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Then imagine taking every other piece from one puzzle and replacing it with the similarly positioned piece from the other.

Whether it's a 25 piece puzzle like the ones my kids used to put together, or a 500 piece puzzle, there will most certainly be gaps, misfits, and some pieces (or people) will probably get bent out of shape.

Before I start on the lessons I learned about dating a single dad, let me give you a bit of history about me.

Just below the surface of everything else that I feel in my daily life is the realization that having only 35 percent custody often makes me feel like a 35 percent dad, and it can often be a painful and unnatural state of being.

Aside from the paternal paradox of it, there's also the challenge of creating a fulfilling personal life around my custody schedule, and trying to always remember that my primary responsibility is to my kids. I have learned (and re-learned several times) that finding a life partner is not a simple thing to accomplish with two kids, partial custody, and a career that has me traveling nationwide practically every other week.

I'll make an analogy for my experience dating as single parent: Imagine two jigsaw puzzles of the exact same photograph, but each cut differently by the jigsaw.

I have written journals for years, but this is my first time sharing any of my feelings publicly.

When it came down to deciding what would be my first post, I went with the first thing that came to mind: The challenges of dating as a single dad.

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