Finding someone who you are compatible with is hard enough, but in today’s society it is often more important to find someone who is closer in emotional age rather than physical years. When analyzing someone’s age, many people focus purely on physical age. However, physical years are often not as important as the emotional age of a person. It is important to be able to differentiate between dating someone who is immature vs. mature. Simply reaching the age of 18 does not make you an adult. Rather, it is the way one carries themselves and how they interact with others that shows maturity. As far as dating and relationships are concerned, there are a couple major differences, which help to separate someone who is immature vs. mature.

Knowing How and When to Say Sorry

immature vs. mature - sorry

It is human nature to make mistakes and to be wrong. In a healthy relationship, it is of vital importance to know when you have messed up or done something wrong and to apologize or make amends for it. Mature individuals have the ability to understand when they have done something that has affected their partner negatively. They also have the capability to not only understand what they have done wrong, but apologize in a sincere and meaningful way. Saying “I’m sorry” and really meaning it is instrumental in fixing and maintaining a strong adult relationship. In contrast, immature individuals struggle to understand when they have done something wrong to upset their significant other.  And even if they do realize, they often fail to make proper amends for it.  Their cognition of what the problem may be is often weaker and thus they do not understand the proper way to fix the issue at hand.

Selfishness vs Selflessness

immature vs. mature - couple

Since the beginning of mankind, humans have struggled with the battle of selfishness versus selflessness. It is important to have some of each, as one with complete selflessness often sacrifices their own happiness to please others, whereas one with complete selfishness cannot find a connection to someone else’s happiness.  The main difference between immature individuals and mature individuals is that mature individuals fall more towards the selflessness end of the spectrum. Whereas immature individuals often put themselves first and seek their own happiness, mature individuals are able to derive happiness from the joy of others. Although not always, the ability to make someone else happy helps to fulfill mature individuals needs and enhances interconnectedness. Furthermore, a mature individual is often willing to go out of their way in order to make their partner happy.  This lies in sharp contrast to immature individuals, who often act selfishly to fulfill their own needs.

Comfort with Oneself

immature vs. mature - oneself

No matter what anyone says, deep down everyone has insecurities. Whether it be about appearance, abilities, or any other subject, everyone has something about themselves that they do not like.  Immature and mature individuals alike find fault with themselves. However, it is how they perceive their own faults and the degree to which they see them that separates them.  Part of growing up is learning what you excel at, and what you struggle with. It is about learning how to leverage your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. Immature individuals are prone to focusing on their weaknesses whereas mature individuals slowly work on their weaknesses and focus on what makes them great rather than what they lack.  Body image is one major component of comfortability with oneself. Immature individuals stress a great deal about what others think of their appearance and will stress and work endlessly to improve themselves in the eyes of their partners or others.  Mature individuals also may struggle with body image but they are usually more concerned with how they see themselves rather than how others do. Whereas immature individuals change and work to improve themselves for others, mature individuals do it to improve their self-image and how they feel about themselves.

Commitment Issues

immature vs. mature - committment

Not everyone is looking for a long term relationship and that is perfectly fine. However, at some point in an adult relationship, the topic of commitment is going to be broached. When it is, it is very easy to see how someone can be oriented as immature or mature. Just because someone is a grown up, does not mean that they are looking for a commitment and are ready to make one.  Sometimes it just isn’t what they are looking for at the time, and sometimes it just doesn’t make sense with the specific person. However, the way that the topic is handled can easily identify whether someone is immature or mature. When the topic is brought up, a mature individual will be straightforward with their intentions and will speak their feelings and thoughts. In contrast, an immature indiviudal will often mask their true meanings or simply flee. Either they will be scared off and attempt to escape from the relationship or from the conversation, or they will answer in a non-specific way that doesn’t really answer the question.  Immature individuals are also much more likely to give a non-definitive answer and to try and bypass the question. Whereas mature individuals tend to be straightforward and think about the topic, immature individuals may hide their true intentions and feelings. Commitment is a future-based decision that often counters childlike selfishness. As stated previously, immature individuals have a higher focus on their own happiness and thus often avoid future-based decisions and focus on enhancing their own happiness in the present.

Although these four differences do not always come together, they are each in their own way a strong indicator when deducing whether one is dating some immature or mature. There are many other factors that help to differentiate these two groups, and it is important to not just pinpoint these reasons as sole differentiators. It is important to seek out someone with a like mindset to your own. For those people who may still be immature themselves, it is advisable to seek out somebody who mirrors your needs and wants. If you are looking for an adult relationship and see yourself in this mindset, it is important to find someone who you can designate as a mature individual and who values your happiness as much if not more as their own.

Comment below with your thoughts on dating an immature vs. a mature individual.