Women who date younger men may often feel liberated. It’s not about being a ‘cougar,’ it’s really about being completely comfortable with yourself. Many have even found committed relationships. Just take a look at Eva Mendez or Jennifer Lopez. It’s all about the law of attraction: eternal youth, vibrancy and sometimes being able to harness the energy of Peter Pan.
When a close friend started dating a guy 10 years younger, I was worried. Today they’ve been happily married for nine years. But in my case it didn’t work out. Why? Because of the difference in values, communication and expectations. In the beginning it was fun, but after several months the cracks of emotional immaturity started to show.
When you date a younger person there are certain differences in expectations. You won’t know if they’re emotionally immature until it’s too late. They become reactive and act out with intense reactions, anger and drama. Sometimes they see themselves as the victim and try to justify their actions.
On the flip side, a younger partner can show signs of outstanding emotional maturity. They can be open to other’s perspectives, are proactive, motivated by growth and act with purpose. Not because they have to, or have been asked to, but because they have integrity that aligns with their core values.
Here are 7 signs to recognise an emotionally immature partner, before it’s too late:
- Inappropriate Behavior
They may drink to much at a work party, and sleep on the front door step because they lost their keys. Or they scan social media or texts from female friends whilst you’re on a date. When the inappropriate behaviour is pointed out, they feel it’s confrontational and pout.
SOLUTION: Openly discuss etiquette concerns with compassion.
They ask you to make them coffee but never return the favour. On your birthday they give you a present, but when they get angry or frustrated they take it back.
SOLUTION: Openly discuss your values in a compassionate way. Notice the response. If it’s positive you’re on the right track. But if the response is negative it’s time to move on.
- Emotionally Unavailable
Many people aren’t ready for a deep relationship, and they just want to party. Sometimes they can’t seem to commit in FOMO (fear of missing out).
SOLUTION: You can either wait and hope that one day they will stop going out to all night parties, or pack your bags now.
- Mama’s Child
Emotionally immature people run home when they need something, like getting their laundry done. This type also find it difficult to make a decision without asking their parents for advice.
SOLUTION: Show them how the laundry works. Explain how making decisions will empower them and also gives their parents a much needed break.
- What Others Think
They care more about what other people think than what matters the most.
SOLUTION: What others think is none of their business. If your partner is caught up in wondering what others will think, they’re far from being emotionally secure or mature.
- Emotionally Avoidant
An emotionally immature person avoids conflict at all costs. They walk away so they don’t have to deal with the issues. For some, ignorance is bliss.
SOLUTION: Perhaps see a couples counsellor. If they’ve been testing you by avoiding your relationship issues , you will need to apply the three strikes rule here.
- They Love your Looks a Bit Too Much
Physical attraction is important, but if you’ve been together for a while and your hotness is their number one draw card, then this there’s little hope for success.
SOLUTION: If you cannot connect with your partner on numerous levels, it’s time to let them go.
Dating a younger person can give you a new lease on life, but only if they’re a good match emotionally and share your values. If you’re being pursued by a younger man be open to it with a good set of boundaries in place. You never know, the love of your life may be a person much wiser than beyond their years.
Photo courtesy of usamedeniz @FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Caria Watt is an Australian TVSN co-presenter, writer and communications specialist who writes positive mindful expressions. Her passion for words has become a life long career as a professional copywriter and the founder of an international real talk magazine www.theeword.com.au. As a recognised brand building expert, she makes communication, self expression and dating advice accessible. Caria is an obsessive writer, passionate about cross fit, yoga and you’ll find her in the kitchen burning toast whilst talking to her dog.