The title might be a bit misleading, this is not some trite list on how to get out there and date when you have kids. Dating as a single mom is the holy grail of dating, and any single mom OG will tell you that her dating life (when she feels like it) is better than it ever was childless.

Having kids cuts the fat – guess who does not hit on you anymore? The absurdly young, high, or jobless. Boys and guys disappear and although your pool is smaller, it’s either prime meat or at the very least men coming at you with A-game. Plus, you are not thirsty at all after a kid. You got your family and you pay your bills, so you are literally dating for pleasure ONLY.

But that’s not what this article is about. This is about how to be smart about dating Single Dads.

There is a LOT of misconception out there about Dads. Like, a guy sperm donates, shows up with a funny Daddy/Daughter Halloween costume once a year and parades his kid around like a medallion and the world collectively swoons. Even I was really really naive about this reality… until I starting dating Dads.

Over time though, I’ve figured out how to bait the shitty Dads from the good catches.  Consider my reconnaissance a gift to any single, dating mamas out there who are pressed for time and maxed out on bullshit. Here are the most common perpetrators and how to sniff them out:

  1. The Pretend Dad. It’s actually pretty stomach turning how many of these guys exist (and get away with it every day). They have photos of their kids in their phone which they show everyone (with a vagina), some of them aren’t even Dads, just uncles using their nieces and nephews for Facebook profile pictures. They might have kids they met a few times, but they have nothing to do with these awesome human beings. Here’s how to spot them: They’re not in any photos with their kids. It’s not consistent and they never bring their kids up unless you ask them. Questions for these guys are: “Is that your kid in the picture?” “What’s his or her favourite thing to do on weekends?” “What’s your birth story?” Anything that keeps the focus on the kid – The Pretend Dad will either work the convo back onto him and his prowess as a father/uncle or he will have nothing to say. A real Dad will tell you the birth story in so much detail, you will both be crying by the end at the miracle that is life.
  2. The Dad Who Doesn’t Pay. I don’t care if you have only met your kid once. I don’t care if the mom and you fight constantly. There is NOTHING stopping you from depositing money into her account every day of your life. It’s 2018 there is just no excuse at all for men who don’t pay at least 25% of their gross income to their kids. There is always a way. How to spot them: They have a long story about how this evil ex woman has kept them from seeing their kids. The story usually has nothing to do with paying for them, but everything to do with them and their needs. I’m beginning to wonder if it has somehow, unbeknownst to me, become widely accepted for men to not pay for their kids. If so, then fuck that. Seriously ladies, if someone doesn’t pay for their kids, do not sleep with them. Ever.
  3. The Basic Dad. I was actually fooled by this one in the beginning as well. I think it’s because culturally we have so few examples of good male parental figures, and even when there is one, we lionize him instead of making it a norm. How to spot them: The Basic Dad has his kids every second weekend. In Canada and most of the Western world the BASIC amount that you are able to see your kids by law is every second weekend. The next level below is supervised visits and in order to get that you need to harm yourself, the kids or the mom in a way where you are breaking legal and moral laws and getting hella caught. So, when you sit down for dinner with a “single dad” and he says he sees his kids every second weekend, ask some questions – ’cause unless there is a VERY GOOD REASON, he is more than likely a basic, low-level Dad who doesn’t care about his kids enough to get 3-4 days a week with them which any regular person in most industrialized countries can get with minimal effort.

It’s actually horrific how accepted these three types are. And when outed, their reaction is often little more than a shrug. Sadly, all too often their bullshit is believed and even celebrated. But I just can’t go for it. Looking at my kid, then thinking of these d-bags… I just don’t have the stomach for it.

On the flip side, when you do meet a guy with great taste in music who is divorced and talks to his kids daily and sees them as much as he can, and goes on and on and on about them to you, look out. It’s like Niagara Falls in the pants. Nothing is hotter than a man who shows up for his kids. Period.


Anna Von Frances can be found on Instagram @TravelMamaAnnaVon

Follow Travel Mama, Anna Von’s YouTube Channel fo more adventures of a traveling single mom and her daughter Luna Tuna. Bet you can’t watch just one.

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