He was divorced about two years ago, his son is about five, and his relationship with his ex is still pretty antagonistic.
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We see each other about once a week but he can go days without responding to my texts, which feels really hurtful to me. It feels very out of sight, out of mind.
He has expressed that he's still a bit reeling from the divorce. Am I jumping the gun? I feel like I've been patient because I want to give this a chance and I want to be sensitive to his parenting obligations, but I also feel I can't just pretend that this non-responsiveness don't bother or hurt me. To me, this is very clear signal of how much someone is thinking about or cares about you. What do you think? Please chime in with any insights!
We both have pretty time-consuming day jobs. I've been in a serious relationship with a divorced dad for several years.
When we met, his divorce had been final for about 3 years and he had joint custody of three children, the youngest of whom was 9. He also had a very demanding job.
The youngest of my two children was also 9. Oh, and we live 50 miles apart. So, we had our hands full at home and had some geographic and scheduling challenges to further complicate things. But we were really into each other. Like giddy, silly kids into each other. We called each other all the time and squeezed in dates whenever we could.
I have found that when two people are feeling the same great vibe about each other, it's easy and obvious.
Challenges Of The Divorced Dad Dating
You reach out a lot because It doesn't sound like that's what's going on in your situation. You have a good thing when you're in contact but there isn't a big need on his side to make that contact happen. You want someone who's into you. Someone who wants to be in contact regularly, get to know you better, have you in his life. Go find that guy. It isn't this guy. He may be a perfectly nice guy but he's just not that into you. Don't waste time on trying to parse out his feelings. That way lies many, many wasted hours.
He's not calling or texting or trying to set up dates. Those are his feelings. He's telling you clearly what his feelings about you are. This is the key, IMO There was no reeling going on at all. Kids make it harder, for sure, but 3 days is waaaaaaaaaay too long. It sounds like he's just not that into you.
That or he has a lousy communication style. Either way, you're clearly not a priority, so I would find someone else. My reading of this is that these behaviors are not related to his parenting.
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I know tons of single parents. It isn't impossible to date. It is even more possible when there is shared residential time. Not responding to your texts on the regular isn't cool. It doesn't sound like this is working for you, in that his level of communication doesn't match yours. Maybe you can give him a shot and tell him directly, "Look, I know you're busy, but I'd like us to have more regular communication.
And as part of this, it is upsetting to me when you ignore my texts. Then give him a few weeks to see if he can change.
Keep It Simple
But for clarification - what's his residential custody situation and how does it impact your dating life? Yet he could quickly reply to you and say "Super busy with kiddo but thinking of you! Hope that thing at work went well. But, the fact that things seems antagonistic 2 years after the divorce, I'd want to know a bit more about that to assess it. This might be more of a red flag. To me, it wouldn't be unusual for this guy and his ex to be communicating with each other regularly about kid stuff - "Is kid's lacrosse stick at your house?
I can't find it. That can be really tough for people to work through. I hope that they have a solid parenting plan in place. This shows her that your kids are an important part of your life and lets her know more about your situation. However, avoid talking too much about your kids on the first date. A woman wants to know about you first. These topics are too heavy for a first date and can scare women away.
Instead, talk about your work, your hobbies, or other light topics, and save the more serious subjects for women you get involved with. Christie Hartman is a psychologist and author of five dating and relationship books. She has written for several online publications and has been published in numerous scientific journals in the areas of mental health and addiction.
Dating Tips for Men: And, if she wants kids of her own, she would most likely be accepting—and happy to have a stepdaughter. She might enjoy the opportunity to be a mentor, a coach, a source of additional love and support for a child. It could prove to be a tremendously rewarding and fulfilling experience.
The key is for this guy to have balance with the women he dates. Relationships are all about give and take, about doing things for your spouse and having him or her do things for you.
And, it should be looked at as a positive! In other words, the couple is in a win-win. They win if they get to go out on a romantic date alone, and they win if they get to spend time laughing and doing kid things that they know the daughter would enjoy. Here is what I want to tell this man. He only needs one match. Somewhere out there is a woman who is going to meet him and fall in love. She will then meet his daughter and fall in love not only with her, but more in love when she sees her boyfriend love and nurture his daughter.