12 red flags you’re in a relationship with a man-child

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Ah, the good ol’ man child. Usually pretty cute at first glance, but once you get to know him, you realize you’ve got yourself an adopted child. 

Except this one is capable of driving you crazy and breaking your heart!

But how can you be sure?

Well, by the end of this article, you’ll know. Here are 12 red flags you’re in a relationship with a man-child:

1) He avoids taking responsibility for himself

The very first red flag to look out for in your partner is if he struggles to own up and take responsibility for himself and his actions. 

Let’s say he loses his job because he’s constantly late – does he accept it was his mistake, or blame his boss, colleagues, and everyone else under the sun? 

Or, if he blows through a month’s wage on one weekend out with the boys, is that on him, or is the blame entirely on his friends for influencing him?

You see, the difference between a MAN and a man-CHILD is that the former, no matter how painful, will admit when they mess up. 

And they’ll do what it takes to rectify the situation. 

The latter, on the other hand, will always play the victim

In other words, responsibility is not a word in his dictionary, and as his partner, you’ve likely already picked up on this. 

2) He cries to his parents whenever something doesn’t go his way

Is mom on speed dial? 

Does dad step in whenever your man hits a bump in the road? 

Well, if he doesn’t take responsibility for himself, it makes sense he runs to mommy and daddy every time an issue crops up! 

Of course, it’s normal to talk to your parents about the problems you go through. We all do it. 

But there’s a big difference between seeking advice and expecting your parents to fix your life. 

And if he’s reliant on his mom and dad, there’s no doubt he’s a man-child. And most likely, your in-laws are enabling it. 

3) He’s not financially independent 

Continuing with the mommy and daddy theme, is your man financially dependent on them? 

Or on his grandma? Sister? Best friend? You?

Because if so, this is another red flag to look out for. 

Here’s the thing – once we reach adulthood, it’s on us to find our way. Family can help out from time to time, there’s no question about that.

But if it’s continuous, and for things like rent, car insurance, and everyday living expenses, it’s not normal. 

You’ve got to ask yourself:

What type of future can I realistically build with someone who can’t even get their finances in order?

4) His communication skills rival that of a 5-year-old

Now, this next red flag I’d take with a pinch of salt. There are plenty of somewhat mature adults who still don’t know how to communicate properly. 

But if the other points in this article ring true as well, then you may be in a relationship with a man-child

One way to know is to think about how you argue…

Do you get the cold shoulder? 

Does he resort to playing the blame game? (This goes back to the inability to take responsibility for himself). 

Does he scream, kick, and cry, and basically throw tantrums like a child would? 

A real man wouldn’t waste time with all that. A real man would sit down, talk things through, and look for solutions. 

5) He relies on others for basic needs

Another red flag that you’re in a relationship with a man-child is if he relies on you or his family for basic things, such as:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Shopping 
  • Laundry 

Now, I get it. If he comes from a very sheltered upbringing, or from a culture that promotes the attitude that men shouldn’t partake in domestic activities, it makes sense he’s like this. 

But he’s an adult now. 

There’s no excuse for not learning the basic things that we should all know. 

And the fact he’s not interested in teaching himself or learning how to do these things says a lot. Which leads me to my next point: 

6) He lacks ambition

When it comes to his career, future, and personal self-development, how does your man rank on a scale of 1-10? 

If it’s less than 5, I’d say you’ve probably got a man-child on your hands. 

I don’t mean that he has to have grand ambitions. He doesn’t need to become president or fly to outer space. 

But he should have some personal goals, and a drive to better himself at least. 

And if he doesn’t?

Well, it’s a sign he’s not thinking very deeply. He’s not very aware of himself and his limitations, and that’s why he’s not bothered about working on them. 

Ultimately, most of us reach an age where we start to mature and think about the future. The fact he doesn’t is a major red flag. 

7) He avoids serious conversations

Talking of not thinking deeply, does your man struggle with intimate or vulnerable conversations

When you bring up conversations about the future, or where your relationship is heading, does he make inappropriate jokes, moan, or exit the chat before it’s even started? 

Look, the future is scary for all of us. 

And no one enjoys serious conversations. 

But they’re essential. And anyone with a shred of maturity understands that. 

8) He has a disrespectful attitude 

I dated a man-child once upon a time. We were both in our mid-20s and at first, he seemed to have his shit together. 

But little red flags quickly started emerging. One of them was how judgmental he was. 

If I played a song I liked, he’d respond with something like, “What on EARTH are you listening to.” 

Or if I cooked a special meal, let’s say in a cuisine he wasn’t used to, he’d ridicule it or pull faces. 

In other words, he wasn’t respectful. 

As adults, we should be able to politely get our point across. If you don’t like the music or the food, you can respectfully say so. 

But mocking behavior isn’t on.

And if your man does the same, unfortunately, there’s a good chance he’s a man-child too. 

9) He’s immature 

Well, if he’s disrespectful, he’s likely immature too. 

You’ll notice this in the jokes he makes, and how he goes about his daily business. 

He probably won’t see the value in working or getting a good job. He’ll likely hang around with other immature people. 

He’ll also act very childishly when he doesn’t get his own way. 

Now, at this point, if the red flags I’ve listed are ringing true for you, it’s understandable that you’re feeling hurt or let down. 

But the truth is, you need to get to know someone before you can tell whether they’re mature or still living in their teenage bubble. 

One thing I will say, though, is that if he doesn’t buckle up and get real, you’re going to have a tough time on your hands. 

A man like this isn’t a partner who’ll support you and build a life with you. As harsh as it sounds, he’s a grown child that’ll latch on and drag you down. 

10) He lacks emotional maturity

Talking about maturity, there’s one area we haven’t covered yet and that’s how he handles his emotions. 

I’ve already mentioned that he might throw tantrums or act childishly. 

But if you’ve noticed that he can’t regulate his emotions, or understand those of others, it’s another red flag you’re in a relationship with a man-child. 

Emotional maturity comes with age and experience. 

And by his age (I’m assuming he’s at least 20 +) he should have some grasp on it by now.  

11) He’s addicted to entertainment 

I don’t want to stereotype because I know plenty of functioning, healthy adult men who play video games and still maintain a job, family, and social life. 

But if all your partner does is play video games, watch TV, and scroll on his phone, it’s not a good sign! 

Sure, we’ve all been guilty of doing stuff like that when we’re young and carefree. When things like “balance” didn’t matter so much.

But as adults, we recognize that a fulfilling life comes from multiple facets, not just being constantly distracted or entertained. 

12) He has a constant need for validation

And finally, have you noticed that your partner craves validation all the time? 

Like, if he does something (normal) and you don’t praise him, he gets upset? 

Or if you’re in a group and he’s not the center of attention, he sulks? 

A real man wouldn’t be concerned about this type of stuff. He knows his worth, and he’s confident in himself. 

But a man-child needs the approval of others to feel good. 

He needs attention and coddling and people making a fuss over him.

Much like a real child. 

So, hopefully, this article has shed some light on whether you’re with a man-child or not. 

If you are, my advice is to have a serious chat with him.

If he’s willing to grow up and work on his self-development, there may be hope for you guys yet. 

But if he’s not?

Girl, run for the hills! You need an equal, not a grown person to mother.  

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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