When you're head over heels for someone, it can be tough to see their true personality, mostly because you're so busy falling in love. These early days are such a fun stage in any relationship, and they should definitely be enjoyed. But that doesn't mean you should sit idly by, or ignore the early signs that you're partner isn't mature.
While everyone should be given a chance to grow and change, some traits really do seem to stick around for life. So keep them in mind if you notice that something's a bit off. And don't let your honeymoon-phase level of attraction get in the way.
"Attraction is very illogical. Stability and maturity don’t factor into raw attraction," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. "That’s why it’s important early in the relationship to make sure that the person you date has some degree of maturity." It's way healthier to spot problems early, and figure out if this relationship is for you, than it is to get a few years in with someone who isn't ready to date.
Below, some surefire signs your partner is mature. If they have these traits, feel free to move forward with your relationship, without any regret.
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1. They're Willing To Be Vulnerable
Nothing screams maturity quite like vulnerability, so check for this trait early on. Your SO should be ready to open up, be honest, and talk to you about the deeper things in life. "No person is without vulnerability; no person is without fears, concerns, or uncertainty," says clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow, host of the The Web Radio Show. If your partner is mature, they'll be able to share these experiences.
2. They Seem To Be Truly Authentic
When choosing a partner, you'll want to be with someone who's relaxed, but also able to stick to their fundamental beliefs. "We all have times where we need to 'fake it' when we need to to make our partner happy," Klapow says. "But an authentic person is able to be comfortable with you while they are also comfortable with themselves. There should not be a fundamental difference between how your partner feels with you and by himself or herself."
3. They're Super Flexible
Life is tough, and you'll both change a lot throughout your relationship, so make sure your partner is able to roll with the proverbial punches. "A partner who is able to change directions, to go with the flow, to manage changes to schedules, plans, and expectations is a partner who will be able to handle things like life crises," Klapow says. "Partners who can only function in predictable situations where their personal needs are accommodated are not likely to last in the tough times." And that's probably not someone you'll want to spend your life with.
4. They're Pretty Darn Intimate
Yes, it's important to have a great sex life with your partner, and to be open to meeting each other's needs. But when I say intimacy, I'm talking about so much more than sex. This is "the partner who is able to express their feelings of love freely in multiple forms (words, acts, expressions), who is able to handle your desires, fears, concerns, and dreams in a sexual and non-sexual manner," Klapow says. "A partner who can understand the difference between intimacy and sex will be able to navigate the love rollercoaster that the two of you are on. Times, people, physiology, emotions all change. Intimacy is about far more than having intercourse."
5. They Have Good Financial Habits
Talking finances can be tough with a new partner, but you can still look for signs they're relatively financially responsible — or at least heading in that direction. "While it’s hard to get the whole financial truth (credit score, financial history) early in a relationship, you can still obtain insights into your partner’s financial values as they 'spill out' during regular conversations and behaviors," says Bennett. If they complain about bills, or spend money wildly, it may make for a very stressful financial situation down the road.
6. They Have Goals And An Ability To Follow Through
Plenty of people have goals, and that's great. But what really sets the mature people apart is their ability to follow through. "No one wants to be with a partner who lacks direction and follow through," Bennett says. "People are typically consistent in their patterns and choices. So, if your partner makes promises or commitments about smaller matters and doesn’t follow through, you can expect the same behavior with bigger issues down the line."
7. They Want To Make Positive, Healthy Choices
Everyone has a quirk or two, so you'll have to forgive each other for not being 100 percent perfect. That said, you will want to be on the lookout for signs your partner has a healthy outlook on life, as well as a desire to change and/or improve their less-glowing qualities. "Ultimately, you want to be with a partner who makes good choices," Bennett says. This not only means they care about themselves, but also what they're bringing to the relationship, too.
8. They're A Good Person
As the wise poet Maya Angelou once said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them." So keep an eye out for signs, early on, that reveal your partner's character. "You can see a person’s sense of ethics emerge very early in the relationship," Bennett says. "Look at everyday choices and behaviors. If you see patterns of lying, cheating, narcissism, or other character flaws, don’t ignore them. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."
9. They're Always Kind And Respectful In Public
If your SO is kind to everyone he or she meets — including cashiers and baristas, who often get the worst of the world's rudeness — then you're likely with someone who's mature. "Of course, when you first meet someone you want to date, everything they say seems to be cute," says life coach Dr. Ty Belknap. "But how they talk can tell you a lot."
10. They're Self Aware
Do what you can, too, to check for signs of their self-awareness. "Look for people who have a balanced view of themselves, who can recognize and value their strengths, but also acknowledge and accept their shortcomings," psychotherapist Santiago Delboy, MBA, LCSW tells Bustle. "Look for people who are aware of where their words or actions are coming from, and mindful about the impact they may have on you or others."
11. They Respect (And Appreciate) Your Differences
If you two respect each other, even when you don't agree, then you have a shot at a healthy relationship. "A big part of long-term relationships is finding ways to negotiate differences," says Delboy. "Look for someone who is not trying to convince you of his or her point of view, but is instead curious and open about your own."
Are you noticing these signs, even though it's still so early in your relationship? If so, you've likely found someone who is mature enough to create a healthy situation, for the long haul.
Images: Unsplash, Chiến Phạm; Pexels (11)