Being a bachelor and actively involved in the dating world is bad enough. But imagine tackling it with a child. Well, this is the life of 27-year-old Steve Parkinson* and 29-year-old Craig Carpenter*.
Both fathers explained to Outlook that the struggle was real when they tried to get back into and rediscover that groove known as dating. Parkinson said that he was very concerned in entering the dating scene after the mother of his six-year-old son passed away, "I had broken up with the mother of my child within the first year of his life, and I was hesitant to redate, but I did, because I didn't like being alone. I was always looking for someone, not just for me, but for my son as well."
He began living with a woman for two and a half years, and would see his son only on the weekends. When the relationship crashed and burned, he took a step back.
Then the untimely passing of his child's mother when his son was three years old threw everything off grid, "He came to live with me, and I know the split, his mother's death and the move must have taken a toll on my son, so it took me a while before I began dating again - his happiness was my priority."
He continued, "Dating, since then, has been rough because I cannot think about myself I have to think about him too, and it is very hard to find a mother figure out there." But he eventually found a silver lining when he met an angel and saw that she began having a discussion with his son. He knew then and there that she was someone special. "She was caring towards my son, having experience with three children, so I decided to take a chance, and the rest, as they say it, is history. We are now happy in our relationship."
For Carpenter, too, the split from the mother of his child saw him reluctant to trust anyone. "We were trying to make it work for the sake of our child, but that didn't work out. I have dated since then, but it wasn't easy because those I pursued had to display certain nurturing and moral qualities in order to be with me. I wouldn't want my boy around just anybody."
When he began dating his now girlfriend, she expressed some concern in not being able to see or be around his child. "She used to get upset about not knowing him, or about me not letting him spend time at her house. If I wasn't there, I never left him there."
Over time, as they established a relationship, he changed his tune, noting that she proved herself. Having a child of her own in the same age group, she knew how to deal with him in a nurturing manner, and she has now embraced him as if he were her own. "If she never had a child, I don't think I would be able to leave her with him, not even now," he confessed.
*Name changed upon request