“When people do not fully grow up, they farm out the hard work of adulthood to those closest to them.” – Dr. Jill Weber
When we enter an adult relationship, we often assume that our partner is going to have the same adult experiences that we do – that is to say, they’re going to be as mature as we are. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of situations where women enter relationships with men who just haven’t seemed to grow up, and when this happens, the woman is often tasked with trying to raise her “man child” boyfriend. If this seems familiar to you, you may want to check out these signs to see if you’re in a relationship with a man child. If so, you may want to figure out what you want to do moving forward. Settle? Or find someone more your mental age?
Here are 5 behaviors of a man like this in a relationship…
1. You have to pick up after him
He cannot pick up his clothes, his gadgets, his dishes, nothing. You may find that you’re constantly cleaning up after him, no matter what. You’re picking up his dirty laundry and putting it in the hamper, or you’re cleaning up his dirty dishes and putting them in the sick. He just leaves behind a whirlwind of dirty garbage behind him and you’re the one left to play maid.
“When people do not fully grow up, they farm out the hard work of adulthood to those closest to them. It can be subtle, but if you are making excuses, stop and reflect on why you’re picking up after a grown man?” says author Jill P. Weber.
You shouldn’t be playing mother or maid to your significant other, so if you notice that you’re the only one keeping the apartment clean, this may be a red flag that you’re actually dating a man-child.
2. He panics at the mention of commitment
You notice that any time you discuss commitment, or god forbid children, he doesn’t look like he’s interested in the conversation. In fact, he may even look panicked. After all, a man-child may find having to grow up to have his own children or commit to his partner one of the worst things that could ever happen to him. Of course, you always deserve someone who is on your same page when it comes to commitment, or what you want to happen in the future.
“Adults plan futures, strategize how they can reach those future goals, and take action now in service of those goals. [They] can’t think too far ahead because they are incapable of seeing their future selves in a clear light,” says psychologist and radio host Dr. Cooper Lawrence.
Therefore, if your partner can’t seem to stomach even a little talk of the future, it might be a red flag.
3. You have to nag him
Nobody likes to be a nag, and nobody likes to nag, either. But you may find that you are always nagging him about things, everything from doing the dishes to cleaning up the living room. He tells you that he’s going to do something, and you have to keep reminding him and reminding him, but in the end … he just doesn’t do it, and then he’s apologizing, or getting on your case about being such a nag. You always end up disappointed. If this sounds like your relationship, then it’s a big sign that you’re probably dating a man child.
4. He always avoids serious conversation
If there’s something wrong in your relationship, your first instinct may be to sit down with your partner and have a serious conversation about it. However, when you’re in a relationship with a man child, you’re probably going to find that he avoids serious conversations like the plague. When you try to bring something serious up, “he makes a joke, changes the topic, looks at his phone, or turns the tables on you by telling you what you are doing wrong in the relationship,” adds Dr. Weber.
You will probably never actually get to the point of the conversation, because the last thing that your man-child partner wants is to address his bad behavior.
5. He’s still stuck in middle school
If you’re with your partner and it feels like his interests haven’t evolved since middle school, you might very well be dating a man-child. He seems to always want to play pranks, and only enjoys toilet humor, and all of his interests and hobbies revolve around things that he was interested in as a child. He may not even know how to have an adult conversation without making jokes or trying to antagonize you. You may start to feel like his mother rather than his significant other. This is a big red flag that you’re in a relationship with a man-child.
Adult women want relationships with adult men. Unfortunately, for men, it seems more acceptable for them to take longer to grow up, which leaves many women in relationships with men who are still reliving their childhood glory days. If you find that your partner is exhibiting all of the signs of a man-child, then it may very well be time to either issue an ultimatum or find an adult who’s ready to act like it.