35 Signs You’re Dating A Boy, Not A Man
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 shit, 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 foreplay 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 shit 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.
16. He’s Rebellious For No Reason
No one wants to be a full-on conformist, but we are living in a society, here. If this guy intentionally does the opposite of what’s expected from him just for the sake of being contrarian, that’s a sign of insecurity, immaturity or douche-baggery.
17. He’s Not Assertive
Speaking of confidence, a grown-up man isn’t afraid to go after what he wants. If this guy can’t manage to get a drink at a crowded bar or he’s too timid to tell you he likes a finger up his ass during sex, he’s never going to amount to anything.
18. He Refuses To Compromise
This guy has an unrealistic and outdated idea of what it means to be a man. He thinks that unless everything is done on his terms, he’ll be perceived as weak-willed. Grown-ups know life is full of compromises.
19. He Can’t Fix Anything
Maybe it’s an old gender role, but men are expected to be reasonably handy. He needs to know how to change a tire, mount a towel rack or at the very least, put together an IKEA bookshelf without bursting into tears.
20. He Gets Wasted Too Often
I’m all for going out and getting blasted every once in a while, but after college, it shouldn’t be the whole point of every night out. Cleaning up his puke and dealing with his morning-after hangovers is going to get old fast.
21. He Gives Up Too Easily
The older you get, the harder things become to accomplish. If he throws in the towel every time he meets a little bit of resistance, he’s still too wet behind the ears.
22. He Goes MIA
In today’s world, there are very few reasons to be completely unreachable for any length of time. If he can’t send you a simple text just to let you know he’s not dead or in jail, odds are he’s fucking with your head.
23. He Refuses To Make A Decision
When you ask a guy where he wants to go for dinner and he says something like, “I don’t care,” or “Wherever you want,” it’s usually true. But the difference between a man and a boy is that the man knows you hate that kind of shit and makes a suggestion anyway.
24. He’s A Dick
If this guy is rude to waiters or won’t play nice with your friends, he’s either playing the bad boy or he really is one. And while women are sometimes attracted to bad boys, they’re almost never attracted to bad men.
25. He Can’t Handle Conflict
Running away from or avoiding problems is one of the most childish things a guy can do. A man deals with shit, even if it means getting punched in the face by some douche at the bar or getting screamed at by your girlfriend.
26. He Intentionally Makes You Jealous
This is another sign of insecurity, which isn’t the most masculine of qualities. For whatever reason, he wants you to believe he has other options besides you and he makes sure you know about them.
27. He Won’t Open Up To You
Some guys can be kind of emotionally closed off, and that shouldn’t be such a big deal. But if he flat-out refuses to open up to you about anything, it means he’s afraid of getting hurt, which makes him a pussy.
28. Sex Is His Solution To Any Problem
Make-up sex is awesome, but it only really counts if the issue is resolved beforehand. Otherwise it’s just a distraction that temporarily tables the problem and allows it to get worse.
29. He’s Not Interested In Self-Improvement
And I don’t mean self-help. I’m talking about learning new skills, becoming more invested in current affairs, reading more… that sort of thing. If he thought he was finished gaining any kind of knowledge when he graduated from school, he’s still got a lot to learn.
30. He Manipulates You
Knowing how to manipulate people into doing what you want is actually a pretty good skill to have. But using it in a relationship is pretty rotten.
31. He’s Not Willing To Get His Hands Dirty
Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, and that isn’t always pretty. If this guy won’t break any eggs, you’re never going to get an omelet out of him.
32. He’s Not Reliable
This one’s just common sense. If you can’t count on him to be there when you need him, he’s no kind of man you want in your life. Apply the three strikes rule here.
33. The Thing He Likes Most About You Is Your Looks
Obviously, physical attraction is important, but if you’ve been together awhile and your hotness is still your number one draw, this is a relationship with little hope for success. A man needs to connect with his partner on numerous levels. A boy just wants to bang a hot chick.
34. He’s Constantly Testing You
This is another annoying thing that immature guys do. Instead of just telling you what he wants and expects out of a relationship, he contrives situations to try and find out for himself. But these tests are stacked in his favor and you can “fail” them without even knowing you were being tested in the first place.
35. He’s An Anchor
Some guys just latch onto you and drag you down. If you’re not living up to your potential and he’s the reason why, cut the rope and sail off on your own.