Do single dads prefer to date women without kids?

by singlemomseeking on January 14, 2009

That’s a question we’d love to answer at

Secretly, Dr. Leah and I have always suspected that many single dads shy away from single moms. Now, for the first time ever, our worst fears are apparently confirmed.

It’s only the second week into the thirteenth season of The Bachelorand Jason Mesnick has already booted two of the four single moms off the show!

Can someone please enlighten us here?

Does a reality show like the The Bachelor really shed light on the reality of dating single dads?

We’d love to know:

Do single dads deliberately avoid single moms in order to keep the focus on their own kids?

We’ve spoken to many single dads who tell us they have already have more than enough of their own “ex drama.” They’re not interested in the complications of dating a single mom, especially her “ex drama” -– not to mention her own kid complications.

Is this true?

Feel free to leave your thoughts here — or read more over at and comment there.

Single dads: Do you avoid dating single moms?

And single moms, we’d love to hear if your experiences mirror ours!

Photo of The Bachelor listening to one of the remaining single moms on the show.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Single Dad May 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

Well, I guess not. It depends on the person. Each guy i guess is different. Some guys may like it, some may not.


dc November 14, 2010 at 8:19 pm

I agree with John that as a single dad there’s almost no point in dating a woman without kids because “they just don’t get it”.

I don’t think it would absolutely stop me, but I just think the odds of someone without kids understanding what you are contending with when you do have them is wildly unlikely. I mean, it’s hard enough just to find someone who’s basically compatible, without also being someone who (a) understands the demands of having children without herself having them (b) doesn’t have it in the back of her mind that whatever you bring to the relationship she “could find the same in some other guy, but without the baggage”.

I personally think (b) is wildly unlikely, possible, but terribly unlikely, but it’s a belief people cling to.

So, to answer the question about the bachelor though – I think it says nothing whatsoever about people in the real world. He is given an incredible opportunity to select as few ever get. His selections say nothing at all that can be generalizable. Any real-world single dad knows his best opportunities for a relationship lie with single moms.


Eric September 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

I’m a single dad (34) with primary custody of my daughter (9). I think it starts out easier dating someone without kids because they are accessible, but ultimately it becomes more difficult because we have to be selfless, so I personally prefer a woman with one or two kids (not trying to put together a basketball or football team though!). I also used to think having an open arrangement with the ex was the right thing to do, but going by the decree and minimizing all contact really works best for everyone as it minimizes the chances for drama.

Wholeheartedly agree with Mike on the life lessons learned thing.


Rachel September 14, 2010 at 11:11 pm

I am a single mother to 4 children… all very young and my youngest is disabled (she has a very rare symdrome, but is cute as a button). I have done a lot of deep thinking recently, though, and have come to the conclusion that even though I am still in my early twenties… I do not have a chance at dating until my kids are in their teens. The men I have dated have not been single dads and always fight to get more attention than my children – or cannot hold their own (okay, so my daughters are a little high-energy… heh). The only single dad I dated turned out to be one of those low-life ones who doesn’t want to pay to support his own child (from an ex-wife) and never wanted visitation. I mean… if he didn’t even want his OWN kid…?


Superman December 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

Just remember, the life you have now with your boyfriend/girlfriend with kids will probably not change. Don’t expect it to change. If you are staying in it cause you think you will get more time down the road, you are kidding yourself. If you are not happy now, you will not be happy later. Break up if you are not content with the relationship as it is. Stay in it if you love the person and don’t mind the struggle two complex lives bring to the table.


BigLittleWolf August 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I have found that single dads understand my life as a single mom – much better than those who have never married or never had kids.

It’s a matter of individuals – there are great men who have never been dads (and love kids), great men who have been dads (and love it), great men who’ve been dads and finished the active parenting so they just don’t want to “go there” again.

I understand that. I have teens. Light at the end of the tunnel. I adore kids, but date a man with little ones? No. I’m in a different place. Date a man with teens? No problem.

I think gentleman “Mike” made a very important observation (above). He likes women who are mothers. He understands that we’ve learned a few things about life, and about loving. My hat’s off to Mike for getting it.

What works? Whatever feels right between two individuals + kids, at a point in time.


Michelle August 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

Wow! There are some harsh comments on this website about women without kids. I dated a full-time single father for 2 years. I was kind, patient, understanding, blah, blah, blah and all it got me was dumped. Is it really too much to ask for one night every other month to spend alone? If it is then I guess I am not cut out to date a single dad. Now, I love his children and I can’t find any advise about how to maintain or if it’s possible to maintain a healthy relationship with the kids of your ex-boyfriend.


m August 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm

I am a 27 year old single mom. i used to be so good at dating. now that i am a single mom, it feels weird and scary. i don’t even know where to begin.


Melissa July 16, 2009 at 7:06 pm

This is such an interesting topic! There really isn’t a majority who would date one over the other… so it’s hard to know the answer.

I am dating a man who has 3 kids (all under 10). He has drama with the ex and still battling things out in court. I fell in love with him and love his kids. The problem is they take up ALL of his time. I admit that I get selfish and want more “alone” time with him. He has them constantly, and they’re not the most well-behaved, structured kids. They eat when they want, go to bed when they want, pretty much take over the house, etc.

I just ran into an ex boyfriend who has never been married and has no kids, but WANTS kids. Even though I’m in love with my ‘single-dad’ boyfriend, I still think about what it would be like to date someone WITHOUT all of that drama and time constraints. Is it worth breaking up with a wonderful man to create a family of my very own?

I want more children but my bf has had a vasectomy, he says he’s willing to reverse it but there is no guarantee that works.

Don’t know what to do????

PS. I have a baby girl so I’m a single mom as well. Both men are willing to accept her.


T February 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm

I cannnot have kids and have always wanted them due to health reasons. Where can I go to find a man with kids who would like a mom? I am 42 and I do not look it! But sometimes feel it since I am not a mother? I am not the dating show or dating scene kind of person, hell I don’t drink so that keeps me from clubs and bars and I am not polyester Sue for the bowling alleys and I don’t think I would meet the man of my dreams there either. Where can I go. This is bold move for me and I never considered the internet as I felter kind a despereate and I guess I am! HELP!


Mike January 17, 2009 at 7:21 pm

No, this man prefers single mothers. Only a single mother for me. Childless women haven’t learned some of lifes very important lessons yet.


Alicia January 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Personally, I gravitate toward single dads for sure. I just think having kids is a major area, where two people have to be on the same page. Having said that; I would be choosy about the single dad situation-more than two kids, more than two moms involved, etc. I’m just a little insecure that childless guys just won’t understand, when it comes to dating someone whose child comes first.


Kat Wilder January 15, 2009 at 11:44 pm

There are pluses and minus to dating a single dad when you’re a single mom.

Big plus: They “get” it.

Minus: His schedule and your schedule limit your time together … that’s a tough one if you’re sucked into expectations of what it “should” look like.

You have to be flexible and open-minded if you’re dating another single parent because it undoubtedly means there will be many Friday and Saturday nights without each other. That just means you have to go about and live your life — go out with friends, be by yourself, etc. — and enjoy the times you and he are together.

I actually think that’s better …

Kat Wilder´s last blog post…Girl-on-girl, hot; guy-on-guy, not?


Wondermom January 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Well, I’m too new to all of this to have any experience with single dads but I did write a while back that I think I would shy away from a dad myself. I admit it’s a double standard…I expect a man who wants to be serious with me to accept me and my children and my ex-drama and all of that…but I can’t imagine dealing with all that in someone else. Maybe I’ll grow into the role. Right now I’m dating a guy who has never been married but his sister is a single mom of two (10 and 5). He’s practically raised those two kids so he’s great with kids and used to the games that my boys play and the way my life is. He also understands (somewhat) the challenges of a single mother because he’s helped his sister through it for the last 10 years. Still, his niece and nephew do completely change the dynamics when we do play dates…I just can’t imagine a relationship with someone who has kids of their own. And I worry about whether I would be able to treat someone else’s kids the same as mine and things like that.

Do other single moms feel like this?

Wondermom´s last blog post…I need an attitude adjustment


John F January 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm

As a single dad of three there is no way I could date anyone that did not have kids.

In a word–they just don’t get it.

I need my dates or “SOs” to know that until my kids fly the coop, they are 4th in line behind three great kids. Sorry, it’s the way it is and I would expect the same.

A kidless woman has no compassion when you need to cancel the dinner date at the last minute because your kid just projectile vomited all over the place and needs to go to the after hour clinic to get checked out. They tend to be too self absorbed and selfish if you ask me!


singlemomseeking January 14, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Okay, okay, I hear you guys about “The Bachelor.” I’m plugging away here, just for you.

CCD: I appreciate your honesty. I don’t know why I thought that dating might get easier with an older kid. Sometimes, I also wonder if I should wait…

Julia: Thanks for the hope!

Hmm, Judy, I didn’t know that about you1


Mike January 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm

First I want to thank Phil for making the Bachelor comment.

For me as long as her child is as old or older than my son I’m good.


judy January 14, 2009 at 6:24 pm

I prefer men w/o kids or with kids who are 18 or older.


MindyMom January 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm

YAY for Crazy Computer Dad!!! Says a single mom of four…

MindyMom´s last blog post…Saying Goodbye


Crazy Computer Dad January 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I only date single moms. I tried dating three women in their mid thirties without children. They wanted all the attention on themselves. None of them lasted more than a couple of dates. Only one didn’t blatantly demand I ship my son off somewhere so that I could spend more time with her.

I dated a single mom with 5 children. I grew up with three brothers so I love the energy and interaction that having a lot of kids around brings.

I am starting to wonder if I should just give up any hope for a serious relationship until after my son leaves home (not more than three weeks after his 18th birthday!). At nearly 12 years old, it is a lot to ask of him and anyone that came into our lives to make those kinds of adjustments. Especially for a child that has special needs (right Avigail?) and appears to have finally stabilized some.

Crazy Computer Dad´s last blog post…It’s all about fun….Pirate and buried treasure fun!


Carolyn January 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I’m a single mom, and I’ve dated one single dad. I broke it off quickly, for many reasons… one of which was that he was a single dad. I liked that he understood the challenges I was facing and the difficulties of single parenting, but to be honest it was hard to imagine it working out with him because his life was SO complicated. My life is complicated enough, and I didn’t like the idea of having to deal with his ex and the limitations involved in being with someone who has a court order to follow.
I mean, what if I wanted to move half an hour away? I have my ex to deal with, plus hi ex and all the attorney’s fees associated with any disagreements, plus he’s shelling out more than half his income on child support, and our parenting time with the kids meant that we were almost never kid-less at the same time.
It was a headache… but of course if I fell in *love* with a single dad, I guess I’d deal with it.

Carolyn´s last blog post…A Closet Compulsive Comes Clean


Legal Editor Mom January 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I’m not a fan of reality shows at all, so I definitely wouldn’t be looking for truth based on anything like those. (I’m glad, too, that you’re going to be changing the topics!!)

That said, I’ve met men on both sides of the fence, so I don’t think you can generalize on this subject.


Julia January 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm

The single dad I’m dating was more attracted to single moms because he could relate to them more. I think you still have some hope Rachel. 😉


Eathan January 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I was wondering the same thing Phil :).. I’m not a fan of the Bachelor and I don’t watch the show.

As a single dad, I usually date someone who has 2 or less kids. I’ve only met a couple women that don’t have any kids that I would consider a serious relationship with.


dadshouse January 14, 2009 at 11:46 am

I dated a woman who made relationship choices based on whatever she learned from Sex and the City and Grey’s Anatomy. We didn’t date long.

I don’t watch the Bachelor.

I have dated single moms, and don’t shy from them.

dadshouse´s last blog post…Discreet Affair


Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) January 14, 2009 at 11:17 am

Yeah I can’t say I have seen one episode of this Bachelor series this goround… but then again… I don’t watch much television….or have much chance to at least.

Now I would like to know what general consensus single dads had about dating single moms though… Like Phil, I would think they could relate better to a single mom… but I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time!

Katherine (SOLO dot MOM)´s last blog post…spontaneity for a single mom


singlemomseeking January 14, 2009 at 10:42 am

Phil: I hear you. I’m Bachelor-ed out myself.

So, tell me: Do you have any pressing questions/issues… About relationships? Anything you’re dying to know? Bring ’em on.

Robin: Congrats!!


Robin January 14, 2009 at 10:19 am

I’m a single mom and my boyfriend is a single dad. Our kids are best friends and can’t wait till we get married so they can be brother and sister.


Phil January 14, 2009 at 10:07 am

I know this is your blog Rachel, and of course you can do whatever you want with it – no one is forcing me to read it – but could there be some kind of ‘The Bachelor’ post limit? Not everyone watches or cares about the show…

I was also wondering if possibly your dating expectations are subtly being changed by watching these shows?

To answer your question… most guys would prefer a woman who has absolutely no life when he is not around. So yes, most guys aren’t looking for a single mom. As a single dad, I have the same issues as many single moms, so I was looking for someone with kids. But that’s just me, I’m not even close to the norm.


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