Are Single Dads Truly Date-Worthy? Babysitting Costs Aren’t the Only Consideration!

Posted by

Thinking about dating a single dad? Honestly, I’m not sold on the idea. I mean, sure, the thought of teaming up with a “superdad” has flitted through my mind. As a solo mom to two kiddos, Lola, seven, and Liberty, five, I recall a pre-kid date dashing from my apartment, breathless, to catch football at the pub. That was the last I saw of him—two years ago after a zoo trip in Battersea.

Related posts

But my take? Single dads are a tougher bunch. The lone upside seems to be halving the babysitter’s £15-an-hour fee for a night out.

Despite this, a survey whispers that men with kids are like magnets on dating platforms. Zoosk reports that single fathers rake in 22% more initial messages than childfree men, hinting at a trend where women actively chase them. With a whopping 83% of single women open to dating single dads per the survey, their appeal is undeniable. Yet, it raises questions about the assumptions straight women harbor.

“Single dads are hot ticket items for single women because they’re pegged as responsible, nurturing, and they prioritize what matters,” notes Sarah Louise Ryan, dating guru for the Even app. Moreover, a Perspectus Global survey from May 2023 found that nearly a quarter of respondents see single parents as embodying desired traits like “independence, reliability, and selflessness,” with 63% of Brits undeterred by the single-parent status when dating.

So you’d think I’d be all over single dads, right? They’re supposed to be an answer to child-induced social life droughts. In theory, dating one means blending broods for quality time. A hands-on dad? Instant allure.

But here’s my truth: I’ve been dodging calls from a couple of single dads—smart, hilarious, and charming on paper. Why? They’re an allure, yes, but a snare based on my stints. Just last week, a single dad palmed off his daughter for an overnighter due to a “crisis.” He turned up late the next day, after I’d done the morning routine and lunch prep.

Then there was the single dad who left his boys with me for an impromptu Aussie trip, resulting in a shoe-missing fiasco at an indoor trampoline spot. I’m fond of those kids, and him, but it’s overwhelming. The gorgeous ex-wife? Stuck across town, her delay turning my flat into a mini circus as I peered out, wishing for her arrival.

Single women without kids might view single dads as nurturing and reliable, yet they aren’t keen on competing with his brood.

Then there’s the single dad who’s always “urgently” phoning, stranding me with a playground of kids. I spy him, distant, cap bouncing, phone at his ear. Work crises, though? Oddly absent among my mom friends. And while I get the single dad juggle, I sometimes wonder if he’s just chilling with a movie at home.

For childless women, single dads pose another layer of complexity. U.S. author Ellie Slott Fisher, who penned Dating for Dads, suggests a rivalry issue. These women find a dad’s nurturing side attractive but balk at the thought of vying with “daddy’s little girl.” Fisher argues that dating a dad means embracing his kids too, a concept that doesn’t always sit well.

But for women with their own kids, single dads can be particularly appealing. “They believe these women will naturally care more for their children,” Fisher says.

Still, it’s not all smooth sailing. Toby*, a London IT consultant, says his single dad status isn’t a hit with the ladies. “It’s not ideal when your partner ends up as an extra parent,” he claims. At social gatherings, his single-dad reveal tends to repel potential partners. And when they do embrace his kids, a breakup becomes doubly painful.

Then there’s the angle of becoming a stepmom as a last shot at family life. With one in five British women childless by 45, it’s a real consideration. Saskia*, a photographer, found allure in her first husband’s single-dad status, unsure if she’d have her own kids. She became a stepmom, an experience she cherishes despite its challenges.

Matchmaker Ryan encounters many women seeking men with kids because they either can’t have children or prefer the ready-made family aspect due to career or lifestyle choices.

Blended families are rising, which can be positive for kids. And while single-parent dating apps remove the ghosting fear when revealing you have kids, I’m banking on fate and removing labels from dating altogether. Love, they say, finds you when you least expect it.

Share this:
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments