How To Make 'Dad' Friends

Social Dad, up for a beer!
Recently I've been trying to obtain 'dad' friends. That's right, what a loner!

I have friends, but I don't have many 'dad' friends. As such, it can become difficult to relate to your friends. It's nobody's fault, friendships don't stay perfectly in sync.

Today I discuss parenting awkwardness. How I overcame it, to win parent acceptance and dad friends.

The journey began in September, when my son started school. I work from home, so school-runs are my job. 

Soon I was surrounded by cliquey mums in the playground, sharing feminine anecdotes. "Samantha, can you make Zumba on Friday? You can? Oh brilliant!". 

The school playground is a lonely place for dads. In fairness, I attracted the odd smile. Half-smiles, not the real McCoy. The type reserved for neighbours and strangers. 

Perhaps in the early days, I exuded weirdo vibes? Who knows. But slowly I rescued the situation.

This is my journey from shrinking violet to social animal and leader of dads. 🤣

Making Friends, As A Father

What happens to adult men? We lose our ability to make new friends. It gets stunted and difficult to execute. Perhaps we become more untrusting?

Perhaps by working from home, some men have damaged their ability to interact? Zoom and Skype calls are no substitute for the face-to-face.

Perhaps by working from home, some men have damaged their ability to interact? 

This doesn't happen amongst children. Kids form friendships freely, effortlessly. Kids don't judge, they make it work.

Women are typically better socially, so they do ok. Conversation is an underrated skill. Soft skills require work, particularly if you are an introvert.

If I wanted to avoid this social awkwardness, I needed to step-up my game. 

Befriending The Dads

After several months of school-runs, I noticed another dad on school-run duty. Poor guy, I felt his pain. We began sharing reciprocated nods and smiles. Over time, it became "good morning mate!" and "how are you?".

Eventually I took the plunge and progressed our relationship. I concluded that the guy may have 'dad' friend potential. So I introduced myself, my name, what I do for a living etc. 

We had a good conversation and I passingly suggested going for a beer. I left it there, sometimes you can try too hard. I didn't want to scare him!

Some weeks later, I saw him again. The conversation flowed and we talked about bitcoin, houses, kids etc. He mentioned going for a beer, so my suggestive psychology had worked! We exchanged numbers and a 'dads' night was arranged.

Win Over The Dad, You Win Over The Mum

After that success, I worked the magic formula on another dad. This dad was from Yorkshire originally, a northern part of England. Those guys like to drink, it was too easy. We chatted about the football, but I had him at "beer". 

With two dads on board, I seem to be getting good at this. So I arranged another 'dads social' at the pub. A blinding good time we had. Three dads sat around drinking, putting the world to rights. It was great to interact with people on a similar path.

The group is now four-strong (and growing), with a WhatsApp dad group called 'Dad's Army'. All because I plucked up the courage to make it happen.

You earn credibility by being social. Perhaps my reputation has been boosted? Perhaps they have told their partners positive things, like "what a nice guy" or "what a top bloke"? So perhaps, they'll be less playground awkwardness from now on?

I realise, that sometimes you have to make things happen. It's not enough to look like a friendly person, sometimes you need to prove it and be proactive.

Final Thoughts

Interact with other parents, get social, talk and share conversation.

Nobody gets a bad reputation by being friendly and social. People love conversation, especially with people they can relate to.

Build a social network, suggest social events. People love to get out and do stuff, especially parents. 

Take an interest in people, listen to their stories and share your perspectives. We are all winging this parent stuff, nobody is an expert! 

Comments

  1. Great read buddy. Being the stay at home dad, I'm the typical school run Dad, always seen, some odd looks from the mums but over the last 2 years I've built up a tolerance of ignoring it.

    What you have set up would be awesome, a Dads night, I have this on a Friday night on instagram live with a parenting community, but it isn't the same as face to face.

    Don't think I'd have the courage to do this with other playground dads, fair play to you matey.

    Plus being a yorkshireman, we don't need to be asked twice about a brew or a beer 🤣

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Eddie!

      Summer and a 6-week break from school runs! 👍

      Yes, it took some balls to get talking, but somebody has to make the first move right? Elements of being a dad, still remain awkward and challenging. Us Dads have to stick together!

      Delete

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