Yes, I'm divorced and a dad. I'm 31, with two sons.
I was that guy on dating websites who was once afraid to mention my kids in my profile because no one would match me, and I always felt awful about it. I adore my kids but dreaded the moment that I dropped that bomb on the women I was talking to.
Not long after I did, would come that ever burning question, “Wait, you're 31 and you have an 11 year old?” Then comes, “Same mom?” and another bomb has to be dropped. “Yes they have two different moms,” I text back with a sigh. Suddenly the conversation stops, and they disappear. Crickets figuratively chirp on the other end of the line.
Where did they go? Did they go ghost? There goes another potential match off into the potential match graveyard that has become the list of contacts in my phone. On to the next one, to try, try again.
I am the dad in Target, browsing the toy section with my 4-year-old as he tries to pick “just one.” I'm a little annoyed that he's taking so long, but so happy just watching him. I don't rush him in his decision. “Picking out a toy is tough,” I say to him, laughing a little.
Suddenly she walks by with her cart, and looks at us with a smile. I smile back, wondering if it's me or my son she sees. Hopefully it's both of us; I mean we are a package deal. She seems sweet, kind and beautiful. She keeps moving and I don't say anything.
My anxiety keeps me from making such attempts, but I want to. I think about it, a bit longer than a moment, and regret it a little as we leave the store. The reality is likely that she wouldn't want me. I'm a single dad, so I must have drama. It is what it is; at least that's what I tell myself.
Well, the truth is, life is not a television drama and this assumption is inaccurate. What they never get to see is the reality of what my life is. They never get to see that even though it isn't always roses and sunshine, I have good relationship with the mothers of my children.
We support each other and co-parent because our kids are what matters, not us. We respect and admire one another as parents and people, regardless of the fact that we didn't work out. What is never seen is how much they want me to find happiness and love, and how easy they make life for me most of the time.
Yet still, I am viewed as the hot guy with baggage, especially to women who don't have any kids. If they took a little longer look they'd see something different. They see all the great qualities they want in a guy are in me, because I'm a dad. Crazy…I know!
Women want a man who is caring and compassionate, yet strong and courageous. They desire a man who is honest and sincere, down to earth and stable. To be a good father, I have no option but to possess those qualities and the ones I'm not born with; I learn as my kids grow. Patience and compassion are paramount in life to raising children. And love? Love is something as a father I know better than most. You see, a good father offers everything a woman who truly wants to be loved could desire, yet because we have children, you too often run away.
You say that you want to be the center of attention? Well, when I don't have my children, you have my undivided attention. Even married women wish for this one thing a single father can provide. We don't have our kids all the time, so we can offer more of that time to you. You also get the added benefit that when we do have them, you get your space and time to do whatever you want to do.
We are the easiest guys to date because we aren't needy; we get all the love and affection we could want from our kids. We can offer you those things because we understand their importance, and when we get to see you finally, we have so much to give.
It's not so insane to think that dating a father is a good thing, and maybe the stigma that it comes with baggage should be pushed aside. My baggage isn't baggage, but the badge of a man who has been there and done that. A man who doesn't run from responsibility, and isn't afraid of the words “love, “marriage” and “family.”
It is the badge of a man, who has done things wrong, and made every effort to learn how to do it right. In a world full of divorce, it's becoming more normal to be me.
Take a chance on the divorced dad, and allow us to show you what makes us so special. Allow us to show you the men our kids love. In a dating universe full of guys who may be up to no good, we are the ones who want more than a one-night stand. We understand the value of companionship.