They say love is all you need to make a relationship last, but psychologists know better than that. In order for two people to be able to have a strong and healthy relationship, there needs to be intimacy, honesty, trust, respect, loyalty, dedication, and most of all, maturity. For a person to be able to call themselves “mature”, they need to be responsible, empathetic, self-aware, rational, resilient, and open-minded. It’s about having an unshakeable sense of self-worth; accepting our failures gracefully; thinking before we act; apologizing when we’re wrong; and knowing how to face difficult situations.
Now, before we go on and list all the signs of an immature partner, we would like to mention that this is meant for educational purposes only and not at all intended to attack or criticize anyone who may be displaying these signs. With that said, here are 7 tell-tale signs that someone may be too immature for you:
1. They can’t control their emotions.
Being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t know how to keep their feelings in check can be incredibly draining. Moody and temperamental, they often let their feelings cloud their judgment and turn them cruel in the heat of the moment. Aside from crying and breaking down, they are also prone to insulting you, screaming at you, and sometimes even throwing things at you when their emotions get out of hand. They have a bad habit of overreacting to everything and always need you around to calm their anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety, and fear because they don’t know how to do it themselves (Domingue & Mollen, 2009).
2. They take everything personally.
Another sign that you may be dating someone too immature for you is if they take everything too personally (Behera & Rangaiah, 2017). Are they a sore loser who can’t take a little constructive criticism? Do they easily get offended by things that aren’t even meant to hurt them? Or get riled up over the slightest bruise to their ego? People like this lack the maturity to understand that not everything is about them. They’re so narrow-minded and sensitive to criticism that they can’t stand to be corrected. You can’t communicate openly to them about their flaws and weaknesses because they’re so defensive of their fragile ego — which brings us to our next point!
3. They lack self-awareness.
Self-awareness is one of the most important elements of emotional maturity because it’s what allows us to recognize our flaws and take responsibility for our mistakes. And until we learn how to be honest with ourselves about our own personal shortcomings, we can never learn how to overcome them and change for the better. So if you’re dating someone who lacks self-awareness, then they’re going to have a hard time understanding your point of view and hearing you out in an argument because they’re so incapable of seeing their own faults. Their denial of their own failings as a person makes them more prideful, stubborn, hard-headed, and inconsiderate towards others (Taylor & Leslie, 2013).
4. They blame other people for their problems.
Immature people don’t know how to hold themselves accountable so they blame others for their problems and simply make themselves out to be the victim in all of it. They fail to understand that the choices they make have consequences and refuse to own up to their mistakes. Passive, complaintive, and immature, people like this victimize themselves as a way to avoid responsibility and convince themselves that everyone but them is always to blame. They spend all their time whining about the situation they’re in but don’t do anything to help themselves get out of it. Instead, they simply point their finger at someone, say it’s their fault, and demand other people clean up their mess for them (Levendosky, Huth, & Semel, 2002).
5. They always have to have their way.
Entitled, demanding, rigid, and overbearing — if these are all words you would use to describe your partner, then they definitely don’t have the maturity to be in a healthy relationship right now. People who always have to have their way tend to be controlling and manipulative. At first, they may be kind, charming, and pleasant to be around, but the moment you disagree with them or refuse to do as they say, they’ll get into a big argument with you about it and won’t stop until you give in. They don’t want to listen, they’re not willing to compromise, and they always want to be the one taking charge in your relationship (Rhule-Louie & McMahon, 2007).
6. They act passive-aggressive.
It certainly goes without saying that engaging in passive-aggressive behaviors and playing mind games with your significant other is not something a mature person would do. But instead of being honest with you about their feelings and communicating them openly, your partner acts out by avoiding you, ignoring you, making sly-handed remarks at you, and treating you with thinly veiled hostility (Hocutt, 2018). They deny that anything’s wrong even when it’s clearly not true because they’re not mature enough to simply talk to you about what’s bothering them.
7. They demand too much attention.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, if your romantic partner is demanding too much of your attention, it may mean that they’re not mature enough to understand that having your own personal space and respecting each other’s boundaries is essential to a healthy relationship. Immature partners may be clingy, possessive, and unreasonably jealous. They don’t want you spending too much time with anyone else because they want you all to themselves. All your hobbies, interests, and personal goals have even fallen to the wayside after you started dating them. Because in their eyes, making them your utmost priority is the only way you can prove that you truly love them (Shulman & Knafo, 2017).
So, is your current partner showing these very same signs of immaturity? Or are you personally guilty of doing the things we’ve mentioned here? If so, it’s okay to admit that you’re still learning how to be more mature. Emotional maturity takes time, and it’s something a lot of people struggle with throughout their lives. But the fact that you are willing to admit that you still have room to grow shows progress. It shows that you are willing to own up to your mistakes and change for the better. After all, maturity is all about responsibility, humility, control, and most importantly, it’s a matter of personal honesty.
- Domingue, R., & Mollen, D. (2009). Attachment and conflict communication in adult romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26(5), 678-696.
- Behera, S., & Rangaiah, B. (2017). Relationship between emotional maturity, self-esteem, and relationship-satisfaction: a study on adolescent relationship dynamics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 34(11); 109-121.
- Taylor, S., & Leslie, J. B. (2013). An examination of romantic relationships and self-perception accuracy. Journal of Marriage and Family, 32(21); 249-253.
- Levendosky, A., Huth, A., & Semel, M. (2002). A study on self-victimization as a tactic of emotional manipulation in adolescent romantic relationships. Journal of Social Psychology, 31(2); 206-218.
- Rhule-Louie, D. M., & McMahon, R. J. (2007). Problem behavior and romantic relationships: Assortative mating, behavior contagion, and desistance. Clinical child and family psychology review, 10(1), 53-100.
- Hocutt, M. A. (2018). Relationship dissolution model: antecedents of relationship commitment and the likelihood of dissolving a relationship. International Journal of service industry management.
- Shulman, S., & Knafo, D. (2017). Balancing closeness and individuality in adolescent close relationships. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 21(4), 687-702.