Are you in a relationship where you feel like you’re dating an immature person? Are you finding it difficult to have mature conversations with them? The “let’s see what happens” and “go with the flow” mindset might have charmed you in the beginning but now the whole uncertainty is getting on your nerves.
It’s not wrong to let things loose and not stress about anything. But it gets difficult when you’re in a relationship and there’s no support from the other party. The support can be of any kind —financial, intellectual, or emotional. They don’t lend a hand in household chores, they don’t pay heed to your sexual needs, and they aren’t equipped to handle conflicts. This is when you are left feeling that you are dating an immature person.
What Does Immaturity Look Like In A Relationship?
There are three types of couples who commonly face issues in their relationship:
- Whirlwind romance: Couples who rush the relationship. They participate in falling in love too fast too soon which makes them feel asphyxiated when the honeymoon phase withers. The relationship begins to suffocate them. The love soon dwindles and they get bored
- Stagnant relationship: Then there are couples who witness zero growth in the relationship and they feel like they are trapped. The growth could be of any kind such as financial, mental, or intellectual
- Argumentative partners: Finally, there are couples who are constantly quarrelling and fighting regardless of how big or small the problem is. They don’t know how to fight and end up hurling abuses at one another
There are two things common in such relationships. The first is immaturity on either or both sides. The second is lack of communication.
You don’t immediately see the signs of immaturity in adults. When I was dating my former boyfriend, one of the first signs that hinted at his immaturity was how casual he was about name-calling others. He would casually fat-shame people walking on the road as if it’s funny. When I tried to tell him it’s wrong, he said, “Don’t act like you’re Mother Teresa”. That’s one of the signs of an immature boyfriend. Insulting and name-calling.
13 Signs You Are Dating An Immature Person And What Should You Do
For a very long time, I was under the impression that maturity comes with age. That’s what we were taught. That there is a certain age where you get mature enough to fall in love, go out on dates, get a job, get married, and have kids. That’s pure hogwash. Maturity doesn’t come with age. It comes with empathy, experience, and from learning through hardships. Below are some of the signs you could be dating an immature person.
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1. Inability to accept when they are wrong
One of the main things that keeps a relationship running harmoniously is accountability. It’s how you accept and take responsibility, and claim your part when you have done something wrong. Accountability is important because it helps in empathizing with the other person. An immature person won’t like to admit they are wrong. And even if they admit they are wrong, they won’t apologize for or make amends for their mistakes.
When asked on Reddit about the signs of immaturity in adults, one user replied, “Failure to take responsibility for their actions, can’t accept constructive criticism, completely rely on others for basic things.” Another user replied, “When they refuse to accept corrections and think they are always right.”
2. Being unaware of how their actions have consequences
Following from the previous point, one of the signs of an immature person is when they don’t care about how their actions affect other people. An emotionally immature person will care only about their needs and wants. They lack empathy. An inflated sense of self-importance and inability to empathize with others are some solid indicators of immaturity in a woman/man.
One Reddit user shared, “If they are unaware of how their actions affect others, if they won’t take personal responsibility for their actions, if they think being genuine and vulnerable is something to mock rather than admire”, these are the signs of an immature person.
3. Constantly fighting
Does your partner always assume you are trying to pick fights with them? If yes, then it’s one of the signs of immaturity in a woman or man. You approach them in a calm situation and you try to have a neutral conversation, but they still assume you’re creating a scene. They have no idea about fair fighting in a marriage. All they want to do is keep their points on the table without listening or understanding their partner’s side.
The signs of an immature boyfriend or the signs of emotional immaturity in a woman can look like these: they try to steer clear of arguments. They will refuse to take part in a conflict because they can’t handle intense emotions. Or, they are bull-headed and adamant about picking a fight. Fights are common in every relationship. But there’s a way and time to have a fight.
Joanna, a saleswoman in her early 30s, says, “You can’t wake up in the middle of the night and have a fight because someone said something in the morning, and you let it simmer till you gathered enough points through the day to start a fight. That’s just evil. If there’s something wrong, talk about it (at an appropriate time) rather than overthinking it and blurting it out when it’s convenient for you to have a fight. The other person should also be in the right state of mind to talk through the issues.”
4. An immature person wants to control everything
This is one of the things I am guilty of doing. It started small. I made sure we watched the movies I liked and had dinner at places I suggested. The more he yielded to my demands, the more controlling I became. I wanted to control every aspect of our lives. I wanted him to spend quality time as and when I liked. It pissed me off when he used to say he is busy. I had all the clear signs of a controlling woman.
I began to exert a kind of negativity that affected my mental health. I stopped recognizing myself and knew that I am showing signs of immaturity in a woman. Before my partner could realize he was with a controlling partner, I decided to mend my ways and stop being so immature. I realized I can’t control someone just because they love us and just because we fear they’ll hurt us.
5. An immature person wants attention and they are clingy
How do you know someone is immature? When they constantly demand attention from their partner. They feel like the attention they are getting is less and that they deserve more. People who are immature often compare attention to self-worth. The more attention they receive, the more it boosts their self-esteem.
One of the signs of immaturity in a woman (or anyone) is when they feel like they need to be in the spotlight everywhere they go. Another sign of an immature person is being clingy. They forget that their partner is an individual with a life of their own. A mature person will respect their partner’s alone time and won’t cling to them 24×7.
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6. Incapable of accepting other people’s opinions
One of the major signs of an emotionally immature partner is when they refuse to accept the other person’s opinion. It’s all about them. Their thoughts, their feelings, their opinion, and their decisions. The ‘me factor’ will be apparent in an immature person. They will have a hard time accepting and understanding someone else’s thoughts.
7. Arguments lead to personal attacks
How do you know someone is immature during a conflict? No two people can think and act the same way. Hence, difference of opinion is inherent in every relationship. But when they resort to name-calling and personal attacks during a fight, it’s one of the signs of an immature boyfriend/girlfriend/partner. An immature person will use your vulnerability against you. These are often known as subtle forms of emotional abuse.
They attack you with petty insults when the argument is slipping from their hands. They will critique your opinions but when you criticize them, they will quickly defend themselves by attacking you. This is where you need to consider if breaking up with an emotionally immature man or woman is your only option or if they are capable of change.
8. Irresponsible spending habits
This is one of the most common signs of immaturity in adults. It’s one thing to spend when you can afford to. But if you are regularly spending hundreds of dollars on things you don’t need, then it’s clear you are financially irresponsible. Overspending or underspending can lead to financial stress in relationships.
Joseph, a Senior Director at an I.T. firm, says, “You need to make a budget and stick to it like glue. Impulse purchases and splurge-spending will put you in so much debt if you aren’t careful. If you keep swiping your credit card without thinking twice, it might even start affecting your relationships.”
9. Poor listening skills
An immature person will speak a lot but won’t listen and comprehend what you are saying. If you are feeling unseen and unheard in your relationship, then there are chances you are with a partner who demands attention, love, and respect all the time but refuses to treat you better.
A user on Reddit shared, “I had that with my ex. It was definitely a choice he would make. People don’t just accidentally have selective listening. They choose to tune out things which they do not consider important to them. Sometimes it’s acceptable (ranting about your day) but other times it isn’t.
“My current partner and I always make a very clear distinction between when we’re ranting and when we actually want to TALK. I like that my current partner will always actively talk back to me while I’m talking and make it a conversation, not a one-sided rant — we definitely remember details about each other far more that way.”
10. Bullying the other person
How do you know someone is immature? When they bully you. Relationship bullying is fundamentally characterized by one partner trying to ascertain their superiority over the other by intimidating, asserting dominance, gaining control of the relationship, manipulation, and by physically assaulting them.
Such people attack the other person to feel better about themselves. It elevates their sense of self-esteem and boosts their ego. They often feel confident by putting other people down. They will make you feel as if you don’t deserve them. When you confront them about this, they will get defensive and say, “Learn to take a joke” or “Don’t take it so personally”.
But when you try to do the same, they will take it personally and make it a big deal. If your partner is bullying you and it’s taking a toll on your mental health, then you should consider talking about it. If they refuse to agree, then breaking up with an emotionally immature man/woman should be your best option.
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11. Dismissing other person’s feelings
Invalidation of your feelings is one of the signs of an immature person. It damages the relationship because you are left feeling insignificant. When you share your feelings with your partner, they are supposed to make you feel heard.
Their general response should be, “I hear what you are saying. I understand”. But when they dismiss the issues you bring up, then it’s one of the signs of emotional immaturity in a woman/man. A Reddit user shared their definition of immaturity in a relationship: “Inability or unwillingness to look at a problem or issue through your partner’s perspective.”
12. An eye for an eye will be an immature person’s motto
An immature person will fight fire with fire. They will make sure to hurt you when you’ve hurt them. Or they will make sure you feel miserable about hurting them even after you’ve apologized. When you’ve been in a relationship for some time, you know your partner’s attitude very well and what will affect them.
When they take advantage of that and hurt you because you’ve hurt them, it’s one of the signs you are dating an immature person. They will hold grudges against you and will get back at you eventually. If this doesn’t stop, you might have to consider breaking up with them.
13. They get jealous easily
We all get jealous sometimes. It doesn’t mean we are insecure or have low self-esteem. However, a never-ending feeling of jealousy means you are dealing with an immature person. Help your partner work on their self-confidence and let them know you won’t do anything to hurt them.
One Reddit user shared their definition of an immature person, “Obsessing over who your partner is texting and forbidding them from pursuing friendships with members of the opposite sex, or the same sex.”
How Do You Deal With An Immature Person?
Before breaking up with an emotionally immature man/woman, help them recognize the problem. Sit down and communicate about this. If the other person is willing to understand and make changes, then that’s the first step. Some of the other things you can do to deal with an emotionally immature partner are:
1. Create healthy boundaries
Tell your partner that boundaries are healthy and it helps in minimizing conflicts. Unhealthy boundaries in relationships can cause a lot of problems which may be hard to deal with and resolve. It’s time you make your stance clear on your needs and wants. And always be sure to communicate with respect when talking about such delicate matters.
2. Ask your partner to take some alone time
Asing for alone time doesn’t mean you are trying to get away from your partner. It means focusing on yourself. Alone time is self-care. It helps one rejuvenate.
3. Seek professional help
When nothing works, it’s time to get professional help. Ask your partner to talk to a therapist or go to couple’s counseling together. A professional will understand your problems way better than anyone else. If you’re looking for guidance, Bonobology’s panel of experienced counselors is only a click away.
4. Take a relationship break till you are sure about them
A break from relationship doesn’t mean a breakup. It means spending time apart to assess the relationship and be sure about the person. It gives the necessary time and space for both the parties to evaluate their growth and that of the relationship, to heal from conflict, and to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Nobody matures overnight. There are areas every person struggles to deal with. If your partner is emotionally immature, then you can help them get better, or if it gets too much, you can part ways.
One of the main things that makes someone immature in a relationship is making the other person responsible for yourself, whether it’s about your mental or physical health, feeding habits, cleanliness, or anything else.
Yes. Everyone can grow and change in the areas they struggle with as long as they’re ready to take responsibility for themselves, and if you support them through it. It won’t happen in the blink of an eye. The change will take place steadily.