The official beginning of adulthood has always been on a sliding scale. The process starts at 18, when you’re allowed to vote, die for your country and be tried as an adult, but I think most of us can agree that we still have a lot of growing up to do at that age. The next step is 21, and while in the “Mad Men” era that may have been the age when all men were expected to put childish things away, get married and be on their way to starting a career, that’s no longer the case. Hell, it’s arguable that being able to legally buy beer actually causes a step down in maturity for a lot of us.
I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. The uninterrupted path of school to marriage to family to career has led directly to the land of the mid-life crisis for previous generations. Nowadays, actual adulthood seems to begin around 30. We use our 20s to get all our partying and hookups out of our system — good for us.
The problem with this prolonged adolescence, however, is that some people forget that they eventually do have to take some responsibility for their lives and become a useful member of society. And since women tend to mature faster than men, it’s easy to understand the fairer sex’s frustrations about their dating options. By 30, family-oriented women are getting antsy about finding a guy to settle down with (tick-tock and all that), but a lot of the guys their age aren’t on the same page.
So this one’s for the ladies, but the dudes should pay attention, too. What follows is a list of ways you can tell a man isn’t ready for the real world. But just because he may exhibit some, or even all, of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean he’s incapable of growing up. It just means he’s not there yet. Try giving him a kick in the ass before you kick him to the curb.
1. He Plays Games
I’m not talking about video games. As long as it’s not interfering with his life, let the guy play. No, I’m talking about the kind of games when he’s fucking with your mind. Basically, he hasn’t learned the difference between dating and being in a grown-up relationship. Call him out on it. Maybe he’ll stop.
2. He Only Cares About Himself
He has no interest in your hopes and dreams unless they revolve around him; he only cares that his needs are being met. An actual adult would have already figured out he’s not the center of the goddamn universe.
3. He Lives Only In The Moment
He’s learned nothing from the past and has no plans for the future. This can be an endearing quality, but it will get frustrating if you’re trying to plan a life with someone incapable of commitment.
4. He Lives With His Parents
Yeah, no poo, right? Still, when we’re drawn to people, we tend to make excuses for their faults. But this is the reddest of red flags. How can you expect to have an adult relationship with someone who’s never left the nest?
5. He Expects You To Be His Mom
If he thinks being in a relationship means he never has to cook, do his laundry or clean up after himself (or needs you to at least remind him to do those things), you’re in pretty warped territory. Let him know you’re more than a maid he gets to bang.
6. He Fades Into The Background When He’s Out Of His Element
Even though he’s the life of the party when he’s around his buddies, he clams up at work functions or “adult” dinner parties. He either feels inferior or he’s uninterested in expanding his social circle. Either way, he’s got a lot of growing up to do.
7. He’s Selfish In Bed
He thinks sex is only about getting him off. Whether he’s skipping the pre-intimacy or racing to the finish line, he hasn’t learned that relationship sex is about teamwork.
8. He Doesn’t Remember Any Plans He Doesn’t Make Himself
Guys don’t always like having to go to your sorority sister’s wedding or your family reunion, but if you’ve told him about it, he should have marked his calendar. If he acts surprised when the day arrives, this is a sign that he doesn’t respect you, which is a major symptom of immaturity.
9. He Can’t Hold Down A Job
I’m not saying he has to have his whole career planned out, but if he blows off work when he doesn’t feel like going, quits or gets fired because he’s too lazy or the job is too boring, this guy still doesn’t know life isn’t always about doing whatever he wants to do all the time.
10. He Doesn’t Stand Up For You
If he doesn’t have your back when you get into a confrontation (even if he doesn’t agree with you), he either doesn’t give a poo about you or he’s a coward. Either way, he’s not a man.
11. He Never Takes Blame
Nothing’s ever his fault, is it? A man doesn’t worry about who’s at fault — it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing productive about assigning or arguing about blame. If something’s wrong, just fix it.
12. He Tries To “Win” Arguments With You
It’s been said many times that arguing in relationships is a good thing — it proves you’re both invested. But arguments are about finding middle ground, not about coming out on top. And a grown-up man knows there’s no way to win an argument with a woman, anyway.
13. He Doesn’t Take Care Of You
And I don’t mean financially. You’re an independent, 21st-century woman — you don’t need a man to pay your bills. But if he’s not bringing you chicken soup when you’re sick or giving you rides when your car’s in the shop, this is not a guy you can depend on.
14. He’s Passive-Aggressive
Instead of being upfront and honest with you when you’ve pissed him off or hurt his feelings, he just shuts down or finds subtle ways to make your life difficult. Screw that guy. He’s a big baby.
15. He Worries Too Much About What Other People Think
A man doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him as long as he believes in what he’s doing. Confidence (not arrogance) comes with maturity.
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