As a single dad wading back into the dating pool, Daniel Ruyter was surprised how many women lost interest when he revealed, always in the first conversation, that he had a son."At first I took it personally," said the Orlando, Fla., information technology analyst, who was 32 when he divorced and got joint custody of his then 5-year-old son."I found it very arbitrary that before they got to know me, they had decided against me."But as Ruyter cycled through "close to 100" first dates and a few long-term girlfriends (a scheduling feat, considering half his week was devoted to his son), his romantic standards heightened in ways they may not have pre-fatherhood.She seemed like she couldn’t wait to be done with this activity and take the kids back to their mom.As Carl came to the realization that his kids and Josie were not connecting, he had a decision to make.Up until this point, I had been single, living with my best friend, and doing everything girls in their mid-20s do.I saw friends, went out a lot, and spent my money freely, without hesitation.
That means telling a date immediately, alongside name and occupation, that you have children, and gauging early whether she respects how much time you spend with them, Fisher said.My life was about to change so rapidly, I barely had time to consider the compromises I was making, or appreciate all the wonderful things I was gaining in exchange.From the get-go, Daniel was clear that he and his 2-year-old daughter came as a package. And when you bring single parents, their former partners, and their children into the mix, things get even messier.But that doesn't mean that every attractive single dad you meet is off limits!