Hey Single Mums, Here Are 18 Signs A Single Dad Likes You

I get it: It’s hard to get back out there. I’m having a bit of a rough patch myself. But online dating is hard – even with such innovative online dating apps like Bumble, Tinder,, and OK Cupid.

What’s Wrong With Online Dating?

People are not honest in their profiles, most notably: their pictures are outdated (when your “hello date” shows up and you think WTF?); and they lie about what they like to do for fun. I mean, if you never go see live music, why say you love it?

People are not really willing to put in the time or energy to date again.

People are just entertaining themselves with online dating, like social media or a reality TV show.

Authentic and engaged connections are hard to find, with or without online dating.

How Many Single Dads Approach Online Dating

Here are some of the things I’ve heard:

“I’d like a relationship, but I don’t really want to work too hard to get it.”

“I really miss my intimate relationship, and it’s like I have a huge hole in my chest, and I’d like you to help me fill up my hole of loneliness.”

“If I really want to date I’ve got to go after the good ones… what does too much aggression or too-type-A look like?”

“I’m all about upping my odds. If it’s a numbers game, I’m going to play the numbers to win.”

I’ve been working recently on mindful dating or dating with intention, but for the most part, I’m seeking a relationship. And, while I won’t do anything to get my connection needs met, I am willing to stretch my ambitions, lifestyle, or financial prowess a bit in order to reach my goal.

My goal, as a single dad, is not a mother for my children. My goal is to meet my physical and emotional needs with another adult human. In my case, that happens to be a woman (and likely a single mum). With that in mind, here are…

18 Signs a Single Dad Likes You

He’s making time to reach out to you.

He’s asking for opportunities to “get together”; the actual activity is less important.

He expresses his wants and needs clearly. (“Can we just hold each other for a minute?”)

He responds to you when you call or text in a positive and energetic way.

He listens to you, and lets you know later how he was picking up details of what you said, what you asked for, or what you expressed as a need or boundary.

He is unafraid of your criticism and does not react with defensiveness. He has a curiosity about what has pissed you off.

He always gives you the benefit of the doubt.

He understands you are a parent first and a partner second. He’s also a single parent, so he “gets it”.

He genuinely goes out of his way to find nice things to say, nice ways to make you feel loved.

He knows his own love language, and he’s willing to learn more about yours.

He can express joy simply at being in your presence.

Self-care is part of his routine as well, so he respects and supports your self-care.

He can give you a non-sexual hug or massage.

He shares his delight at kissing you, holding your hand, or just being connected to you.

He wants to say “hello” when he wakes up in the morning and before he goes to bed.

He misses you and can tell you about it.

He knows the difference between I want you and I need you. (And he WANTS you.)

He wants to make your relationship exclusive long before sex enters the equation (“I’m taking my dating profiles down.”)

The Goal: Find a Long-Term Relationship To Last a Lifetime

After all, if our intention is to find a long-term relationship, taking down and deleting the online dating apps is the first step towards a victory dance. So, when you are both delighted to find the time to be together, and you are both expressing desire to find more time, you are well on your way towards establishing the trust that anchors an authentic relationship.

Founder of  The Whole Parent, John McElhenney is a single parent who lives in Austin, Texas with his two kids. Check out his book Single Dad Seeks: Dating After Divorce.  


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