Dating when you're a single dad is no picnic

Joseph Scialabba is a single father from the Chicago area who  unexpectedly lost the mother of his child several years ago. This blog  post chronicles his experience with raising a female child alone in the  21st century.


"Yes, I have a daughter, hope that's not an issue."

That’s a phrase commonly uttered by many a single father when meeting a new woman with an interest for dating. Honestly, I’ve never been very good at dating. I either stay in relationships far longer than advisable or I take extended periods of single life where I serially date anything that moves.

But that was all before i became a dad.

I spent almost 10 years out of the dating game while in a relationship with her mother, and now I’m cast back into the dating pool, which is an experience akin to Tom Hanks character in castaway. Actually, I feel more like Wilson the volleyball most of the time, beat down and worn out.

Dating has changed so much since the last time I was single and on the market, I wasn’t even sure where to begin. Dating as a parent is even more complex then I ever even could have imagined.

Do I look for other single mothers for a relationship?  Will single women accept that I have a child? When do I mention I have a kid?  When do I introduce a prospective spouse to my child? The list of questions is endlessly mind blowing. How do I navigate an already deadly minefield of dating with a child? If you’re reading this waiting for an answer, frankly, I just don’t know.

There are a couple scenarios that seem to be that what I constantly run into; she’s either full blooded single women who can’t deal with the fact that my daughter will always come before anyone else, or I find single mothers out there who are actively looking for a step dad.

Does dating even exist in its previous form? Do people still go on dates in a traditional sense? Between social media and tinder and dating apps, I can’t help but think even though we are more and more connected than ever, a lot of us feel more alone than ever.

I’m no Brad Pitt, but I’m not Shrek either. I work an honest job and make a reasonable living, right? So why is dating suddenly so hard? 

Or maybe it’s possible that I’ve set my views too lofty for someone I hope one day to fill the void left by her mother.


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Photo by Getty Images

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ken Webster Jr is a talk radio personality and producer from Houston, TX. He started his career in Chicago on the Mancow show and has since worked at dozens of radio stations all over the country. He’s currently the host of Pursuit of Happiness... Read more


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