10 Signs You Are Dating A Boy, Not A Man

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There is a big difference between dating a real man and dating a boy, or worse still, a man child. So if you’re in a relationship, it’s important to ascertain which category your significant other falls into. A man brings a stable, strong, and consistent partnership to the table whereas a boy is often too consumed by his own wants, needs, and desires to offer anything of value to their partner or the relationship.

Needless to say, if you’re looking for long-term commitment and stability, you’d want to be with the former. That’s why knowing the difference between a boy and a man in a relationship is vital for its future. But since it’s hard to get to really know somebody right away, it might be hard to ascertain what kind of person your beau is.

The difference between a boy and a man in a relationship can be easy to spot, provided you know what you’re looking for. To make sure you don’t end up mislabeling your man and missing out on a good thing, as a result, let’s take a look at the difference between dating a man vs a boy.

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10 Signs You’re Dating A Boy Not A Man

We all want a life partner with whom we can build a meaningful relationship and not someone who is constantly in need of babysitting. A lot of us actually end up doing the opposite. In such relationships, we end up being the ones making all the compromises and even acting as parent figures to our partners.

Since nobody dreams of being in a relationship like that, it’s vital to figure out how to tell between a boy vs man. Before you know it, that guy who seemed like he had it all figured out might end up relying on you to find his laundry for him. Or he might just turn out to be incessantly jealous and may tell you to stop talking to your male friends, only because it bothers him.

“I want a man, not a boy,” you might think, trying to find the perfect partner for yourself. But unless you figure out how to tell which is which, you’re not really putting yourself in the best position to find a good partner for yourself, are you?

Knowing what separates a boy from a man might make all the difference when it comes to making the right choice. Here are 10 signs you’re dating a boy not a man that you need to take note of, to set the course of your relationship choices on the right path:

1. He runs away from responsibilities

Companionship and responsibility work hand in hand. Try to find out whether your guy is capable of taking up responsibilities in times of distress or does he buckles under pressure. Actions speak louder than words and it is these little details that separate a boy from a man.

If you’re figuring out how to tell if he thrives under pressure or not, taking note of how he is at his workplace might just do the trick. Or even at home, during trying times, does he run away from the problems coming his way or does he think of the next step? Mind you, deflecting blame and playing the victim card at every given opportunity is a way of running away from responsibilities.

2. He is not a one-woman man

Boys are flirtatious and gullible. A boy may act interested, then back off. They flirt, they cheat, and then come back to you all teary-eyed and sorry about their transgressions. The difference between a boy and a man in a relationship is that a man will stick by you and honor his commitment to you. He is not easily swayed by childish impulses.

When trying to figure out the differences between dating a man vs a boy, try to analyze his dating history and how much he values monogamy. If he has admitted that his past relationships have ended because of his infidelity, it’s definitely a cause for concern.

Even so, it’s not guaranteed he’ll make the same mistake again or that he’s always going to be this way. Communicate with your partner, and try to figure out where he lies on the whole monogamy aspect of things currently.

3. He’s insecure

If your partner is always unnecessarily insecure about you around other men, it’s a clear sign you’re dating a boy not a man. A mature, evolved man is confident, which makes it possible for him to trust his partner effortlessly and feel secure in his relationship. Boys often grapple with unreasonable jealousy, which they justify with the most absurd reasons.

Sometimes, his insecurity might not even be directed toward you. He may end up having severe self-esteem issues that lead him to shy away from opportunities when they come his way. Of course, if the insecurity issues are a result of mental health issues, there may be more at play here. Even so, he must be willing to accept help.

dating a man vs a boy: there will be a lot of fights
His insecurities might cause a lot of fights too

4. He’s indecisive

How many of you have been bothered by boyfriends who are always confused? If he has myriad questions about the most insignificant, routine things, how do you expect him to cope with important, life-changing decisions? A clear difference between dating a real man and dating a boy is indecisiveness. This is a glaring sign you’re dating a man-child.

A person who develops cold feet whenever he’s required to step up and make a decision is far from being a mature, responsible adult. If that description aptly fits your partner, you know you’re with a boy.

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5. He’s emotionally immature

You feel exhausted by his constant need for attention. He’s a bad listener and a big talker. He plays emotional games just to “test” you every now and then and throws a hissy fit whenever things don’t go his way. Using a condom goes against his inflated sense of machismo. If your partner checks all these boxes, you have got the signs that you’re dating a boy, not a man.

The difference between a boy and a man in a relationship can be seen in how he deals with things that irk him. Does he cry over spilled milk, ruining his mood and that of those around him for the rest of the day? Or does he immediately realize that what he needs to do now is figure out the next step?

Emotional immaturity can lead to animosity you might not even realize is brewing in your relationship. When you’d rather not tell him about something that happened to you because you know his response is going to ruin your day, something along the lines of “I want a man, not a boy” must be going through your mind.

6. He is known to act on impulse

One of the things that separate a boy from a man is the inability to think their actions through. A boy is more likely to live for the moment and act on his impulses, throwing all caution to the wind — something a mature adult who’s been through the grind of life never would.

If he buys those expensive shoes even though he doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from, quits a job just because he feels “done with it”, drinks more than he can handle and gets into trouble for it, your partner is a long way from becoming a strong, reliable man you can lean on for love and support.

7. He lacks professional stability

Boys often oscillate between jobs, and at times, don’t even think twice before quitting a job without securing the next one. They have these idealistic ideas about freedom and revolution. Men persevere and work their way through the up and downs of their professional journey.

Naturally, the former grapple with professional instability, which can, in turn, become a trigger for unpredictable behavior. This can lead to bitterness in the relationship.

8. He has an inflated ego

A key difference between a boy and a man in a relationship is that boys value their egos way more than they value their partners. These kids would never let their egos falter, even at the expense of their relationship. Their masculinity is way too much in your face, and they hold a grudge against you, even for the smallest of reasons.

Real men sort out misunderstandings without bickering and quarreling. They don’t resort to flamboyance to feel good about themselves either. In the debate of the traits of a boy vs. man, you often notice that the boy tries to reiterate that he’s a “man”. While grown-up men don’t need to say it, they just show they are.

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9. He struggles with your intellect

Another difference between dating a real man and dating a boy is that the former would value your thoughts and appreciate your intellectual instincts, and work toward establishing intellectual intimacy in the relationship.

A boy, on the other hand, struggles to make his peace with the fact that the woman he is with has a mind of her own. If you often feel that your opinion isn’t valued or find yourself at the receiving end of a lot of passive-aggressive mansplaining, it’s may well be because your partner is just a boy who can’t handle your intellect.

Related Reading: 15 Top Signs Of A Selfish Boyfriend

10. He’s selfish in bed

If all your sexual escapades are about his pleasure and his desires, you’re definitely with a boy who still has a lot to learn about relationships and intimacy. A real man knows that sex is a two-way street, and your satisfaction matter as much as his. The difference between a boy and a man in a relationship can clearly be seen in the bedroom, with how he values your feelings and wants.

So if you are in such a relationship, re-evaluate your choices before it’s too late. If not, then keep these tell-tale signs in mind when you’re dating to make sure the man of your dream is a real man.


1. How do you know if a guy is not the one?

Signs he’s not the one for you might be subtle, since yours might feel like a happy relationship. Perhaps you won’t like to spend time with him all the time, or you two might have some differences that you’re trying to look past. If he’s not the one, the problems that exist in your relationships will probably be left unchecked, and an unwillingness to work on them will cause major rifts.

2. How can you tell if a guy is immature?

If a guy is immature, he’ll probably have an inflated ego, he will act on impulse more often than he cares to admit and he’ll probably be extremely insecure/jealous. Lacking emotional maturity is one of the biggest signs that a guy is immature.

3. What is an adult relationship supposed to be like?

An adult relationship is supposed to be a healthy relationship, that facilitates growth for each partner. The fundamentals of any relationship, which are: mutual respect, trust, love, communication, and personal space must all exist in an adult relationship.

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