Single Dad's Guide to Dating

Communicate with your child about your new relationship.Communicate with your child about your new relationship.

When a family breaks up for whatever reason, it's hard on both the kids and parents who are left in the wake of the painful change, and it can be difficult for single dads to get back into the dating game. But once they are ready to do so, there's no reason why single dads can't move on with healthy and nurturing relationships that help heal the entire family unit, as long as they proceed thoughtfully and carefully, always putting the children's needs first.

Communicate With the Kids

It can be difficult for children of any age when you start dating again, so approach the subject with care and communication. Peter Ehrlich writes on that if it's an appropriate story, you should explain how you met your "new friend." This can help establish the importance of romance in adult relationships. Also, be sure to ask your child how she feels about this new development. Again, communication is key, and your children should learn how to express their feelings. Finally, make sure your child knows that he will always be your top priority, no matter what else changes in your lives.

Meet a Nice Lady

Public sporting events are the perfect way to meet dates who are active and fun and appreciate the outdoors and children, Ehrlich states. Check out a local baseball game, a NASCAR race, soccer or hockey games, or attend a local school event or another educational venue such as the museum or zoo. These wholesome activities will attract the nice type of lady you'd want to introduce your children to. Lastly, Ehrlich suggests, try the grocery store, and scope out the type of groceries she's buying. Maybe you'll find another single parent who could later become your grocery-shopping partner.

Relationship Guidelines

Take it slow when pursuing another relationship. You and your children have already been through the death of your wife or a painful divorce, you don't want to cause any more emotional trauma. Don't even introduce your new flame to your children until you're sure that a serious relationship has developed; anything less can confuse or hurt your kids. Also, make sure that the women you're dating understand that you're a parent first and a boyfriend second, and if they can't accept the fact that your kids come first, end the relationship.

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About the Author

Valerie Clark is the managing editor of Cascades East recreation and adventure magazine in Bend, Oregon, and previously worked as a newspaper reporter and copy editor in South Carolina and Mississippi. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2002 with a degree in print journalism.

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