9 Signs He Wants a Family with You for Real! Is He Ready to Commit?

I’ve counseled countless women on decoding the signs that a man is ready to fully commit and start a family. These talks aren’t always easy, but they’re necessary to align expectations and determine if you envision the same future together.

From my experience, women are typically ready for commitment and children on a faster timeline than men. This disconnect frequently fuels arguments and misunderstandings in relationships. When is he going to pop the question? Does he even want kids like I do? Figuring out the answers is critical.

Some men have no qualms clearly verbalizing their intent and timelines. But most keep their cards close to their chest, requiring some sleuthing to decipher if you’re on the same page about building a life together with kids. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through the most revealing signs so you can determine if he’s all in or just stringing you along.

1. He Makes an Effort with Your Family

When a man envisions you in his future and as the mother of his children, he’ll make a concerted effort to bond with your family. He understands they’ll be his family too one day, especially any nieces or nephews who will be cousins to your kids.

  • Does he suggest visiting your parents even when you don’t?
  • Does he ask thoughtful questions when talking to your siblings and remember the details later?
  • Does he make an effort to attend important events like graduations, birthdays, or holidays to support you?

If he makes your family a priority now, he likely sees himself becoming a member of the family through marriage and children. It signals he’s in it for the long haul. Conversely, a guy who avoids interacting with your closest kin isn’t likely planning a future as one big happy family together.

2. He Openly Discusses What Your Kids Would Look Like

When guys gush about you having their babies and paint a picture about what they’d look like, it’s usually coming from a meaningful place. He isn’t just idly daydreaming about some abstract future. He’s envisioning himself building a life and legacy with you through children.

  • Does he muse about whether your kids will have his droopy eyes or your button nose?
  • Does he hope they inherit his athleticism or your intelligence?

Visualizing this level of detail about your yet-to-be-conceived children signals he subconsciously associates you as the mother of his children for the long run. It might mean he’s even ready to start trying now if you are too!

Certainly some guys make these comments casually without real intent to commit. But more often than not, it leaks out because he deeply desires that future children vision with you specifically.

3. He Goes Out of His Way to Interact with Kids

When you’re dating a guy who wants kids someday, his interactions with little ones will prove telling. Unlike confirmed bachelors, he’ll gravitate toward children instead of steering clear. And not just kids he’s related to—he’ll make an effort with all pint-sized people because he envisions himself as a dad.

  • Does he suggest visiting friends or family who have young kids?
  • Does he naturally engage with children in public, asking questions and making silly faces?
  • When you’re babysitting your niece or a friend’s toddler, does he stick around interacting instead of finding other plans?

A man who enjoys spending time with youth of all ages and goes out of his way to do so is subconsciously preparing for fatherhood. He knows kids will be his reality someday and he welcomes it.

Sure, some guys say they want kids way off in the distance. But their actions around little tykes reveals volumes. If your guy has ZERO affinity for interacting with youth, it’s quite possible he’s not serious about parenting plans anytime soon—or potentially ever.

4. He Openly Admits Wanting Kids with You

While most guys play it close to the vest about envisioning kids with you specifically, some openly admit it. If he voluntarily verbalizes visions of mini versions of you running around without prompting, pay close attention.

He might comment about how beautiful your kids will be someday, or how he bet you’d be an amazing mom. Or he’ll affirm outright that he’s excited to have kids with you when the timing is right.

When men voluntarily plant these seeds about kids without you bringing it up first, it’s incredibly telling about their intentions. He wouldn’t indulge the thought if he didn’t genuinely see you as the future mother of his children.

Certainly proceed with some caution here too though. Some guys get caught up in the moment and make these comments lightly. But consistent and earnest admissions reveal his true desires to build that life stage with you.

5. He Mentions Things He Wants to Do Before Having Kids

It’s no secret that having kids changes life in an instant. Spontaneous getaways and lazy Sunday mornings become rare luxuries.

If your guy openly discusses bucket list items he wants to experience before entering the parenting phase, it means he associates you as the eventual mother of his kids. If that reality wasn’t on his radar at all, he wouldn’t be verbalizing those pre-kid bucket list activities in the first place.

Listen closely when he makes comments like:

  • I’d like us to travel to Europe just the two of us before we have kids.
  • I want us to be able to focus on enjoying newlywed life for a while first before bringing diapers into the equation.
  • Let’s make the most of lazy Sundays morning while we still can!

Statements like these strongly signal he envisions building a shared life with kids in the future—with you.

6. He Asks About Your Ideal Timeline for Marriage and Kids

If a guy bluntly asks when you envision getting married and having kids someday, two things are evident. First, he sees you as wife and mother material. He wouldn’t waste his time planning a future timeline with someone not worthy of those commitments.

Secondly, he’s trying to discern if your relationship timelines align. If you hope to marry and start a family within two years and he’s thinking more like six, it warrants a discussion around aligning mutual expectations.

The fact that he asks outright about these target time horizons at all says he’s not just idly fantasizing. He’s actively thinking about life milestones with you, which means he’s likely in it for the long run.

Pro tip: If he inquires about timing for these milestones, muster the courage to ask when he envisions them happening too. It opens the door for transparent conversations around your mutual readiness for commitment and kids.

7. He Mentions You’d Be an Amazing Mom

When a man says you possess innate mom prowess, it may come across like flattery initially. But it often indicates he envisions future motherhood for you—specifically of his own kids.

He might comment how sweetly you care for an ill friend, or your stellar instincts when babysitting your niece. These nurturing moments make him picture you nurturing his kids someday.

Or he may compliment traits he associates with extraordinary moms, like how incredibly patient, selfless and loving you are. Don’t diminish these comments as cheap flattery. They reveal his belief that you’re perfectly equipped for motherhood—hopefully of his own children.

If he didn’t see kids in your mutual destiny, he wouldn’t connect these compassionate traits to your future mommy abilities. So truly listen when he praises your motherhood potential. Chances are he genuinely hopes to build and share that life stage someday if kids are part of your plans too.

8. He Discusses How You’d Parent Differently Than Your Own Parents

Parenting philosophies polarize couples after having kids way more often than people anticipate pre-children. Diaper changing approaches and sleep training opinions can fracture even the strongest foundation.

That’s why a guy interested in committing sits down early to discuss how you envision navigating discipline, schooling and activities someday. He wants to eliminate major parenting perspective surprises down the road.

Specifically, he’ll inquire about what traditions you’d continue from your own upbringing—and where you differ. Does he handle conflict through discussion like you? Or anger like your parents did? Finding alignment and gaps beforehand is key.

If he cares enough to have these parenting philosophy talks before a pregnancy actually happens, he’s likely in it for the long run. Actually securing that shared vision elevates the chances you’ll parent harmoniously together someday.

9. He Prioritizes Building a Strong Foundation

When guys discuss “enjoying the phase of life we’re in” when marriage or kids come up, it sometimes sends women the wrong message. It makes them think he’s disinterested or dragging his feet unnecessarily.

But the reality is some men seek strong foundations before engaging in lifelong commitments like children together. They know babies light dynamite to relationships lacking robust pillars.

That means they mention things like:

  • I want to get to know each other inside and out before complicating life with kids.
  • It’s important we travel and share adventures before taking on such demanding roles.

Statements like these underscore he sees a future with you—but wants to create firm bedrock first. A strong, lasting relationship relies on continued courtship. He understands babies disrupt that courtship priority, so he wants to foster intimacy deliberately now.

If this sounds like your guy, he likely very much wants a family someday. He just places high value on nurturing your connection first. Once he feels your foundation is ironclad, he’ll likely feel more ready embracing commitments like children.

The key is maintaining open and honest dialogue around intentions and timelines so you stay aligned. Make space for regular check-ins around what “being ready” means for both of you. When you see yourself having kids versus his vision determines everything regarding building a future together.

Ultimately the signs are endless when a man sees long-term family potential with you. But these 9 behaviors and conversations offer the most valuable glimpse into his state of mind.

Hopefully you feel better equipped to determine if he’s truly ready to commit fully to you—and eventually babies! Wishing you clarity and aligned next steps on the path ahead, whatever direction they take. You deserve nothing less.

I'm Sarah Koch, a Relationship Coach based in Austin, Texas. With over 9 years of professional experience and degrees in Sociology and Counseling Psychology from UT Austin, I specialize in helping people build healthy, fulfilling relationships. On this blog, you'll find practical tips and insightful guidance for improving communication, resolving conflicts, increasing intimacy, and fostering deeper connections in your romantic relationships, family dynamics, friendships and more.

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Mrs & The Misc is a passion project from life coach and mom Sarah Koch. With a background in psychology and years of empowering personal growth, Sarah shares bite-sized wisdom and practical tools for fostering healthy relationships, achieving goals, elevating well-being, and living with intention.

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