6 Major Red Flags of Dating a Single Dad

Dating a single dad can be a unique experience filled with both rewards and challenges. It is important to be aware of traps and red flags that may arise while you are dating. We will take a look at some of those factors that might signal a red flag in your relationship. Even though you may be in love (or like), just remember to look carefully into your relationship.


Most single dads pose no threat, but sometimes, there are some red flags you need to look for. When you arm yourself with a little knowledge, it will protect your heart, saving you a lot of pain. It’ll also help keep you from wasting valuable time. Let’s check the six important red flags of dating a single dad.

6 Important Red Flags of Dating a Single Dad

When entering a relationship with a single dad, it’s important to remain realistic and vigilant in paying attention to the “red flags”. The “Red Flags of Dating a Single Dad” below may mean that you should end your relationship with the single dad who has caught your attention. The “red flags” may include you begin to notice that he’s not consistent with calling, he’s never available, and or you just generally find it hard to get in touch with single dad; you may notice some communication struggles, you may notice that he never wants to talk about the previous issues or previous relationships he’s had. Again, it isn’t about preventing the relationship from proceeding forward, but it provides you a little heads up in the area of where to exercise empathy and knowledge of the fact that when dating a single dad may be different than dating a single guy who has never been married.

  • He’s not over his ex

When dating a single dad, he might dedicate too much of his time to his children or work. This is not to say that there is something wrong with him, but in this case, you will not have his attention. Red flags may also appear if Dad isn’t able to answer your questions about his custody arrangements and schedule. 

However, if you have an open question or two, try and ask questions that make you seem thoughtful and available, not like you’re interviewing him for a job. Another example is if he excuses himself from making plans or not being in situations that deal with his ex or his ex’s family. 


An example would be his child being around his ex again in a situation like shared parenting. One of the methods to deal with it is to have an open channel of communication with him. Communication is the key to everything. Have an open and honest conversation about what is really expected in the relationship. 

This conversation isn’t just about letting him know how his continuous attachment to his ex makes you feel but about letting him know how it continually negatively affects you emotionally. Additionally, it might be useful to set boundaries and outline what you are comfortable with in terms of conversations about the ex and what behavior is and isn’t acceptable regarding interactions with them. 

For it to work, both people have to be willing to work toward moving forward and ready to prioritize the goals of healing and growth above all else. If he does not want to work on it or make progress and actually get over her, you might want to rethink because you want to aim for your emotional health and you, being with someone who is not over your ex, are not going to obtain that. It is impossible to be in a good place and find true happiness with someone who is not over their ex.

  • He’s not making time for you

Paying attention to a single dad’s time is very important when dating. If he is not making time for you consistently, he is not serious. This comes in many forms. For instance, if plans get canceled or rescheduled at the last minute consistently, this shows that he does not prioritize your company. If he consistently chooses to spend his free time with his children or other obligations come before your needs, then you are not that important to him. 

Again, communication is key in situations like this. If you are voicing your concern and explaining why you do not feel prioritized and he still does not consider your thoughts, then your partner is probably not ready for a committed relationship yet. You will then need to think about your needs and if this is the right relationship for you. Remember, in a healthy, fulfilling relationship, both partners will equally prioritize each other and make time for one another.

  • He’s not prioritizing his kids

If he is not putting his kids first on a regular basis, it could be a strong indication of his ability to be a good father. This includes canceling visitations with his children, being unavailable or distracted during their time together or being uninvolved in their lives. 


For instance, if a father continuously cancels or changes plans with his kids and proceeds to do so at the last minute, this can be detrimental and heartbreaking. This displays an absence of commitment and reliability, which may be harmful to the child’s trust and emotional state. Also, if a father who frequently spends time with his kids is always drifting off and unfocused on what their child is saying, for example, he is always checking his cell phone or not completely engrossed in their one-on-one time, the child might perceive this as him not being valued and unimportant to them.

When you find yourself in a situation like the “single dad” one where the dad isn’t taking care of his kids, I think it is important to address him about it calmly and directly. Explain your concerns and observations about his behavior calling attention to the importance of him consistently and meaningful parenting your children. Provide specific examples of how his actions have affected the children and offer suggestions on how he can improve the situation. 

Also, be empathetic; you never know if there is more to the story about why he is acting off. Be open and communicate. Hear his perspective, and you may just understand why he is doing these things. If necessary, recommend counseling or co-parenting classes to understand what’s going on. 

The number one concern is for these children to be happy and healthy and that they do not become too caught up in this situation. I do believe every offer was made to help in this situation before it got to this point, with him dropping off the face of this earth. Maybe the mediator would have been the best thing for this family, but the easy way out is to run.

  • He’s not communicating effectively

Sometimes, as a single father, our level of communication may not be as effective as it should be. Communicating effectively is very important in any relationship, and when we are lacking In our communication, there may be misunderstandings, frustration, and even, at times, resentment.


Examples of poor communication from a single dad could be: 

  1. A lack of responsiveness will be if he doesn’t call or text back eventually, whereas if the text isn’t immediate, in a phone call, it’s rude not to call back. 
  2. Poor listening skills would also be a huge factor; if he doesn’t engage in conversation, there will be no effective communication. 
  3. Avoidance would be huge; maybe he doesn’t like conflict, so he chooses not to address difficult topics or doesn’t like to “talk” about it. 
  4. Finally, Communication inconsistency: if they are giving mixed messages or not consistent with what they say and do then this would be poor communication. 

To approach a partner with a communication problem with care, empathy and understanding, consider the following: 

  1. Be direct: Don’t just assume he should know what you’re thinking; let him know — and do so in a kind yet clear way. Share your findings and figures, and express why good communication is so important to you. 
  2. Set clear expectations: Now that he knows what is on your mind, tell him what you expect from him in terms of communication. This can be anything from sharing how your day is to telling you what’s going on at work or, perhaps, checking in when he knows he’ll be home late. 
  3. Create an open environment: Make him feel safe to discuss things with you without raising his defences. Make it OK for him to share with you issues or difficulties he faces when it comes to communicating effectively, and encourage transparency without judgment. 
  4. Offer guidance and support: If it seems that your partner actually struggles with his communication skills, share books and articles with him or even consider couples counselling if the two of you want to give your relationship a fighting chance. 
  5. Evaluate: If, despite addressing the problem, your partner still doesn’t know how to communicate properly, you have to question whether or not he is the right person for you. 

If he’s only half committed to communicating with you effectively, how are things going to work out when it comes to bigger topics in your relationship? Always remember that communication is a two-way street, and you cannot make someone understand if they simply do not want to. In the end, it will just lead to you feeling vain and ridiculous.

  • He’s not financially stable

Financial stability plays a huge role in dating; you have to be somewhat stable to take that on because you never know where it is going to go eventually. Financial stability plays a large percentage in what I talked about earlier, that your other half will have some leverage on education, social, and other aspects of your life. 

If you were to say you were divorced, had kids, and were a single father, your finances would come into play with women and by giving this information.

“A single dad who is poor and can’t afford to provide financial help to his family is an irresponsible individual, and you wouldn’t go any further if you couldn’t afford it and it wouldn’t matter where he was educated.”

However, her statement is especially wrong because even if you were already an idiot, not going anywhere and had a finance job where you could support yourself and everything, and you just lacked in education, this woman would be less likely to see the guy with the finance job and great education as a potential partner. 

Financial stability is tied to the future convenience you will have. Most women choose a man who has a car, a house, is making good money and is set up for the future, versus some max bum that has a minor chance of having any of the things a forty-year-old man has. After about thirty, it is unacceptable if you don’t have financial stability unless you are reaching obviously. 

It looks like it consists of dealing with trying to pay every bill on time and trying to provide for the needs of your child. It also consists of dealing with a tremendous amount of debt, trying to get on the next paycheck like your life sustains forever waiting on payday. It also consists of not having a steady job and a plan of how to get yourself right financially. You can follow these suggestions to deal with the financial problem. For starters, just be honest and tell people your actual financial situation. Communication is crucial in pretty much every kind of relationship you have, and the more you are honest with people upfront, the better off you are. Next, work to increase your financial stability. This could mean finding a more secure job or looking into possible promotions. 

It could also mean learning how to budget and save money better so that you can pay off debt and have something to fall back on if you need it. Thirdly, be sure to concentrate on your growth and development. Show these potential partners that while you really want to have a strong financial foundation, you still have a plan in mind to get your life going and that you have many different attributes and values that would make you a great partner and parent. 

Make sure to find someone who is understanding and supportive. Find someone who likes you for you, is not afraid of a working relationship, and understands that you have to become financially stable at some point.

  • He’s not introducing you to his kids

A red flag of dating a single dad is if he isn’t introducing you to his kids. He probably isn’t too serious about the relationship, or he has concerns about you and his children. The single father is able to date and can pick the one he wants. Single fathers already have enough on their plate as it is; with all the commitments he has to their children, their parenting skills haven’t developed yet. You should understand this and approach it with simplicity and with understanding. 


In practice, this might look like not discussing his children around you or not introducing you to his children. He might not attend kid-centred activities like going to his child’s sports games, recitals or birthday parties. If you find yourself in this situation, I would say probably have a conversation with your man about it. Let him know you are feeling some kind of way about it. 

Tell him you are a bit concerned you still haven’t met his children. Ask him why he hasn’t arranged a meeting yet. Listen to what he says. After the thesis statement, it is important to evaluate if the reasons that are for are actually valid. Suppose more time is needed to feel as though the relationship is certain, then that is a valid reason not to meet his children yet. Another valid reason could be that he is waiting for his children to accept the fact that he is dating you. 

If you find the reasons to be vague or not make sense, then be aware that he may not be fully committed, or you may be being kept separate from other aspects of his life. Regardless of the complex nature of their situation, it is crucial to maintain that your well-being comes first and that if getting introduced to his kids and the inability to add more stress and insecurity to your life genuinely, then you may have a relationship worth reconsidering. 

I encourage you to have an open line of honest communication with your partner and to make choices based on your own needs and values not based on what you think will make the relationship work.


To sum things up, the author of the article provided red flags of dating a single dad. The topic in the article explained the most obvious six red flags, which were inconsistent father, lack of boundary with his Ex, father placing the children first, unresolved emotional problems, relying too much on the new partner, and non-communication. 

In closing, the six red flags explained in the article are something that we should want to know about when it comes to dating a single dad. These are just six possible red flags to consider, and many of them aren’t even limited to a guy with kids. That is not to say that triple-threat single dads aren’t out there; more than a few readers took us to task for not warning them of the dangers of temptation as a single woman. How about you, readers? Have you ever dated a guy with kids? What were the warning signs?

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