5 Dating Single Dad Red Flags You Should Be Wary Of

If you’re on dating apps and have come across single dads and wondering what dating single dad red flags are, then you have come to the right place!

I know that being single in your 30s can be a daunting experience. “All my friends are getting married, should I lower my standards and consider even those who are divorced?”

What’s more painful is that your expectation to date a tall, dark, and handsome single guy when you were in your 20s seems to be unrealistic as you enter your 30s because, well, not that you cannot find a tall dark, and handsome single guy, but because most people already married as they enter mid-30s.

It is harder to find single guys in your 30s and you now are contemplating dating divorcees, because why not? After all, if the compatibility matches between the both of you, you think that you should broaden your preferences because limiting your once and needs in a relationship will not lead you to the last thing relationship.

However, there are indeed a few things that you should take note of especially on dating single dad red flags and red flags when dating an older man, because you may think that people who have come out of a divorce can be more serious about long-term relationships, and have love intention after the bitter experiences.

However, that may not be the case always.

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I’m Jasveena and I have been blogging since 2013, documenting my experience as well as helpful professional resources and tips I found online in seeking meaningful relationships and connections, and I am here to share them with you so that you are not alone in cruising through this journey called life that may seem like a lonely path.

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A man standing overseeing a lake with a child hanging on his shoulder looking backwards, and the image has a layover text "Dating Single Dad Red Flags"

Resorting To Emotional Dumping

If you have noticed that men who are just coming out of a divorce and have kids talk to you a lot about the difficulties that they face in their marriage life, and they seem to be a little bit more emotional every single time you go out on a date, they are using you to emotional dump their problems.

This is because they have not gone through the healing process of digesting what has happened to them and coming out of the trauma so that they can be a better partner for you. when you’re married to someone, it is normal to share your emotions and feelings with your partner.

However, when you are going through a separation process, you have just lost the partner that you used to talk to about your difficult moments. When your spouse is also going through a similar situation, you have nobody to turn to but resort to dating and we all know that this is a rebound state.

So, as a single woman if you have never been married before, processing the emotional pain especially when it is shared by a potential date can be emotionally taxing for you if you are not prepared to handle the situation.

Dates are supposed to be fun and an opportunity to explore each other’s wants and needs, and not an avenue to emotional-dump difficult moments on your date. 

This is mainly true because as a single woman, you have not gone through a divorce process, and therefore you will not have the experience of handling such difficult emotions. The lack of experience will make you the wrong person to actually console your date or even give them any words of wisdom because you simply do not know where to begin.

Only Tells He’s A Single Dad After The First Date 

Have you seen single dads not saying that they are single dads until then unless you ask them? I have come across a lot of dating profiles that do not mention anything about them being a divorcee or being a single dad as a matter of fact.

I think that this is largely because people do not want to be judged quickly just because they are single dads. It is definitely understandable. However, as you both are talking on the dating app, they should be able to reveal about the status of being a dad.

This is because as a single woman, you may have a deal breaker and you may not have the preference to date someone who is a single dad. Therefore, as a sign of respect, that’s should be able to tell you that they have kids so that they do not waste your time if he is not something that you are looking for.

If he has not revealed that he is a single dad until your first date, that is definitely one of the dating single dad red flags that you should take note of, and reevaluate your decision to date him further.

Because, certainly nobody wants to have a shock of their lives going on a date only to find out that they dating someone’s ex-husband and someone’s father.

Is Not Legally Divorced

One of the other dating single dad flags that you should be aware of is if the guy is actually not legally divorced yet. Or even, if he is separated from his wife and is yet to start talking about getting divorced. He could be a wishy-washy guy.

The main reason why you should not date someone who is going through a separation process or has not even divorced his wife is because you may not exactly know if he is in the plan to patch up with his wife. What if he is actually having disagreements with his wife and he is just seeking distraction in the meantime?

It is also going to be an emotional roller coaster ride for you when he is going through a divorce with his wife because along with him you will have to handle the aftermath of divorce as you may need to emotionally support him throughout the process. 

I’m not saying that this is something you shouldn’t do but it is good to be aware of the consequences of having to deal with somebody who is going through a divorce. 

Are you emotionally prepared for this? You should evaluate if this person is worth investing your time and energy in before you would want to proceed with dating and taking this further.

Another reason why you should not consider people who are yet to go through a separation process officially is because of the reasons that have been mentioned earlier – which is him being in a rebound state.

He may be going through something really difficult which includes arguments with his wife and he might think that things may end and resort to online dating he might have found you but you wouldn’t know if he just needs somebody to console him and provide him the emotional support he needs.

Is Not Clear On Co-Parenting

If you are single and have never been married with kids before, most probably, you might have wanted someone who is at least child-free when he meets you for the first time.

If you are dating someone who has kids, seeing them spending more time with the children may make you feel uneasy and left out. If you are not secure enough in the relationship, it may make you feel as if your partner has your full attention and commitment towards your relationship.

The situation can further worsen if your partner has not decided clearly on how he and his ex-wife are going to co-parent the children. Are the children going to be with him? How often will he be seeing his kids? What is your role in his kids’ lives?

If your partner and his ex-wife are co-parenting kids, will the situation get worse to a point where maybe his wife could leave the parenting job entirely to your partner one day? Will you be able to handle these messy things? If you don’t feel good about it, it may be one of the signs god is protecting you from a bad relationship.

Does Not Give The Attention and Enthusiasm You Deserve 

One of the other dating single dad red flags is that they have gone through marriage and had children before you, and the relationship they are going to have with you is going to be probably the second relationship and marriage. Therefore, maybe they are not going to be as enthusiastic and excited as you are in a relationship.

Imagine if you have not been in a relationship for many years now, and you end up with someone who has just walked out of a marriage, they may not be as excited as you are as they could be realistic about marriage and the problems that it would bring in the future.

It could be secure being with someone who has experience in married life, however, you may need to make some adjustments and compromises if he is not as excited as you about planning for a wedding or even planning for kids.

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My Experience

I certainly have come across people who have gone through divorce and I have dated them. However, a lot of them are actually still processing emotional damages that were brought about by the divorce. All throughout the dates that I went with people who were divorced, they seemed to be projecting a certain level of fear and uncertainty about marriage.

Due to pre selection dating, single dads and older men may seem to be desirable for women. However, not everyone has the emotional maturity that they should have for their age.

Some are actually just looking for a companion without actually knowing that they are seeking just a companion. They tend to say that they are looking for a relationship, however, when you talk about serious stuff, they tend not to do anything about it and they would want to avoid talking about commitments.

Some others start dating even when they are in the separation stage, and this brings about a lot of anxiety for me because the kids are involved and they have not separated on paper, and it is just too much for someone who has been single for a long time in her life to be handling.

Again, like I said, the first is from one person to another, however, single women need to remember what they are capable of handling and not just settle for less, because age is catching up and they need to make a lot of compromises in relationships.


Do single dads have a hard time dating?

Dating is harder when you’re raising a kid. This is because when you are a parent, it is a lifelong commitment and you will have to juggle between your work, kids and also dating which will take a lot of time because single does are getting to know a completely new person and time has to be invested in this process. It is also harder because their partner might be expecting more time to be spent with them, which single dads cannot afford.

How do you know if a single dad is serious about you?

  • They give you reassurance about their mental health and if they have done the healing work that is necessary in order to enter a new relationship.
  • They let you know about the level of commitment they have with their kids.
  • They officially divorced on paper, and they do not have a second thought about patching up with their exes.
  • They are clear about the level of commitment that you need in a relationship and are willing to invest in you.
  • They are sensitive to your needs and do not use you to emotional dump when they are feeling bad about their past.
  • They initiate serious talks and would want to take the relationship one step ahead.

Is it okay to fall in love with a single dad?

Yes, it is perfectly okay to date a single dad as long as you know you can handle the challenges that arise from dating a single dad. You should also be prepared to compromise on the time that single that could spend with you because he has to take care of his kids as well.

What do single dads struggle with?

They are juggling their work commitments with their parenting responsibilities. Apart from that, single dads also need to juggle with the emotional turmoil that arises from their divorce. Some partners may actually expect more financial assistance from men and this drains the energy of guys who are divorced.

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