Good relationships require maturity. That’s why we don’t marry until our hormones have stopped raging and our character, goals, and development are well underway. We want to marry a man, not a man-child.
We generally use age as a way of quickly judging maturity, but it can be a poor predictor. Some eighteen year-olds are men by any standard, though they are unusual. Some forty year-olds are man-children, and unfortunately they are common.
Dating a 30-something guy who has the characteristics of a child or adolescent is probably going to feel more like a junior high crush than a real relationship. (Remember the movie Big?)
The man-child does not view commitment as a long-term choice. For him it may mean deciding whether to have a burger or pizza. Whether to quit his job even though he has nothing else lined up. What to spend his paycheck on – he sees no reason to save.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to identify the man-child creature by his attitudes and behavior. Which of these describes the men you attract and spend time with? Which of these is the natural catch for the vibe you’re putting out there?
Have you had experience dating a man-child? Let’s discuss!
|A MAN:||A MAN-CHILD:|
|Goals||Has a plan; future orientation||Has a tan; “right now” orientation|
|Rewards||Delays gratification||Chases gratification|
|Reliability||Is stable and consistent||Is erratic and changeable|
|Responsibility||Actively cares for others||Focuses on self|
|Risks||Accepts measured risks in pursuit of goals||Takes crazy risks for the dopamine rush|
|Finance||Prioritizes needs||Prioritizes wants|
|Ethics||Has developed moral convictions||Keeps morals flexible|
|Promises||Views promises as binding||Views promises as a means to an end|
|Emotional Openness||Works to make you feel loved and secure||Works to make you feel jealous and insecure|
|Behavior||Inspires respect||Requires excuse-making|
|Mistakes/Apology||Is sorry he hurt your feelings||Is sorry you got mad|
|Sex||Enjoys giving you pleasure, which increases his own||Focuses on his own sexual pleasure|
|Support||Rejoices in your success; encourages you when you fail||Is threatened by your success; feels cheered when you fail|
|Self-esteem||Validates himself via life choices and achievement||Requires constant validation from others; unrelated to achievement|
|Dating Preference||Seeks a woman who is sane and intelligent with shared values||Seeks women who are hot, psycho and wild|
|Satisfaction||Knows when he has found quality||Always wonders if he can do better|