More often than not, being with someone who's emotionally immature will only lead to stress and frustration. This is especially true if you're ready for a serious commitment and they're not close to giving it to you. But according to experts, your situation may not be completely hopeless. People do change. If you pay close attention to the signs, you may find that your
immature partner is ready to grow up.
In the early stages of a relationship, it's easy to brush off the red flags and ignore any signs that your
partner is immature. But at some point after the honeymoon period has ended, realization is going to hit. While the fun doesn't have to stop, you'll need more than just that to make your relationship work.
When you're with someone who's immature,
David Bennett, certified counselor and relationship expert, tells Bustle that it can impact your life and relationship in many different ways. For instance, you may find yourself being embarrassed by their behavior or having to find excuses for them. While you'd rather talk out your issues in a clear and honest way, your partner may take to social media and make passive-aggressive posts. This can make your relationship feel like it's more trouble than it's worth.
But some people eventually grow up — they may just need a little time to get it together. "While they may not become super mature immediately, if you see progress that is a good indicator," Bennett says. So here are some signs your immature partner is ready to grow up, according to experts.
They're Opening Up To You And Allowing Themselves To Be Vulnerable
A partner who is a bit immature may try to keep the relationship as shallow as possible. They may put off having deeper conversations so they won't need to show any vulnerability. They may even try to avoid talking about the future of the relationship for as long as possible. But
Michelle Henderson, licensed mental health counselor who specializes in helping individuals overcome relationship issues, tells Bustle, "If your partner starts having more 'real' conversations with you and is opening up about how they feel this is a sign that they are maturing."
They're Taking Steps To Accomplish Their Goals
Being stagnant is a big sign of immaturity. "It's not necessary for two people in a relationship to have achieved the same goals in life or to be moving at the same pace, but it's important for both people to be taking steps to work towards goals they have for themselves," Henderson says.
If your partner isn't making an effort to accomplish their life goals, they may not be ready for anything more serious and committed with you. According to Henderson, you'll know that your partner is ready to grow up when they show more enthusiasm for their life and their future. "They'll start showing with their actions that they are taking steps to achieve the goals they've set for themselves," she says. When you see them doing the things they've talked about but have not taken action on before, that shows that they're ready to move their life in a positive direction."
They're Apologizing For Their Mistakes And Taking Responsibility For Their Actions
It's tough to admit that you've made a mistake. An emotionally immature partner is likely to make excuses or place the blame on you. As
Diana Venckunaite, certified life and relationship coach, tells Bustle, "This constant responsibility-avoiding is a recipe for endless fights and frustration. If you're the only responsible person in this relationship, then sadly, there is no relationship." Being in a relationship is like being part of a team. It's hard to be on the same team if someone keeps playing the blame game with you. So if your partner starts owning up to their mistakes, it's a good indicator that they're maturing.
They're Choosing To Spend More Time With You
When you're still in the early stages of your relationship, spending time together is key. You want to know that you're investing your time and emotional energy into someone that's going to show up and be a partner to you. But if you're dealing with someone who's a bit immature, they may have a tendency to choose their friends over you. In short, you'll be dealing with someone who doesn't take your relationship seriously.
"If your partner chooses to ignore the importance of spending quality time with you, then they may not be the right one for now," Venckunaite says. "As much as you may want to make your partner care, you can't change their mind unless they choose to." But if they start choosing to spend more of their free time with you, they're likely ready to grow up.
They're Being Consistent
"Consistency is a massive sign that your partner is ready to go to the next level," Melissa Hobley, dating and relationship expert and global chief marketing officer at
OkCupid, tells Bustle. You'll definitely notice a change in them. For instance, they may become more consistent with their texting. They may check-in more throughout the day. They may even start planning actual dates. A partner who's ready to grow up will make much more of an effort to show you that they want the relationship. You won't find yourself questioning their feelings for you or their intentions.
They're Willing To Talk Out Your Issues Like You're On The Same Team
"Immature people avoid conflict at all costs because they don’t know how to handle it in a constructive way,"
Brad Browning, relationship coach and author, tells Bustle. "But conflict is necessary for emotional growth and intimacy." If you're with someone who's afraid of having arguments because they fear a breakup, it will only lead to resentment and even more problems down the road. Nobody really wants to argue with their partner. But sometimes it's necessary in order to have a true sense of harmony in your relationship. When your partner is ready to grow up, they'll stop hiding from arguments. They'll actually stick around and will try to work things out with you.
They're Bringing Up The Future
"The primary difference I see between an immature and mature partner is whether their focus is on the past, present, or future,"
Lily Ewing, MA, LMHCA, a therapist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. An immature partner will only be focused on the past and the present. But a partner who's ready to grow up will focus on the present and the future. There's no more "seeing where things go." They know they're committed to you and they want you in their life, and they'll express that in a very clear way. You'll know that you're on the same page because you actually talk about it.
Sometimes waiting for someone to grow up will eventually pay off and sometimes it won't. The important thing to remember here is that you can't really make anyone change. They're going to do it if they want to and on their own time. But if you notice any of these signs, there's a good chance that your partner is ready to grow up.