THEY spend all their money on their kids, want their girlfriends to be babysitters or substitute mums and ALWAYS prioritise their children over you.
There are just some of the controversial and brutally honest reasons women gave on Whisper, a secret sharing app, for not wanting to date single dads.
Here, Fabulous Digital meets three women who don’t want to come second best and refuse to date men with little ones.
The hands-on dad image isn’t cute – it’s desperate
Ariel Carson, 24, a PA from Fulham, London, has been single for five years but won’t even consider dating a solo dad, as she finds their attachment to their kids "cringe-worthy and desperate".
“I can’t stand those dads who proudly push their babies in buggies or have them strapped to their chest all the time, parading their 'Mr Mum' abilities around," says Ariel.
"It's as if being a single dad is some kind of achievement they should brag about and be congratulated for.
“As soon as a man starts showing me pictures of their kids or talks about them, I’m off. I’m just not attracted to that and find it a turn off.”
Friends have tried to set her up on dates with single fathers but it has never gone well.
“Single dads usually have very different priorities than I do,” she says. “They’ll have very close relationships with their kids and come out with remarks like, 'my darling daughter is amazing' or 'she’s such a great kid but she's getting older and needs a mum'.
"I find that so dull and desperate. Often, their number one priority is their child and they see dating as a means to provide their child with new mother.
"But it’s not my fault they feel they’re failing as a father if they don’t provide a mother figure for their children. I would like to have children when I’m older but I wouldn’t want to look after a child that wasn’t mine, in the same way I expect those kids wouldn’t want to be looked after by me, a stranger.”
I don’t want anyone calling me Cruella
Although she likes dating older guys, Ariel’s refusal to consider single dads as potential partners is also down to her witnessing friends being treated like wicked stepmothers.
It’s not my fault they feel they’re failing as a father if they don’t provide a mother figure for their children
"A friend of mine briefly dated a man with an 11 year-old son and she was branded 'Cruella' and was continuously tormented by the nasty little boy,” explains Ariel.
“The child stole her stuff and hid it and once even threw her credit card on a train. I met the child once and he was horrible to her. The father, meanwhile, just spoiled him and made excuses for him.
"It was no fun for my friend and I certainly don’t want that for myself; being branded a wicked unofficial stepmother by a jealous child.”
There are two million single parents in the UK and 10 per cent of them are men. The list of celebrity single dads is growing and includes footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, singer Chris Martin and actors Brad Pitt, Liam Neeson and Jamie Foxx.
But plenty of women don’t think of them as an appealing prospect with blogs online based on their shortcomings that refer to the problem of interfering kids – “kids are baggage and get in the way of date night” – or the fact these men have less money to spend on you because, “they have to pay child support and possible spouse alimony.”
A YouTube video posted by American love coach Daniella Astor called, Don’t Fall Into This Trap of Dating a Single Parent has nearly 100,000 views, demonstrating how worked up people are feeling about this.
Single dads have too much drama and are too broke
The video has over 1200 comments, including one woman saying she’ll never date a single dad again because, “they have too much drama and are too broke”.
Kailen Rosenberg, CEO and founder of The Love Architects, an elite matchmaking firm that remodels the love lives of some of the world’s most influential people, believes that while dating single dads might have its challenges, it can also have rewards.
She said: “Dating a man who has experienced the gift of fatherhood (and taken it seriously) can bring a relationship of joy, connection, and incredible richness.
"Single fathers most often end up being some of the most loyal and present men in their relationships, as they have learned to become selfless with an ability to love and commit on an even deeper level in all relationships of importance.
"On the other hand, if he’s spending far more time with his children without much room for you, that is your awakening that he may not be ready for another serious relationship, or for that matter, you."
She added: "When dating a single dad, look for red flags. Is he speaking of his ex far too often? That is a sign he may be too enmeshed towards the former relationship. If this is the case, your new relationship may not have a chance to start out as the two of you, but instead the three of you, and not in a healthy way.
His ex called a couple of times during sex – and yes, he took the call and it totally spoiled the moment!
"If his ex is meddling and it seems like a toxic dynamic, that is also something you may want to stay away from, at least until it is shown to be healthier.”
His ex phoned during foreplay – and he answered
Anu Grant, a 30 year-old dental nurse, dated two single dads when she was in her twenties, both for a year and claims her experiences put her off ever dating single dads again, mainly because of their jealous exes.
“The first single dad I dated had two children with his ex and when she found out he was seeing me she made every effort to try and split us up,” says Anu.
“She would call him whilst he was with me for the pettiest things, like asking my partner’s opinion on a dress their daughter should wear to a birthday party or asking if he wanted to come to her mum's wedding anniversary party.
"She even called a couple of times when were getting intimate – and yes, he took the call and it totally spoiled the moment! She had no boundaries at all and when I challenged my partner about it, he said it was important to stay friendly with her for the sake of the kids.
"This caused a lot of arguments and left me feeling in competition with her as I didn’t have children with him. Eventually I couldn’t stand it and broke up with him.”
The ex always calls the shots
For some reason, Anu remained a sucker for punishment and when she met another single dad a few years later, she decided to give him a chance.
“He introduced me to his two girls – who were aged six and eight – after about eight months which I took as a sign we were getting serious and I got on really well with them, taking them out to the cinema, restaurants and the park,” she explains.
I know through friends, being a stepmum is a thankless job
“Everything was going well until their daughters mentioned me to their mum. Immediately she asked for me not to be around during his weekend time with the children as she didn't have any men around when she was looking after the kids. And he agreed!
"I was so shocked and upset and felt pushed aside and unimportant. But what could I say? A few months down the line we had a huge row about something else and took a two-week break – in which time he slept with his ex.
"I was crushed and dumped him straight away. Single dads are always putting other women first – either their ex or their daughters, who they often have a special bond with too.”
Anu is now married and has her own two year-old daughter Ava and is pregnant with number two.
"My husband Andie had no children and that was a huge tick for me,” she says. “I’m glad that phase of my life is over!”
Being a stepmother is a thankless job
Luisa Ruocco, 28, a social media food and travel influencer from West London with over 50,000 followers on Instagram has also ruled out dating a single dad because she doesn’t want to be resented by anyone’s children.
“I’ve been single for about six years but I still wouldn’t date a single dad because I know, through my friends’ experiences, that being a stepmother is a thankless job,” says Luisa.
‘My friends’ who had parents who were divorced said they hated all their stepparents, even if they were nice, because at the end of the day they were stopping their parents from getting back together – which is the dream for any child. A stepparent is seen as the nail in the coffin of their parent’s relationship and they’ll also resent you for taking time and attention away from them. It’s a no win situation.”
Luisa has come across a few single dads on dating apps but they won’t get past the text conversations if she discovers he has kids.
“I’ll tell them I’m really sorry but I can’t date them,’ says Luisa.
Meanwhile, these blokes faced the wrath of women everywhere after revealing why they wouldn't date single mums.
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