For those of you ladies who complain that your latest dates had the collective maturity level of a pack of high school freshmen, it might be time to turn to an often over-looked demographic: The single dad. Nothing in life bestows character quicker than fatherhood. For a man who has mastered the fine art of getting children off to school on time, nurturing a woman comes much more naturally. Charlie Sheen aside, a daddy might just be the answer to your romantic prayers.

1. He listens
A father that is tuned into his kids has learned how to listen. He has more patience and less of a need to impress other people with his own babbling.

"Sam was terrific at giving his undivided attention to his children," relates Jessica. "I saw how patient he was with them, and my heart melted. When we talk, I never feel as if he's just waiting to tell his own story."

2. He is more approachable
A dad is easier to get to know because his kids are a great conversation starter. You can instantly start communicating about something genuine, without worrying too much about spilling anything on your big date. He's seen it all before, and he probably has part of his kid's lunch on his tie anyway. "I liked Tom right away because he had such a great sense of humor," says Nancy.
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"So many men I had dated previously spent too much time and energy being 'cool.' It just made me nervous. When I met Tom, he was sitting in a sandbox at the park with his four-year-old. Not intimidating — adorable."

3. He is capable
Men who can't handle the laundry, the cooking or the shopping need not apply for fatherhood. A single dad with total or partial custody of his children is capable of incredible feats of organization and planning. (Just like most women we know.) He's taking care of his own needs and the needs of his children, which means that the woman he dates won't have to take care of him.

"My ex-boyfriend couldn't even manage to buy postage stamps. He had to steal mine. So when Jeremy came into my life already knowing how to multi-task, he didn't steal anything but my heart," laughs Wendy. "He is terrific at seeing to the needs of his son and daughter... and he makes a mean lasagna."

4. He doesn't have a lot of time for channel surfing
Single dads will still make time for their favorite team once in a while, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one that devotes significant parts of his day to video games. With children around, his priorities have probably been straightened out.

"I love spending the day with Jasper and his daughter at the zoo or the park," Maria says. "He wants to be a dynamic father, and this makes him and interesting and active person by default. It's great!"

5. He'll give you space
Like it or not, dads need quality time with their children — alone. Instead of looking at this time as negative, however, you should see it as welcome space. It's a built-in guarantee that you'll have the opportunity to pursue your own interests and family relationships.

"Gary had his children every weekend, and I try to make sure they get some time on Sunday all to themselves," says Caroline. "I have brunch with my girlfriends or parents or I go to an art museum. This time has become very important to me."

Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time. At the risk of profoundly worrying her mother, she admits that her own life bears out this research.