Emotional maturity is the difference between a man and a boy.
Boys will play around. Men will commit. Boys will run from problems at the speed of light. Men will face them head-on.
That much is clear.
Sometimes, though, the lines get a bit blurry. Is he really as mature as you thought?
It’s time to take the rose-tinted glasses off. Here’s how you can tell…
A mature man will never do these 9 things.
1) He’ll never wait for you to chase him down
The talking stage is always a fine line to walk.
Most of your expectations are left unsaid, your true personalities are yet to come out, and falling in love is on the horizon, leading to a buzzing tension between the two of you.
And then it comes.
One-sentence replies. Read. Plenty of excuses (“I’m busy”) to make up for the lack of effort.
A mature man who’s decided to get to know you won’t wait around for you to make the first step. He understands that every relationship is 50/50.
He will text you of his own accord, schedule dates, and make you feel wanted. He understands that connections are built through authentic communication, not mind games.
2) He’ll never string you along
You’re talking, but you’re not together. You’re exclusive, but you’re not in a relationship. You’re spending all your free time together, but the word love hasn’t once passed his lips.
His true intentions are buried so deep down within him it might just as well be the Mariana Trench.
Remember the phrase “authentic communication” I mentioned above? That’s exactly what’s missing in a relationship with an immature man.
A mature man won’t send confusing signals, refuse to talk things through, or avoid naming the bond forming between you.
On the contrary, he will make sure things are as clear as possible. If he’s unsure, he’ll say it. If he’d like to be with you long-term, he’ll say it. And if he’s not looking for anything serious… you’ve guessed right, he’ll say it.
He knows that the expectations and boundaries in your relationship should be said out loud and discussed.
3) He’ll never push your boundaries
Boundaries are something each couple sets individually, without relying on other people’s metrics.
Everyone’s different. What do you view as cheating?
A mature man will be more than willing to have this conversation with you. You’ll be able to express your fears, vulnerabilities, and principles, and you’ll feel better when you know he’s agreed not to push your limits.
It goes both ways, though. Pay careful attention when he says what he’d prefer you do or don’t do and see whether his requirements cross your boundaries in any way.
For example, you might draw the line at dictating what clothes you can wear or banning you from having any male friends.
Whatever it is, remember that there are plenty of men out there who will love to see you flourish as a powerful woman rather than lock you in a golden cage.
A mature man won’t clip your wings.
4) He’ll never make you feel small
There are countless ways to ensure you stay rooted to the ground, unable to fly. Belittling is one of them.
He might joke about your wits, your appearance, or your friends. When you get upset, he might roll his eyes because you simply “can’t take a joke”.
Make no mistake, though – insulting jokes are exactly what it says on the label. They are insults only one person laughs at.
Emotional maturity lies in respecting your partner, taking their feelings seriously, and seeing them as an equal.
That’s why we use the word “partner”, after all – because you’re a team. You balance each other out. Mature men acknowledge this and don’t see any reason to put you down.
When they do offer critique, it’s in the form of respectful constructive feedback.
5) He’ll never dredge up the past to ruin the present
When he points out something that troubles him and invites you to discuss the issue with him, you know he won’t hold it against you in the future.
That’s because a mature man views problems as something you encounter as a team. It’s you two against a bump in the road, not you versus him.
All you have to do is drive smoothly and trust each other. Before you know it, the bump is all but forgotten.
Immaturity is about losing yourself in a hurricane of emotions. This is why holding grudges is so easy for immature people – they find it incredibly difficult to detach themselves from the pain, forgive, and move on.
But any long-term relationship is in need of forgiveness from time to time. A mature man knows that. He won’t poison the present with the past.
6) He’ll never pretend everything’s fine when it’s not
The past may be riddled with mistakes, but that doesn’t mean the present is a walk through the park, either.
Relationships are hard work. They require constant effort and the ability to withstand storms. Even a lighthouse deteriorates if left to rot.
The good days should outweigh the bad days, of course, but that doesn’t mean the bad days are inherently bad – they are useful in their own way. When things begin to fall apart is when you finally see someone’s true character.
Does he pretend everything’s fine just so that he doesn’t have to deal with it? Does he withdraw, spend more time away, and avoid any chance of conflict?
That’s immaturity right there. A man who runs from problems lacks courage. He lacks what it takes to make a relationship work.
Find someone who puts in the effort. Someone who sees a problem and says, “Let’s solve it!”
7) He’ll never let you get swallowed up by house chores
The same enthusiasm that goes into solving issues should also go into house chores.
I’m not saying your partner ought to cheer with excitement every time he gets to do the dishes – although it would be pretty cool – but he should inherently understand the 50/50 nature of the relationship.
If you’re both working the same amount of hours, it makes no sense for you to take on all the housework, too.
My partner loves cooking. I enjoy cleaning. He does the grocery shopping and makes delicious meals every day while I do the dishes and other cleaning-related tasks. It works for us.
What works for you? A mature man will split the house chores with you and do his best to make sure coming home equals joy, not a towering list of tasks.
8) He’ll never turn into a couch potato
Couch potatoes hate house chores – that much is clear. Their favorite activity is sitting on the sofa with a beer in one hand and a TV remote control in the other.
But there’s more to being a couch potato than meets the eye.
A couch potato is someone who doesn’t have a zeal for life, that je ne sais quoi that makes you feel alive in their presence.
A couch potato will spend his life passively observing others, grumbling about everything and anything, and waiting for a golden opportunity to fall in his lap.
A couch potato doesn’t understand what he has until it’s gone.
A mature man, on the other hand… he’ll take you on dates. He’ll show an inherent interest in the world around him and he’ll take active steps to reach his goals, inviting you along on the journey.
9) He’ll never seek 20% in exchange for 80%
I once heard that we tend to get around 80% from our partner because nobody’s a completely perfect match. This leaves us searching for the remaining 20% in others, wondering what could be.
We ask ourselves whether the grass truly is greener on the other side, completely forgetting how amazingly green our own side is already.
If there’s one last important thing that determines if you’re dealing with a mature man, it’s how much he appreciates you.
A mature man won’t cheat. He knows that throwing away 80% in exchange for 20% is a terrible deal.
He will cherish all that you give him and give plenty in return. Because in the end, that’s what maturity is all about. Balance.