In the beginning of a new relationship, it's easy to overlook the signs that your partner is immature, and how it may be affecting your relationship. It's easy to brush them off as quirks or things you just learn to live with about them. But long-term relationships require work in order to be successful. Unfortunately, everyone is mature enough to handle the amount of effort it takes to make it last. So, how can you tell if your partner is equipped to deal with the difficulties of relationships?
According to Laurie Endicott Thomas, MA, ELS, relationship expert and author of Don’t Feed the Narcissists! The Mythology and Science of Mental Health, there is one very telling sign. "The clearest sign that your partner is too immature for you is when you find yourself making ... excuses for your partner’s behavior," Thomas says.
For one, the fact that you feel a need to make an excuse for your partner's behavior may not be a good sign. That means you're probably aware that it's happening. As Thomas says, the weaker the excuse for your partner's actions, the more immature their behavior may come off as.
Sometimes immaturity is easy to spot and sometimes it isn't. So here are some of the more subtle signs that experts say mean your partner may be too immature for you.
1They Overanalyze Everything
Couples therapist, Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, tells Bustle that overanalyzing is subtle sign that your partner may have some immaturities. That could look like anything from your partner constantly questioning whether you're mad at them to asking why you used their first name instead of their nickname. They might also take it a step further by snooping through your phone and social media accounts. Spending time with your friends without them might also make them upset.
So if your partner doesn't seem secure enough in your relationship that they question everything you do, that's a sign that they're not mature enough to recognize that relationships are built on trust. "If they make it difficult for you to live your life, you may come to resent them and think twice about staying in the relationship," Hershenson says.
2Managing Money Is A Foreign Concept To Them
If your partner isn’t thinking as seriously about saving for long-term life goals, that may be a sign that they aren't very mature. "There is a time and place for going out and partying and spending money frivolously," sex and relationship expert, Dr. Megan Stubbs tells Bustle. "But if you’re looking to start investing in bigger picture things like saving for a house or paying down student debt, that might be the source of some arguments or resentment in your relationship." If your partner shows no sign of wanting to take on this responsibility, it may be due to an unwillingness to grow up.
3They Don't Follow Through With Promises
If they never follow through with their promises, that could also be a sign of lack of responsibility. "The beginning of a relationship is all about getting to know one another and to see if you're a good fit," Relationship expert and matchmaker Amber Kelleher-Andrews tells Bustle. But if they are inconsistent at the beginning of a relationship, Kelleher-Andrews says it won't get better with time. It might only get worse. And if this isn't a quality you are looking for in a person, it may be a good idea to move on from the relationship.
4They Don't Have A Normal Bedtime
Bedtimes aren't just for kids — adults also benefit from having a regular sleep schedule. Unless they suffer from insomnia or work nights, your partner should be making a conscious effort to get to bed at a certain time each night. So if your partner can't get to bed on time in order to face the workday tomorrow, they may lack the discipline.
"If you're a career-minded adult, being with someone who likes to stay out late or play video games until the wee hours isn't likely to work," Chris Brantner, Certified Sleep Science Coach at SleepZoo.com. "Remember, not only will their nighttime behavior affect them, but it's bound to interfere with your sleep as well. Whether it's pressuring you to stay up late, or them rolling into bed late and disrupting your sleep, either way, it [may] spell trouble for you."
If it's a problem, Branter says it's worth having a frank conversation with them about it. Their response can also clue you into how mature they really are.
5They Always Lash Out During Fights
If your partner has a tendency to lash out during a fight, they may not have the tools to argue diplomatically. As April Davis, dating coach and founder of Luma - Luxury Matchmaking tells Bustle, they're probably emotionally immature as well.
"Being emotionally immature in a relationship means that you can't control your emotions or reactions towards your partner, oftentimes lashing out and holding grudges," Davis says. "Emotionally immature partners always have to have things their way." They won't shy away from a lying, blaming and guilting their partner. They can also become extremely defensive over the smallest of things, especially if they're in the wrong. If your partner reacts in any of those ways, they might not be mature enough for a relationship.
6Your Relationship Feels More Like A Competition Than A Partnership
If your partner constantly keeps score of everything that goes on between you, that's a clue of immaturity as well. You might notice that they're not as excited for you when you get a promotion at work in the way that you would expect. They might also give you an, "I told you so," after mistakes you might make.
"A partner who is in constant competition may have unhealthy esteem issues and that can be a real nuisance," Yahya Smith, life and relationship coach, tells Bustle. "Try talking about where the problem stems from and gently remind them that you’re on the same team."
7They're Not Setting Goals
There's nothing wrong with wanting to live in the moment. But according to Smith, a person who hasn’t “grown up” and is just "going with the flow of life" can cause frustration for a partner with a plan for theirs. "Creating time to sit down and hash out goals and action steps may help IF they truly want to grow up," Smith says. If not, it may be best to move forward without them.
8Discussing Issues Is Not Their Thing
Relationships can only survive if both partners are willing to communicate honestly. If your partner can't do that, they might not be mature enough. "Someone who goes silent or says nothing’s wrong when it obviously is, or someone who rants and rages is too immature to be in a relationship until they learn healthy communication skills," Dr. Jill Murray, licensed psychotherapist and author, tells Bustle. "Being able to problem solve as a team is crucial to a healthy relationship."
9They Don't Make You Feel Like You're A Priority
If they're always on their phone when you're together or they would rather hang out with their friends than make solid plans with you, Murray says, it might mean that your partner isn't interested or mature enough to be in a one-on-one relationship right now.
If find that your partner is immature, what should you do? According to dating expert and author of Don’t Settle: How to Marry the Man You Are Meant For, Scott Carroll, MD, tells Bustle, "You can try some gentle encouragement to do specific things, but ultimately, you have to make a decision to either accept that they will always be a bit behind you or you have to let them go and look for someone who is at your maturity level."
So, the decision is up to you. But if you're questioning whether or not they're too immature for you, and it is affecting your happiness, it may be time to end things.