Having recently read an article describing What A Single Mom Wants In A Boyfriend I began asking myself exactly what I was looking for in a woman with whom I choose to have a relationship. Recently, after a brutal 14-month custody battle, I was finally granted 50/50 custody of her and no longer limited to being an every-other-weekend dad.
You might think that change shouldn’t have a significant effect on the qualities I look for in a woman, but it absolutely does.
No, I’m not talking about being physically beautiful, or being “arm candy” (although that is great too.) We want to be able to take you to company functions and family reunions, and as we are leaving, we want our bosses, our coworkers, or that old slightly-senile uncle who always smells suspiciously like whiskey to pull us aside and tell us we better hang onto you, because you’re a keeper.
Hell, once they can eat and get dressed on their own, they can practically babysit themselves, right?
In the four years since the birth of my daughter and the end of my relationship with her mother, I have done some dating.
But once I suddenly had her half the time, it became almost impossible for us to make plans together.
She had children too, so trying to balance both of our schedules and find evenings that we were both kid-free just put more and more stress on our relationship.
So if you ever find yourself thinking that you are just tolerating our kids because we are a “package deal”, just leave. Being a single parent with a vindictive ex who would be willing to do anything to remove you from your child’s life, is pure hell. We are going to have arguments with our child’s mother and threats of going back to court.
We don’t have time to waste in a relationship with someone who “tolerates” our kids. We don’t need you to fix anything or tell us what to do.Now I find myself re-entering the dating world as a 31-year old single dad.Watching the successes and failures of my married friends’ relationships got me thinking; what exactly am I and other single dads looking for in our potential mates?We already have to do that around our ex, in order to attempt to co-parent.You telling us that you trust us, means so much more to a dad who is constantly being ridiculed by our child’s other parent for our past infractions. There are nights that even a quickie is out of the question, because by the time homework is done and the dishwasher is loaded, there is no way in hell we are doing anything but falling into our bed and passing out.The littlest thing that was said in passing, months before, is suddenly brought up again as a supposed glaring infraction on our part.