Single Dad Dating? We recently caught up with Matthew Field, author of www.thesinglefathersguide.com. With topics ranging from first date sex to Mother’s Day for motherless children, his books and blog contain a wealth of advice for newly single fathers.
- Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into blogging?
Ironically, my education and experience are business-related. I have an M.B.A. and I’ve worked as a professional manager/corporate ladder climber for a number of Fortune Magazine ranked companies in the United States. When my wife of 12 years passed away rather suddenly after a diagnosis of advanced-stage breast cancer, my priorities changed. I hung up my business suit and became a stay-at-home dad for my two daughters, seven and five years old at the time, and my seven month old son. Then, I started to write.
I’d written and published a couple of children’s books, including Father Like a Tree (Matting Leah Publishing, 2005) and The Three Pigs, Business School, and Wolfe Hash Stew, (Matting Leah Publishing, 2007) when a girlfriend said to me, “Hey, you seem to be doing pretty well as a single dad. Why don’t you write a book for other single dads?” So, I did.
In 2012, I published The Single Father’s Guide to Life, Cooking, and Baseball (Arundel Publishing), which includes advice, support, and recipes wrapped neatly in sports analogies. It was about that time I started to blog, “The Single Father’s Guide.” The rest is history.
- You cover a lot of topics on your blog – what resonates most with your readers?
The style and content of the articles I write range from informational to journalistic to human interest to controversial. Not surprisingly, the controversial and the human interest with a personal spin tend to resonate the most with my readers. Lists, like “The Top 5 Songs About Single Dads” also do very well. I think the readers of “The Single Father’s Guide” blog not only seek advice and support, but they also want to know that someone else really feels the way they do. A great example is my article “Mother’s Day for Motherless Children” in which I describe the first time my son, who was an infant when his mother died, made a Mother’s Day card for her. It was a pretty powerful moment for me, and I think my readers felt it, too.
- You wrote an interesting post on first date sex – can you summarize your thoughts on this?
I think, shortly after I reentered the dating, I was a little overwhelmed. I’d been married for 12 years and I hadn’t really dated for some time prior to becoming my late wife’s husband in 1992. A lot had changed in the world since I’d been a single man, including the advent of on-line dating and changing attitudes toward single father parenting. It was my continuing and often mind-boggling experiences as a single father dating that spawned my article, “First Date Sex and The Single Father.”
Summarize my thoughts? Well, as a reasonably decent guy who takes his responsibilities as man and as a father seriously, I and other men who find themselves in a similar situation will encounter women who are motivated by a variety of considerations. Some potential romantic partners may just want to have a little fun. Others may have a desire to nurture. Still others may be motivated by something else. The moral is simple. If you and your partner both know what you want from a relationship and are honest with the other, then by all means, enjoy your time together.
- Your top tips for dating as a single parent?
Well, one of the “Single Father Golden Rules” in The Single Father’s Guide to Life, Cooking, and Baseball refers to whether or when a single dad should introduce his romantic interest to his children. This question is a real pickle. On one hand, if the single dad wants to spend more time and get to know his romantic partner better, he almost has to involve her (or him, as the case may be) in his family’s lives. On the other hand, both the single father’s children and his romantic partner may get the wrong impression. His children may start to envision dad’s romantic partner as their new mommy or step-mommy, while his romantic interest may prematurely imagine herself in that role.
To resolve this question, I’ve suggested that the single father only introduce his children to his romantic partner only if there is reasonable likelihood that the relationship will be long-term. Every persons and every situation is different, so I leave the definitions of “reasonable likelihood” and “long-term” up to the reader.
- Finally the best piece of dating advice you have ever received.
I’d have to say the best piece of dating advice I’ve ever received came from one Smokey Robinson, who had a little help from The Miracles, who so fittingly crooned, “You better shop around.” (I’m a big fan of classic Motown.)
At least in the United States, about 94% of single fathers are single fathers because the relationship he had with the mother of his child(ren) failed. Divorce. Break up. Whatever. So, rather than to jump right back into a commitment, take your time. Take advantage of your experience and maturity to find a life partner, if a life partner is what you want. Spend the time. Be respectful. Be honest. But, shop around and find the partner who you love and with whom you and your children can live . . . happily ever after.
About Matthew S. Field
Like some other great writers, Matthew S. Field claims a Missouri river city as his hometown. Among other things, Field is a father and an entrepreneur. He is also the author of the illustrated children’s books, Father Like A Tree (2005) and The Three Pigs, Business School, and Wolfe Hash Stew (2007), the critically acclaimed mainstream fiction title, The Dream Seeker (2010), and the non-fiction, The Single Father’s Guide to Life, Cooking, and Baseball (2012). In 2011, he was voted “Best Author” by the readers of the Times Herald-Record and won a “Mom’s Choice Award” for co-writing the board book, Sometimes, My Dad and I (2013). Matthew S. Field lives with his two daughters and son in Warwick, New York.