Q&A with Single Minded Women’s Single Dad, Michael Shimberg

By Melissa Chapman

Michael Shimberg is a single dad of two kids who has mastered the fine art of hosting play dates, cooking dinners and tying bows—yes this devoted dad is all about the details!- and he is also the author of The Complete Single Father. Every month he graciously gives SMW a glimpse into the mind of a single dad.
I’m a single mom ready to start dating…where are all the great single guys?
Michael: When I talk to my single women friends, I get the impression that the answer to this question is one of the great universal unknowns. My belief is that good men are everywhere I know people who have met their mates from dating websites, introductions from friends and sometimes simply by chance.
With relationships, timing is everything. I even believe that you can meet the same person twice and find that you click two years later when you really didn’t care for the person the first time around. I think the key is to meet as many people as you can! Let friends introduce you and most importantly relax, and keep reminding yourself that this all part of your life’s journey.
Of course, once you meet “the Guy” don’t introduce him to your children until you are sure you will be dating for a while; and of course, don’t indulge in sleepovers on nights you have the kids!
I’m a single mom who has been dating for several months, who has only dated single guys who have never been married or had kids. While I’m not complaining, I feel like none of them can truly understand my life because they’ve never experienced parenthood. While I’d love to meet a single Dad, I’ve always been under the impression that single dads would rather date single child-less women? Is that true? What do you think?
Michael: I think it really depends on the man. While I can’t speak for all dads, in my opinion, a dad who is very involved with his children will probably date a woman with kids more so than dad who is less involved with his kids. Lets face it, if he doesn’t have time for his kids how would he have time for yours and you probably don’t want that person.
However, I have spoken with many single dads who believe it is easier to date a single mom for the exact reasons that you mentioned. Because your both single parents you both know the issues and time commitments at stake. I think ultimately, you need to have an open mind and give yourself permission to date whoever you’re attracted to first and foremost and then deal with the kid situation.
Who knows, at this very moment, there could be a great single dad out there who is looking for you.
I’m a single mom, who shares custody with my ex. The problem is that I HATE my ex’s girlfriend, who has basically moved in with him, and therefore spends lot of time with my children. What should I do? Should I confront my ex and tell him what I’m feeling, or just silently deal with it and hope he breaks it off with her?
Michael: It’s important to look at the root of the problem. Do you “HATE” her because she spends time with your kids or because you’re not comfortable with the way she treats your kids?
If it is the former I would not confront your ex. It may be difficult, but you have to come to the realization that part of your divorce means that your ex spouse is allowed to find a new love interest. If she cares about your children, treats them the way you would want them treated, I think you have to keep quiet and just be happy they have someone else decent in their life. Remember you will always be their mom and they aren’t going to forget that.
However, if she is acting in a way you dislike and that you feel will have ill effects on your children, I would confront your ex in a non-combative manner and discuss your feelings. Make sure you express that you have no problem with her in his life, but that you feel some of her actions aren’t in the best interests of your kids. Be willing to compromise with him as chances are he isn’t just going to give in and go with your opinions versus those of his new girlfriend. However, if you center the discussion on making decisions base on your kids’ best interests you have a much better chance for a positive outcome.
You’re a single dad who seems to have it all; great relationship with your kids, an amicable relationship with your ex–how do you do it? Is there any advice you can give me that I can impart to my ex- who unfortunately is not living up to his commitments as a single dad?
Michael: I appreciate the compliment, but let’s face it, nobody’s life is perfect. I too have days that I get annoyed with my ex and upset with my kids. The key, I believe, is how you set the groundwork and how you deal with those difficult days.

The key to a successful relationship with your ex is first, both being adults. Too many people get divorced and decide that they are going to make each other miserable for the rest of their lives. It hurts the kids, it hurts future relationships and it hurts your health.

Let’s remember that divorce solves the problem of having to deal with one another in a romantic relationship, however, “Till death do us part” really applies to parenthood and no legal agreement will get you out of that one. (Well, unless you were a teen superstar!)


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