Dating a Man With Kids, and Stuff About Penguins
By Avi Tanny
"Sorry I'm really not looking for that level of commitment right now"
This was a reply on one of the dating apps I was using (I was honest about being a father).
I really liked what the person said. Honest and to the point.
I decided to create some questions/criteria of my own for dating.
To me there are four basic questions when it comes to dating:
1) What am I offering?
2) What is my date offering?
3) Do we have specific common interests?
4) Is it appropriate to throw pebbles when choosing a mate ( like penguins do)?
Dating can be a real challenge when you are a single father, a young professional or a penguin. Did you know penguins throw pebbles at each other as a mating ritual? I'm not advocating pebble throwing but I think it is more effective then Tinder. I wonder which penguin came up with that idea? Couldn’t they have just pushed, shook wings or something?
As a single father you have to think about the future and whom you want around your children. Has the person taken care of children on a regular basis? If she is a single mom, what happened in the relationship? Are you going to be able to take on the added responsibilities of raising other children?
My problem is chronic tiredness (and male pattern baldness, but one thing at a time). When it's 7 pm I'm on a date and I already feel like dozing off that's not gonna impress anyone. However, if the person has been raising children for a few years they may be in a similar boat. Which is a specific common interest.
Going on a breakfast date may solve that problem.
However, unless they have poutine I'm not a breakfast person.
The question I'm often asked is where do you see yourself in five years?
Likely as a 35 year old adult male, probably with a bad haircut, overweight,
and with terrible dad breath (I'm not sure why we didn't go on a second date).
To me dating is really a drawn out interrogation. The best way around that is too make up some complete nonsense about yourself. For example, you are a direct descendant of AL Capone. Make sure to provide slight details. My great uncle was married to his mother ( not bad?) If the date fails at least you gave her a story to tell.
The important part is to have fun and try to create a friendship, and if that fails, eat somewhere decent.
I always try to avoid alcohol on a first date because alcohol often leads to children.
Top trick : if the date isn't going well have a pre programmed code with the babysitter to bail you out. This is proven to work for me.
In conclusion: At the end of the day it's about what makes you happy. You may go on many dates until you find the right person but make sure you have at least some common ground. Base your views on actually spending time with the person (and their children) before making any decisions.
Perhaps you've been wasting so much time on dating apps you forgot that maybe you should be part of a community. Volunteer? Get together with old friends? Pretend to be vegan? Start a new religion?
Life is good! Think of ways to make it better.
I wouldn't recommend the pebble idea because do you really want a family the size of a penguin family? Have you ever seen only one penguin? I rest my case.
The role of fathers is starting to change in a tremendous way. They even started recreating New Balance shoes to look less bland.
Always look for the good in people and if you can't find it, observe penguins because penguins are pretty awesome.
Please feel free to provide feedback and phone numbers. Very little offends me. Except plastic on furniture, toothpaste after orange juice and pineapples on pizza.
Avi Tanny is a single father, occasional comedian, and full time hater of pineapples on pizza. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org