Explore, Survive

Finding a ‘Replacement Dad’ For Your Kids? 3 Things to Consider

As a single mom, it can be scary to think about dating or getting remarried.  What if things don’t work out again?  What if my kids get hurt again?

For me, the question about dating came up after I’d been a widow for about a year.

I was at the nail salon one day, getting a pedicure and dodging questions from a nosy nail tech:

“Are you married?” she asked.

“No,” I replied.  “My husband passed away.”

“Oh, so young!  How?  Did he get sick?”

“No…,” I trailed off into silence.  (Because of the stigma of suicide, I found it uncomfortable to answer that question at the time.)

What a single mom should consider when starting to date again...

(This post contains affiliate links.)

An awkward silence followed while she waited for me to explain.  Finally seeing that I wasn’t giving any more information, she proceeded to tell me about a man she knew, and she could give him my email address if I wanted..

No, I didn’t want.  As tactfully as possible, I explained I wasn’t ready.

She pushed a little more.  “He’s very nice, has a good job, never been married…” but I stayed firm.

“No, thank you.”  “No, I don’t think so.”  “No, that’s REALLY okay.”



Another year has passed, and most of the time I still don’t feel ready to start ‘looking’ for a new husband.

I really connect with the quote I recently found on Pinterest:

“She designed the life she loved.”

I’m still in the process of building my life into one that I love.  It takes time, and I’m in no hurry.

Before you decide to share the responsibility of decision making for your little family, make sure you know what you want.

Some single moms rush into the next relationship- for whatever reason.  Perhaps they feel the need to have a provider, or a father figure for their kids.  But this is a HUGE decision, and one that could have very bad consequences for you and your kids if you don’t choose wisely.

“Some single parents choose not to date while their children are still in the home because of the insecurity and trauma breakups can cause. If you choose to pursue (a) relationship, be certain to protect your children’s hearts.”- Jim Daly, Focus on the Family

Here are some things to consider before finding your children a replacement dad (and someone YOU can love and respect):

Proceed Slowly

It takes time to get to know someone’s character.  And his character needs to mesh with your character, and the characters of your children.

First things first: decide what YOU want.  What are your goals?  Passions?  Principles?

Then, when you’ve met someone that you may be interested in, here are some more things to consider:

Look Past the Surface

It’s important to look past the superficial and find out what kind of person he really is.  Now is not the time for wearing rose colored glasses.

With eyes wide open, ask yourself: Does he share your beliefs?  Moral values?  Philosophy on disciplining? Does he keep his cool?  Is he jealous?  What kind of reputation does he have?



What are his quirks?  His habits, both good and bad?  His passions?  Is he dependable, loyal, trustworthy?  If you don’t know the answers, find out first.

Can You Handle the Drama?

If there are ex-spouses in the mix, that means MAJOR potential for drama.   Can you handle his drama?  Can he handle yours?

What kind of relationship does he have with his ex?   It takes great communication, maturity, and respect to get along with an ex-spouse.  And you would want all of those qualities in a partner and potential dad for your children.

“Having a mature and respectful relationship with your ex is healthy for you, for them and for your current relationship.” Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., 10 Tips for Getting Along Better With Your Ex

Dating, putting yourself out there, and making yourself vulnerable to hurt: it’s a life-changing decision, and these are just three of the many things that must be considered.  Your happiness and the happiness of your children are at stake if the wrong decision is made.  So proceed slowly, and really get to know him before you get emotionally attached.

Read this: 30 Things A Single Mom Needs to Know About Her Potential Boyfriend

Do you have any tips for a single mom ready to start dating again?  Please comment below!

Here are some great books I found on the subject:

My Amazon Picks for Single Moms:

My Single Mom Life: Stories and Practical Lessons for Your Journey

The Successful Single Mom: Get Your Life Back and Your Game On!

1 Comment

  1. […] not a decision to be taken lightly, and there are many things to consider.   This is a HUGE life-changer, and one that could have very bad consequences for you and your […]

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked*