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Dating a single parent with a teenager

Tagged as: Family, Online dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (17 September 2023) 4 Answers - (Newest, 22 September 2023)
A female United Kingdom age 51-59, anonymous writes:

I am a single woman in my early 50s with no kids. I'm trying online dating which is a minefield. However over the last week I have made a good connection with a man in his late 50s. We have had two lengthy conversations this weekend on the phone. He is divorced and his 15 year old daughter lives with him. I think he sounds like a doting dad and he does a lot with his daughter - mentioning all the many many social events he goes to with her. Again I think this is lovely but today I asked him how she felt about the idea of him dating and he said she knows nothing about him being on dating website. That wasn't really what I asked him because really my concern are understandably she might not want anyone in the way. Perhaps he is waiting for the right time to tell her but I cannot help but feel concerned. Quite rightly she is his priority but he describes himself as footloose yet that cannot be true when any teenager needs lots of love and guidance? As I'm not a parent I really need advice and insight on the realities of dating a single parent of a teenager from all perspectives. Any help so much appreciated.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 September 2023):

You are making out you are dating someone. You have just started getting to know him, there is no relationship and there may or may not be one in the future. Responsible, fair parents who look to the future do not rush into relationships and they do not rush to tell their kids about this other person they barely know! Don't be so selfish. His first priority should be his kid(s) not some stranger. If you always want to rush into this this is how you make errors of judgment and regret things later. He is being more mature than you. And thinking things through more. If you don't have kids you don't need to.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 September 2023):

It doesn't surprise me that he hadn't told his teenage daughter he is on dating websites. He probably doesn't want to freak out his daughter or upset her. If he forms a longer term relationship with someone then at that point I expect he would introduce them to his daughter.

As for the 'free spirit' part, even free spirits can have kids. Of course, the reality for now is that he has to look after his daughter, but outside of being a dad perhaps he is seeking some spontaneity and adventure.

If you get on well, I suggest you meet in person and see where it goes. But I wouldnt expect him to tell his daughter about you until you are in a committed relationship, which could be months down the line.

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A male reader, kenny United Kingdom + , writes (18 September 2023):

kenny agony auntI think its really early days to say how things are going to go between the two of you.

I guess he just never wanted his daughter to know he is online dating, which is kind of understandable i suppose. I think if things materialized between the two of you and a relationship blossomed, i think he would be open and tell her.

I'm not an internet dating expert by any means, but i guess you go on many dates, talk to a few people until you find a match. Maybe he wants to tell her when he finds a perfect match rather than tell her about every date he goes on, or who he is currently talking too.

I would be inclined to just give it time and see what transpires, that's all you can do really. Time will tell if he is a keeper.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (18 September 2023):

Honeypie agony auntWell we all know teenagers are not the most rational creatures to begin with... And the fact that they have a really tight bond and do so many things together (which I awesome, I might add!) might mean that if she doesn't LIKE you, you will be excluded from anything SHE wants to do.

I feel it's a bit odd that a man in his 50s can't tell his teenage daughter he wants to date. He misses adult interactions (not just sex)

I can also see the daughter being used as an excuse for when he cancels on you. Or decides to make other plans.

"Quite rightly she is his priority but he describes himself as footloose yet that cannot be true when any teenager needs lots of love and guidance?"

I agree. His priority should be his daughter. But he also wants to feel like a MAN not just a Dad.

Maybe give it a bit of time and see if you get along with the guy, after all, you have only talked for a week. So hard to gauge if he has potential or not.

If he starts to cancel a lot or is otherwise flakey, move on.

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