Female Qualities Single Dads Should Look For

By Peter Ehrlich

OK it’s “Houston-we-have-liftoff” time; a new era is about to begin. You’ve lined up two dates: One is a woman from your favorite online dating site who calls herself "LUVS2KISS," and the other is a coworker who reminds you of an adult Pippi Longstocking.

You’re a single dad now and the days where you could order the wrong dish from love‘s menu without much worry for indigestion are gone.

You understand you need to be much more discerning now. As we discussed before, anyone you invite into your life as a from now on impacts your child in some way.

Discerning in this case means carefully considering the qualities to look for in the woman who may one day be part of your child’s life. To put it another way, it’s about shared values and qualities. That being said, here are some of the questions a proud single father needs to ask himself when evaluating the qualities of a potential mate.

Is she fun?

After Steve Irwin -- the Crocodile Hunter -- died, his wife Terri was interviewed on TV. She was crying a lot. The interviewer asked her, “What was it that made Steve the special person he was?” And I was struck by the simplicity of her response: “Steve was so much fun. He was so much fun to be with.” Then she broke down again.

There it is: The great priority and ultimate in life is having fun. It’s what keeps a relationship together. Did you forget what fun is? After all, with the breakup and the dividing of things, “fun” may be a distant memory. If so, try asking your kids; they definitely know what fun is. That’s why, whenever you ask them what they’re doing, their one-word reply is always “playing.”

That being said, when you’re meeting potential new partners, it is crucial you ask yourself, “Is this woman a fun person to be with?” Because if you’re just interested in a woman because she’s the sexy, stern librarian-type, but she has no idea what fun is, she may not be the one for you or your children.

Are her friends child-friendly?

So let’s say you’re on date No. 2 with Sue. Sure, you didn’t laugh much on the or find much in common with her, but you don't care: Sue has great breasts. Sue suggests that “it’s time you met my friends,” so she arranges for the both of you to visit them this coming Saturday.

Sue also suggests that she pick you up so you don’t have to worry about driving. She pulls up in her rusty 1978 Ford Pinto, a car you would never dare to place your child in.

You climb in and after 20 minutes of agonizing silence, it begins to dawn on you that not having anything to talk about is really bad.

More qualities single dads need in a woman

Eventually, you pull up to Don’s Trailer Park. Sue is excited, you not so much. After the pothole, you drive up to “Trailer No. 17,” where -- seated on frayed lawn chairs and dressed in sweatpants -- are her friends.

Her friends can’t rise to greet you because they’re too drunk. What makes that even more off-putting is that it’s 11 in the morning. Cheryl is Sue’s best friend, she can stand, but accidentally hits you in the face with her cigarette butt when she goes to shake your hand. Your goatee is on fire and, for obvious reasons, you start thinking that her friends may not be right for your children.

Is she patient?

You’re sitting together having a wonderful, conversation, sipping on a latte, completely oblivious of the world around you. And then it starts: The child three tables away from you two lovebirds starts talking loudly and everything comes to a stop. Sure, the child having an animated conversation with herself is not a problem for you -- just like you know you can’t change anyone, you can’t stop a child from being a child. But quickly now, you look over at your date and get a sense of her reaction to the interruption. What? There’s a frown on her face? Not good. She’ll frown at your kids for the same reason when they dare to take time away from her.

Is she childlike?

So, it’s date No. 2 with Margaret. You know, the date that followed your first get-together during which a chemical explosion took place on your shirt when the waiter placed the chow mein in front of you.

Margaret suggests going to the Maple Sugar Festival that is taking place at Kane Conservation Park. “Wow,” you say to yourself, because that’s where you regularly take your daughter. So you go and have a childlike blast together.

And you know what the best part was? The moment your date spilled her maple syrup all over the front of her shirt and laughed her head off -- just like your daughter did all those years ago. Except, this time it’s sexy. This time it’s a turn-on.

We all have an inner-child in us, lots of us have forgotten that, but the right woman for you hasn’t.

Is her body a temple?

One thing being a single dad does is remind you of your mortality. It’s that “passing-of-the-torch” thing, I suppose. So, in the end, you’re careful about what you eat. You read the ingredients on the side of the box and drink lots of water. You’re not only doing this for you, you’re doing this for your children because you want to be strong and healthy for them.

So if your body is your temple, but your date keeps suggesting a restaurant that specializes in bright red chairs, sharp tables and waitresses that keep their pens behind their ears, it’s not a good sign. After all, if you decide to test the family thing by breaking bread together with her and your children, you won’t want to cringe when you do.

Affection is a quality single dads should find in a woman

Being outwardly caring is one of many qualities single dads should find in a woman

Is she flexible?

Why did you think “Romanian gymnast” when you read that heading? Well, probably the same reason I did when I wrote it. But let’s get our mind out of the gutter, you understand how flexible you’ve had to be as a single dad: Plans have often had to be changed on a moment’s notice, a couple of times you had to pick your child up from the expected sleepover because she changed her mind just before bedtime and twice now you had to run her to the emergency room for stitches.

If you had been dating during those child-centric days, the only plans you probably had to cancel consisted of FHM or downloaded videos produced by Ron Jeremy

Since you know that being a single dad will always mean that the unexpected will be the expected regardless of your child’s age, you need to ask yourself, "Is the woman I’m dating a flexible kind of person?" Because if she’s not, she’s not going to understand when you have to cancel intimate bed and breakfast plans to take care of your daughter who decided it was a good weekend to start throwing up.

Is she affectionate?

You or hug your children whenever you can (or did) because they’re the ultimate symbols of love and affection. With this in mind, does the woman you’re dating feel the same way about affection as you do? If you’re the kind of single dad who considers kissing and hugging to be important, you’re not going to resonate with someone who doesn’t.

Why bother thinking about introducing her to your offspring if kissing and hugging isn’t a language she speaks. Your children won’t “get her” because they speak that language, the one you taught them so well. And besides that, they’ll always feel sorry for you when they watch the two of you “not kiss.”

is love an activity or a feeling?

The question above comes right out of the popular book, The Road Less Traveled. What makes any relationship work is the commonality of the things the partners do together. You can talk about the feeling of love until you’re blue in the face, but what do you do to manifest that feeling?

Remember single dad, when you want to show your children that you love them, you do things together. So I ask you, do you and the woman you’re seeing like to do the same things? I’m only asking because if you get in deep with her you will be doing things together with your children. If she doesn’t enjoy doing what you all enjoy doing, you won’t be doing much together in the future. Hence, the road will be much less traveled.

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