When a relationship is founded on compassion and empathy, it shows that one or both partners are emotionally mature and selfless. An adult partner shows compassion and understanding in how they deal with their partner.
In This Article What is maturity in a relationship?Why is maturity in a relationship important?Theories of love and maturity15 Ways to be more mature in a relationship6 Mature things to talk about in a relationship Just like maturity is demanded in other aspects of life, it is also crucial in relationships. Other than love and romance, maturity is a key ingredient in relationships. With maturity, couples can handle the challenges and obstacles that stand in the way of achieving their relationship goals. This article will address the importance of maturity and give you tips on how to be mature in
Differences in maturity levels can have the potential to wreak havoc in relationships. Here's how to know if you're dealing with a maturity discrepancy in your relationship, as well as what to do when you find yourself with an immature partner.
Some signs of immaturity, such as a lack of financial responsibility, can be fairly obvious. Others, such as emotional immaturity, can be masked by high cognitive intelligence or a witty sense of humor. When you're making a maturity assessment, it's important to factor in a person's chronological age, life circumstances, and the number and degree of the immature behaviors. Be on the lookout for these key signs of immaturity:
On the homefront, the more mature partner may be left with doing far more work than the immature partner; from leaving dishes undone to refusing to clean the bathroom, the immature partner will often avoid sharing equally in mundane (but necessary) tasks.
Chronic fighting, gaslighting, manipulation, and stonewalling are all signs of immaturity, so a more mature partner will notice that positive communication efforts are stymied by the immature partner. It's also important to pay note that a controlling partner may initially present as being more mature, but being controlling is actually a sign of psychological immaturity. Truly mature partners will know and honor their needs while also making appropriate space for their partner's needs and desires.
For example, it's not uncommon for a child to be put into a parental-type role that involves age-inappropriate amounts of responsibility; a child in this type of situation often matures far too early and may be overly responsible in adult life. At the other end of the spectrum, psychological maturity is often impeded by helicopter parents who tend to shield their children from responsibility and natural consequences. In adulthood, the helicopter-parented individual often suffers from irresponsibility coupled with a sense of entitlement.
Life challenges such as traumatic events can also affect a child's ability to mature at an age-appropriate rate. While trauma may thrust one person into early maturity, the same type of trauma may stunt the psychological growth of another individual.
In some cases, the more immature partner may want to foster more mature behaviors; this type of change-oriented attitude is a positive sign. However, if a less mature partner wants to stay stuck in immature behaviors that are problematic, it's generally wise to seek outside guidance or move on from the relationship.
As you look at the maturity factor in your relationship, remember that slight differences in maturity can also be positive in some situations. For example, a more mature partner may enjoy the lightheartedness that a less mature partner can bring. The less mature partner may benefit from the calm, settled nature that a mature partner can offer.
You will also need to be honest with yourself about whether your needs are being met in the relationship. If your partner is unwilling to do the work they need to do to become a more mature and emotionally available partner, you might find that the relationship is no longer healthy or satisfying for you.
Some common characteristics of an immature partner include an inability to talk about emotions, a lack of planning for the future, rejecting compromise, dealing with stress in unhealthy ways, refusing to help out, self-centeredness, lack of accountability, and defensiveness about their mistakes.
"I have seen couples with significant age differences bridge that gap," relationship expert Rachel A. Sussman, LCSW, told us. "They have to have a sense of humor and be comfortable discussing the pitfalls. I also think it works well when the younger partner is very mature for his/her age, and the older partner is playful and perhaps a bit immature."
"I am 16-17 years older than my boyfriend, Tom, but when we met, we each thought the other person was in their mid-thirties. He has a beard and looks older than he is, and I look younger than my age, so we look closer in age than we are. But I tend to date younger guys (a few exes were a year, two years, and 10 years younger). In our society, men seem, traditionally, to be much older (15 years or so) than the women they date, and no one notices; but when the woman is older, they do. "Tom and I are in a long-distance relationship (he's in England and I'm in the US). We do one month in London, one in America (New York and Miami), and then meet in fun places around the world in between. This, too, may help our relationship work; it's always new and fun and exciting. -Reyna (46) and Tom (28)
"The 20-year age difference between us has been a blessing. I think men mature much later than women, so relationships with a younger woman and older man seem to work on all levels, especially in this world of dating apps which seems to have made most males revert back to being teenagers. Julia appreciates my maturity, emotional availability, and financial security, especially compared to younger guys. Guys her age seem to care only about quantity over quality when it comes to relationships. They're so used to swiping through human beings like items on a restaurant menu, it's hard to connect beyond the superficial or purely physical aspects of somebody. In contrast to shallow, fleeting Tinder relationships, when two mature people really connect on a deeper level, it transcends casual dating. Plus, I take care of my body and work out every day, so I can compete physically with the younger guys. I appreciate Julia's energy and enthusiasm, and we have formed a deeper bond than most 20-somethings we know." - David (49) and Julia (29)
Why this is not a Duplicate: @Mitch pointed out that my question may possibly be a duplicate of this question. The two are on the same topic, but approach it from opposite directions. I am looking for an age-appropriate substitute for boyfriend (or girlfriend). The other question wants to validate girlfriend for a woman in her sixties. Another similar question has many answers (along the lines of sweetie, significant other), of which only beau is a candidate IMO, that is, not there yet.
A possibility is "gentleman friend", which I have heard used in similar situations. It does not alway capture the distinction between "boy friend" and "boyfriend", but context can often clarify this. "Her gentleman friend" is more likely to correspond to boyfriend than "a gentleman friend".
No, not really. There is a quote I've heard several times but can't quite put my finger on that addresses this, that criticizes English and its puritanical history as leaving it sorely lacking in adequate terminology for such things, thus forcing English speakers to use infantilizing misnomers like "boyfriend" and "girlfriend," along with odd euphemisms, and that's if there's a term at all, which there often isn't, like is actually the case here.
Age gaps can be hard to navigate in relationships, but not impossible. It sounds like you have a good thing going here! I wish I knew how much older your guy was, but regardless, I should hope that you don't have to make your boyfriend respect you and take you seriously--he shouldn't be dating you if he doesn't do that. But as far as making sure the two of you remain compatible, I think there are two key things here...
First, you need to be mature in the relationship. That means doing all the things you mentioned: communicating and being honest, respecting each other, working on sharing priorities, etc. Don't cause unnecessary drama, like picking fights over his immature friends' behavior (more on that later) unless he is a part of it or isn't defending your relationship when necessary. If you demonstrate that you can handle a mature relationship, he has no reason not to take you seriously. And you don't have to be a certain age to be able to have a "grown up" relationship. In fact, I know plenty of older people that have the emotional maturity of a toddler. So your actions will speak louder than your age where this stuff is concerned.
The second is to not to be self-conscious of your age or pretend it doesn't exist. You are in college, which means classes are important to you. That doesn't make you immature, nor does wanting to have a beer at a campus bar. If your guy doesn't understand that and take it seriously, he's kind of a jerk. Just because he's older doesn't make his life more important than yours. It just means you're at different phases. But trying to pretend you're older and so over everything "college" will probably only make you seem even younger, not to mention it's a waste not to embrace and enjoy this time in your life. Share your experiences with your boyfriend when possible, and be enthusiastic about his too, but recognize that at times, you may need to do your own thing. It's OK if you want to go on your sorority's bar crawl without him or football tailgate without him, as long as you also get plenty of quality time together, whether you're doing his thing, your thing, or something you both love. You don't have to be at the same stage of life to appreciate each other. And it's OK to ask for his advice on subjects he might be older and wiser about (he does have more life experience!) but don't forget that you might know things he doesn't, even if you're younger. 041b061a72