Today we’ll discuss one of the most requested topics I’ve received: how to live the Alpha lifestyle, date, and/or have multiple relationships when you’re a single dad. I don’t like the word “single,” since it’s rarely accurate, so let’s call it Alpha dad instead of single dad. This is an Alpha 1.0 or 2.0 dad who has kids full time or part time and who is not in a live-in OLTR. He’s either a player, or has FBs/MLTRs, or has an OLTR whom he does not live with. (Dads living full time with a woman and his kids have a completely different set of logistical issues to deal with. I’ve already discussed those in detail in my ebooks.)

I have a lot of experience in this area. I’ve been an Alpha dad for almost a decade now. During that time, one or both of my kids have been staying over at my house at least once a week, often more than that, and much more often during the summer months. I’ve still been able to maintain long-term FB/MLTR relationships (and one OLTR) with ease.

Being an Alpha dad involves two areas: sexual logistics and relationship issues.

Sexual Logistics

How do you get your natural, male sexual needs taken care of when you’ve got a bunch of little kids living with you? Here’s what you do:

1. An Alpha dad with an active dating life requires organization. So get organized. Get good at time management if you aren’t already. Start at my time management and business blog if you need more resources to get this done.

2. Do your very best to organize your dating schedule around the times when the kids are with their mom.

For many years I’ve had the same schedule: weekdays have been for work and sex, but weekends are for my kids. I usually have my kids on the weekends and they’re with their mom (and going to school) during the weekdays. Over time, I became accustomed to not seeing women over a weekend (unless the circumstances were unusual or she was an OLTR allowed to see my kids).

I realize that many of you Alpha dads don’t have it quite this easy. If there is no mom in the picture and you’re a full-time dad all on your own, that sucks, and you’re going have to get more creative. Keep reading.

Some of you have kid schedules that are really weird, like Wednesdays through Saturdays or every other week. Do your best. Work with their mom as best you can so that you have enough time during the week so you can go out and be a man. My point here is to not just throw your arms in the air and say “Well, that’s my schedule! That’s the way it is! I can’t do anything about it!” Anything can be modified with a little effort.

3. If all of your kids are younger than about 12 or 13, then set a goal to find two really good, really reliable, really available babysitters. Use Craigslist or sites like sittercity.com. Test a few babysitters out until you find two you really like. Remember I said two, not one. Just like with dating women, relying on just one babysitter isn’t going to cut it. She may not be available when you need her.

4. If any of your kids are age 13 or older, have that kid be your babysitter, and pay him/her a little cash if necessary. This is always an option unless your oldest kid isn’t reliable.

5. If all of your kids are over age 13, find a place near your home where they like to hang out. Examples would be a nearby mall or a Starbucks. Some kids like bookstores too. Movies are also an option. This way, if you need a few hours alone in your house, you have a place to drop them off. Again, make sure this is a place your kids legitimately like. You don’t want them viewing this as some kind of punishment.

As an example, my daughter likes to work on her laptop or her artwork by herself at a Starbucks or trendy bookstore for a little bit, especially if I throw her ten bucks. It works out great for me.

Obviously you don’t want or need to do this all the time, but having the option for occasional use is helpful. You can even combine this with the babysitter option; hire the babysitter to take your kids to the mall for 2-3 hours. Walla! Instant available house.

6. Once you start seeing a woman regularly, do your best to designate regular weekdays you see her. See Stacy every Tuesday and Jennifer every Wednesday. I realize this isn’t always possible, but again, do your best. If you’ve got a regular schedule with your women that meshes with your kid schedule, you’re golden. This is very doable provided you make an effort.

7. Remember that your kids come first. If there’s ever a scheduling conflict between one of my kids and one of my women, my kids always, always come first. It’s no contest. Never feel bad about this because I promise you that any single mothers you’re dating will feel the same way about you and her kids. You will always be second to them, so don’t feel bad about making women second to your kiddos.

When your kids get older, like age 16 or higher, then you can relax this, especially if/when your kids can drive and have their own cars. But if your kids are younger, always remember that your role as a dad is more important than your role as a Alpha.

At the same time, you also can’t forget that you are a man, thus regular sex is a requirement for long-term, consistent male happiness. Yes, your kids come first, but going without sex for six months because “you’re too busy with your kids” is simply ridiculous. With a little effort and organization, you can have both. I’m living proof of this. So are many other Alpha dads.

Relationship Issues

That covers sex. Now let’s talk about ongoing relationships with women.

Here are the big questions:

1. Do you allow your kids to see your women?

2. If so, who do you allow your kids to spend time with?

3. When is it appropriate to introduce a woman to your kids, if ever?

There are no definitive answers to these questions, and many people will have different opinions on this. I will give you my answers, the ones that have worked very well for me in raising two very happy, very impressive kids with minimal drama, both from the kids and from my women. Feel free to disagree with the system that I’m about to lay out, but I’ve field-tested it extensively and it’s worked great for me.

FBs are never allowed to meet your kids. FBs are your casual relationships, and introducing them to your kids is going to create confusion on your kids’ part, and drama and incongruence on the part of your FB(s). I strongly recommend you keep all of your FBs as far from your kids as possible at all times.

The one possible exception to this rule is if you have a single, unusual FB you’ve been seeing for many, many years and have become very good friends with. Under this one exception, it might be okay for your kids to see this person as purely your “friend,” which she is. No PDAs (public displays of affection) with her in front of your kids though.

New women are also not allowed to see your kids. Why? Because regardless of how much you like them or they like you, you have no idea how long these women will be in your life. The last thing you want is for your kids to see you with a long string of girlfriends, one after the other. Not good.

Just a month ago, a woman I had been seeing for less than three weeks seriously asked to spend a Saturday with me, my daughter, and her and her daughter. NO. This woman was super hot, super nice, and over 30. Doesn’t matter. Still NO.

Low-end MLTRs should also not be able to see your kids. Why? Because, if you have a higher MLTR that comes along, having your kids meeting her as well as your low-end MLTR is going to be weird.

A high-end MLTR, OLTR candidate, or OLTR is allowed to spend time with your kids, but only within certain parameters. The primary requirement is that you’ve been seeing that woman for quite a while with no trouble; I would say at least six months, and with zero or near-zero drama or demands that entire time.

At that point, you can have her spend as much time as your kids and you like provided you don’t violate the other standard open/poly other relationship rules (like only seeing a woman once a week max for MLTRs, not being too ass-kissing with an OLTR, keeping contact initiation to a minimum, etc).

The main rule here is that your kids should only have access to one woman at a time, and that woman should be someone who is A) very serious in your life and B) someone you know from past behavior will stick around for a long time. As an example, my kids have only had access to, I think, four women in my entire history, and only one of these women did they have regular and repeated access to.

Are there exceptions to the above? Sure. Older your kids are, the more you can relax the above guidelines. My son is 23, an adult, and his own man, so I don’t give a shit what women he sees me with, including FBs (though he lives several hours away so this doesn’t really happen). My daughter just turned 17 a few months ago, and knows me very well, so if she briefly bumps into an FB I won’t mind too much. However when she was 9, 12, or even 14, I was very strict with the above rules, and kept women far away from her with the exception of a long-term, proven OLTR.

It’s a balancing act. You can’t jeopardize your relationship with your kids, but you cannot use them as an excuse to not be a man. With some time-management and self-control, you can raise great kids while still being an Alpha Male.

31 Comments on “How To Date As A Single Dad

  1. Excellent post. The “seeing the kids” guidelines jive with the framework I came up with and it’s good to see that it’s a viable long term strategy.

    The time management tips are gold and will be implementing them ASAP. As always, appreciate the insight.

  2. Do you ever approach women while with kids? For example, going up to a woman and chatting briefly and getting her number while shopping.

    I’ve never done this and feel a lot of resistance to doing it.  Partially it’s due to fear of being labelled as a man cheating in front of his kids (if I’m wearing my ring), or setting a bad example for the kids (but maybe it’s actually a good example).  On the upside, it would be convenient since I’m already out and about anyway.  I’m unsure what the overall consequences are.

     

  3. Do you ever approach women while with kids?

    I assume you mean with my kids. I don’t think I’ve ever done this, but I would now with my daughter at her age (17) if we were both out and we stumbled across someone hot.

    I don’t do a lot of daygame though. In general I don’t think it’s a good idea to be sarging in front of your kids.

  4. Thank you so much for this.   I’m a single dad myself and can definitely use these tips.  I very much agree with the basic logic here, and I wish all single parents (men and women) would do the same:  Always, Always put your kids first.  Sex is very important, but not as important as your kids.

  5. I wish all single parents (men and women) would do the same

    To be fair, I think the majority of single parents (outside of teen mothers and similar) do place their kids first.

    The problem is a lot of them use them as an excuse for no sex; either for no dating at all (in the case of over-30 jaded women going through a “men are too much trouble” phase) or for purposely staying in low-sex or zero-sex monogamous girlfriend relationships (in the case of a lot of men).

  6. The majority of manosphere sex writing is targeted to men in their 20s which has limited utility for older men with responsibilities such as children.  Great to see something written for older men looking to improve this part of their lives.  Thanks for posting this.

  7. I like how you’re mindful about introducing women into your kids’ lives.  

    My monogamous sister once dated a single dad; The kid’s biological mother abandoned them to move across the country with a drug dealer.  After a few months of dating the dude, my sister moved in with him, let his son call her ‘mom’, and did all sorts of mommy bonding stuff, and had them over at our family holidays…

    After a couple years, my sister broke up with the bf, and bingo, the son (5 at the time) has two “mom’s” leave him.  Talk about handing a kid a future of dealing with long-term psychological (and likely women) issues.

  8. After a few months of dating the dude, my sister moved in with him, let his son call her ‘mom’, and did all sorts of mommy bonding stuff, and had them over at our family holidays…

    After a couple years, my sister broke up with the bf, and bingo, the son (5 at the time) has two “mom’s” leave him.

    MOST monogamous people do this, and this is NEVER talked about.

    We have no idea the damage society is causing to kids by showing them an endless parade of “moms,” “dads,” “boyfriends,” and “girlfriends.” It’s just like having a kid going through a divorce over and over again, many times throughout his/her childhood.

    Introducing your kids to your latest oneitis like he/she is someone who’s going to be around for a long time is child abuse. 

  9. BD, I can’t remember if I asked this before, but did you raise your kids with red pill poly values? Do you encourage them to have open relationships and discourage mono ones?

    If so, why balk at introducing them to your fuck buddies? Even when they were young and prepubescent, sending the message that “daddy has a lot of friends” would, I would think, make you a good role model that might encourage your kids to make lots of friends too. I agree that little kids shouldn’t get emotionally attached to your fuck buddies, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

  10. “why balk at introducing them to your fuck buddies”

    One reason depends if everyone you know, knows about your lifestyle.  Little kids don’t understand the social stigma of open relationships, so having kids going around talking about your FBs to teachers, other parents, grandparents, etc. could put you in a bind by accident.

    Another reason would be it’s potentially announcing a boyfriend/serious relationship frame, depending on the context.

    I like your point about being a good role model.  So I’m not sure where to draw the line between radical honesty and lying by omission.

  11. “The last thing you want is for your kids to see you with a long string of girlfriends, one after the other. Not good.”

    How is it damaging for kids to see daddy is a happy player?  I don’t know about daughters, but wouldn’t sons find it something to look up to?

  12. BD, I can’t remember if I asked this before, but did you raise your kids with red pill poly values? Do you encourage them to have open relationships and discourage mono ones?

    No.

    Instead, once they’re old enough (late teens) I do expose them (mostly verbally) to what I do and why I do it, and compare/contrast it to how most people live, and then I let them make up their own minds.

    It’s my job to raise my kids to become happy and functional adults. It’s not my job to make my kids like me. That’s their decision.

    This applies not only to dating and relationships, but also to career choices, lifestyle choices, political beliefs, religious beliefs, etc.

    It’s not the job of your kids to grow up to be clones of you.

    If so, why balk at introducing them to your fuck buddies?

    It isn’t so.

    Even when they were young and prepubescent, sending the message that “daddy has a lot of friends” would, I would think, make you a good role model that might encourage your kids to make lots of friends too. I agree that little kids shouldn’t get emotionally attached to your fuck buddies, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

    I already said that treating a woman like a 100% platonic friend around your kids is okay. But you getting sexual and/or cuddly with multiple women in front of your small kids is not a good idea. They don’t understand man-woman dynamics, relationship management, and social norms at that point.

    I like your point about being a good role model.  So I’m not sure where to draw the line between radical honesty and lying by omission.

    When kids are under age 13 or so, much of parenting is “lying by omission.” When your kid is five years old and asks where babies come from, or asks why his friend Joey has two dads, are you going to explain it fully and in detail? I’m not. Little kids aren’t ready for that shit.

    But later, when they’re older, sure.

    How is it damaging for kids to see daddy is a happy player?

    See above. When little boys are little, they don’t understand man-woman dynamics, relationship management, and social norms at that point. They’re not prepared to interpret what they see. They can also get attached to women really fast (even if they’re FBs); not fair to then take these women away from them when this happens.

  13. This may be off-topic, but what are your thoughts on having kids in general?

    I mean not your kids in particular, who most parents usually love a lot.

     

    I mean do you have specific rules on having kids with a woman? Obviously, at the time, you were married, something you don’t seem to recommend. And clearly you probably have no desire to have additional kids.

     

    I’m in my late twenties, a male, and I’m honestly unsure if I want kids. I think I do. But who knows. It is 18 years of responsibility. Ironically I’ve met many women in their late twenties/ early thirties who DO NOT want kids. It’s all very confusing to me.

  14. “It’s my job to raise my kids to become happy and functional adults. It’s not my job to make my kids like me. That’s their decision.”

    What’s the point of all that investment if they don’t like you when they become happy and functional adults?!

  15. ” I’ve met many women in their late twenties/ early thirties who DO NOT want kids”

    I wouldn’t believe them if I were you.

    “What’s the point of all that investment if they don’t like you when they become happy and functional adults?!”

    I think that’s a misinterpretation of his message. I read it as:

    “…. It’s not my job to make my kids [the same as] me. That’s their decision.”

  16. This may be off-topic, but what are your thoughts on having kids in general?

    The short summary is: if you value your long-term consistent happiness, never have kids. If you want kids anyway, make sure to do it in a way conducive to your freedom and happiness, which will not be the societal norm, and will require a woman willing to go along with this. Read my book for more info.

    I mean do you have specific rules on having kids with a woman?

    Yes. Many. Read my book.

    And clearly you probably have no desire to have additional kids.

    I’d rather not, but I’m open to the distant possibility if some future woman I really love a lot is willing to put up with all of my parameters.

    Ironically I’ve met many women in their late twenties/ early thirties who DO NOT want kids.

    What Mr. Meat said. They’re lying. Wait until they’re 45 and see if they had kids. 99% will.

    Lately it’s become the “cool” thing for women to brag about how they don’t want kids. But just watch. Eventually 99% of these women do.

    What’s the point of all that investment if they don’t like you when they become happy and functional adults?!

    Why would they not like me? They’d love me to death and do.

    If you force them to be just like you the odds of them not liking you are WAY higher. Hardcore Alpha Male 1.0 fathers instill much respect, but not much love.

    And yeah, Mr. Meat had the correct interpretation of what I said.

  17. “Why would they not like me? They’d love me to death and do.
    If you force them to be just like you the odds of them not liking you are WAY higher. Hardcore Alpha Male 1.0 fathers instill much respect, but not much love.”

    I see.  It’s important that they like you, but you reach that goal indirectly.

    “When little boys are little, they don’t understand man-woman dynamics, relationship management, and social norms at that point. They’re not prepared to interpret what they see. They can also get attached to women really fast (even if they’re FBs); not fair to then take these women away from them when this happens.”

    I’m probably talking out of my ass as far as kids are concerned, but knowing that the women in your life are transitory is a lesson best learned early.

  18. I’m probably talking out of my ass as far as kids are concerned, but knowing that the women in your life are transitory is a lesson best learned early.

    Early in life, yes. At age 6, no.

  19. Rather than saying best learned early; I think it’s best learned whenever they can understand it.  When trying to teach kids different things, or even tell stories before they understand what’s going on, it can do more harm than good.

    For example, one of my coworkers “John” was telling his young kid about how in rural Canada, John would leave a shotgun in his car during highschool since it was no big deal (it was for hunting).  The following day, his kid told the teacher “My Dad’s going to come here tomorrow with a shotgun!”…  John lucked out since he was a friend of the teacher, and common sense prevailed.

  20. I don’t believe some of these women are lying when they say they don’t want kids. Current person I’m with is 29. She asked me first, and I said I think I do eventually want kids. She said she honestly doesn’t. She isn’t pandering because she’s going against my wishes. She really pressed me on why I want kids and said my reasons were ridiculous. She explained her reasons. She wasn’t bullshiting. Maybe her desires will change in a few years, but I don’t see why. 29 is pretty much baby age already.

  21. She wasn’t bullshiting. Maybe her desires will change in a few years

    Correct on both counts. She wasn’t lying, but she will eventually change her mind. It’s Woman 101.

    There are tons of women I went to high school with, who are now in their early 40s, having babies. So at age 29, she still has at least another 10 years to change her mind. Which she will…even if the result of an “accident” which is probably how it’ll happen.

    Just watch her. You’ll see.

  22. I used to have a “6-month-rule” where no one I was dating regardless of how seriously would get to meet my daughter until I had been seeing them at least 6 months. I now realize this was a mistake. There simply isn’t any reason for someone to meet your child(ren) unless you are going to marry or live with the woman. There is always time for them to meet your kid(s) later but you can’t take it back once you have introduced them.

    The other issue I see is child(ren) are a natural source of manipulation for women. If your kid(s) really like and get along well with the person you are seeing it increases your exit costs in that relationship. You are much more likely to stay in a relationship longer than you should because your kids like her. It is human nature. And trust me, if a woman really likes you she is going to move heaven and Earth to get your kids to adore her because she knows it will increase your exit costs. This doesn’t make her a bad person, but it will impact your kids. I dated one wonderful woman for over a year, then we migrated to FWBs and eventually to just being friends. She never actually met my daughter until we were just friends and the two of them hit it off and really adored each other. When she got a serious bf who wasn’t ok with her hanging out with her ex and his kid my daughter’s feelings got hurt. Honestly unless you are damn close to 100% sure you are going to be with a woman for a very long time (5 years+ MINIMUM) I would never introduce someone to my daughter.

    I generally see my daughter 15-18x a month and she spends the night at my place about 1/3 of the time. It is very simple to manage. I agree with BD in that my role as Dad comes first. I have yet to meet a woman that has an issue with this and most like me even more when I make it clear that nothing trumps my time with my daughter.

    Now my rule of thumb is I will only see a woman when I have a free night or a minimum 4 hour window. My daughter is now 15 and often is at her friend’s or BF’s for 4+ hours. When she was younger I would only schedule women on free nights. 

    As your kids get older it gets easier and easier where it isn’t that big a deal if your two worlds cross paths. Now that I live in the same town as my daughter (I used to live about 30 miles away) there is a greater chance I can run into her when I am with someone when we are out and about. It hasn’t happened yet but it might. Not that big a deal.

    One final thought that BD hit on that I think is sadly missed by most parents.

    It’s my job to raise my kids to become happy and functional adults. It’s not my job to make my kids like me. That’s their decision.

    I could not agree more. Logic would dictate that if you are a loving and present father and raise happy and functional children they will love and adore you…but that isn’t the goal. I would much rather have a child that is happy and successful in life but hates me versus an unhappy loser that loves me to death. In my experience they go together but if you are focused on making them like/love you, it will negatively impact your parenting. One of the hardest things about being a great parent is not making it about yourself. Wanting your kid to love you is all about you and not about your kid.

  23. You are much more likely to stay in a relationship longer than you should because your kids like her. It is human nature.

    So true … hell, I’ve stayed in relationships for far too long because dogs were in the picture! I could only imagine what it would be like if there were kids involved.

  24. This article perfectly describes how to handle dating as a singe father. Although my children are all under 10 and I have them a good majority of the time, I am still able to schedule time for my OLTR (I am new to the site, what exactly does OLTR stand for?). By dating a single mother myself there is never any animosity if unexpected kid interruptions occur and disrupt the schedule.

    My priority is my kids, hers is her kids. Our worlds interact occasionally as far as kids are involved, but mostly we live separate lives and spend our mutual kid-free time together having sex and treating every-other-weekend as a mini-vacation together.

    The investment in each other’s children is minimal, to the point that if the relationship ends the children will not be negatively impacted.

    Introducing your kids to your latest oneitis like he/she is someone who’s going to be around for a long time is child abuse. 

    I think all single fathers would do wise to heed this advice, many are desperate and insecure looking for validation from a woman and will bring a woman around much too soon. Resist that urge.

  25. Hey, I just wanted to give a shout to you for writing some of the realest stuff regarding pua on the net. I’m a big fan of your writings and teachings. If possible, will you be coming to Toronto anytime soon?

  26. will you be coming to Toronto anytime soon?

    NYC, yes. Toronto, no. I’ve been in Canada a lot over the last few years so it will probably be a while before I return.

  27. From a woman’s side:

    Don’t always put kids first:

    The article mentions ALWAYS putting kids first with scheduling. I agree with this mostly, but remember, you should never prioritize a child’s entertainment over a serious need from your girlfriend. Doing so can weaken your relationship and your girlfriends trust in you. After dating a father for two years, I found that deep down….Im last on his list of importance. More than once we’ve chosen to tackle very difficult situations together…..and then he’s bailed because his kids REALLY wanted to see a particular movie on that particular night. Long story short, I get left in a bad spot, carrying two adults burdens so that a child could be entertained. Ive spent nights crying, trying to cover for us both, while he and his kids giggled at the movies. The end result is that I began firmly knowing that I couldn’t lean on him, nor trust him to be there. I also know that I am not an equal in the household, that I am actually the least important person in the home. The children absolutely, always, no matter what, come first. ( Im not entirely sure that genetic mothers in happy marriages end up dead last on the social ladder….I don’t want to be either.)

    We also need to know that our relationship doesn’t hinge on your child’s mood swings, (often times dictated by what your ex may say about us). Children are great….but they are still kids, and its really hard to have an honest relationship with your child if they hold more power in the relationship than either adult does.

    Remember that we end up loving your kids too:

    When a woman choses to date you as a father, she’s knowingly taking a huge risk. A breakup means that she’s loosing YOU, AND YOUR CHILDREN. This is potentially a devastating blow. If the man leaves, he leaves with his family unit in tack, the children are still his to see, the relationship with the kids still there….but for the girlfriend none of this is true. We are really putting a lot of trust and commitment into a relationship if we become serious with you. A man with children takes up your entire world…..if something goes wrong we stand to lose FAR more than even you did upon your initial divorce.

     

  28. Anna, why don’t you try reversing the genders and see if you still believe what you’re saying. You would put your boyfriend ahead of your kids, REALLY?
    Besides, you don’t need to choose to “date a father AND his kid”. In MLTRs it is recommended to avoid bonding with your date’s kids if they have any.

  29. I have 2 MLTRs and the occasional FB.

    My kids have never, and I mean never, seen any of the women I date. They know I date and they know “I go out” and have that vague understanding that I have sex.

    However, unless I get very serious with someone, then and only then will they get to know her.

    The funny thing is that I have met both MLTRs kids on occasions (once a year maybe) and both (or more accurately, the three of us) are happy with this setup.

     

    As per logistics:

    I spend 6 days of every 2 weeks with my kids (twice on the weekdays and every other weekend). When I’m with my kids, I don’t go out. Unless it is an unusual circumstances (once a year maybe). No babysitters needed in this case.

    Both MLTR have “regular days”. They rarely ask to change them, as they are aware that my kids are with me.

     

    As per finding a place near home that the kids will hang out – Found it to be unreliable. My kids will drop back unannounced (as it is their home) and one might get caught (almost happened once, while I was in the middle. You don’t want that).

     

    My kids expressed what I call “the Cinderella trauma” – they fear that I’ll move in with someone who will not be nice to them behind my back. I assured them that under the age of 18 (when I’m responsible for them) they will have a say. I have no intention to cohabit with anyone in the next few years (since I weighed the cost/benefits).

  30. My kids have never, and I mean never, seen any of the women I date. They know I date and they know “I go out” and have that vague understanding that I have sex.

    @ TheMaleBrain: how old are your children, if I may ask?

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