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Our conversations usually cover what the process of becoming a dad is, the transition from being a single person to caring for a child, and a plethora of other topics around parenting as a gay man. After we cover the basics nearly all the guys ask that one burning question: After I divorced my husband, I was not very interested in going out and meeting guys.

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My priority was to take stock of my situation and figure out how I was going to proceed with my life -- adjusting to being a single dad. Maneuvering schedules, both work and home. Preparing for my child's entry into kindergarten.

Can A Single Gay Father Find Love? | YourTango

Planning a move to a new city. There were many pressing issues I had to deal with and dating was just not on the top of my list.

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Once things settled down though, I was ready to test the waters. Not necessarily interested in finding a new life partner, but more interested in finding some companionship. I was ready to feel attractive, desired, and simply more connected. My approach to dating was typically limited to dating sites because they were the most efficient in outlining who I was and what I was looking for.

Some sites asked for a lot of information while others simply required a picture and a blurb. For those who saw my unabridged profile, I was the DAD in bold and all caps.

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On less discerning sites where my profile wasn't as important as the picture, I was just another white, educated, professional guy living in the Bay Area. It was interesting to see how one aspect of my life -- albeit an incredibly important one -- changes the entire matchmaking formula. Generally speaking, the guys who wanted to date JonnyDad were a bit older and more established. And the guys wanting to date JonnyLad were younger and more free-spirited.

The dating scene taught me a lot about our community as well as a lot about myself, and what I needed and wanted. Through that experience I realized how high-maintenance I had become. I realized that dating me would be a measure in patience and adaptability. It would take a very special person to want to put up with everything I was putting out. I Want You to Want Me.

It's important that we are dating for the right reasons.

Why is this?

Guys looking for their "instant family" are a huge turn-off. It's all about quality time. As a single dad, time is at a premium. If we only get together once a week, it's not because I am not interested -- it's just that there aren't enough hours in the day. Not since being closeted do I remember being so conscious of my public displays of affection.

8 Tips to Dating a Single Gay Dad

I just don't want the neighbor kid telling my son whom I am dating. My kid comes first. Many guys are not used to being in a relationship where they are not the focus of attention. In addition, as a gay man I know the benefits and importance of also taking care of myself -- like the flight attendants say, "Put your oxygen mask before helping others. The "Ex" Factor. I have an ex and he's Papa. He's important to my kid and therefore important to me. Gay culture allows for great relationships with your ex but the kid factor takes it to a whole new level.

Pillow Queen. When I see a chance for a catnap, I take it. And the more balls in the air, the more often it feels like it may all come tumbling down. Fatherhood is never easy though the challenge, of course, is part of the reward , but for gay dads who are both single and raising multiple children, the challenges can be compounded. How do you balance life, work, and kids without the benefit of another co- parent? Each comes from a different perspective: Though their backgrounds may be varied, they share many similar views on the joys and stresses of parenthood.

And somewhat expectedly, every conversation inevitably turns to the subject of dating: The consensus? Doug wakes up around 6 a. He makes breakfast for his daughter, 8, and son, 6.

He makes sure their homework is done, their teeth brushed, their hair combed. I had to pay for it. I had to go through the adoption process. I had to forge a path where I live. And in fact, Doug even wonders whether his single status may lead to a fringe benefit that emerges down the line: Children who know their father not just as a parent, but also as a person. I wonder if my kids may wind up getting to know me better as a result. Doug actually adopted his kids who are biological siblings with his now ex. After all, every day as a parent is a learning process, and when each decision has a profound effect on the most precious thing in your life — your children — the stress of doing it solo can be overwhelming.

But Doug also understands that, right now anyway, integrating a romantic partner into his life is almost impractical. Many single parents bemoan how difficult it is to find a partner who is willing to date someone with kids. Sorting out those who are interested in you from those who are simply interested in having a family. Eventually I got to the point where I asked him: Tom with his kids Samantha and Logan. Tom had his 7-year-old son Logan and 9-year-old daughter Samantha during a year marriage to a woman — one that began with a bit of now-amusing irony.

And she may not have been the only one: But after a decade of marriage, it became clear that he needed to come out. The big question, of course, was how this could affect his life as a parent.

Single Gay Dads Are Doin’ It For Themselves

In fact, Tom says that one of his initial challenges as a single gay dad had to do with feeling okay about the changes taking place in his own life: Tom with his kids. Emotional energy does not always run in endless abundance. Sometimes that means closing certain doors, says Alan, a Minneapolis gay dad of three. Alan with his kids. Regrettably but necessarily, he decided that his parents could no longer be part of his life.

What Alan realized was that, amid the stress of raising kids on his own, there is tremendous value in paring down the emotional distractions. Although his first-born passed away, Alan is today the father of three boys: It allows him to pour his fullest energy into his kids.

These foster dads say Philly is "actively protecting, serving, and supporting their queer families. Are you a Philadelphia gay dad family? Ivory Tree Portraits is hosting a special Gay Dad Family Day and offering all the attendees a complimentary photoshoot and digital print!

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Put May 4th in your diary, meet other local gay dads and their kids; make memories and keep them forever in the form of a digital print of your beautiful family. Click here for more details. We're working in partnership with Ivory Tree Portraits to bring you the stories of some of their gay dad clients. The dads had this to say about their experiences in the studio: It was a wonderful experience. Even though we didn't have the pleasure of meeting Lara in person, she reached out via email to ensure our photo session was a positive and fun experience. We absolutely recommend Ivory Tree to anyone looking for a great photo studio who has a talented photographer, responsive, friendly, and extremely professional.

Paul and Greg Yorgey-Girdy have been together for over 12 years and married since March 19, Paul, a Philly local, was born and raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and Greg came to Philadelphia to attend law school. They met in a bar rather serendipitously. Paul and Greg are dads to three kids through the foster care system — Bella, Xander and Trevor. They also recently became guardians to eldest son, Raymond, who joined the family in The dads had this to say about their experiences in the studio.