8 signs you’re dating an emotionally immature person, according to psychology

You don’t want to be married to an emotionally immature partner, do you?

Then don’t date one!

The problem is that when we’re wearing rose-colored glasses, it’s hard to spot red flags.

Emotional immaturity, when we’re in love, looks normal to us—even cute. 

But if you truly care about your happiness, you gotta find out, and sooner rather than later!

Want to know if you’re dating an emotionally immature person?

Here are 8 signs to look for.

1) They get hurt when you set boundaries

When you say “No”—even if you have a good reason to—they act like you just stabbed their heart.

For example, if you say “Sorry, I’m broke right now” when they borrow $500, they’d give you the cold shoulder.

When you tell them you can’t hang out because you’re too tired, they’d roll their eyes and say you’re just making excuses.

After all, according to them, “people make time for the people they love.”

As far as they’re concerned, there’s never a valid reason for you to say “no” when you can, well…say “yes”.

Emotionally immature people have narcissistic traits.

Like a toddler, they think that the world revolves around them and that their partner should prioritize them no matter what.

They could also be lacking in empathy and that’s why they don’t know how to put themselves in other people’s shoes.

So even if you have a perfectly valid reason to say “no” to their requests, they’d still make you feel bad about it because they lack the ability to understand and share your feelings.

2) They feel attacked by almost anything you do

So not only do they feel bad when you set boundaries, they feel bad when you:

  • Give them constructive criticism
  • Don’t side with them
  • Don’t praise them or notice the things they do
  • Say not-so-nice things about anything related to them

Comments like “Your house is too white” or “I think you should start learning how to drive” would set them off.

And they don’t just sulk for a few hours. They feel deeply hurt for days (even weeks!) and will not talk to you until you beg them for forgiveness!

Having a very fragile ego and reacting violently to criticism are signs of emotional immaturity

If you decide to stay with a partner like this, expect that you’ll be walking on eggshells.

3) They’re passive-aggressive

Emotionally immature people find it hard to communicate what they truly feel. They simply lack the skills and maturity to do so.

And because they’re not able to communicate what they truly think and feel verbally, they show it in their actions hoping that you’d decode what they’re trying to say.

They would:

  • Give you the silent treatment
  • Say everything’s fine when it clearly isn’t
  • “Unintentionally” do things that could hurt you
  • Vague-post on social media
  • Be sarcastic
  • Be uncooperative just to piss you off

The problem with passive-aggressive behavior (aside from the fact that it can’t solve anything) is that it can quickly escalate small issues.

It can make mountains out of molehills because the receiver of passive aggression would surely get pissed off, too.

Many of our fights can be easily fixed by expressing our anger and frustration in an honest and respectful manner.

If your partner isn’t capable of this, then you might not be able to live happily ever after.

4) They can’t control their emotions

men do in relationships when they lack emotional intelligence 8 signs you're dating an emotionally immature person, according to psychology

Emotionally immature people suck at emotion regulation.

They’re also probably suffering from mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, or depression.

When they get frustrated at you, do they’d snap and say nasty things?

When you have a small argument, do they’d cry and scream and kick the wall?

Are they always charged and even the mildest of triggers can set them off so that you sometimes find yourself asking “Why am I dealing with such a baby?!”

While this may be cute at first, it can wear you out.

It can even affect your self-esteem once they start to get physically and verbally abusive.

If your partner finds it hard to control their emotions, they need to take the steps so they become emotionally mature. Otherwise, your life will be a living hell.

5) They’re always the good guy

“You made me do it!”

“Why do they treat me this way!”

“How dare you think I’m the immature one!”

They’re always the victim, and everyone else—including you—are the enemy.

They lack self-awareness and introspection. 

They don’t ask themselves questions like “Hmm, what did I do to contribute to this situation? What role did I play?”

They are also quite delusional. They don’t see things clearly.

And because of this, they don’t take accountability for their actions at all because they genuinely believe they’re blameless.

6) They love to gossip

Emotionally immature people love to gossip.


Because they always have a lot of negative things to say about other people!

They’re always the victim and everyone is their enemy, remember? And they’re also passive-aggressive.

This combo makes one more prone to gossip. 

They also love hearing gossip because it makes them feel relieved. Since they believe they’re the “victim” all the time, they have self-esteem issues.

And someone who has poor self-esteem likes hearing other people’s miseries.

What sucks is that if they’re your partner, you have no choice but to listen to tear down other people.

And so you slowly become emotionally immature, too.

7) They want to be chased

You already said you’re sorry…but it’s never enough for an emotionally immature person!


Because their ego is bruised, they want you to suffer for a little while until they feel they’re superior again.

They want to see you beg, cry, and go down on your knees. They want you to write them long love letters to show how sorry you are.

They want to feel loved and adored.

And this is hard to do because they’re often very insecure.

Not only that, they’re also not the wisest.

They don’t have the wisdom to know that:

  • People are generally flawed
  • Mistakes and fights are normal in a healthy relationship
  • There are bigger problems in life than relationship drama
  • It’s not about them

Emotionally immature people don’t have the capacity to let things slide or forgive easily.

If you hurt them (even unintentionally), you will have to pay!

8) “I’ll show you!”

Emotionally immature people love revenge.

And not just regular revenge, but the kind of revenge that can make their enemies shed bloody tears.

They act like a high school girl who wants to show up dashing in the prom after her crush ignored her. 

Or the high school boy who won’t share his notes to his friend after he jokingly said he’s too nerdy.

In other words, they want their revenge a bit extra.

So…assessment time.

Does your partner find pleasure in “putting people in their place”?

Do they laugh when the people they hate get in trouble?

Are they motivated by their anger?

Do they enjoy one-upping others because “they deserve it”?

Watch out!

They’ll do the same to you, too. That’s a guarantee.

Final thoughts:

Emotionally immature people are a pain in the ass. And if you choose one for a life partner, expect a lot of drama.

But if you’re genuinely in love with someone and they have plenty of redeeming qualities, you might want to give them some chance.

Don’t break up with them after reading this article!

Because look, we’re all a little immature.

You’d be lying if you tell me you haven’t done at least one of the things above!

So be aware of their tendencies, learn how to handle them, and encourage them to be a little more mature.

But if after a while you realize that they’re not willing to change, and their immaturity is really affecting your relationship, you both can go to therapy or part ways.

Being with an emotionally immature person for life can be extremely exhausting. I don’t recommend it.

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.