The Challenges of Dating as a Single Dad

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Dating as a single dad – Brian Dunn runs through the common mental challenges that come up for single dads looking to date again. He offers his advice on how to reframe your thinking and give yourself permission to pursue your own happiness.

Brian Dunn is a dating & relationship coach based in San Francisco, California.

So you’ve made it through your break up/ divorce (congratulations)! Your kids are learning to adjust to all the changes. You’ve done the work needed to grieve, heal, and move on with your life. And you are a better and stronger man for having gone through the experience.

Now you’re feeling like it’s time to tip the toe back into the dating pool. All sorts of feelings, including shame and guilt, can start to come up when we start to date again. It represents a big transition affecting not just us, but our children as well.

“I feel guilty”

You feel ready to start dating again, but then you start to think about how your kids will feel when they find out. What will they think about you moving on? Will they be okay with it? Will they feel abandoned? Will they feel like you’re trying to replace their mother?

It’s natural to have feelings of guilt and shame come up. But there’s no need to feel guilty for wanting to date again. For acknowledging your desires for companionship, love, or whatever else. If you are having a hard time giving yourself permission to date again, I hereby give you a big green light to follow your heart and do what feels right for you.

The most important thing is how you treat your kids once you’re dating again...

  • Are you continuing to be a good father when you’re with them?
  • Picking them up on time, going to their football games and school concerts?
  • Are you showing them love, being present with them, and prioritising their needs?
  • Are you introducing your new partner too soon and making your kids feel like a third wheel, like they have to vie for your attention, or like they are being replaced by someone new in your heart?

“I feel like I’ll be single forever”

A common insecurity that comes up for single dads starting to date again is wondering who in the world would want to date a single dad with kids. This is something I struggled with myself, thinking that all of the women around my age would only want to date someone without kids, without what I thought was a lot of “baggage”. In my case, a divorce, an ex, and two teenage kids.

But don’t let being a single dad be something you’re ashamed of. Be proud of it, be proud of your children and how you’re doing such a great job raising them. Don’t spend your time worrying or getting sad about the women who aren’t a match for you.

There’s a lid for every pot, and everyone has their own unique situation and background. There are plenty of women who are open to dating single dads, or who have kids of their own and sometimes prefer dating a fellow single parent – toggle to Dating mode on the Frolo App for example!

What’s really important in the eyes of women is whether we’re a good father, and how much of an active role we’re playing in the lives of our children.

Good luck out there! And don’t forget to ask for help and lean on others for support when you need it. You are not alone. Ready to find love? Toggle to Dating on the Frolo app now. And find more advice on dating here.

Brian Dunn is a dating & relationship coach based in San Francisco, California. For more from Brian, follow him on Instagram or visit his website –

A updated version of Frolo is now available for the best possible app experience, with features on that include enhanced discovery settings, 'Find me on Frolo' and the ability to share meetups and group chats outside the app, plus the ability to post anonymously on Community and to see all your likes in one place with unlimited likes on Dating mode.

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