There are lots of single moms and dads out there nowadays looking for love. It’s about finding someone who they have chemistry with, have fun with and who fits their own wants, needs and desires in a mate, in addition they have to like, interact well with and be a good role model for the children. This is particularly true for single moms. But many women, although finding men they like, feel there is a difference between a single father and a divorced dad. In this view a single father is one who has custody of the children and takes care of them full-time. These women thus believe that a single father understands what they go through and so can relate to and blend into their lifestyle much better than a divorced dad. A divorced dad on the other hand gets the children every other weekend and perhaps one day during the week. In this, they have all kinds of free time and don’t have to act like a responsible parent at this time. So women assume that he may be irresponsible and in fact a bad influence on the children. Furthermore, since he doesn’t have this as a full-time responsibility he may not understand nor be able to commit to the rigorous lifestyle she is accompanied with.
The trouble is many men are offended by this compartmentalization. Many don’t get a choice in what form of custody they are assigned. They also wonder, does not having your children full-time really make you less of a father? According to the U.S. Census 6.1% of fathers had full-time custody of their children in 1993, but that number jumped to 18.3% in 2011. So why are women generally given custody of the children? Basically because it’s our tradition. According to Attorneys.com, “Traditionally, men worked and women stayed home to raise children. Although that is less frequently the case these days, there is still a bias toward women in child custody cases. From a biological perspective, we are more inclined to think of the mother-child relationship than the father-child relationship. Many people make the automatic assumption that women are more nurturing as parents than men.” But today with female employment up to 47% and the increase of stay-at-home dads, it’s clear that men can be nurturing parents as well. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post author Doug Zeigler writes of what his attorney told him when he asked about getting custody, “Well, in this country, you’re not going to get custody. It just doesn’t happen unless the woman is a drug addict, a danger to your kids or a mental patient. You’ll be in the minority if you get more than every other weekend with your sons. My advice would be to do all you can to keep her happy, so that she’ll be easier to deal with when it comes to custody.” But that’s easier said than done during a divorce. Men shouldn’t be stereotyped by women like this, especially from the dating pool of single moms, and particularly when the system is geared for dads to end up this way. If you’re considering dating a divorced father, read Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide if He’s Right for You by Christie Hartman.