Dating a divorced father

(The number likely includes many joint custody arrangements.) While single dads face many of the same dating challenges as single moms, there are some differences: In a survey of 100 single fathers, the vast majority preferred to date women with children, thinking she would be more selfless and understanding of his commitment as a father, said Ellie Slott Fisher, who conducted the survey as research for her book "Dating for Dads: The Single Father's Guide to Dating Well Without Parenting Poorly" (Bantam).

Single moms, in contrast, preferred dating men without kids to reduce complications.

I believe that marriage teaches men responsibility, structure, how to co-define reality, what women want and how to put someone else before themselves.

I have giggled to myself and so very much appreciated the little things that divorced men I have dated have done for me.

That means telling a date immediately, alongside name and occupation, that you have children, and gauging early whether she respects how much time you spend with them, Fisher said.

Dating after divorce - even the words fill some divorced parents with dread.

Ending a relationship by divorce is an emotional process that often leads to a period of grief and reflection, and the length of this period varies from person to person.

As a single dad wading back into the dating pool, Daniel Ruyter was surprised how many women lost interest when he revealed, always in the first conversation, that he had a son."At first I took it personally," said the Orlando, Fla., information technology analyst, who was 32 when he divorced and got joint custody of his then 5-year-old son.

Getting back into dating after divorce isn't always an easy experience.

Single fathers have a tendency, more than single moms, to "feel incomplete" without a partner in the house, so they risk rushing into a new relationship that may not be right, said single dad Armin Brott, author of several books on fatherhood including "The Single Father: A Dad's Guide to Parenting Without a Partner" (Abbeville).

Proceed with caution Whether divorced, widowed or never married, single dads have to date with care.

Whether repairing the kitchen table or planning a romantic evening, the male ego and inner child have a strong need and desire to get it right and succeed.

Men often feel this need after a failed marriage and while entering into a new relationship.

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So chances are very good that sooner or later you (along with nearly every other divorced parent) will be dipping your toe into the waters of dating after divorce.

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