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dating/relationship with a single dad.

(54 Posts)
Isabella26xx Wed 08-Aug-18 23:41:32

Ok so this is just a generic question that I really would like answers and anecdotes on

What are people's experiences/opinions on dating a guy with a child/children? This can* be a guy having them twice a week plus.


When me and my ex split* he met more women without children than women WITH children
He seemed to think it was easier to meet single women who had no kids rather than the latter

It just always baffled me because I found it easier to meet guys with kids cos obviously there'd be that thing in common, guess I just wanna hear any experiences positive and negative

Btw he had our daughter two nights a week, once mid week then on the weekend
Does it make a difference with how many children there are? How often he takes them and the ages?

Thank you

Cricrichan Thu 09-Aug-18 00:21:50

Before I had children I had a boyfriend with a child. She was still a toddler and I love spending time with kids so it wasn't a problem.

VetOnCall Thu 09-Aug-18 00:54:34

I'm dating, I don't have children and I won't date men who do. It does make it harder to meet someone - at my age (mid 30s) a lot of men have kids. I tried it last year; I dated someone who had 50/50 custody of a 3 year old for about 4 months and it just didn't work. For me it's too much added complication - in a long term relationship I just don't want to have the ex wife/girlfriend always present, or to have to plan my life around someone else's child. For me how many or how old is irrelevant, it's just not for me.

Isabella26xx Thu 09-Aug-18 08:05:49


Thank you so much for your response! I understand that totally as before I had children, the idea of dating a dad was daunting for me for the exact same reasons as you mentioned!
One of the reasons I asked this question was because when me and my ex were split he had dated a single woman without kids and once cancelled having our daughter so he could go on a date with this lady! It was obviously hurtful for our daughter and me so it still gets mentioned occasionally and I said that's one reason to date people who have kids as there would be this understanding when you've got your child, you could meet up with your children as a kind of play date.

Isabella26xx Thu 09-Aug-18 08:07:23

Can I ask if you're still with the guy who had the child? What was it like in terms of going away on holiday etc? And did he let you meet his kid soon into the relationship?

Singlenotsingle Thu 09-Aug-18 08:12:39

Maybe he's not that much into being a dad? He wants to have the freedom to the do things that single blokes do - footie, pubs, holidays etc. without being tied down. He's already got one kid of his own to think about, without having to take into account someone else's.

PookieDo Thu 09-Aug-18 08:18:02

YOU never get to see someone who has kids all weekend and you dont
or you have kids all week and they don’t

It’s shit and incompatible IMO
I wouldn’t date a man with small children ever ever again
I have teenagers

tsonlyme Thu 09-Aug-18 08:20:00

I do have children but they’re adults so I get to do as I please.

I was dating last year and it was definitely easier dating men with no kids simply because they had more free time. I was surprised at how many dating men in their 40s were childless tbh and the ones I met were by choice.

I have a partner now and he has a 7yr old, it can be a bit restrictive in terms of time but it also gives me free time to do my stuff, see my friends etc. I worry sometimes that he doesn’t have the same luxury but that’s what happens when you have kids! And I never moan when on occasion he does see friends instead of me.

I think maybe because I have the experience of being a parent I have a full understanding of the commitment and time it entails and have no intention of getting in the way of that.

hownowpowpow Thu 09-Aug-18 17:09:36

Just finished things with a man who had two kids (under 10) and I definitely don't think I will do it again.

Totally agree with Vet that it is too much added complication and he didn't have half as much free time as I do.

I really like kids but don't want any of my own and I'd prefer someone in the same boat as me. It definitely makes it much harder to meet someone as a lot of single men in my age range have kids.

Baumederose Thu 09-Aug-18 17:16:59

Agree with all the above.

Wouldn't touch a man with kids under 16.
Wouldn't touch a man where the relationship with the child's mother is acrimonious.

It's a massive hassle.

Being brutally honest, I don't want to be second third or fourth in the pecking order. I also like nice meals out and weekends away. Unless they are loaded this is more challenging for men with children still paying maintenance and buying blazers etc.

Men with kids also tend to rabbit on about them relentlessly and it's boring as fuck.

My son is 19 and at uni. I've done my time with all that and have no interest in doing it again.

SoapOnARoap Thu 09-Aug-18 17:27:30

I have children & would never date someone who doesn’t.

They just don’t get it, that plans can change & nothing is more important than my children.

JK1773 Thu 09-Aug-18 17:45:54

I dated a man with kids and I don’t have any. I never met his kids so it meant I didn’t see him half the week which suited me fine. Ultimately I didn’t want to meet his kids, not their fault obviously. But he (from what he told me) treated them as his little mates and comfort blanket rather than actually parenting them. I do have a lot of experience with children despite not having my own. I knew this would be a nightmare I didn’t want to get involved in. It wouldn’t put me off dating someone with kids but I’d never ever meet them unless I was 100% sure we had a future.
Another guy I dated used going out with me as an excuse not to have his kids .... we no longer go out grin

NotTheFordType Thu 09-Aug-18 18:27:37

I'm going to try to make a long story short.

I had always wanted DC. I was TTC with a partner up til I was 27 but in hindsight he was totally unsuitable (functioning alcoholic, very lazy, emotionally unavailable, head in sand approach to everything.)

I left and met someone else. He was a single dad with primary residency of his then 5yr old son. His ex had walked out to be with another man when DS was 3. He was disabled (major spinal problems plus hearing loss.)

I moved in and although we had always planned to TTC in good time (after marriage), our attempts were unsuccessful and we did not qualify for IVF in our NHS area. In the meantime we still had DS living with us and he had started to call me mum.

I asked if I could adopt DS as mine but birth mum would not agree. Bear in mind at this stage she hadn't seen him except for a few hours at a time when she visited her mum, over a 5 year period. She paid no maintenance either.

His dad and I split up and his dad moved a long way away but I still kept contact daily on the phone and every school holidays I would go and get him to stay with me.

Then his dad died. He initially came to me but then his birth mum got in touch and persuaded him that "things have changed" and he would be better off there. Having just lost a blood family parent, he accepted her lure.

2 years later after repeated domestic violence, and all sorts of child abuse, not bothering to send him to school, etc, I was finally successful in getting him back to live with me.

He may not be my blood relative. But as far as we're concerned, we are a team. He's 23 now and has a host of mental health problems from the treatment his birth parents gave him, but he knows that I will never give up on him, and vice versa.

TL;DR - don't rule anyone out. You may well not be capable of having biological DC so think about embracing a partner's family instead.

PookieDo Thu 09-Aug-18 20:04:32

There are lots of reasons I would rule out a man with small kids now
Tried it, disliked it. I don’t want to to be wiping bums or dealing with fussy tantrums anymore, needy ex wives etc. Older kids much easier

Ginger153 Thu 09-Aug-18 22:10:43

Before I met my partner, I wasn’t looking for a man with kids but the reality is he comes as a ‘meal deal’, as he puts it.

Caring responsibilities killed my last relationship and I’m now 43 and too old to contemplate a family. But, for me, I always wanted to be part of a unit.

I embrace his kids (4&6) and we have fun. The time he spends with them each day lets me do my own stuff, after living on my own for along time I value my space.

I hadn’t planned the situation but they bring a lot of joy (and stickiness!) with them. My DP is worth it and I see them as an unexpected bonus.

CandiedPeach Thu 09-Aug-18 22:36:52

My ex dated someone without children and he’s currently dating someone with.
I much preferred the one with no children. Not that it’s anything to do with me, but the one he’s with now who has children, she’s caused issues between us, the other was lovely abc in my opinion better for him.
My ex doesn’t want more dc though and he thinks anyone with their own dc will want them.

I’ve only dated men without dc and I can’t imagine how we’d fit in dating if we both had dc. Not that I’d rule someone out, but my dd comes first and someone withkids his would too (or they should anyway). I imagine that making it more difficult to get th balance right.

Isabella26xx Thu 09-Aug-18 23:25:15

I agree with there being so many men these days with children
What was the reason you split up with this guy?

Isabella26xx Thu 09-Aug-18 23:27:16

@PookieDo how old are we talking for kids ages?

Isabella26xx Thu 09-Aug-18 23:48:45

Yes that is such a good point
I think it's just so hard dating these days anyway
And with kids it obviously adds to the mix
In my experience, the girl my ex dated without kids was worse because she didn't like him having s connection with me (the Mum) I alsothink she wanted to be put "first" from stuff he told me!

Isabella26xx Thu 09-Aug-18 23:50:00

Wow that's lovely!
Is he a full time single dad or does he just have them on allocated days?

safetyfreak Fri 10-Aug-18 06:49:10

I am dating a childless man at the moment and I prefer it! I got one child and it makes life a lot easier for me as someone with limited free time.

My ex has dated women with and without children, he is an backseat parent who sees our daughter one day a week...these professional women seem to like that as they are always put first.

JuiceBox Fri 10-Aug-18 07:16:36

My DP has 2 children under 10. We get on great and it's always confused me when people say how awful and hard it is. Those kids actually bring a lot of joy and fun to our relationship. They are with us 3 days a week.

I am having difficulty at the moment as we are TTC and having problems with recurrent miscarriage so I do find it difficult having the kids around on a down day but that isn't forever and it isn't anything to do with them.

I did find it hard having the ex around a lot at first. Going to parents evenings, Drs appointments together etc... But I've gotten used to it now and it's just our life.

I love my DP and his boys are an extension of the person I love so I wouldn't have them any other way.

ScreamingValenta Fri 10-Aug-18 07:25:07

I once dated a man with a young child. He left it till some way down the line to reveal her existence! Unsurprisingly, it wasn't a very long relationship.

It would generally be a 'no' from me (I'm married now, but recollecting my single days) because it would create an imbalance - the child would always be the most important thing for the man (or should be if he's a decent bloke) so with no children of my own, potentially he would always be more important to me than I was to him.

kitty1013 Fri 10-Aug-18 07:36:34

@NotTheFordType that's such a lovely story. How patient and loving you are. Others would have given up. I think it's lovely!

When I met my now DH he had majority custody of his then 4& 8 year old. We got together and all three moved in with me 18 months later .

My DH and I went on to have 5 more kids so I obviously like kids which helps!

I love my DSDs. Sometimes over the years they've driven me mad. But so has DH. They're part of the deal. They do grow up. The elder one is now at uni.

Personally I was delighted to meet someone not scared of getting married & having kids unlike my commitment phobic exes.

At the time his financial situation was dire but now his income is great so that helps. I Would probably have felt resentful if I had to work full time when his ex doesn't and pays nothing.

For me DH was "worth it" and my Stepkids do love me and I them.

NotTheFordType Fri 10-Aug-18 07:52:53

@kitty1013 Thank you! TBH I like to remind myself of the whole story when the day has been particularly wearing, as yesterday was. Your blended family sounds great!

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