Today I face some harsh truths, all of which I knew were inevitable, but I have been avoiding since the divorce. It’s the little things that as a recently single man, and single father, does not want to deal with…yet it happens.
As I said in a previous post, I do not hold anything against my ex-wife, or her new boyfriend. She is an amazing mother, and a genuinely great person, we just were not meant to be. With that in mind, her boyfriend is a pretty good guy, I actually met him before the divorce and thought he was a decent guy. For months I have held him solely responsible for my wife leaving me, but after months of soul searching and finding who I was, it was just one of those things that happens. We were both unhappy, even if I did not know it at the time. I lacked in communication and affection where it was most needed, and by time I realized it, it was too late. But like I said, I have no harsh feelings for her or him.
Anyway, rambling on. Today I did something I have avoided since the divorce came about. I gritted my teeth, and grew up so much in a way that I knew would come eventually, just denied to myself that it ever had to happen. As per usual, my ex-wife came over to visit Tuck, and gave me the freedom to run a few errands, goto the grocery, and mow the lawn without the concern for where he was and what he was getting into. I’m not sure if I explained in a previous post, but I currently have 100% custody of both kids until she gets her own place, just to make things easier for everyone, and she comes over basically every day to spend time with the kids. So before anyone thinks otherwise, she has nowhere near abandoned her kids nor is she a bad mother, she’s excellent and loves both kids unconditionally. Back on track, today while mowing the grass, something hit me, mentally of course, and I decided I needed to push myself to be an even better person than I have been. I came inside to where my ex and Tuck were playing, and asked her if she wanted to take him to the park today, not with me, but with her boyfriend. The one thing I have been avoiding, letting her boyfriend meet my son. Today though, for some reason, I let it happen, I encouraged it to happen. I pushed for it. As I sit here typing, they are at the park playing, and I’m still unsure of what came over me and why I wanted it to happen. The only thing that comes to mind is that today ended up being a little rough on me.
Rough on me you may ask? What happened? Well, as I said I am to the point where I am starting to feel like dating again. I screwed up and got feelings for a woman, after I had told her I had no intentions of being more than a friend. Which sucks. Today, of all days, without seeing her today, I realized that I actually had feelings for her. Being that I am 30 years old, and a single father, I have no shame and nothing to hide nor lie about, so I made that phone call. And what did I do? I told her. I told her that I had feelings, knowing the whole time it would blow up in my face. Regardless; it went there, and I am still as single as the day I was when I came out of the womb. Shit happens. I probably should have waited and not told her just yet, and let things happen, but I have no reason to hide anything, and I just felt the need to tell her. It’s by no means her fault, she was not ready for anything else, and I’m sure from a single woman’s perspective, dating a single dad is scary.
So after all of this, I feel that is necessary to explain to the world why single dads are so great, just because I need to give myself the positive reinforcement. To make this esthetically pleasing to the eye, I am going to bulletpoint the reason why dating a signle dad is better than dating the average single guy or “fuck-boy”.
- We are patient, extremely patient. We’re raising kids, so we can wait as long as you need us to. While we may come right out and tell you our intentions, that does not mean it has to happen today. We can wait weeks, months, hell we can wait a year before actually dating you. You have to get ready for us to go out, take your sweet time. We made late reservations for a reason, we know it takes time to get ready. I mean, we are changing our fourth chocolate covered shirt, so by all means, take your time.
- We’re not looking for sex. And if we are, we are looking for the emotional attachment involved. We have no intention of bringing you into our home to sleep with, and then send you on your way to never speak to you again. That’s just not who we are. We realize that sex causes a chemical attraction in one another, and while that fire may need to be kept alive, we are not going to start the fire until we’re ready. You want to wait awhile, we probably want to wait longer.
- We’re much more mature. We’re all adults, sure, but we’re actually mature. We are raising kids without the help of another. We tend to carry ourselves with a little more pride than the average man, and why the hell shouldn’t we? There is a child, or multiple children, in our lives that are still alive; that means we have not failed. Our kid(s) woke up this morning, gave us hugs and kisses, laughed and smiled, and are fed and happy; we’re doing pretty damn good in our minds, you can’t change that. We change dirty diapers, clean up vomit, bathe children, and dig God-knows-what out of places we don’t even want to describe.
- We’re goofy and immature. I know I said we are mature, but you have to be with kids. But we also have to be immature and fun. We reach our children on a level that nobody else can. Yes, a mom plays with and has fun with their kids. But a dad gets down there and becomes a kid with their kids. We play the part. It’s instinct. Plus it gives us a reason to dress up as a super hero.
- We are care-free. To an extent of course. It’s perfectly fine if things are not going our way. We may go on a date with you, sure, but do our socks match? Doubtful. Do we have milk stains on our shoulder from where our kid hugged us and burped with milk in his mouth? Probably. But do we care? Absolutely not. It’s a part of being dad. It’s what makes us, well, “us”.
- We’re fully capable of being committed. And when I say committed, I mean it. If we bring you into our lives, that means we obviously saw something in you. If you meet our kids, then you might as well plan on staying awhile. We trust you enough to meet our kids, then that means we actually trust you and want you in our lives, as well as our childrens. We are not willing to put our child’s heart at risk by bringing you into their lives, you’re just not that worth it. No offense.
- We’re organized chaos. Have you ever set foot in a single dad’s home? Did it look like a complete disaster, but organized into certain areas? Yeah, that’s my home. You set foot in my front door, you know where Tucker has been. My living room consists of a couch, love seat, recliner, coffee table, and TV…sort of. There is a giant box from which the trampoline came in full of Tucker’s toys, as well as another box of toys, and behind the couch is a train table also covered in toys. We are used to our lives being go-go-go and hectic, and that’s okay. We know how to deal with it. We know that no matter what life throws at us, it’s going to be fine. It can be a complete disaster, but we’ll deal with it in our own way, and it may not be perfect when it’s handled, but the collision has been averted. It’s kind of what we do. Sure, Tucker dropped a gallon of milk because I forgot to put the child lock back on it, but it’s cleaned up, aside from some milk stains on a cabinet 10 feet away, but everybody survived. It happens, we live.
- Speaking of organized chaos, our ability to improvise is something of fairy tales. We can plan an extravagant date with you; candlelit dinner, flowers, soft music, slow dancing, the works…but the dinner burns in the oven, candles fall over and burn a hole in the fancy tablecloth we set up, flowers get wilted from the heat, stereo is on the fritz from the water we threw at the fire. We’re not going to care though, we handled it. But what do we do about our romantic dinner we had set up for you? We’re headed outside to throw a blanket under the stars, grab a couple of the kids Lunchables and some GoGurts; come on with us, we’re having a mini-picnic outside by star light instead…don’t worry, the wine is still cold.
- We’re sentimental. The little things matter to us. We still have the first drawing our child drew for us tucked away in our wallet. If you give us a corny little gift from the fair on our first date, we have it still, whether it’s a week or five years from now, we have it somewhere. Every little hug and kiss means something to us. Sure, it may sound like a weakness that we care about these things, but would you rather have some “fuck boy” that doesn’t want a thing to do with you? Someone that does not want to kiss you, or cuddle with you, or hold your hand? Is he going to cherish the little things you give him? The little things always matter, more so than the larger things. We’re never going to buy you a $400 pair of earrings to make up for something. And why you may ask? Because we’ve easily spent over $1000 on you this year alone on small things, like that ring from the gumball machine at Walmart…yeah, we see you still wearing it, don’t lie. And we never did anything to upset you so much that we have to buy your happiness to begin with.
- We have a pretty damn good memory. We have to. Are we going to remember all of your friends the first time we meet them? Hell no. Do you know how many of our kids friends we meet on a regular basis? Is it Julian or Julianne? But you better believe we are going to remember important things. We are balancing doctors appointments, football games, gymnastic meets, plays, orchestra practice, teach conferences, and Cub Scouts, all while remembering to wash that favorite shirt to go stay at a friends tomorrow night. We got this. We know your birthday, just not right now, give us a little bit to put you in our routine, and we will not forget much after that. Once you have become a part of our lives, you are there. You may not be first right now, or ever, but you are going to always be there on our minds to where we don’t forget you, it’s just karate came before you tonight, sorry.
Now that you have read this, do not get these reasons twisted by any means. There are exceptions. Some single “dads” are just not worth it, and you can tell from the get go. Look at the guys phone, does he have pictures of his kids on it? Are they his background? Do you know 100% that he sees his kids on a regular basis? I know it’s sad to say, but there are some guys out there that have kids, and use them to his advantage. By saying this, I mean they will act like their kids are a huge part of their life in order to get into a woman’s pants, they will lie and say that they care a great deal about their kids, but they don’t. When you see them around their kids, are they constantly yelling at them? Are they even paying attention to their kids? A true dad can have a full fledge conversation with you and look you in your eyes, but the entire time his head is on a swivel, never breaking eye contact with you but never taking his eyes off of his child. We’re good like that. Be sure if you are ready to commit to a single dad, he’s a dad and not a father.
I’m sure there are at least four other reasons I could type up to give you a solid ten, but I do have a little alone time right now. What that means is, this Single Dad is going to take a shower alone, without worrying about a toddler poking his head in to see what daddy is doing.