Are You a Single Dad? Tips on Changing That Status

Single Dad

Single Dad

By Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire

Dan here – so we have a woman, on a dad blog, giving single Dads dating advice – crazy isn’t it? Noelle shares her experiences from the single mom perspective here, but Dads let us know what you think. We hope to have an article from a Single Dad with advice for women shortly!

So for all of you single dads (and moms) out there, you probably know how hard it is already to meet potential new partners. Hanging out in bars or at parties in our 20’s doesn’t seem as appealing as it did now that we are in our 30’s or 40’s or 50’s and have to get up early to get Junior and Jenny to school in the morning.

The option that most people are heading for is online dating. Sure, for some of us it still seems kind of skeevy and weird, but with the demands on our time and the ease of using this technology, it tends to be the wave of the future.

Now I happen to be a single mom just dipping my toe into the online dating world, so I have my own experiences at this point. I have talked to many women who do use the online dating sites, and others who have definite opinions on what they are looking for, and I feel it is only fair to let you single dads have a clue on what to do and how to attract a suitable possible partner.

Tip 1: Don’t Be a Dog

Don't Be a Dog

If you are actually interested in going on a date, do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT come on strong about how the woman looks in her photos.  Yes, of course, we posted those photos to attract your attention.  And yes, we know men are very visual.  But we want to think you are more than beasts panting in front of your laptop and that you want us for more than our looks.  So if you send a girl a message, don’t mention her appearance.  If you are on a site to purely hook up with someone (and so is she), you have permission.  But if you want a date, pretend you are interested in more than her cup size.  I can’t tell you how many responses I have gotten from men that started directly with my appearance and how much that makes my eyes roll.  And then I blow them off.  A successful opening line might be “you seem interesting because….”  Then pick something, ANYTHING else.

Tip 2: Don’t Lie About Your Life

Don't Be a Liar

Be straightforward and honest about your single status.  If you are separated, if you are newly divorced, been divorced for 3 years, whichever, be up front.  I can’t tell you the number of women I know who were disgusted to find out the “single” guy they went on a date on was still living with his wife.  Or moved out yesterday.  We expect that if you are looking to date, that means you are living somewhere that doesn’t also include your wife or that you are so newly hatched from the marriage egg that you might end up running right back home.  And while you don’t have to bring up you have kids immediately, you better pretty quickly.  Since the kids are going to eventually overlap with a successful dating life, a girl would like to know that going in.  Now you could rightfully argue that admitting your actual situation might turn away some potential candidates, but a woman will respect you far more being able to go into dating you knowing the lay of the land.  And put the shoe on the other foot.  Would you like to find out the woman you are dating still goes home at night to her husband?

Tip 3: If You Say “Nice Personality” That Means “Not Attractive.”  Just Post a Photo!

Anyone remember the scene in When Harry Met Sally when Harry’s friend thinks if you describe someone as having a nice personality that means they aren’t attractive?  He doesn’t believe Harry when he says Sally has both a good personality AND is attractive.  So take a lesson from this.  Yes, you should post a profile picture of what you actually look like.  If things go forward, she is going to see you in person sooner than later.  If you misrepresent yourself now, she’s just going to wonder what else you are lying about.  If you don’t post a profile picture with this crazy idea that someone will love you for who you really are in your posted information, get real.  As much as you want to see what we look like, women want to see what you look like.  We will assume the worst about you if there is no photo.  Suck it up, guys.  Now, I will admit I went on a date with a guy who did NOT post a profile picture.  However he did offer to send me a photo via email.  Actually, he sent two.  Result?  He wasn’t a knock your socks off looker, but he still got a date.  So if you contact a woman and have no profile picture, you should immediately explain why you don’t and offer to send her one.

Tip 4: Develop the Ability to Have a Conversation

The thing pretty much all of us women want at this point in our lives is a guy who is going to make a decent companion.  Which means we want to be able to have a conversation with you.  Which means taking turns talking about different subjects.  That also usually means we want to find things we have in common.  But how do you find that out?  By being interested in the other person and asking questions about their lives and likes and dislikes.   It seems pretty basic.  By the way, statements like “tell me more about your boots” don’t cut it.

Failproof?  Hmmmm…

I can’t say that these tips will guarantee you a date.  But they are a good start.  The basic things women are looking for are someone who isn’t crazy (by that I mean emotionally able to have a relationship, not all screwed up still by their last break up), someone who they can have a conversation with, and someone taller than they are.  (Sorry to all short men about the last one, but it is true. It was specifically mentioned to me.  It is an instinctual thing.  Luckily, there are lots of short women out there, too).

I would definitely also recommend that men stretch their criteria a little bit.  If you put an age range in that doesn’t include women a little bit older than you, you are probably optioning out a whole slew of attractive ladies.  I will give you 5 words: Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.  12 year spread there.  Or how about Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher?  The tendency to look for younger women than yourself makes less and less sense the older we get, so instead of limiting your options, expand them.  Doesn’t mean you have to date a senior citizen, but you might be surprised at what you find.

As a parting note, if you are afraid of some of the heavy-hitting online dating sites like eharmony or, you can ease your way into the online world with “niche” dating sites. They include such niches as ones where you need to be a man with a mustache, where you post a booklist along with your picture, or where you are a avid fan of Apple products.  Check out this recent New York Times article on some specialty sites to try, many of them free!

Good luck!

NoelleNoelle has been a children’s librarian for over 15 years. She’s also been a student teacher, worked as an online account manager, worked in a pet shop and as a supermarket checkout clerk, and as a dishwasher and fry cook. She is the proud mom of a beautiful daughter. You can read more of Noelle’s book reviews at Rave Reviews Log
Noelle can be reached at “Noelle @ DadDoes.Com”

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