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Dating Dad Shares Struggles of Becoming an Empty Nester

By Momishblog @momishblog
Tempus Fugitby Dating Dad, Brian Gallagher
I have a large tattoo on my back.  It features a pocket watch that reads 3:33, has the boys logo (yes, they have a logo), and a banner that says 'Tempus Fugit' which means 'Time Flies'.  If there is one thing I have realized this year as my sons are becoming high school seniors today is that in a blink of an eye everything changes.
I vaguely remember my sons as infants.  I kind of remember the age of 3.  Age 5 I do remember because I went to school with them often as a room parent.  Junior high school blew by and now high school is almost over.  They went from very dependent to very independent.  They cook, they clean, they work, they do laundry, they wash their own hair and brush their own teeth.  It is a bit disconcerting that they will be moving out and going to college in 14 months.  *sigh*
So where does that leave a dating dad?  As of late I have been struggling with this very question.  In 14 months I will no longer have to grocery shop, cook, follow up after, nag, yell, hug or bug them anymore.  I'll have the pug still, but she really could care less if I am around.  My home will turn into a house...it will lose the bumping around, stomping feet, loud music and smelliness that only three teenagers can provide.  
I'm not alone.  Dads eventually turn back into single men.  These dads find themselves trying to focus on themselves and a potential partner.  What do we even look for?  What qualities will we find important?  The dad's priorities and lifestyle will change when he ceases to be a dad daily. It is a tad bit scary.  I haven't been on my own...ever.  I married the weekend after I graduated from college.  I dated right after I divorced.  I've always had my kids around.  WHY IS MY COMFORT ZONE GOING TO COLLEGE? 
If you are dating a dad at this point in his life my advice would be to be prepared for anything.  This is mid-life crisis territory.  These are 'I could still water ski behind that power boat' times.  This is when he goes to Vegas to make up for lost time and ends up calling you at 3 a.m. because he used his plane tickets as collateral on a Texas Hold'em bluff and lost.  But these are when the ex-dad is ready to have fun...to explore new tastes, to take trips and try things he has always wanted to do.  Be ready for the occasional off the wall suggestion and understand that he wants new experiences with you.
I think I may re-enroll in college though.... 

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