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Hi.

I'm Ben, the "dad" part of this Single Dad Journey, just incase you hadn't worked that bit out.  

I don't claim to be a guru or some kind of Buddha on being a single dad, although the amount of Ben and Jerrys I smashed through as a form of therapy combined with binging on Netflix, I started to look a little like Buddha. 

If you haven't already, you can start with the "Start here...." section. Or you can just be a fucking renegade and read whatever you like.

Either way, I genuinely hope you get something out of this, or if you know someone who would and if it helps in anyway, gives you something to think about, makes you laugh or inspires you to share your story too, then my job here is done! 


 The Ultimate Guide to Tinder for Single Parents.                  OR "I'm sitting on the toilet, looking for a new girlfriend"

The Ultimate Guide to Tinder for Single Parents. OR "I'm sitting on the toilet, looking for a new girlfriend"

Yes, this is now possible.

What a beautiful age we live in, where we can literally sit on the toilet disposing of last nights dinner, while looking through a digital catalogue of future partners or “hook ups” at the same time.

Now that’s multi tasking.

The only possible hazard I see here is mixing your swiping with your wiping. Which could get ugly. 

Tinder. Or Happn, or Grindr, or Bumble, or whatever you get lured into, it’s likely to happen at some stage after you've separated. I found my self single after 11 years, thinking “when and how do I get back out there and explore my options”. I have never really picked up a stranger in a bar….except maybe a snog or two on a dance floor. So now, with most of my friends married and at home with their kids or busy with work,  I find myself having to contemplate rocking up to my local on my own, and drumming up a conversation with a complete stranger that plays out in under 10 seconds, something like….

“Hi.... I’m Ben, I just….. sorry? The musics really loud. I said Hi I’m Be….What? Oh you want to to get past? Sure....... of course.........Have a good night.”

Well….. naturally I turned to Tinder.

This seems easy I thought. Especially with the full support and voyeuristic intrigue of all my friends, some of whom seem more interested in what my Tinder life is like, rather than if I was actually coping at life. 

“So are you on Tinder yet? It's meant to be really easy.” 

“You must be getting heaps of action” 

“So hows it work? Can I flick through….she’s hot, you should hook up with her?”

Yeah sure. Easy.

An art work I bought by Oodlies, who  created this while she herself was experimenting with Tinder after a separation.  The title of her art work was what she had as her Tinder profile at the time -  "Are you my ideal self?"

An art work I bought by Oodlies, who  created this while she herself was experimenting with Tinder after a separation.

The title of her art work was what she had as her Tinder profile at the time -  "Are you my ideal self?"

I get that for some people, as soon as they have separated they want to jump straight into hooking up with as many girls, or guys, or both, as they can. And sure, a part of me wanted to do the same. I missed sex. And intimacy, and companionship, and sex, and love, and hugs, and spooning, and kissing, and sex, and breakfast together, and after breakfast sex, and dinner, and picnics, and sex. But I realised I still had so much more to process and deal with that a separation delightfully uncovers deep within. There’s all the usual self doubt, unanswered questions, self discovery of who I am, what I want, what I don't want, and simply dealing with the hurt. Add to that working out how to be a single parent for the first time. All of that swelling around inside my head and heart, was not in my mind a great mix to start anything new with someone. And, it took longer than I thought. A lot longer. 

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You will probably at some stage try a version of Tinder,

eventually get hooked on it, then delete it in a moment of clarity and frustration, then download it again. Repeat.

 

If like me, you will probably at some stage try a version of Tinder, eventually get hooked on it, then delete it in a moment of clarity and frustration and then re-download it again in a moment of desperation and frustration. Swiping becomes a work out activity - you’ll need to have your personal trainer set up a specialised program to keep your swiping finger, in peak physical condition. Limber and ready to swipe at any moment.  

So if you are venturing into this strange new world, or you find your self stuck in it, I have written up an extremely helpful guide......

Bens Single Dad Journey Guide to Tinder: 

  1. Download the app.
  2. Find a photo of yourself, but not with a sedated tiger, or shirtless showing off your tats while sitting on a jet ski.
  3. Write a profile. Make it cool. No make it funny. Mention you are a single dad. No don’t mention you are a single dad. Shit delete your profile and start again. Sound cool and funny. Not too cool…… um just write a list of shit you like. 
  4. Start swiping….. and wait.
  5. Still waiting.
  6. Check first thing in the morning.
  7. Check again while going to the toilet.
  8. Check on the train while heading to work, but subtly so no one else can see you. 
  9. Realise everyone can see anyway because your phone screen is reflecting in the train window.
  10. Check every time you go to the toilet at work.
  11. Check on your way home on the train, in a weird, twisted, contorted way so no one can see sitting next to you, behind you, or from the reflection in the window, all the time while you look like you are watching porn and  have bad constipation.
  12. You have a match!
  13. Start awkward text style q and a.
  14. Start to wonder why she hasn’t responded, then when she sends you a “Whats App” link to continue the conversation, realise she is a Russian bot, phishing for a cam-girl pay per view site.
  15. Watch Netflix with your remote in one hand, while eating pizza with the other hand and swiping on Tinder with the other. Realise you don’t have thee hands and you’ve been swiping your slice of pizza, trying to change channels with your phone and eating the remote.
  16. Go to bed.
  17. Open eyes, reach for phone….. start swiping. 
  18. Repeat.   

So I have deleted my Tinder and Happn apps from my phone, (for now) which I guess means, taking technology out of the equation, and bravely venturing into the real world to find some genuine, real life human connection. And hopefully it wont be long before Im sure I find myself sitting face to face, longingly staring into the eyes of a beautiful girl, while we both sit on the toilet. Wait. What? 

REMEMBER - YOU ARE NOT ALONE - IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF YOUR FRIEND AND FAMILY GROUPS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF FREE SERVICES WITH TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.    FIND SOME IN THE "SUPPORT" PAGE LINK BELOW.

Getting through my first Single Dad Christmas.                        Or "The day I hit a Kangaroo"

Getting through my first Single Dad Christmas. Or "The day I hit a Kangaroo"

Why I f#@king hate Wednesdays!

Why I f#@king hate Wednesdays!