As a dating coach, a lot of unhappy women contact me every day.
What I’ve observed is that there seems to be a particular factor that amplifies emotional distress more than any other factor:
Nothing is more devastating and heart-rending than being in a toxic romantic relationship.
…Especially with an immature boyfriend
An immature guy will drive you insane (no jokes).
The thing is this: a man’s age doesn’t matter as much as his ability to handle life’s issues and responsibilities that come with being in a relationship.
Sadly, there are a lot of grown men who act like kids.
How can I tell if my partner is emotionally immature?
Your boyfriend may be 31, but he’s trapped in a 13-year-old body – behaving and acting like a teenager.
He’s a man-child.
Now, I’m not talking about a guy who enjoys playing video games all day –which could be part of it, though
But what I’m about to share with you is a more profound issue that can prevent you from having the amazing relationship you desire and deserve — now and even in the future.
First, let me answer the following question so you have a clearer idea of the signs of an immature boyfriend.
What makes someone a man-child?
Definition of a man child: “A man who has the qualities of a child: a childlike man.”
-Merriam Webster Dictionary
In other words, he’s a grown man who behaves like a child and doesn’t take responsibility for his actions, holds grudges unnecessarily, is very unreliable, always gives excuses, and blames everyone else and not himself.
His home is always a mess and all…
Simply put, he has what psychologists call the peter pan syndrome.
What is the peter pan syndrome?
“An adult who does not want to grow up: one who hangs on to adolescent interests and attitudes.” – Merriam Webster Dictionary
The University of Granada puts it best:
“The ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ affects men (and women) with the body of an adult, yet the mind of a child. They are simply stuck in that aura of ‘never growing up’ – emotionally and mentally.”
What does an immature relationship look like?
How does an immature man affect the relationship?
One sure-fire sign of an immature relationship is that you always feel that something is missing. It’s like a void.
Plus, there’s a lack of commitment, communication, and reciprocity from your boyfriend’s end. You don’t feel loved, understood, and heard.
And in the end, it’s like you’re his parent and not his partner, like a mother-to-child relationship.
Acting childish, being silly, and in the spur of the moment can be fun –at times. Until you’re in a serious situation and it awfully impact you.
How can you tell if a guy is immature?
You may have noticed that emotionally immature guys always act without thinking twice. They tend to display irresponsible behaviors that wrongly impact others.
He could buy an expensive car with your shared savings without even informing you. And then say something along the lines of, “dear, this car seems cool. Don’t you like it?” just like that.
In other words, he’s recklessly impulsive.
With that being said, below are true-life stories of women dating emotionally immature boyfriends.
How do you recognize immature men?
19 Signs You’re Dating An Immature Boyfriend
1. Conversations With Him Are Difficult
He takes everything to a personal level (and makes you feel bad for feeling bad)
Helen, 24, is dating Evans, who is 35. And they have been seeing each other for two years.
She loves him with all her heart. They’re like two peas in a pod.
They have the same sense of humor. He makes her laugh like no one else. They like same music and even share the same political views.
But lately, she’s been questioning herself and realizing that her boyfriend is immature.
Her biggest issue is that he overacts and calls “time outs” over the silliest of things, which can sometimes go on for days or even weeks.
He takes things personally and makes her feel bad for feeling bad.
Helen got diagnosed with the condition that caused her extreme exhaustion. And as a 24-year-old with a first-class law degree, she isn’t going to let that get in her way.
She went for an interview and got it but never told them about her condition. And since they aren’t allowed to ask, she never told them.
On the other hand, her boyfriend went off on her, saying, “how unfair it was to them not to know about her condition.”
She was already feeling bad. But he made her feel worse about her condition and stopped talking to her for 3 days.
Call it gas lighting, guilt-tripping, or whatever, when a guy consistently makes you suffer like that, it’s a sign of an immature boyfriend.
The danger of dating an emotionally immature guy is that the relationship is constantly about him.
His insecurities make him want to feel good at your expense.
He looks for ways to point out your flaws and wrongs and make you feel terrible on the inside. This makes him feel good temporarily…
And the reason is because he can’t seem to figure out healthy ways to feel good about himself.
So, when that scenario happened, Helen tried to bring up the issue, but it lead to a difficult conversation between them.
And in the end, he told her, “had it been you weren’t suffering from extreme exhaustion, maybe this wouldn’t have been difficult in the first place.” And then went silent on her for days.
That’s him making you feel bad.
Notice that if this continues for long, then it’s a sign your boyfriend is emotionally immature.
2. He Doesn’t Pick Up After Himself
Abigail is 23. And she’s seeing Lukas, who’s 20.
They live together but fight almost every time. And that drives her crazy.
Lukas does many things that make her feel she’s dating a child.
Whenever his alarm goes off, she has to wake him up because he always shuts it off and goes back to sleep. He rolls over and ignores it until it stops.
Plus, he’s terrible at picking up after himself – despite several arguments they’ve had over it.
Abigail usually cleans up after him in the kitchen because he doesn’t do it unless it gets awful or she gets mad at him.
Another thing he does that drives her insane is, if something isn’t exactly where he saw or kept it last, he starts whining and complaining.
She loves him dearly, but sometimes, she feels like his mother.
They’ve been together for two years. And much of that has been happy.
What’s really frustrating is that most times, he acts much more immature than most guys his age.
She loves him when he’s acting his usual self, but it makes her want to be out of the relationship when he gets like this.
You may have dated (or are dating) someone like Lukas.
There are a lot of variations to this. It could be anything from picking up the tab on dates, unpaid bills or debts, or picking up his clothes around the house.
My question for you is: are you making excuses for his destructive behaviors and rationalizing his poor choices?
Is it something you can do for the rest of your life?
Because you should understand that when a guy doesn’t fully grow up, he’s going to farm out the hard work of adulthood to those closest to him
…And that person is likely you.
3. He Doesn’t Take Responsibility.
Pricilla is 23. And her boyfriend, Joel, is 27.
She came to me complaining that her two-year relationship is starting to wear her out emotionally.
This is her longest relationship, and she’s a bit of a ‘commitmentphobe.’ She gets easily wound up and agitated around him for the slightest things. And it’s suffocating her.
Now, she’s contemplating whether or not to ask him to leave.
Here’s the back story:
Joel moved in with her over a year ago, but he pays no rent. It was never an official “let’s move in together.” Joel slowly started bringing his stuff around and staying more often.
Pricilla earns about £400 less than him every month, yet he pays nothing. She pays £300 for utilities and rent monthly.
And whenever she brings it up, he claims he’s being “smart with money” and that since it isn’t his house, he doesn’t have to contribute.
And again, she has to act like his mother….helping him with laundry, washing up, even as far as putting toothpaste on his toothbrush in the morning.
“I sometimes feel like his babysitter,” she said.
Now, if you’re dating someone and you notice they’re quick to drop the ball in many ways related to life and work and chores, that’s a bad sign.
Look carefully; the way he treats the things he should be self-responsible for is a sure-fire sign of how he’ll maintain the relationship and treat you.
4. He Flirts With Other Women
Pricilla caught him talking and flirting with a girl online. And when she confronted him, he claimed he didn’t realize he was flirting.
He never for once mentioned to the girl he was in a relationship.
You see, one of the signs of an immature boyfriend is that he takes flirting with other girls as normal. He doesn’t see anything wrong with it. He sees it as a game.
In other words, he doesn’t know what he wants.
Guys like this might even cheat and blame it on you. After all, he’s not mature enough to manage his emotions and reflect on himself.
5. He Avoids Talking About the Future
There was a time Pricilla pointed out if he might like getting married and starting a family. His reply was….
“Yeah, I’ll if that’s what you want. But not until I’m at least 40 because I don’t want to ruin my life.”
The phrase “ruin my life” hurts her.
Joel sees marriage as the end of the road.
And even when she asked if he would leave her when she accidentally got pregnant, he said no but wouldn’t be happy about it.
This made her annoyed as she’d not like to be with a man who resented his kids for preventing him from living his life.
He further clarified that he wasn’t 100% sure if he’d want kids but would be happy either way, and it seems he would only be happy without them or resent them.
If you’re dating a guy like this, you deserve to know if he wants the same things as you do.
And if, after dating for some time, you still can’t bring up future talk of any kind (kids, home, pets, and marriage), you’re in the wrong relationship.
Here Are Other Signs Of An Immature Boyfriend.
6. They are not willing to try new things.
7. They Insist on Getting the Last Word In
8. They Constantly Ask for Reassurance
9. They are not willing to be vulnerable.
10. They don’t consider you when making decisions.
11. He can’t make a difference between love, lust, and infatuation.
12. They don’t like to compromise
13. They pull away in times of stress.
14. He can’t comprehend that you both need freedom and independence in the relationship.
15. He is always persistent and does not respect personal space.
16. Humiliates and insults you in public.
17. They keep things surface level.
18. It’s all talk and no action.
19. His balance between being funny and taking responsibility is broken.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do You Do When Your Partner Is Immature?
Honestly, immature guys lack boundaries for themselves.
If you plan on continuing the relationship, make sure your boyfriend knows how to respect your boundaries. You’ve got to create boundaries for yourself and enforce them no matter what.
He should respect you and respect what you want.
Can An Emotionally Immature Man Change?
The answer, of course, is an absolute YES. But one thing you should also keep at the back of your mind is that just because he CAN doesn’t mean he WILL.
Here Are 7 Signs an Immature Partner Is Ready To Grow Up
1. He opens up to you and allows himself to be vulnerable
2. He’s taking daily steps to accomplish his goals
3. He apologizes for his mistakes and takes responsibility for his actions
4. He’s choosing to spend more time with you
5. He’s consistent
6. He’s willing to talk out your issues like you’re on the same team
7. He brings up the future
Does His Immaturity Lead You To A Toxic Relationship?
It’s safe for me to assume that you’ve read this article from the beginning.
So, how many signs of an immature boyfriend do you think match with signs of a toxic relationship?
A lot of them!
In fact, emotional immaturity is the starting point of a toxic and abusive relationship.
Yes. Emotional immaturity does lead to a toxic relationship.
Breaking Up With an Emotionally Immature Man
Is it a good idea to break up with someone who is immature?
If you’re dating a guy who exhibits those signs I mentioned above and he’s unable to act like a mature man who has his act together, it’s time you get out before you’re in too deep.
Chances are, he’ll never change – especially if he doesn’t see anything wrong with his behaviors…
No matter how much you love him.
Now, men out there with different personalities show these signs differently.
In the final analysis, it’s up to you –whether or not to continue the relationship.
If he’s willing to adjust his behavior and wants to achieve something meaningful with you because he cares about you, there’s a high chance he’ll change for you…
But don’t force him to level up because people rarely change because you want them to.
They only change because they want to.