date a man with kids for the same reason you don’t want to date women with kids. Kids are baggage, too much for me. I’m in my 20’s, I am not ready for children, so why would I want to involve myself with a man who already has them? Your son may only be with you for a few days a month, but he’s still there. There are sill a myriad if issues a potential dater has to deal with there, plus the fact that you will now have to be perpetually in contact with your ex.

Then the other put-off is your age. This may not be true of you, but when I see a guy in his mid-20’s or younger who already has a kid I am turned off. I wonder, why did he not wait until he was older and more responsible? He’s as young as I am and he already has had a child with someone? Why?

RandomMrdan's avatar

Hey, thanks everyone for the insight! I really do appreciate it!

lisa78's avatar

In addition to his ex being a major part of our life and could make things very hard when she wanted to, to missing out on having a family of my own because single Dads don’t want more kids even if they say they do – that’s just to reel us in. Relationships With families are a hundred times more complicated than with single people who would probably also like to have kids one day. The hardest thing for me to deal with is the thought of a probable broken heart, which would be far worse with a single Dad. If the relationship gets serious then further down the track, it ends, I would lose my whole family. I’d go from being used to having a tight knit house full of people, to being in a big empty house all alone again. It’s a horrible shock.

pathim's avatar

I am very curious as well. I am facing in becoming a Single Father. I never intended to be a man in my mid-late 20’s taking care of a child. The Idea of becoming a father was always a next step if I found the right relationship with the right person. The 40’y/o woman lied about getting pregnant and furthermore when I found out she could she lied again and did’nt take the morning after pill, like she told me she would. Forcing her to take a pregnancy test took the whole 1st Trimester missing the opportunity to have an abortion. on Valentines day she wanted to have an abortion and at this point i disagreed and Valentines day was ruined for me. now fast forward now she wants to give away the child to adoption. though I did love this woman and our compatibility was off the chart and I tried very hard with her. I am ready to go with a lawyer and evidence that I can provide for this child in a court of law and Rain full custody. I am sorry that I have to agree that my Dating Career is Over. and someone has to take care of this child. Obviously the mother of the child is a woman who Cant Understand Normal Thinking as she wants to abandon her motherly duty’s. I am tired of dating women Who are just going to Lie and Cheat, start arguments, fights and wars wants to be right all the time and oh boy dont ever tell a woman what they should do. Why should I spend my money on dates, gifts, and romantic things when women today regardless of age Do not stick around. I would rather raise my daughter alone and mold her into someone that is lovable caring sweet that wont lie or cheat or think about $$$ signs. and for her to say I love and Mean it. is priceless. If women don’t want to be with me because I have a daughter. Then I don’t want to be with them because I just think they are a slut with no direction in life. I am showing that I can provide for a family, Protection, Security, a stable home, cloths, food and nourishment.What a man is supposed to do for women. I am a very romantic guy and tend to have a sensitive side I am fun caring I make women laugh I cry with them. its called personality and character. I would think more women would compliment on how beautiful the new born baby is though when the question is asked .. where is the mother..the truth that she abandoned us should say it all.

pathim's avatar

How many women would date a man that abandoned his child. anyone… How many men would date a woman if she abandoned her child. anyone…. when your new companionship is based on dates,go together to a party and have sex, socialize with friends take cruises vacations even travel the world, whatever it is that you want to just have a good life. What if you found out that woman/man abandoned that child and left the father/mother of the child to raise him/her alone because she/he thought she/he would be an unfit mother/father, and though that last man in her life that never cheated didnt do anything wrong but had a drinking problem and was homeless for a little while unemployed and he found a way to turn his life around and traveled 1000 miles just to hand deliver you flowers and make things right show her that he has changed and everything will be alright that he wanted to provide for a family and to love her and finished what he started and you turn him away throwing the flowers in the garbage curse at him tell him he is no good here in her life. what if you were with that woman.. what if you were with that man going through this.. would you think him/her was selfish, would you even want to continue dating him or her just because they refused to take there part in responsibility. I am sorry I would Love to date a women who had time for me that felt that attraction to call me up and talk. though we have children or one of us has. and we find time to hire a babysitter or spend time together regardless if one of us has a child. If you want to make it work together and find a way you will have a best friend for life.. if you just want to complain how much of an inconvenience it is then you are not ready to have a best friend in you life.that is how i look at it. and I feel sorry for those people who would rather complain about the relationship where it is going and you deserved to be used for what it is. Everyone needs to look at the bigger picture not just 2 years 5 years 10 years but a life long partner your best friend the person you love the most in life.. If a woman turned me down because I have a child to also take care of, I would say hey, Here is my number anyways , in 5 or 10 years when you have a child of your own and the only person in the would you loved Leaves you to raise the child by your self.. Give me a call.. and walk away…

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