You’re an adult, he’s an adult, right?!...that’s what your driver’s license says. The problem is that, just like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing, there are actually plenty of teenage boys lurking behind the disguise of a fully-fledged grown man. While some are simple to spot, they may not always be quite so easy to identify. Here are some of the signs that your man-child may not be ready to date a grown-up.
1. There’s consistently an absence of defined plans.
If your dates consist of way too many “netflix and chill” nights and ill-defined plans, then it’s a sign he lacks the maturity, imagination or motivation to organize something more original. If the suggestion of daytime dates to the museum, going on a hike, having a picnic, are met with dumbfounded looks, then he may not yet understand that grown-up’s tend to enjoy the stimulation of a variety of activities, which require some amount of planning.
2. He backs off after the chase.
There are some men who come on really strong, pursuing with intent, only to back off as soon as you start to let your guard down and reciprocate interest. You should never have to play games or “play it cool” in order to keep his attention. While we all want butterflies, some people are chasing fairytales. That means as soon as they’re faced with the less glossy reality of a relationship their behavior starts to change, or they hit the road altogether.
3. He feels threatened by honest and open communication.
Healthy relationships thrive on being able to express, without fear, your true emotions and thoughts to one another. If your attempts to have any kind of serious conversation with him feel confrontational or “too heavy” for him, it may mean he simply isn’t used to grown-up dialogue.
4. He’s not interested in getting to know you.
He may be charming and flirtatious on your dates, but does he ever ask questions that really touch below the surface, or is he merely going through the motions? There’s a (sometimes subtle) difference between having a good time with someone and getting to know them. The latter builds intimacy. If he doesn’t seem so interested in your life, away from the time you spend with him, that may be because he’s not planning on building a future with you.
5. He doesn’t respect your other commitments.
To a well-rounded adult the fact that your life is made up of a vibrant mix of work and social commitments, as well as hobbies and interests, will not only be perfectly ok, it will be a bonus. That’s because interesting people lead interesting lives. Although balancing a healthy relationship and a demanding schedule is tricky, a woman who has plenty going on in her world, without him, will be respected for it by any grown-up. If he behaves selfishly or has jealousy over your other commitments, he may not be ready for an adult relationship.
6. He freaks out about meeting your family or friends.
There are certain dating milestones which seem to have a lot of significance placed on them. Meeting each other's friends and families is one of these. It is true that we don’t want to allow just anyone into our inner circle, but it actually doesn’t have to be such a big deal, either. Grown-ups are used to meeting and conversing with strangers on a daily basis, it isn’t so difficult. That means his adverse reaction to meeting those closest to you, may in reality be an adverse reaction to the prospect of becoming too involved in your life.
If you are experiencing the signs of a lackluster situation-ship, it’s best to step back and reassess his intent and your overall objective. You deciding to move on doesn’t make him a bad person, it just means that you are keenly aware of your value and goals. Better is waiting. Grow forward.