Have you ever met couples in happy, successful relationships?
Then there are other relationships that don’t seem to work as well because of a variety of factors.
So what sets these two groups apart? Well, the maturity of each individual certainly plays a very important role, as it influences their decision-making and ultimately, the success of the relationship.
Without further ado, here are 10 things mature people avoid in relationships.
1) Playing the blame game
When couples get into arguments, it’s easy to blame the other person. In fact, it may also be a reflex response, because they just want to find fault and absolve themselves of any wrongdoing.
But this is the classic behavior of someone who’s not mature enough to handle conflicts in a relationship.
When couples fight, both must see that the problem they’re trying to address is the issue itself – not each other.
When the argument becomes personal and both want to emerge as ‘winners’ in the argument, the battle has already been lost, as the relationship will start to sour.
There’s no regard for the relationship at all because both are too busy trying to blame the other person.
Wise people understand the importance of addressing an issue together.
When your partner makes you unhappy, you’ll naturally want to talk to them less. You may put distance between yourself and your partner just so you can cool off or even, punish them.
You may also completely shut down and refuse to speak to your partner after arguments or during particularly difficult, and emotional times.
Such behavior isn’t helpful in building a successful relationship, which is why mature individuals never do this. Instead, they work together to find a solution to the problem.
While it’s important to set aside time to cool off after a heated discussion or fight, it’s crucial to always come back together to talk things through. This will help provide closure as both of you move forward without bearing any grudges.
3) Having unrealistic expectations
Before entering a relationship, we often have expectations of our partners. Maybe we want them to be smart, kind, patient, good-looking, musically talented – sometimes, all of the above.
While it’s important to find someone who truly cares and loves you, sometimes, people may place unrealistic expectations on their partners that they are unable to meet. As a result, they feel hurt and unloved.
Some of these expectations include expecting their partners to meet all of their needs – like physical, social, and mental needs.
But mature people understand that their partners have limitations. While their partners will try their best, it’s impossible to expect another human to meet all of your needs.
4) Being passive aggressive
Passive-aggressiveness is a commonly used weapon to get back at the other person after a disagreement. For those of us who have been on the receiving end of this, we know how much this can hurt.
Passive-aggressive phrases that emotionally immature people may use include:
- ‘I’m fine’
- ‘I was only joking, don’t take it seriously’
- ‘Whatever you want’
- ‘You’re the expert’
Instead of being open and direct about their feelings, they’d rather hide behind this extremely unhelpful behavior, which can lead to a breakdown in relationships.
On the other hand, mature individuals address issues with open, healthy communication. This helps resolve conflicts effectively, without having to harbor ill feelings toward the other person.
5) Comparing their partner with others
I’ve had friends (both female and male) scrolling through social media, looking at attractive models, and telling their partners to either dress like them or look like them.
To me, this is one of the most disrespectful things one can do. It tells the other person that they’re not enough, instead of accepting them for who they are.
This could also extend to people beyond those on social media, such as colleagues and friends.
Immature people will look at another person, admire their looks and personality traits, and tell their partners that they should be more like them.
In some cases where you want your partner to improve on negative habits, such as getting upset easily or being impatient, and you want them to emulate certain positive behaviors of another person, then this may be okay.
Rather than putting them down, this encourages them to be a better person, by emulating someone more of a role model.
6) Testing or provoking their partners
This is a classic behavior of people who enjoy gaslighting or manipulating their partners into doing something they want.
I knew a friend who used to have a partner who would purposely say things to provoke her to get a certain reaction. And he did this because he found it amusing – how disrespectful can someone be?
They’ll end up quarreling, and well, it’s to no one’s surprise that they’re no longer together.
7) Refusing to apologize
People who are mature enough to acknowledge their mistakes and the hurt they’ve caused will 1) take responsibility for their actions and 2) genuinely apologize.
They are willing to put aside their pride, humble themselves, and take responsibility for what they’ve done. Beyond being the decent thing to do, it shows the other person that you value and respect them.
Ultimately, if you care a lot for another person, you’d want to show it – and apologizing for your mistakes is a simple but significant way of doing so.
8) Having a lack of boundaries
While having boundaries is important, it’s often ignored in many relationships.
People often think that denying your partner something or setting aside time for yourself is selfish and akin to not ‘loving’ your partner enough.
This kind of thinking is harmful as it forces you to overlook your needs for the sake of your partner.
Granted, sometimes we may need to make small sacrifices, but setting boundaries is essential to caring for the mental health of both parties.
The last thing you want to do is feel as if you’re the only one contributing to the relationship, and forcing yourself to go along with your partner’s demands.
Couples in successful relationships not only value time spent together, but also time spent apart. They take themselves out on solo dates, or spend time with friends.
This allows them to pursue personal projects, self-growth and maintain personal space to do things they enjoy.
It also avoids…
9) Being over-reliant on your partner
While our partners may be the first people we look to for comfort and advice, turning to them for every single problem and issue may instead result in being over-reliant.
They may eventually turn into our sole source of comfort and advice, which can cause undue stress on them and narrow our worldview. Our individuality may also start to erode, and start to share the same beliefs and values with our partners.
Therefore, it’s important to maintain your individuality – and those in healthy relationships understand this – because it prevents you from losing yourself entirely in the relationship.
Because what happens if it doesn’t work out? You may completely lose your identity.
10) Not spending quality time with your partner
Someone may be physically present next to you, but their minds may be a thousand miles away.
A couple may have spent an entire day together, but they were on their phones the whole time.
Compare this with someone who had a two-hour dinner without distractions with their partner, and you’ll see that the latter had a deeper connection with their partner.
Mature people know how to be present. They want nothing but to be with their partner and will set aside time and any distractions, actively listen, and enjoy the time spent together.
Being in a relationship is a wonderful, beautiful thing, but it’s also hard work.
The difference between mature and immature people in relationships is that the former is willing to put in the time and effort into making things work.