Relationships aren’t always like the movies. Grand gestures and an expert narrator tell us very clearly whether a relationship is good or bad in Hollywood.
But in real life, it’s a little harder to spot if your relationship is mature (or not).
Most of the time, you just have a gut feeling that things are OK. But sometimes, you have to really look at things to make sure your relationship is right for you.
The signs that you’re in an emotionally mature relationship can be very subtle.
Let’s take a look at what they are!
1) You genuinely apologize to each other
Apologizing takes self-awareness and humility – both of which are traits of emotionally mature people.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who lacks emotional maturity, they probably won’t apologize much. And if they do, it won’t be very genuine.
A sign your relationship is very emotionally mature is if your apologies come with an explanation. Something like:
“When I said X the other day, I was just angry about X – it wasn’t really about you. I’m sorry”.
“I said X the other day because of X, but I can see why that hurt you and I’m sorry”.
The above isn’t just someone saying sorry for the sake of it! It’s a sign that someone’s reflected on what’s happened and is genuinely apologizing for it.
2) You notice if something’s off (and they do the same with you)
Another sign you’re in an emotionally mature relationship is if you pay attention to each other and notice when something’s wrong.
You’re not a mind reader and you don’t always know what’s wrong. But you can usually tell when something isn’t quite right with them.
If they’re quieter than usual, or seem a little sadder than they normally are, you notice it – and you ask them nicely about it.
And they do the same with you.
You’d never go weeks in a bad mood without your partner calling you out on it – asking what’s up. Nor would they.
Because when the relationship is mature, you get a sense of their general mood. And you can tell very quickly when something isn’t quite right.
3) You talk about “important” things
Communication is so important in relationships. It’s one of the most basic things you need for a healthy, emotionally mature relationship.
But it’s surprising how many relationships don’t involve conversations about the “deep” and important stuff. I know when I look back on many of my past relationships, I can see we didn’t talk about much at all!
If your partner stonewalls, gaslights, or shouts at you every time you try to have a conversation about something important, this isn’t good.
It’s actually one of the most obvious signs you’re in a relationship that isn’t emotionally mature!
But if you talk about things openly and feel safe sharing anything with your partner (and they feel the same way about you), it’s a great sign.
4) You’re empathetic towards each other
Having empathy is one of the biggest signs that you have emotional intelligence.
Therefore, it’s one of the main reasons why people who lack empathy don’t have a lot of emotional intelligence!
One of the clearest signs that you are your partner have empathy is in the way you treat each other.
Do you comfort them when they’re sad? Do you listen to them when they’re hurt? Do you care for them when they’re sick? Do you make an effort to understand how they’re feeling when something’s on their mind?
If the answer is yes to all of those questions (and it’s a yes for your partner, too), that’s great news. You’re in an emotionally mature relationship – and chances are, it’s just right for you.
5) You have “seriously” healthy boundaries
Everyone has boundaries in relationships. Most relationships have (what I call) “level one” boundaries.
Which are simple things, like not entering the bathroom when the other is using the toilet. Or putting the toilet seat down after using it.
But if it’s an emotionally mature relationship, the boundaries are much deeper and way more personal (i.e., they’re on “level two”).
For example, my partner has a boundary that we don’t talk about all the “mushy” things he does around his friends (or mention that he listens to Taylor Swift).
Whereas I have a boundary that, while we can occasionally make fun of each other one-on-one, we don’t do it around my brothers (who’d jump at the chance to join in!).
These are healthy boundaries that are deeper than just the basic things. And if you have little understandings like this in your relationship, there’s a high chance it’s an emotionally mature one.
6) You don’t intentionally make each other jealous
Everyone has their own kinks. Some people discuss and agree on making each other jealous to keep the spark alive. Each to their own – I say!
But when two people intentionally try to make each other jealous – just to get a reaction – this isn’t emotionally mature.
Feeling jealous of your partner isn’t an overall good feeling. It can make you feel angry and hurt – especially when it’s done on purpose.
If you do this in your relationship – liking pictures of other girls, flirting with guys in front of them, or doing anything else to spark jealousy – this isn’t a good sign.
But if you never do that with your partner (or you only do it within the boundaries you’ve set), this is way more emotionally mature.
Emotionally mature relationships are a little hard to come by. Not everyone has the same self-awareness or empathy levels as you do.
Plus, even though one person might be emotionally mature, that doesn’t automatically mean the entire relationship is!
Overall, an emotionally mature relationship requires both people to display healthy behaviors when living, communicating, and just generally being with each other.
And if you both recognize these signs in your relationship, then great news – you’ve hit the relationship jackpot!