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Hookup Help: Dating Tips for Single Dads

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Q: Dear Jenny. I’ve been divorced and on my own for the past few years. I work for a huge company. The only time I see someone I would find attractive and with whom I can spark a conversation with is at work, an employee of the business that gave the contract to my company. So when I’m at work I can’t speak up and try to be friends with someone more than on a professional level. I know it would make sense to use online dating, but that is an over-saturated market. Plus, I have my son every weekend no matter what because I love my son more than anything or any person. I want to be that one percent who’s a good father despite being divorced. My son just turned three and counts on “daddy time”, so changing that isn’t an option. What should I do to find a good girl? Any ideas? – Tim

A: Dear Tim. You don’t have to convince me that children should be put first, Tim. It’s nice to see a man who has his priorities in place. That said, a few years is a long time to be on your own and whether it’s short-term or long-term relationships, it’s always nice to have some companionship.

I’m beginning to sway towards your love-in-the-workplace opinion. I’ve tried it a couple times (blame youth and hormones), but it never ended well. But… you do say the company you work for is huge and you have outsiders coming in to do business. I have to play devil’s advocate here and ask you and our readers: is it possible to start a relationship with someone who works in another department or off-site and who you would rarely cross paths with? I think it’s a fine line. You don’t have to become involved in a full-blown love affair, but I don’t see the harm in a friendship or even a date or two. If something more blooms, you can worry about it then.

Some of your issues do point to online dating as a solution. It can feel over-saturated if you’ve been on the same site for a long time, but if you’re a new member, you’ll get plenty of interest. With your situation, Tim, the advantages would include creating a specific profile wherein you can talk about being a single dad and explain exactly what you’re looking for, saving your time and others; the convenience of looking for and meeting women when you have time in your busy life; and moving at a pace that is comfortable for you. Sometimes I see online dating as an adjunct to what I call “real life” dating.

If you decide to not go the online dating route (and it’s not for everyone), there are plenty of other places a single dad can meet attractive women. You can try signing up for an evening class to learn something new, join a local recreational sports team, attend singles nights, volunteer for a fundraiser, or join a gym. When you do have your son for the weekend, be open to starting conversations with women who you meet at the park, playgroup, library, or playground. Finding a woman who shares and understands the challenges of being a single parent is a great common ground to start on.

I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for, Tim. Best of Luck, Jenny.

For more tips, read: How to Survive a Dating Dry Spell

Hookup Help is a Q & A series. If you want advice or a female’s perspective on hooking up, online dating, relationships, or sex… we want to hear from you. SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION HERE, and who knows, you may appear in the next Hookupland newsletter. -xo Jenny

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