Dating Data Study: Single Dads and Dating

A single dad dating, holding his daughter and laughing as she gives the rock on symbol with her hand.

In the dating world, there are endless deal-makers and deal-breakers. Does she like guacamole? (That’s a plus.) Does he wear Crocs? (Meh… let’s keep looking.) With Father’s Day around the corner, we wondered how the dating experience is different for single dads and if being a single dad can make or break your dating game.

As it turns out, single dads really got it going on.

To find out more about what dating as a dad is like, the online dating platform Zoosk surveyed 3,051 single women and analyzed 301,242 messages.

Here’s what they found:

A single dad hugging his son.

Single dads are *so* hot right now.
A whopping 92% of single ladies are open to dating single dads, with 55% being “very open” to the idea. This is a notable increase from 2016, when only 83% of single women surveyed said they were likely to date a single father. And there are a lot of reasons women like single dads, the most popular being that single dads are used to thinking about another person and not just themselves. 

Women’s Favorite Things About Dating Single Dads

He knows he’s no longer the center of the universe – 26%
He’s more caring – 15%
He’s more patient – 9%
He’s more responsible – 41%
He’s more thoughtful – 9%

A picture of a guy with a hot dad bod playing with his son on the beach.

Six-packs are out.
86% of women are totally okay with the “dad bod,” with nearly a quarter (24%) finding them attractive. In fact, if you include the term “dad bod” in a message, daters are 41% more likely to respond.

A girl laughing at a text message with a dad joke in it.

Dad jokes are in.
More than half (55%) of women think that dad jokes are a great way to break the ice. Millennial women find them even funnier, with 66% saying they enjoy dad joke-type pickup lines.

A dad holding his daughter's hand, about to give her away in marriage.

Asking dad’s permission is still popular.
Most women still find it romantic and sweet when a man asks her father for her hand in marriage. 61% of them said they liked the gesture.

But many women will still date someone their dad doesn’t approve of.
Even though the majority of women, appreciate when a guy asks dad for permission, she’s not necessarily going to listen to everything dear old dad says. Woman appreciate and love their dads, but only 44% said they seek their approval when it comes to who they date.

If you’re a single dad out there on the dating scene, know that some of the same things that make you a great dad also make you a great catch. (Even those cheesy jokes.)

Jenn Takahashi


Award-winning media relations guru who has secured 3,200+ media placements (so far!) across broadcast, online, and print, ranging from TODAY Show to Wall Street Journal, generating 36 billion+ impressions. Founder of @bestofnextdoor, a viral sensation touted by Recode as “the best account you’re not following on Twitter”.

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