Given today’s holiday, I’ve been thinking a lot about fatherhood. My own dad, the friends of mine who have somehow gone from goofy kids to fathers before my eyes and the man who will father my own children someday (not sure who that is yet…well, I have a good hunch…I think).

I’m not eyeing the clock and rushing to the altar, but I am at the point in which I’d only involve myself seriously with someone who I could see myself marrying. And one of the things I’m assessing these days is “daddy potential”: does he want children? Does he appear to have the potential to be a loving, compassionate and thoughtful dad? Would I want a son to emulate him? And a daughter to see him as her first image of manhood? Can this person teach our children the values I want them to learn?

Are you looking at a man’s potential to be a good father when dating? What sort of clues may make you feel like someone could be a great dad? What may cause you to feel otherwise? Do you talk parenting with mates at this point, or are you waiting until you are ready to have children?

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