Playdating Another Dad

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About Neil Cohen

Neil Cohen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and toddler son. A former corporate PR guy, he’s now enjoying his new gig as a stay-at-home dad. He writes about parenting, current events and sports at his blog Man on Third. You can follow him at @manonthirdblog.


  1. I can’t explain how glad I am that my daughters are old enough to be past the standard play date age. I never got past the awkwardness of this part of stay at home dad interaction at the park, but I always chalked it up to my own issues with being a relentless hermit. I wonder how our biological make-up plays a role in it all, though. Great piece.

  2. It’s always been hard to make friends, especially as a parent. That’s why I joined a dads group in Chicago when the kids were babies: I needed to interact with other adults without the presumptions of sexuality and gender. In the suburbs now, I’m just trying making friends for my kids, and it’s a lot harder to make friends for my daughter than for my son. One guy I befriended moved to Hungary. So maybe it’s me.

  3. Sorry your Dadmance just fizzled out — every relationship needs some kind of closure. I’ve had similar strange experiences, but more from navigating the gay dad/straight dad interaction.

  4. Arthur MacMaster says:

    “Dadmance” … Love it! I have never heard that term but I will deffinitely be taking it for my own life. Thanks for that. :)

  5. Honestly, it is hard for women too to go out and make friends. It is easy to make friends at work because you see these people continually and find out about common interests, etc.

    You never know about people. Don’t just assume that John is blowing you off. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, John does have an exam and he isn’t blowing you off. Under stress, people are less. Maybe, he is always the one initiating in relationships and doesn’t want to. Maybe, your lack of response our slowness to respond made him feel that you don’t care about the friendship and he may feel over invested and is trying to balance. Maybe, he too isn’t great at keeping up with people. A lot of men are not great at consistently doing the work that is required to build relationships.

    Find out when his exam is and see if he contacts you. Maybe, he is blowing you off. Closure is always good. If you don’t heart from him after the exam, just text him thanking him for initiating and for the friendship. Say how much fun you had and appreciated the friendship and would like to know what happened. Just forget about your stuff. He will remember to return it. If he doesn’t and you really want your stuff back, be gracious and kind when asking. He may have forgotten.

    I recommend ‘ Raising Cain, Protecting the emotional life of boys’ by Dan Kindlon to help understand yourself, other men, and to raise your son in a manner that is healthy for him. None of is is born with knowing how to raise children or how to interact with other people.

  6. I appreciate what you’re trying to say here but the “dating” reference is over the top and not helpful to other dads. It isn’t “dating” it’s connecting and for stay-at-home dads this is extremely important because, as you say, there aren’t that many of us. But ridiculing the process of connecting and making new friends is very unhelpful. It makes dads think they shouldn’t reach out. It makes dads who already are feeling out of place, more so.

    I have made a lot of great stay-at-home dad friends who have made it a lot easier to be in this role. I encourage you to reach out and make more stay-at-home dad friends.

    I realize you were trying to make this friendship situation funny by injecting some homophobia but it isn’t funny. Just sad.

  7. Have to agree. I get what you are saying but the homophobic tone is unnecessary. It is a strange process, especially for guys. I’ve had great luck meeting dads with shared interests through the NYC Dads group on Meetup. Any in your area? Good luck.

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