Tired of being the grown-up in the relationship? Welcome to the club! What age does a man emotionally mature exactly? You might be surprised
The question we all really want an answer to – what age does a man emotionally mature? When I was 18, I thought an emotionally mature man would be 24 or 25.
I clearly learned the hard way. I waited year after year, hoping that the guys who were a little older than me would be more emotionally mature, but alas, I was sorely mistaken. My guess is that you’re probably in the same boat as me.
It’s a lonely ride and you’re probably trying not to capsize from all the fuck boys surrounding you. I get it. Now, of course, there are some men who are more mature at their age, but we can’t fight with science.
What is emotional maturity?
Of course, before we start to explore what age does a man emotionally mature, we need to know what emotional maturity actually is!
When you’re emotionally mature, you can manage your emotions, you can make decisions, and you’re able to take responsibility for your actions and your mistakes. You’re more aware of the feelings of those around you, and you’re less likely to “fly off the handle” at the smallest thing.
That doesn’t mean someone who is emotionally mature will never have a bad day, because we all do. It’s entirely possible to let things get on top of you and start shouting or crying for little reason. The difference is that after a very short outburst, you stop, take stock, apologize if you need to, and realize that you were being a little crazy for a moment.
A relationship with someone who isn’t very emotionally mature is a nightmare. Even learning what age does a man emotionally mature doesn’t mean that when he hits the magic number, he’s suddenly the finished article!
This is even more the case if you’re pretty clued up when it comes to your emotional maturity and your partner isn’t. More often than not *sorry guys*, it’s the man who is less emotionally mature than the woman. That’s where the problems begin.
Let’s look at a few typical examples of emotionally immature behavior.
1. Finding regular bodily functions rather amusing, e.g. burping, farting, and a rumbling stomach
2. Excessively playing video games
3. Trying to race other drivers or driving too fast for the sake of it
4. Driving around with music excessively loud, just to be noticed
5. Being a practical joker to the point of annoyance
6. Not really caring about how their remarks affect another person
7. Giving the cold shoulder or sulking when things don’t go their way
8. Refusing to clean up after themselves
9. Putting off decisions because it’s “too hard”
10. Avoiding communication or being unable to hold an adult conversation
11. Always running back to their mom when things go wrong or they want something doing for them, e.g. washing
12. Binging on junk food and not seeing the value of healthy eating, or staying up all night and sleeping all day – basically not taking care of himself
13. Being over-competitive in the gym, e.g. trying to lift heavy weights to outdo everyone else
14. Sleeping around and not taking safety or feelings into account
15. Drinking too much for the sake of it
What age does a man emotionally mature?
Here’s the thing, men don’t emotionally mature until they’re around 43-years-old. Now, women fully mature at 32. While we mature later, we still beat men by 11 years. This was all proven by a study performed by Nickelodeon UK back in 2013. It’s hardly surprising but the lateness is a little eye-opening.
Does this mean you need to date a 43-year-old man? No. There are men younger than 43 and relatively mature for their age. Of course, they’re not easy to find. You need to keep your eye out for specific signs that show you whether or not this guy can act his age, or at least behave in a mature manner. You’re probably nodding along to some of the behaviors listed above, but everyone can have the odd immature bout of behavior occasionally; it doesn’t mean they’re downright emotionally immature.
With this all being said, emotional maturity can develop in a relationship as well, they just need the right partner. I know you’re all eager to find out, so let’s check out some traits of a guy who is emotionally mature.
1. He can communicate his needs
If he’s mentally a boy, he’ll struggle with expressing his emotions and needs in a mature way. However, a man who’s emotionally mature can have uncomfortable conversations with you in hopes of reaching a positive conclusion. Getting a passive-aggressive text isn’t the sign of a mature man. Regardless of the topic, he can sit down and discuss it with you.
2. He expresses his feelings
There’s this idea going around that men shouldn’t express their emotions as it’s a sign of weakness. However, that’s the mentality of an immature man. Instead, a mature man has no problem expressing his emotions and doesn’t refrain from showing them. They’re aware of the consequences of what happens when you suppress how you feel.
3. His friends are emotionally mature
You cannot be an emotionally mature man if the closest people around you are immature. How can you grow in that environment? If you want to know if a man is emotionally mature, look at his friends. They’ll give you a decent insight as to how they are as people. You are who you hang out with, so, if you’re unsure about your man, look at this core group of friends.
4. He wants to grow
I’m not talking about height. A mature man wants to continue to grow and learn things, not only about himself but about his partner as well. History repeats itself and he knows that.
By pushing himself to grow and be open with himself, friends, family, and you, he’s focusing on tackling issues in his past and working on becoming a better person.
5. He listens, like, really listens
Usually, when an emotionally immature man is listening to you, he ends up explaining how you should fix it without you asking him for help. If you’re talking to someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need something fixed, sometimes you just want an ear. An emotionally mature man will recognize when you need a comforting shoulder and when you’re asking for advice.
6. He respects your boundaries
A fuck boy will push your boundaries in hopes of getting only what he wants. He’s not concerned about you or your feelings and this is a sign of an immature man. But an emotionally mature man will respect your boundaries. Whatever they may be. You have these boundaries for a reason. He may question why you have them but this is only so he has a better understanding.
7. He sees emotions as strength
Men are terrified of being vulnerable because it’s been drilled into our heads that it’s a weakness. However, part of being emotionally mature is understanding that vulnerability requires actual strength. They’re able to leave their ego at the door and admit that they need help or support during hard times. Everyone goes through a hard time but an immature man will not be able to handle it.
8. He can share with you, and doesn’t feel awkward doing so
Many men are simply scared to share their true feelings and opinions with a woman. They don’t want to be seen as weak or be taken advantage of. I understand that fear because we’ve all had it.
But at some point, in order to connect with other people, you need to share your feelings without feeling ashamed. However, this happens only when a man is emotionally mature enough to take that step forward.
9. He can talk about hard topics
Having vulnerable and honest conversations aren’t easy and all of us try to dodge those moments if we have the opportunity. But that doesn’t make a person grow. What makes a person grow is hard conversations which require vulnerability and honesty. Men are not emotionally expressive, so, to truly be emotionally mature, they need to push through that.
10. He supports you rather than puts you down
Regardless of your ideas, a mature man isn’t focused on putting you down. Instead, he wants to support you with whatever you decide to do with your time. An immature man will take your goals and dreams and knock you down, teasing you or insulting your goals. This is what we call an asshole and not an emotionally mature man.
11. It’s not just about hooking up
An immature man will see an encounter with a woman as just a hookup. Now, this doesn’t mean an emotionally mature man will not hook up, but they will be respectful and honest with you right from the beginning. If they see a woman they truly like, they’ll view her as someone who’s more than just an object. They view her as a person, someone who’s an emotional being.
12. He’s willing to face his fears
Everyone has fears. Immature men will run from them and never stand up against the things that scare them. However, a mature man knows that to grow as a person, you need to conquer your fears and move forward. Having fears is one thing. Knowing how to face them is completely different.
13. He understands the concept of priorities
Immature men will not realize the important things they have in front of them. You may be dating an immature man if he doesn’t spend quality time with you and instead uses you whenever he pleases. But an emotionally mature man will recognize what he has in front of him. He makes sure the things he loves are a priority.
14. If he says he’s going to do something, he does it
An immature man will make promises he doesn’t intend to keep. He’ll do this just to keep you sweet until the next time he misbehaves. However, an emotionally mature man will do what he says he’s going to do and keep his promises. Sure, sometimes it’s not possible, but he’ll explain if that’s the case.
15. He doesn’t sulk when things don’t go his way
Sulking is the sign of immaturity. A man who is emotionally mature might go a little quiet for a second whilst he processes his emotions. But he’ll then sit down and talk about them, or explain them in the best way he knows how. He won’t give you the cold shoulder or sit there sulking with his bottom lip stuck out! If you’re wondering ‘what age does a man emotionally mature’, it’s when he doesn’t sulk anymore!
16. He takes responsibility for his actions
You’ll know he’s emotionally mature when he’s able to take responsibility for his mistakes and actions, without blaming everything and everyone around him. A guy lacking emotional maturity will just look for an excuse or someone else to blame. They’re never in the wrong.
17. He takes his time with tough decisions
Being spontaneous is one thing, but being gung-ho with important decisions is quite another. A guy who is emotionally mature will recognize the importance of a decision and take his time weighing up the pros and cons. On the other hand, a guy who is less mature will either do nothing or take unnecessary risks.
18. He will apologize when he needs to
Not apologizing when you’re in the wrong is classic immature behavior. A guy who does this just doesn’t want to admit that he messed up. His ego and pride is more important. However, a guy who knows that he needs to apologize and mean it when he’s wrong, is an emotionally mature guy.
19. Emotional outbursts are a thing of the past
Being able to control your emotions is important. A guy who isn’t in control of his emotions is likely to have outbursts of anger or screaming fits for no reason. However, when a guy knows how to handle his emotions, he’ll know when he needs to take a little time out, or go for a walk to calm down. That’s a sign of emotional maturity.
What to do if your guy is emotionally immature
I hope this isn’t the case for you, but what if you’re nodding along to many of the points in this feature and you’re pretty sure that your guy isn’t emotionally mature yet? Problem time.
Many younger guys just aren’t mature yet. That’s the truth. However, that doesn’t mean you have to put up with immature behavior that borders on disrespect. If it’s bothering you, sit down with your guy and talk things through. Be careful not to use blaming language such as “you never”, “I always”, “you don’t”, and instead stick with “I feel”, etc. Give examples to back up what you’re saying, and avoid giving ultimatums at this point.
However, if after a while nothing changes, you really need to think about whether you’re happy to continue in the relationship. You didn’t sign up to be his second mom, you signed up to be his partner. Sometimes, guys need a little shake to make them see what they could potentially lose, if they don’t buck up their ideas.
Now that you know the answer to what age does a man emotionally mature, and how to tell they have, it’s time you paid more attention to the next guy you date.