According to dating website eHarmony 70% of childless Canadian women seeking love decline to even consider a single father as a possible mate. Is it because they think single dads are damaged goods? Do they just hate children? Are they afraid of becoming a step-mother? Or do they just don't want to help raise what is quite likely a very nice kid, just because its not their own flesh and blood?
And there is actually quite a few single dads out there... all of them with limited love lives because of a combination of work, kid(s) to look after and possibly other obligations.
Some people argue women have an aversion to men with children because they are afraid they won't be the "only person in his life" because the child will require a lot of his attention. ie. the child will often come first.
But in contrast however many Canadian men are open to meeting single mothers. Practically competing with each other to meet them. Well, not exactly... but only 63% declined to meet single moms. That is a much better percentage.
NOTE: eHarmony considers people to be single parents, even if the child lives with someone else. That means that people with children could have their children living in another country or some place reasonably far away, and they would still be considered a parent (and a single one).
The problem is that even if the kid is far away is that people consider children to be extra baggage (as opposed to a perk) when it comes to dating.
ie. Last year I dated a woman who had a 4-year-old son here in Toronto. For me having him around us was troublesome at times (lack of privacy and his penchant for troublemaking), but overall I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would do it again. I can't wait to be a father.
However on the upside I learned something about myself and my qualities as a possible future parent. Furthermore, dating a person with a child means you learn quickly what kind of person they are (how attentive, responsible, etc) and what kind of parent they will be if the two of you decide to have kids too.
“Watching a man parent his children pulls on my heart strings. The relationship I have with my father is a deeply loving and dynamic bond. To (see) relationships reflective of similar breadth and depth takes my breath away.” - A. DeSylva, a 28-year-old Torontonian who has dated single dads.
If a man is 30 or older doesn't have kids, it raises concerns that he might be 'emotionally unavailable', have various relationship hangups, etc... as opposed to implying he was just cautious and used protection / dated girls with birth control pills.
Thus after the age of 35 if a man doesn't have kids, there might be something wrong with him... or maybe he's just been really cautious, which is a good thing. (Women should be able to tell which after they've bedded the guy.)
“If a prospective suitor in this age bracket doesn't have kids, there's usually a very, very, very good reason,” says A. DeSylva.
According to Patti Henry, a psychotherapist and author of "The Emotionally Unavailable Man: A Blueprint for Healing" these are good signs when dating single dads:
#1. If he is protective of you meeting his children, like not wanting you to meet them until after 3 to 6 months.
#2. If he still hangs out with other adults and not his kids regularly.
#3. If he is wise with his children and still punishes them when they do something bad.
#4. If he doesn't spoil them rotten.
All good signs he could be a very good and loving partner, and not be beholden to his kids all the time. (The same good signs can also be applied to dating single mothers.)
“What these women fail to consider is that the act of fatherhood makes any man kinder, more patient, loving and far less selfish. We're just better guys and better partners for being dads. Why isn't that part of the equation?" - Mitch, a 39-year-old single dad.