Maturity is less a matter of age than it is of experience. The things we go through, both physically and emotionally, shape our psychology and make us who we are.
That’s part of life. But not everybody has the same level of emotional maturity.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that emotional immaturity is something that only affects the young. Some people can go through their whole lives without ever doing the shadow work necessary to become emotional adults.
Emotional maturity means controlling your emotions, especially their outward expression.
And dating a person who is not capable of that can quickly make you feel more like you’rE parenting a child more than having a relationship with a partner.
Watch out for these signs that you are dating an emotionally immature man:
1) He overreacts
One of the key signs of an emotionally immature man is that he’s unable – or unwilling – to control his emotions.
That doesn’t mean that emotionally mature people are emotionless. Far from it. But an emotionally mature man can express his emotions in an appropriate and healthy way, without letting them control his actions.
The opposite is true for the emotionally immature man.
Just like children, emotionally immature people cannot stand frustration. Their reactions of anger when things don’t go their way will often be completely out of proportion to the problem, as is the case with kids.
While that’s forgivable in a toddler, it’s not something you should accept in an adult man.
2) He is selfish
Does your partner always prioritize his needs above your own?
We all have a right to pursue what makes us happy, but not at the expense of others. Especially not those we are in relationships with.
If you are with a man who always sees his needs as more important than yours, it’s a good sign he lacks emotional maturity.
3) He avoids serious conversations
Fortunately, being an adult doesn’t mean having deep conversations about the meaning of life all day long. In fact, retaining some elements of childishness contribute to a well-rounded personality.
But beware of somebody who routinely avoids serious conversations. That could be anything from the emotions you are feeling about your relationship to your plans for the future to the mysteries of the universe.
Here’s why: emotionally immature men spend most of their time thinking about themselves and their desires rather than pondering anything more meaningful.
That means they are out of their depth having serious conversations.
If your man doesn’t feel comfortable talking about serious topics, it may be because he’s not as emotionally mature as you are.
4) He blames others
As if that’s not enough, here’s another sure sign of a man who lacks emotional maturity: he blames others.
Taking responsibility is a key part of what it means to be an emotionally mature man. Mature people don’t blame others for the things that go wrong in their lives, but understand that their actions and outlook shape the future.
If your man constantly blames other people for his problems in life, whether it’s his parents, his boss, his friends, or you, it’s a good sign he still has a lot of growing up to do.
5) He loses his temper when things don’t go his way
Have you ever seen a toddler throw a full-blown temper tantrum?
It’s not a pretty sight. But it’s something every parent has to deal with as they go about the process of teaching their children how to handle their emotions in a healthy way.
Unfortunately, some people never get the message.
That means emotionally immature people can lose their temper when they don’t get what they want.
We all get frustrated from time to time. But if running into difficulties makes your man lose his cool and become angry, it’s a good sign he is not emotionally mature.
6) He sees things in black and white
Here’s the thing: we live in a complicated world. In the fairytales we tell children, good guys and bad guys are easy to identify, but we all know that in adult life, things aren’t so simple.
Unfortunately, emotionally mature people struggle to realize this.
And there’s more:
Immature men will often have extreme and uncompromising views, whether political, moral, or even just matters of taste.
Not being able to understand other people’s points of view and painting those you disagree with as villains is a sure sign of a man who hasn’t yet reached emotional maturity.
7) He chases the approval of others
It’s nice when other people praise what you’re doing. But emotionally mature people don’t need constant praise. They get their validation from within.
On the other hand, emotionally immature people have never developed the capacity to find their own internal validation. That means they seek it from others.
8) He is scared of commitment
It’s an old cliché that women want commitment while men try to avoid it.
But while that may be cute and funny in a Katherine Heigl movie, it’s not nearly so endearing in real life.
Real men aren’t afraid of commitment. Whether that’s in your relationship, in their work, or in any other walk of life, emotionally mature man will commit to something meaningful to them.
Does your man drift from one job to another constantly? Does he refuse to achieve relationship milestones such as moving in together? If so, he may be emotionally immature.
And that’s even more true if…
9) He doesn’t plan for the future
Benjamin Franklin used to say, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
You don’t have to be an inventor and founding father to appreciate the wisdom in that.
You don’t need to have every aspect of your life mapped out for the next ten years to be emotionally mature. But if a man has no idea of what he wants to do with his life and no clue of how to get there, it’s a good sign that he may be immature.
10) He is careless with money
Money problems can be one of the biggest dangers that can torpedo a relationship. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you and your significant other are on the same page when it comes to finances.
On the other hand, emotionally immature people are often careless with money. They behave as though there will always be able to find more where that came from because they never got out of the habit of being provided for by their parents.
It can be difficult to talk about money in a relationship. But it’s important if you want the relationship to last.
11) He never apologizes
It’s true that emotionally immature people never accept responsibility. Therefore, they almost never apologize, either.
Beware of a partner who thinks they’ve never done anything wrong. If he’s not man enough to apologize when he’s messed up, he’s not emotionally mature enough for a relationship.
12) He lies
Nothing damages a relationship like lies. But emotionally immature people don’t realize that.
Here’s why: people who aren’t emotionally mature are more concerned with avoiding blame than they are with setting things right.
That means they will often lie to paint themselves as the victim and avoid taking responsibility for anything that happens.
13) He doesn’t support you
I’m not talking financially.
Emotionally immature man will not support you emotionally because they are incapable of focusing on you at the expense of themselves.
That means your dreams and goals aren’t important to them.
Here’s the thing: emotionally mature people are secure enough in themselves to help other people achieve their goals. That’s even more true of people they are in relationships with.
If your man doesn’t encourage you to go after what you want, or even worse, tries to discourage you from bettering yourself, it’s a good sign that he needs to grow up – fast.
14) He is indecisive
To be able to make a decision, you have to be willing to accept the consequences.
That’s exactly what emotionally immature people can’t do.
By now, you probably realize that an emotionally immature man will do just about anything to escape responsibility for his actions.
Often, that will make him incapable of making a decision. Whether it’s about what to have for lunch or about the next big career move, an immature man will often try to avoid making any decision.
15) He doesn’t understand himself
One of the most frustrating things about being in a relationship with an emotionally immature person is that they are largely blind to their own faults.
Immature people avoid the deep work it takes to figure out who they really are. That means their actions and reactions to external events are a mystery to them as much as they are to anybody else.
Mature people can anticipate how they will feel and react in a given situation. On the other hand, those without that emotional maturity usually can’t.
If your man is a mystery to himself, it may be a sign he’s emotionally immature.
Dating and emotional maturity
Emotional maturity is key to a fulfilling relationship, and both partners need to have a similar level if they are going to be happy together.
If your man displays these signs of emotional immaturity, he may need to do some growing up. Otherwise, you may need to move on.