Daddy Squared is playing matchmaker: When you are a single dad, it seem almost impossible to find time for dating. In this episode we tried to explore the (potential) love life of single gay dads, with Daniel Vandenbark, a divorcee and a single dad of a 7-year-old, who spoke candidly with us in the studio, and with Tammy Shaklee of H4M, a professional LGBT matchmaker.

Having to juggle house management, kids and work, some single dads often testify, “I’m comfortable being alone.” But sometimes, this ‘comfortable’ situation is just a result of not wanting the constant filtering through extra noise of trying to find love. We brought Daniel Vandenbark, a single dad and a (gay) divorcee, to the studio and he spoke candidly about trying to date as a single dad. “I sit here and I start pondering, ok is it because I’m 43 now and you reach that certain age when you less willing to deal with this sh*t. I don’t want the antics I don’t want the silliness, I want someone who has responsibility, professionalism, etc,” Daniel said.

“I get annoyed with the apps,” he added, “because it’s the same antics that probably many people here know about so I don’t really love the apps. But yet, I hold out hope because [every now and then] you talk to somebody and they’re like ‘oh, we met on Grindr’ so there might be hope.”

More in this episode: We are dads, not ‘daddies,’ plus Alex and Greg give tips on how to hit on men in bars, we discuss setting your financial goals for 2020 and of course — don’t be scared of matchmaking! Now is the time to date a gay dad!

Guest Host: Greg of @greginla Blog

Greg, a single gay man, grew up in the northwest suburbs of Boston in a middle-class family with its share of enjoyment and challenges. He grew up with an interest in biology and a passion for health and fitness. He started weightlifting in college and graduated with a degree in biochemistry. He started his career as a tech and scientist in the biotechnology/ pharmaceutical industry in the Boston area while documenting his fitness and modeling journey on instagram. In 2015, he moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue a more enjoyable lifestyle as a young gay fit man while his career slowly became more engineering focused and regulation-driven. More recently, his Instagram became better focused on showing others how to live a healthier lifestyle. In 2018, he launched his own lifestyle blog to supplement his Instagram to help others with their fitness journeys and mental awareness to pursue the lifestyle they have dreamt for themselves.

Our Guest: Daniel Vandenbark
Instagram: @dznrdad @dezineinc

Daniel Vandenbark is the founder and principal of DEZINE INC, and works for over 20 years in interior design and branding in Los Angeles. When he isn’t creating beautiful homes for his clients, you’ll likely find Daniel making adventures with his seven year old son. And when you can’t find the two of them in the city – well, they’re probably up in the mountains, regardless of the time of year.

“I really love exploring the world through my son’s eyes. It’s fresh, it’s simple, and often entertaining. I look forward to sharing that with someone special again.”

On the Phone: Tammy Shaklee, LGBTQ Relationship Expert and Founder of H4M Matchmaking

Since founding the national offline matchmaking company in Austin, Texas in 2012, Tammy and her team have successfully paired thousands of LGBTQ clients across the country that were seeking long-term committed relationships.  Shaklee’s unique process focuses on traditional introductions and dating for LGBTQ singles who are interested achieving relationship success that rivals their professional success. 

An LGBTQ ally and advocate, Tammy understands the challenges singles face when looking for a suitable mate, as she met her husband through a matchmaking service herself. Tammy and her husband, Clif reside in Austin, Texas where she runs her national company.  When not actively pairing her clients, Tammy is a regular relationship contributor to several LGBTQ media outlets and mainstream publications. She is currently working on the completion of her first book.

Tammy’s Dating Advice

Here’s some of the professional advice provided by Tammy in regards to dating during the interview with her:

  • First date should be light: no more than two hours, no more than two drinks
  • No cell phones on the table
  • Don’t show a picture of your child(ren) on the first date
  • Talk briefly about having kids
  • Get a reliable babysitter and step away respectfully from the table to check with the babysitter in the middle of the date
  • No sex of any kind on the first or second date
  • The anthropologists say it takes four dates when you meet someone new to see if they can be in your future

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Episode Credits

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen, Greg
Guests: Daniel Vandenbark, Tammy Shaklee
Opening Theme: Hercules & Love Affair, “Leonora” buy here
Articles Related to this episode:
Dating a Single Gay Dad Is a ‘Package Deal’ (Kyle Ashworth, Gays With Kids)
Top 10 Reasons You Should Date a Gay Dad (Jay Turner, Gays With Kids)

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