I'm an ardent fan of dating divorced dads. Like any other individuals, they have their good points and bad, and you need to take the time to get to know them.
That said, my dating life after divorce has included the occasional never married and childless man, the occasional widower with one or more children, and primarily divorced dads. So here are five of my top reasons why dating divorced dads can be smart, satisfying, and sensational.
Reason 1: Divorce Teaches Us About Relationships
Many divorced dads learn from a first marriage. Whether it's a "starter marriage" when they're very young, or a longer-term union in which they have their kids, if they've done the soul searching required to understand what went right and what went wrong, you may find yourself in luck.
Among other things, they learn how women like to be listened to (not fixed); how a little romance goes a long way (baby); and how a balance of time together and apart makes room for a "me," a "you," and... an "us" (which we all need).
Reason 2: A Deeper Understanding of Parenthood
Divorced dads may have a better understanding of fatherhood than they did when they were married. Certainly, this is isn't always true, but for some men, appreciation for the patience and stamina necessary in parenting only comes when they're doing it on their own.
That makes you the beneficiary of those skills and experience as well, which may also make him feel more at ease with your children.
Reason 3: Compassion on the "Ex" Factor
Do you have a crazy ex? He may, too, which sounds like a recipe for disaster. But it may be anything but, as divorced dads will understand your single mother complications. Sure, they may bring parenting complexities of their own, but we expect them to deal with our "stuff." Shouldn't we be compassionate and understanding when it comes to theirs?
The real advantage here is that they understand firsthand the demands of coordinating schedules, the little dramas around visitation, the need for compromise when dealing with two households, and even the magic tricks required to stretch a tight budget.
Reason 4: Watch, Listen, Learn
If you're lucky, you may learn a few things in watching the way your guy and his ex interact. If nothing else, you will gain additional insight into his character and his parenting - seeing how his kids respond to him, the civility with which he deals with their mom, and how seriously he takes his financial obligations.
With this kind of information, you're in a better position to imagine what sort of partner he could be when things are going well as well as in tough times. You may also pick up a communication tip or two that are useful with your own ex.
Reason 5: Sweet Sex, Sizzling Sex, Sleepy Sex
Have I mentioned sex? No? Then now is the perfect time to do so.
I'm not going to say that marital status impacts performance in bed, but I do believe that a man who weathers a few storms just may be more likely to bring perspective to all his interpersonal endeavors. And by that I mean his humor, his patience, his perspective and his attentiveness. Naturally, we should deliver in kind.
Mix in a dash of catching quality moments when you can - and who doesn't love a little post-baby bath sweet sex, stolen our-teens-are-at-the-movies sizzling sex, or just-before-nodding-off-exhausted sleepy sex - with all the kiddos happily tucked in... preferably at Grandma's house?