Single dad struggles with loneliness

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I am a 39-year-old divorced father of 3-year-old twins. I have them 50 percent of the time. I cherish being a parent, but I struggle with finding time for me. I feel really alone. I don't work in a traditional office, and the weeks I don't have my boys, I am on the road doing my best to provide for our future. I am in sales, so I don't have any issues with talking to new people, but I'm challenged to translate this into my life as a single dad. I work from my house, so I don't have an office to interact with other adults. I've been told that it will be easy to meet a woman at the park, library and at the grocery store, but how does one wrangle toddlers and meet somebody new? When I have my kids, it's 100 percent about them. I don't want to go on a dating site. I miss having that person I can call to talk about my day. I have tremendously rewarding experiences with my boys. It would be nice to share those with somebody else. --Rudderless Father

DEAR FATHER: My prescription is that before you find a woman, you should have more dads in your life. According to census data, in 2010 about 20 percent of fathers with children under 5 took care of the kids at home. Job losses account for some of this statistic, but so does personal choice.

Search for listings for father's groups in your area or use your sales and marketing skills to try to form one (check out the site athomedads.org).

Having a supportive group of friends will take the edge off your loneliness.

Also reassess where you live. I assume you need to live close to the kids' mother, but even switching neighborhoods could bring you in proximity to more at-home parents, which translates into more encounters, more conversations and more friendships.

Enroll the kids in preschool this fall. The moms at school will be thrilled to find a devoted single dad in their midst. They'll hook you up with other dads -- and dates.