Emotional immaturity is one of the many factors people usually neglect in a relationship. It’s quite an irony because it is a crucial factor to look out for before dating. An immature partner can cause more harm than good. Signs of immaturity in relationship can manifest in form of domestic violence, emotional abuse, and insecurities.
An immature person is someone who is not emotionally balanced. Someone who is not fully grown or developed. This post focuses on emotional and cognitive growth. Persons in this group usually lack emotional maturity and a sense of responsibility. They are also very impulsive.
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Emotional Immaturity in Today’s Relationships
The problem with relationships today, especially that of the younger generation – Gen Z and millennials – is that many think that relationship is all about sex and cruise. Many are not ready for commitment. They think that a relationship is child’s play and it doesn’t have to be serious.
You can’t be in and out of a relationship at once. It doesn’t work that way. This generation is full of selfish people that are only interested in themselves. They give themselves this self-assurance with supporting quotes to back up their silliness.
Many don’t even put in the effort. They call for a break at the first peep of an issue. A lot of people are in an immature and toxic relationship. That’s why ‘friends with benefit’ is rampant.
People fight over ridiculous things in relationships. We live in a world where being mean and acting heartless is normal to prove that you are not someone to mess with.
Common Causes of Emotional Immaturity in Relationships
Seeing relationship as a fix
One of the greatest mistakes people make is thinking that relationships will make them whole. Before you can be in a mature relationship, you have to be and feel complete, emotionally and psychologically. You have to love yourself first before you can love others. An immature relationship involves two unstable individuals trying to make a whole. Each of them tries to make their partner become what they want. They are quick to scorn and note their partners’ flaws.
In a mature relationship, two complete individuals are trying to be better. They push each other to pursue their interests and goals and they make each other become the best versions of themselves.
Jumping to a new relationship
It’s important to learn that if you’ve been heartbroken, and you are not sure you are ready for love, do not start a relationship. Give yourself a break. See a therapist, talk to a confidant about it, have fun, and find yourself before you go into another. You have to be healthy before you make a relationship work. The problem is that many don’t heal from their last toxic and immature relationship. They jump into the next one thinking that it would help them heal faster. Some even go for a partner so that they can show their ex they’ve seen a better option, like a revenge date. This is not fair to you or the other person.
Becoming heartless and immature in relationship because you’ve had a bad partner before is not a good thing, it shows you’ve given that person total control over your life. And it makes you a monster just like the person too. Two wrongs can never make a right.
Honestly, there are a lot of learning and relearning to do when it comes to relationship. A lot of people exhibit many signs of immaturity as normal traits. Many don’t even know they are showing signs of immaturity or are in a relationship with an immature partner.
5 Signs of Immaturity in Your Relationship
Your partner has commitment issues
One of the signs of immaturity in a relationship is when your partner refuses to stay committed. They believe that a relationship is about sex and cruise. People like these have different options apart from you. They see it as nothing. After all, “we are still young”, they would say. Cheating is a normal thing to them.
Signs of immaturity in a relationship in the form of commitment include not putting yourself first and avoiding conversations to make the relationship serious. When you raise the question, they either run away or try to cover it up with another topic. They feel you are trying to cage them. Relationship to these kinds of people is a prison – a freedom snatcher.
These are the type of people you ask the question “what are we babe?” and they respond with, “we are nothing but pencils in the hand of the creator,”
Constant display of insecurity
An immature partner is so insecure that they don’t want you around anyone else. Not even your family or friends. They are the type of people that advise you to stay away from your family because according to them your family don’t wish you well and they want to destroy your love life.
These partners are also paranoid and obsessed. They ask the “where are you?” question too often. Signs of immaturity in a relationship in terms of insecurity include constant feeling that you are cheating, jealousy at any sign of closeness with the opposite sex, and frequent accusations of being a liar and a cheat. They don’t believe in honesty. In a mature relationship, your partner should trust you enough to give you time to spend with other friends.
Obsession is one of the most annoying and glaring signs of immaturity in a relationship. It is not a do or die affair, so it shouldn’t feel like it.
Read also: How to overcome insecurity as a Nigerian
They are narcissistic
Narcissism is one of the signs of immaturity in a relationship. Everything is always about them, it doesn’t matter how you feel. They use “I” and “me” too often. They place themselves on a pedestal. When you have issues, they are not ready to solve them because they believe that if you choose to leave, someone else will replace you.
An immature partner refuses to acknowledge your worth, and is less likely to say words like, “I love you, I don’t want to lose you, let’s fix this”. Signs of immaturity in the form of narcissism is when your partner says words like “suit yourself, I don’t care. If that’s what you want, then so be it”. You may be able to relate to this if you’ve had one or two partners saying this to you.
They are defensive
When you try to talk to them, they get defensive and cause a scene. Fight and drama is their defensive mechanism. Some Nigerian ladies even think a relationship without drama will be boring. When did the relationship turn to African Magic? Or Ola Rotimi stage plays? Come on!
Drama is for kids. A real relationship does not need to be dramatic. Love doesn’t have to be wild and compulsive. This is not a Wattpad story where two partners are madly obsessed and toxic to each other, yet they still end up together. This is real life, and things should not be like that between two grown people.
Signs of immaturity in form of defensiveness is when your partner never owns up to their mistakes and always feel like they are right. An emotionally immature person in a relationship feels there is always a need to defend him or herself.
You always feel lonely and uncertain
This is one of the saddest signs of immaturity in a relationship. You always feel something is not right or something is missing. Constant feeling of loneliness and crying too often. You don’t feel loved, you don’t know your stance and there is always this urge to be reassured that he or she loves you. Always being doubtful is a sure sign that you’re in an immature relationship.
“Does he love me?”, “When will she leave me?” “Is he seeing someone else?” “Can our relationship work out?”. In a mature relationship, you won’t need to be so worried about your partner’s love for you. You feel it in their actions and the words that they say. There is no need for constant assurance in a matured relationship.
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What to do When You Notice Some Signs of Immaturity in Your Relationship
Communication, they say, is key. Sometimes, an immature partner doesn’t know they are on the wrong path in a relationship. Some have been in toxic relationships in the past and feel like it’s normal to act the way they do. You can communicate with your partner, let him or her know what they do wrong and figure out how to have a healthy relationship.
Don’t make excuses for them
Making excuses for an immature partner is not the right way to make them change. What is bad is bad, there is no other word for it. For example, when your man talks to you rudely, don’t make excuses for him like “maybe because he has been in a bad relationship before that is why he is behaving like this.” No. Let him know he is wrong.
When your girl farts loudly every time and is always quick to defend herself when you tell her about it, don’t make excuses for her by thinking you are overreacting. No. You’re not.
Be persuasive and assertive
When communicating with your immature partner, you don’t have to be lousy and aggressive like them. Sit them down, talk it out, and let your voice be as persuasive and assertive as possible. Let them know what you don’t like.
For example, “I love you, but I don’t like how you behave most time”, “you can be immature sometimes”. “You don’t give me enough respect as I deserve”.
Give them a chance to change
Be able to give them a chance to change. Observe their behaviour after communicating with them. Rome was not built in a day, so make sure you give them enough time to notice at least some changes in them.
It can also be in your manner of approach when they do something wrong. For example, “Babe you shouted rudely at me again, but I know it’s not intention right?”. Give them a chance to rethink.
When your efforts to clean your relationship of all signs of immaturity are not working and they don’t seem to change, JAPA! For non-Nigerians, JAPA means to run away! You are not their parent, you can’t nurture an immature partner that is not ready to change. They will keep making the same mistakes over and over again. They will continue to drain you, and before you know it you will end up like them.
Read also: How to manage relationship conflicts
You are an amazing person, and you need someone to make you feel loved. Love and relationships are beautiful when with the right partners. No matter how much you love someone, when you don’t feel the reciprocation, leave.
You deserve a healthy, supportive relationship in which your partner value and respect you. Not the one you will need assurance about like Davido’s Chioma. Yes, a healthy relationship has its ups and downs. Things are not always rosy but what makes the difference between a mature and immature relationship is the fact in immature partners are usually quick to call it a quits.
Sometimes you can also be the immature person in the relationship, if you have more than two or three traits in the aforementioned signs of immaturity in a relationship, you need to change for good. There’s nothing sweet and romantic about being immature. No matter the love your partner has for you, you will wear them down one day and they will leave. Look for ways to be a better person.
Do you know any better ways to end emotional immaturity? Let’s talk on Whatsapp
- Sociologist, writer, historian, and activist; Mariam Obaijoko is the author of Ashabi and Campus Lovers (one of Unilorin Best Fiction Of 2019). Now a full-time writer, she has published several articles and write-ups on social issues, feminism, lifestyles, and many others.