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You might have found someone amazing (lucky you!) – someone you’re attracted to, who’s great fun, and who all your friends love.
But as you’ve gotten to know them, you’ve noticed a few things that suggest they’re not as emotionally mature as you are.
This can really affect your relationship with them, and can put a massive strain on you too.
And whilst it needn’t always spell disaster, it’s good to know for sure whether your partner is emotionally immature.
Here are 13 signs that you can look for…
1. They avoid emotional intimacy.
One of the best things about being in a healthy, loving relationship is the ability to connect on a deeper level.
You’ve been through the dating stage of gently touching on surface-level issues, and you now have the intimacy and trust to talk about real life.
Or you should do, at least.
If your partner is unwilling to have proper conversations or discussions about the things that really matter, they may not have fully grown up yet.
They might make silly jokes while you’re trying to discuss something important, or repeatedly brush off the bigger issues that you’re asking for their support on.
Either way, they’re not meeting your emotional needs right now.
2. They exhibit childish behaviors.
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but a clear sign of emotional immaturity is acting like a child, teenager, or student.
Maybe it’s silly little things like not cleaning up after themselves, asking for help with basic tasks like laundry, or literally acting like a toddler.
It can be incredibly draining to be around someone who just cannot act like an adult, and it can make you question your relationship with them.
3. They are dependent on others.
If your partner struggles to be alone or is very needy (with you, their parents, or a close friend), they may not be as emotionally mature as you are.
It can be difficult to find a healthy level of support, but if they’re overly dependent on someone else, you need to consider what’s really going on.
It’s exhausting to be around someone who can’t make decisions for themselves, or who refuses to spend any time alone.
If it’s you that they’re relying on, your relationship will struggle if you never get alone-time either!
4. They get defensive in a fight.
It’s normal to have discussions, even arguments, in a relationship. It would be weird and boring if you agreed on everything, after all.
If, however, they get incredibly defensive when you argue, it’s a sign they are emotionally stunted.
It’s fine to defend yourself or explain how you’re feeling/ why you did something, but most adults are capable of doing so without becoming childishly defensive.
If they try to change the topic or start randomly blaming you, there’s a real issue here.
5. They are unable to commit.
Whether it’s to a long-term relationship, talking about your future, or sticking to a plan to go out for dinner together, they struggle to commit to things.
That’s not to say that anyone who doesn’t want a relationship is immature – but that the maturity comes from making choices that reflect how you really feel.
If they don’t want a relationship, they shouldn’t be in one. If they don’t want to have dinner with you, they shouldn’t have agreed to it.
Emotional maturity comes from being authentically yourself – and being honest about what that looks like and what other people’s expectations of you realistically are.
6. They disregard your feelings.
Your partner might regularly do things that hurt your feelings – and do so knowingly.
If they’re disregarding your feelings regularly (more than a couple of one-offs across the years) and don’t seem capable of changing their behavior, they’re not mature enough for a proper relationship.
They’re too selfish to be with someone else and they either need to make a change or let you go.
7. They don’t take responsibility.
Do they often blame things on other people (including you) and refuse to acknowledge their part in events?
This is a huge red flag.
Being a partner means acknowledging and owning who you are.
It doesn’t mean that you’re perfect and never make mistakes, but that you own up when you’ve done something wrong and you actively work on becoming a better version of yourself.
8. They are unwilling to compromise.
Is it always you apologizing after a fight, even if it was them who started it?
Maybe you’re the one who gives in first, or lets things go more often?
Do you forsake your own desires and happiness for them more than they do for you?
Relationships are all about compromises, sure, but you should both make them equally.
A lot of emotionally immature people are unwilling to compromise – their childlike, selfish ego disregards any alternative to getting what they want.
9. They try to make you jealous.
Your partner may be into playing ‘games’ – and not the good kind.
They might try to make you jealous by texting ex-partners, flirting on nights out, or telling you how hot your best friend is.
This isn’t funny or silly; it’s unfair and it’s childish. You deserve someone who doesn’t need or want to play these kinds of games with you.
Emotionally immature people will do this to ‘test’ you sometimes, or to intentionally hurt you and make you question your self-worth.
It can be a sign of emotional abuse and is a sign of someone who is unhealthy in themselves.
10. They are disconnected from your life.
If your partner regularly avoids meeting your friends and family, it’s a sign that they haven’t yet fully matured.
They don’t want to commit to anything this important and will find ways to get out of it.
This may be because they’re not confident enough, but they may also not be willing to sacrifice their own time for something that doesn’t really benefit them or make them immediately happy.
11. They are begrudging of your success.
If your partner can’t celebrate your successes without comparing them to their own successes (or lack thereof), you’re probably with someone immature.
They should be able to celebrate and support you without instantly taking it as a personal affront that you’re doing ‘better’ than them, or are more liked, have more friends, get paid more, etc.
Whatever the great thing in your life is, they should be celebrating it, not resenting it.
12. They are unwilling to move on.
Do they bring up the same issues over and over again, or shut you out after an argument?
Nobody is a saint, sure, but we all just have to let things go and move on at some point. It’s okay to still feel the feelings, but it’s not okay to continuously express them once the matter is closed.
If you’ve argued about something and agreed to just close the door on it and move on, they shouldn’t bring it up and hold it over your head.
If they can’t be mature and deal with things in a healthy, sensible way, there’s a bigger issue here. It’s unfair of them to keep making you feel guilty, or keep blaming you or picking a fight over something you’ve agreed to put behind you.
It’s also unfair if they shut you out after an argument – sure, everyone needs some space to cool off, but you shouldn’t be made to feel like you’re being ‘punished’ with the silent treatment just because your partner is too immature to have an adult conversation.
13. They are always the victim.
Have you started noticing that nothing is ever their fault; that they’re always the one who was wronged?
Maybe they’re always complaining about being treated badly or being hurt by those around them.
Of course, this could absolutely be true. If it’s not, and you know this for a fact, they may just be stuck in a cycle of victimizing themselves.
This is a symptom of emotional immaturity and suggests that they have some serious self-esteem issues they need to work on.
Many people reframe issues to show themselves as the victim because they want attention and affection – and the best way to get that is to get people to feel sorry for them.
This could be a wider issue linked to a history of emotional abuse or neglect, so it’s worth monitoring this behavior and suggesting they see a counselor.
Emotional immaturity can be due to a huge range of issues, and, while it’s easy to read this list and condemn your partner, it’s always important to consider the context.
There may be some underlying issues that need to be addressed, or you may need to genuinely reconsider your relationship with them.
Some people can change and grow, some will not until they get professional help or pro-actively do the work.
You need to weigh up the relationship – are you happy for someone to leave dirty dishes out if they make you happy the rest of the time?
Is it worth staying with someone who checked literally every box on this list or are you just scared to be alone?
Reflect on this article, speak to a loved one you trust, and get professional help if you need to talk about it with an expert.
Still not sure what to do about your partner’s immaturity? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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