Emotionally mature people have a solid grasp of how they feel.
They know how to identify and express their emotions in a healthy way, as well as empathize and understand the feelings of others.
This makes them quite the catch.
Not only that, but people with emotional maturity naturally avoid these 9 relationship mistakes.
Are you one of them?
1) Staying emotionally unavailable
Ever dated someone who got annoyed whenever the pesky topic of “feelings” came up?
Instead of connecting with you on an emotional level, they made a dismissive comment and retreated to their impenetrable shell.
Well, there’s a good chance that person was emotionally unavailable.
While everyone can have difficulty opening up now and then, people with emotional maturity are better equipped to do so.
They can successfully identify their emotions and recognize their triggers.
This self-awareness allows them to express their feelings and needs to their partners, creating a foundation for open communication.
Additionally, they are more comfortable with being vulnerable, which encourages their partners to reciprocate.
In contrast, someone who lacks emotional maturity may feel the need to isolate whenever they experience a strong feeling.
They have trouble talking about what’s going on inside, so they also come across as distant when emotional topics come up.
Establishing emotional intimacy with someone like this is challenging, to say the least.
2) Creating drama
People with emotional maturity are skilled at regulating their emotions and recognizing what others are feeling at any given time.
This helps them approach disagreements in a constructive manner and avoid unnecessary relationship drama.
Emotionally immature people, in contrast, find it tricky to manage their emotions and communicate effectively.
These shortcomings can cause them to lash out in a disruptive or attention-seeking way:
- They overreact to minor issues, blowing them out of proportion
- They portray themselves as victims in order to elicit sympathy from their partner
- They act impulsively, without considering the consequences
- They have mood swings, making it difficult for their partner to predict their reactions
- They get super-clingy, demanding to know what you’re doing all the time
For people who lack emotional maturity, drama acts as a distraction.
Since they’re not particularly keen to self-reflect, it gives them something external to focus on.
3) Holding grudges
Someone who is emotionally mature doesn’t waste energy and time holding grudges.
If you wrong them, they speak up about how you made them feel rather than build resentment.
They understand that holding grudges has a negative impact on the relationship, especially in the long run.
An emotionally immature person, on the other hand, doesn’t process emotions properly, so they’re more likely to bring up past issues out of the blue.
Or, they stew in silence and become passive-aggressive.
Something is clearly bothering them, but they insist that nothing is wrong.
A form of manipulation, gaslighting involves making someone doubt their own perceptions and feelings.
Emotionally immature people may employ this tactic to divert attention from themselves.
For instance, if you tell them they hurt you or made you feel uncomfortable, they insist it’s all in your head. Their actions weren’t so horrible to begin with.
This lets them keep things surface-level and avoid examining their own behavior too closely.
People with emotional maturity, meanwhile, actively listen when their partner brings up a problem and don’t minimize it.
If they’re in the wrong, they admit it and apologize.
5) Failing to own up to their mistakes
Speaking of apologizing, people with emotional maturity accept responsibility for their mistakes.
They know that their actions have a great impact on their partner, so they make amends when they mess up. Doing so maintains trust and strengthens relationships.
An emotionally immature partner will often shift blame or make excuses for their behavior instead of admitting they did something wrong.
One of my exes would frequently use his business and tiredness as an excuse whenever I brought up the fact that I would like us to spend more time together.
He would say that he would love to, but his schedule is just too full. Funnily enough, he was the only one in charge of said schedule.
I’m not a big fan of the popular “if he wanted to, he would” concept – but in this case, even I concede that it applied.
6) Refusing to compromise
Emotionally immature individuals struggle to express their needs and concerns effectively, so reaching a compromise with them can be a challenge.
Furthermore, they tend to prioritize the short-term satisfaction of winning an argument over the long-term health of the relationship.
Since people with emotional maturity understand that relationships require give-and-take, they have a better chance of finding common ground with their significant other during a disagreement.
They’re also more likely to adjust their expectations for the sake of the relationship’s well-being.
Emotionally immature folks often focus exclusively on their own needs and desires, failing to see things from their partner’s point of view.
7) Being overly defensive
In a healthy relationship, both partners need to be able to openly discuss potential issues.
People with emotional maturity don’t erect walls when their significant other offers constructive criticism.
Instead, they consider the feedback and see it as an opportunity to improve themselves and solidify the bond they share with their boo.
Emotionally immature people, however, often get defensive whenever you bring up a problem.
If you’re with someone like that, you’ll notice that even the smallest criticism sets them off:
- Tell them they forgot to take out the trash, and they’ll say you’re always nagging them
- Suggest that you would like to go on more dates, and they’ll complain that they’re the ones who always have to make plans
- Explain that you’ve noticed them spend a lot of money on stuff they don’t need, and they’ll accuse you of trying to control them
They may go as far as calling you names.
Before you know it, you begin to walk on tiptoes when they’re around in an effort to keep the peace.
8) Taking out their anger or frustration on their partner
People with emotional maturity don’t take out their negative feelings on their partner.
They manage their emotions well and communicate openly, which leads to healthier relationship dynamics.
When they feel angry or frustrated, they take a moment to reflect on the source of those emotions before reacting.
Then, they explain to their partner that they’re in a bad place and, if needed, act for space to process what they’re going through.
Besides, they have healthy outlets to manage negative emotions, like exercise, meditation, or listening to angry music.
Emotionally immature people don’t excel at emotional regulation, so they’re more likely to unload their negative emotions on their partner by snapping at them or trying to pick a fight after a bad day.
They might also have other unhealthy ways to cope with these negative emotions, like binge drinking or emotional eating.
9) Not meeting their partner’s needs
Emotional maturity usually comes hand in hand with the willingness to accept and meet your partner’s needs.
People with emotional maturity enter relationships realizing that the other person has their own set of baggage.
They encourage them to open up about their desires and make a sustained effort to provide the kind of support the partner asks for.
When you date someone emotionally immature, their inability to connect often translates to them prioritizing what they want and neglecting you altogether.
They may be physically around, but your interactions remain surface-level.
In the end, you feel lonelier than you did when you were single, despite your attempts to establish emotional intimacy.
Do you avoid the relationship mistakes above, or is emotional maturity something you still need to work on?
If the latter applies, don’t worry: emotional maturity isn’t a fixed trait.
You can cultivate it over time by regularly reflecting on your emotions, reactions, and behaviors.
And if you keep making the same mistakes over and over again, consider reaching out for help.
A therapist can provide much-needed assistance.