Communication and trust are the cornerstones of a successful relationship. Mutual understanding comes from sharing thoughts and honest communication. If your partner is emotionally immature, trying to have a conversation with them can be draining. An emotionally immature person gets angry and disappointed easily and fails to control themselves. They often vent their anger on their partner, and this may create rifts in the relationship. Such a person avoids serious conversations and is unaware of their partner’s needs. In this post, we discuss signs of an emotionally immature person and how to deal with them.
13 Signs Your Partner Is Emotionally Immature
- Struggles to share or talk about their feelings: An emotionally immature partner may often not share feelings or talk about them. They may find it overwhelming to comprehend emotional experiences. Therefore, they may avoid or pretend to ignore when you bring up serious topics of conversation.
- Cannot talk about future: An emotionally immature partner finds it difficult to plan or talk about their future with you. They may seem unable to commit to even the smallest of things and prefer to live in the present. Even if they see a future with you, they may find it difficult to share or communicate with you about their long-term plans.
- Makes you feel lonely: A relationship makes you feel involved and loved. However, with an emotionally immature partner, you may feel that there is a lack of emotional intimacy. You feel disconnected as you are not able to form a bond with them at a deeper level.
- Pulls away during difficult or stressful times: When your partner is emotionally unavailable, they may not be able to support you during your difficult times. You may want your partner to be your rock, but they may distance themselves using excuses.
- Keeps everything superficial: If you feel your partner holds back even after you have been together for long, then it may be a sign that they are incapable of strengthening or cementing the relationship. It could also suggest that they do not feel emotionally “safe”. They may not feel comfortable when it comes to intimacy, including connecting, opening up, or sharing.
- Does not take accountability: A mature adult takes responsibility, acknowledges their mistakes, and makes amends. However, an immature person refuses to take responsibility and instead plays the blame game when things get difficult. They may ignore your opinions and resort to blaming, lying, or making you feel guilty.
- Gets defensive: In a healthy relationship, both partners feel comfortable in offering constructive criticism and are open towards working on the issues together. On the contrary, an immature person can become overly defensive or gets upset when you bring up even the smallest of things.
- Shows selfish behavior: Partners look after each other and share responsibilities. They put “we” before “me.” An emotionally immature partner, on the other hand, may show selfish behavior and make everything about themselves.
- Holds grudges: When you encounter a roadblock, you work with your partner to overcome it. However, an emotionally immature partner may hold grudges and squabble over petty issues, often resulting in discontent.
- Makes no effort to contribute: Do you feel that you are the one making all the efforts in the relationship? If your partner is emotionally immature, the love and relationship may feel like one-sided. Your partner may not do anything without you constantly asking them to do it, making you feel guilty.
- Shows a lack of commitment: People who are emotionally immature are often unable to commit. They cannot continue with relationships and have a history of ending up with a series of short-term relationships.
- Lacks compassion: An immature partner cannot show compassion or empathize with their partner during an emotional meltdown. You may feel underappreciated and unsupported with such a partner.
- Shows emotional outbursts: People who are emotionally immature may not be able to control their impulses and may explode with rage on the smallest of things. They may not be mindful of the words and use abusive words. They may not be good at handling conflicts.
How Do You Deal With An Emotionally Immature Partner?
If you feel your partner is emotionally immature, then you may try the following tips to make your relationship stronger.
- Make an appointment: Ask your partner when a good time to talk would be and then at the time that they suggest, have your meeting using as much “I” statements as possible. For instance, talk about how you would like to work more as a team, asking what you could do to make it easier for them to participate. Try not to label them or accuse them as emotionally unavailable, which can make your partner defensive.
- Realize that your partner has their own story: Realize that for some reason, your partner does not feel “safe”. This is usually due to their past failed relationships or even childhood caregivers having been overly critical, shaming, or blaming. Try to have compassion for the little boy or girl that your partner has inside of them and work to act from that place of consciousness.
- Develop emotional maturity: Share appreciations. Use words of appreciation or encouragement when your partner does something for you. Let your partner know how it feels good to be connected.
- Ignore tantrums: Your partner may throw a fit when things do not go their way. Avoid paying attention to their tantrums or threats. Importantly, stop treating them like a baby. Be confident and firm.
- Opt for couple’s therapy: If your best efforts do not yield any positive outcome, try couple’s therapy. These sessions can help you develop a sense of connection and emotional intimacy. However, you may have to try your best to convince your partner to attend the sessions. Let them know that you want to be the best partner you can be for them and invite them to join the journey with you towards that goal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What causes emotional immaturity?
Insecure attachments during childhood, early age trauma, untreated addiction or mental health issues, and reduced deep introspection may manifest as emotional immaturity.
2. At what age does a man emotionally mature?
The age of attaining emotional maturation may vary from one person to another. Scientific research says that the brain continues to undergo maturational changes till 25 to 30 years, which may coincide with the average age of attaining emotional maturity (1).
A happy relationship is built on emotional maturity and availability. However, if your partner is emotionally immature, communicating with them will be tough; they will ignore you through difficult and stressful moments, you will feel lonely, and so on. Such a partner will also become defensive, display a lack of commitment and compassion, act selfishly, and retain grudges. But if you choose to be together, attempt to work as a team to overcome obstacles and develop emotional intimacy with them. You may also seek advice from professionals.
- An emotionally immature partner can make a relationship stressful and draining.
- They tend to react to small things or hold grudges.
- They may not be serious about the relationship or pull away from commitment.
- Try to understand where they are coming from or seek professional help.
- Suzanne O’Rourke et al.; (2020); The development of cognitive and emotional maturity in adolescents and its relevance in judicial contexts.