“I’m a Single Dad. Meanwhile, My 5-Year-Old Has 61 Girlfriends.” originally appeared on The Good Men Project and was reprinted with permission.
I’d like to think I’m a good role model to my children. I’d like to think that I set a good example for my young son to follow of how to be a good man. But when it comes to attracting – and keeping – a woman, it seems I’ve got a fair amount still to learn. (Exhibit A can be found on my blog here.) The good news is when the student is ready, the master appears. And the master may come in a most unlikely form.
Meet my son. My boy. My favorite little man. It would appear that I’m not the only one who considers him to be their favorite little man.
Since splitting with my wife 20 months ago, my dating history has been … well … patchy at best. I’ve had first dates with 15 people. I’m still single, because something just ain’t working folks (and it’s not what you’re thinking … get your mind out of the gutter).
There’s another saying that seems pertinent: If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Maybe it’s time for me to switch things up. Luckily for me, I recently discovered that the perfect mentor was already close at hand. I was chatting with my children after a recent date. I casually mentioned that Daddy might have a new girlfriend. Without skipping a beat, my son piped in with, “Ooh la la papa!” He then nonchalantly stated that he (himself) has “61 girlfriends.”
My son is 5 years old.
Watch and learn Daddy, watch and learn. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; well, in this case it seems that soon after the apple fell, it was picked up by Fred Sirieix, dashed off to the First Dates Restaurant, and turned into an apple tarte tatin.
Honestly, I’m not surprised. To be fair, he is my son and I’m biased, but the little man has something about him, a certain je ne sais quoi. As I walk him into school, many of the other children gravitate towards him and try to get his attention. Even his teachers have a pet name for him due to his adorability. He takes it all in stride. No matter how much outward attention he’s given, he is seemingly oblivious to it and does his own thing.
As for me, I was slow out of the blocks. I can count on one finger the number of girlfriends I had throughout my school days. My son already has one proposal on the table. He hasn’t lived a full decade and he’s already wedding planning. This is the type of charisma my child exudes.
My son’s magnetism started to worry me. I wanted to make sure he was using his powers for good. I sat my son down for a serious talk — father to son, man to little man.
“Son, can I talk to you?” I asked.
“Yes.” He said matter-of-factly.
“Daddy wants to ask you an important question, is that OK?”
“How many girlfriends do you have?”
“Now, there’s something I want you to tell Daddy.”
“How do you do it? Can you teach your Daddy?”
I listened, and I learned.
After reiterating this simple fact, “I’ve got more than you, Daddy,” he imparted more words of wisdom onto me. “They all just like me, oh my goodness. They all chase me because they want to kiss me. One says, ‘let’s catch him’ and I run away. One day they all caught me and kissed me and I did actually quite like it. They won’t want to chase you.”
“Thanks. So, what can Daddy do to get a girlfriend?
“Run away and tell them to try and kiss you.”
With that, more important matters needed to be attended to and he left me to ponder his sage counsel.
I think he might be onto something …
My son marches to the beat of his own drum. He is a happy soul whose whole attitude to life seems to be to make the most of every moment. He is equally happy whether in the company of others or making fun for himself. Perhaps it is this attitude, this natural joy in life, which draws others towards him. Maybe this is his secret.
Maybe this is what I am finally learning. Things may not always be how we want them to be, but there is something we can do to make them better. Every moment offers us the chance to be happy, or at the very least to move us closer towards happiness.
When it comes to finding our perfect match, it is best to not go looking for it but to let it find us. We need to be available and open to the opportunity, but it isn’t a good idea to look too hard for it. For there desperation lies, and that is definitively not a good look.
There is one more thing that I choose to take heart from; my boy looks just like his Daddy.
More from The Good Men Project:
- Daddy isn’t a hero — he’s a real man who has depression
- When you can’t see your children every day … a single dad opens up
- 7 reasons why it’s better to date single dads
- 6 struggles for a single dad: Now I know how single moms feel