Some men may physically age, but they never really seem to grow up.
That’s because despite outward appearances they still lack emotional maturity. And boy does that show when they’re in a relationship!
Here are 14 things emotionally mature men do differently.
1) They take responsibility for themselves
Emotionally mature men aren’t looking for someone to fix their life for them. They don’t need you to run around after them.
Instead of complaining about their problems and trying to blame everyone and everything around them, they are proactive.
They believe it’s down to them alone to change the things they’re not happy with.
They will consider how their actions affect you and take total responsibility for the way they behave.
That includes owning their mistakes. So an emotionally mature man in a relationship has no problem with saying sorry.
2) They don’t deny their emotions
Unfortunately, there’s still an unfair social pressure on guys to keep their feelings bottled up.
Toxic masculinity teaches that it is a sign of strength to push aside and hide from certain emotions.
Emotionally mature men know that not only is there zero shame in embracing the wide range of feelings we all go through, but it’s essential to do so.
Anything we repress has a nasty habit of becoming insidious.
Emotionally mature men in a relationship are able to recognize and share their emotions with you.
This is really helpful when it comes to the next thing on our list.
3) They can control their temper (and their urges!)
The better we understand and express our feelings, the easier it is to control them too. That way, they’re less likely to bubble over in inappropriate ways.
Men with greater emotional maturity can better handle stress and find healthy outlets for it. So they’re far less likely to take a bad mood out on you.
That self-control also extends to other things, like staying faithful.
Plenty of men are tempted to stray, especially given the opportunity. But an emotionally mature man is less likely to impulsively act on that.
Part of the reason is that he is able to put a wider perspective on things and consider the long-term implications.
4) They’re happy to show their softer side and open up
Vulnerability is the secret ingredient to all genuine and close connections.
But it’s also so darn difficult, as vulnerability researcher and author Brené Brown perfectly sums it up:
“We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we are afraid to let them see it in us. Vulnerability is courage in you and inadequacy in me.”
The tricky part of vulnerability is that when it is asked of us, it can feel like a weakness. Even though that’s not how we view it in other people.
It takes emotional maturity to override this mistaken instinct that experts refer to as the “beautiful mess” of vulnerability.
But in managing to do so, we create greater intimacy and trust in our relationships.
5) They are honest, with themself and their partner
Emotionally mature men are introspective and know themselves.
They have a good grasp of their own needs and wants. So they can be honest with themselves about what motivates them and makes them tick.
In order to be honest with others, we have to be truthful with ourselves first.
It takes plenty of self-awareness and self-responsibility to speak the truth in a relationship.
Luckily that’s something emotionally mature men have in spades.
6) They won’t run at the first sign of difficulty
Nobody is looking for a so-called fair-weather friend in a relationship.
We want to know that they’ll be by our side through the bad times as well as the good.
Any long-term relationship is bound to go through ups and downs. But emotionally immature men are far more likely to bail at the first sign of trouble.
Here’s why emotionally mature men are more equipped to stick it out:
Because they have some steadfast qualities:
- They’re resilient
- They’re patient
- They’re realistic
As we’ll see next, this realism towards the relationship helps to quash any unfair expectations.
7) They have reasonable expectations
…Of you and of your relationship.
He knows you are not perfect, but he doesn’t expect you to be. Because he is fully aware that he isn’t either.
Maturity offers you the experience that unrealistic expectations always lead to disappointment.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t have high standards, but they have to be reasonable too.
All too often people demand far too much of their romantic relationships.
They expect their partner to “make them happy” and to read their minds. They expect the butterflies to always be there or that they should never fight.
8) They realize what they’ve got and show appreciation for it
In many ways, the antidote for expecting too much is acknowledging what you do have.
An emotionally immature man in a relationship always wants more. He takes a greedy approach, where what he has never feels enough.
It’s one of the reasons he struggles to make relationships work.
But a mature man is able to focus on what he has right in front of him.
He will appreciate the qualities of his partner and how his relationship enriches his life.
And importantly, he will show his gratitude through his words and actions.
9) They genuinely care about your feelings
It’s not about getting their own way or putting their own needs first all the time.
Thanks to their empathy, they are able to see your side and put themselves in your shoes.
It hurts them to see you hurt.
Selfishness is a sign of emotional immaturity.
But when men are emotionally mature they are able to shift the focus away from their own desires to consider yours.
10) They are willing to change and evolve
…Both as an individual and as a couple.
This can make the all-important difference to whether a relationship will make it or not.
When problems arise, they have the consciousness to recognize them and change harmful patterns and habits before they destroy their relationship.
They are flexible, adaptable, and open-minded and this allows the relationship to naturally evolve over time.
Sadly, when we are closed off, we keep ourselves stuck. And as we all know, if something isn’t growing, then it’s dying.
11) They feel comfortable with commitment
Emotional maturity is essential in creating a secure attachment style.
Studies have shown that a secure attachment style is best when it comes to forming healthy relationships.
As therapist John Kim explains, It’s the sign of a well-balanced individual:
“People who are securely attached appreciate their own self-worth and ability to be themselves in their relationships. They openly seek support and comfort from their partner, and are similarly happy when their partner relies on them for emotional support.”
When a man is emotionally mature he is able to form committed and secure connections with others.
12) They are reliable and consistent
When a guy lets you down it’s easy to take it personally. But it’s more a reflection of them than you.
Emotionally mature men mean what they say and back it up with actions not just words.
It’s a huge contrast from emotionally immature guys who will make big promises but fail to deliver. Instead, they constantly flake and make excuses.
In order to feel truly safe and secure in any relationship, this reliability is essential.
It allows trust and respect to build. This gives a deep connection the firm foundations it needs to stand on if it’s going to last.
13) They have clear and healthy boundaries
Emotional maturity gives a man the inner strength to have firm boundaries.
You will notice them in him through the following signs:
- He speaks up for himself if you treat him poorly
- He values his time and energy
- He won’t be pushed into doing things he doesn’t want to
- He is comfortable saying “no”
- He will walk away from unhealthy relationships
- He respects other people’s space, opinions, ideas, and autonomy
We may think life would be easier with someone who always says yes to us, or goes along with whatever we want. But without boundaries, it’s impossible to have respect.
In fact, a relationship without boundaries can quickly become toxic.
14) They know how to resolve conflict respectfully
Disagreement is a fact of life, and it will occur in any relationship.
Whether it’s family drama, mismatched libidos, money problems, or even just whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher.
We don’t have to avoid conflict at all costs for a relationship to thrive. We just need to know how to deal with it in a healthy way.
Emotionally maturity helps us to do this.
Rather than shouting, emotionally mature men keep their cool. Rather than non-stop talking, they know how to listen. Instead of swearing and being provocative, they choose their words carefully.
Ultimately, they work towards a peaceful resolution more than they try to “win” the fight.