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It’s not unusual for grown men to be immature. Many of them can get through a career and most social interactions while acting like they’re still in college. What follows is nine of the most common immature behaviors and how to deal with immature guys by helping to fix his habits.
Things can get funky around maintaining romantic relationships. Even if you can’t pinpoint what exactly it is about them, such behavior can put a relationship at serious risk.
While you can’t for a guy to change, you can motivate him to become a better person:
1. Crude Jokes and Swearing
An underlying misogynistic attitude is often revealed through things that are “just jokes.”
If he finds you take offense at something he thought was funny, he may claim it was just a joke and that you shouldn’t be so sensitive.
Even with funny jokes, there’s contexts in which they can be inappropriate.
If your man frequently tells jokes that are demeaning to women or are overly-sexualized (especially if it’s at an inappropriate time), this is immature behavior.
It’s even worse if he doesn’t see anything wrong with it. We all misread the room at times or have a poorly timed joke slip out without thinking about.
But if he can’t admit his mistakes, that points to a deeper, more serious problem…
Swearing can also be a sign of immaturity. In and of itself, swearing isn’t bad. It can even serve a good purpose.
The problem is when it’s constant or without any awareness of where it’s inappropriate.
If he swears around young kids, during fancy or formal occasions, at church, or around people who have previously asked him to stop, he’s got a problem.
There are a few ways you can help fix these issues. First, call him out on his behavior and put him in the metaphorical doghouse if he continues.
If he can’t be polite, he doesn’t need to be around other people.
Give him examples of other jokes he can tell that are just as funny. Let him know there’s ways he can express himself other than swearing. Be the example.
You can also apologize to other people in front of him, which may help him get the point that he can be slightly embarrassing.
Help him be aware of context. You can say things like “do you think that that joke/word is appropriate here,” and “how can I help you be more aware of that in the future?”
Come up with a code word or signal that tells him you’re in a place where he should behave himself a little more.
Finally, so he doesn’t think you’re trying to change him too quickly or completely, give him a safe space.
Maybe a man cave or some other space that’s just his, where he can have free reign to swear up a storm and tell crappy jokes.
2. Financial Flippancy
Money is so important to a healthy relationship, because it permeates almost every aspect of adult life.
If he’s bad with his money, doesn’t have a budget, or spends money like it’s water, it’s a sign of immaturity that needs to be addressed before it puts him (and you) in the hole.
So, what’s the trick as to how to deal with immature guys when the vice is financial flippancy?
The first thing you can do is help him make a budget. He should know how much he makes every month, and how much he spends on various bills.
If he doesn’t know these basic things, he’s going to take a bit more work.
Help him come up with an organization system, whether electronic or physical, to help him track how much is coming in and going out.
At that point, he’s in a better place to make and track a budget.
Once he’s been able to follow a budget for a couple months, help him to decide which parts of his spending are necessary and which are discretionary.
Help him realize that, while things like eating out, having beer, and buying entertainment are important to being happy, they’re not necessary.
After all his necessary expenses are covered, help him find a balance between spending a reasonable amount of discretionary spending and saving for the future.
Help him plan for his future by creating goals and dreams for what he wants to spend things on later in life.
This will show him how to save a tangible and quantifiable amount of money every month if he’s able to.
3. Poor Cleanliness
Taking care of how you look and keeping your living space presentable is part of any healthy adult social interaction.
If he’s in a relationship, this should be even more important as he wants you to find him attractive. If he doesn’t take care of his looks or his space, he needs to grow up.
There’s nothing wrong with wearing sweatpants or pajamas when you’re home for a day of rest. But very few adult men have any reason to wear them on a date, for example.
This just isn’t appropriate.
This also includes hygiene issues like not taking care of his body hair, not showering enough, and having a filthy bachelor pad or shared space.
It can even include not putting down the toilet seat, though this is less about hygiene and more about just realizing that there’s other people that use that space.
Picking up for him isn’t going to solve the problem. You’ll just end up resenting him. You can buy him clothes, but that’s not going to help him internalize his problem.
Teach him how to do this, don’t do it for him. You might have to give him some tough love or ultimatums.
Tell him you find him attractive, but you don’t want to have sex with him if he’s not taking care of himself, and it’s hard for you to get in the mood when the place is so dirty.
Hopefully, he’ll see how important it is to you, and that can inspire him to change.
4. Frat Boy Social Life
Partying like a frat boy can be a way to release stress in college. But if your guy never grows out of it, he’s got some growing up to do.
Excessive drinking, immature friends, a lack of interesting hobbies or side gigs, and constantly playing video games rather than being a productive member of society are all signs that he hasn’t embraced adulthood as much as he should.
You want a boyfriend, not a teenage son, so it’s time to get him to change his habits or kick him to the curb.
But what’s the trick on how to deal with immature guys like this? This a hard one to fix because he needs a real wake up call.
You can threaten to leave him, and you might end up doing that if he can’t change, but do you really want to make that your first tactic?
You can try to make him more mature by introducing him to more mature friends or hobbies. Hopefully their influence will rub off on him and he’ll slowly change.
It’s said that you become the five people you hang out with the most, so help him choose his friends wisely.
Sure, you can refuse to hang out with his friends and give him the cold shoulder when he plays too many video games.
You can also let him know that his heavy drinking is hard for you and you don’t like what it does to him.
These all come down communication, which is always a good option, but he has to be willing to listen and change.
It can take time to grow out of this, and some men never do. Is he worth it?
5. Poor Communication
Having poor communication is probably one of the biggest problems both men and women face.
It’s hard to develop good communication, but it’s one of the biggest and easily noticeable forms of immaturity, and the biggest thing that can end your relationship.
Some symptoms of having poor communication are that he can’t (or won’t) express his emotions, he picks a lot of fights (often for little to no reason)…
He refuses to talk about his problems, he likes to mansplain, and he doesn’t keep you in the loop when makes decisions, is going to be late, or something important is going on in his life…
The good news is communication is a skill that you can easily develop. This is one of the easiest problems to fix as long as he’s willing to put in a bit of work.
You should model and practice good communication. Be the type of communicator you want him to be, even if it’s one sided for a while.
Seek advice from couples you admire and copy what they do. Marriage counseling can be an effective and relatively quick way to improve communication.
Have patience with him and engage in active feedback while communicating so he can learn how to do it.
There’s a lot of hope here, as long as he’s actively trying to better himself. This will lead to a rich and happy relationship!
6. Anger Issues
Having anger doesn’t make you immature, but not knowing how do deal with it properly does.
If he’s manipulatively or physically angry too often, or gets that way too quickly, you have a problem on your hands.
There is never any excuse for him to take his anger out on you physically. If he ever hits you, leave.
You cannot and will not change him, and your safety is more important than this relationship.
Likewise, if he throws stuff, punches things, or breaks items, it’s not much better. He needs counseling.
If he’s even slightly manipulative, shuts down, or uses other passive aggressive methods, there’s still hope for him to change if he’s willing.
So, what’s the answer to “how to deal with immature guys” when the question is anger?
First, call him out on his issues and have a serious talk with him about how poorly it’s effecting your relationship.
Challenge him to be better for you, if not for himself. Give him concrete examples of what he does that’s damaging and how it makes you feel. Play on his empathy.
7. Commitment Issues
The biggest sign of commitment issues is when he doesn’t know what he wants out of a relationship or is a chronic dater.
Maybe you’re fine with that now, but if you want any future with his guy, you’ll want to start inspiring change sooner rather than later.
Outside of a relationship, this could also be a guy who can’t hold down a job or is always dreaming. But never commits to working to make those dreams a reality.
This is another hard one as he’s built up this habit that is going to be very hard to break.
It HAS to come from him and while you can motivate him to change, there’s not really any tangible steps you can take other than just making him fall head over heels for you.
To lay the groundwork for this, surround yourself with happy, committed couples who make commitment work.
Help him to feel secure in the relationship, and like he’s retaining his identity. Helping him preserve his identity is a great way in how to deal with immature guys.
The happier in the relationship he is, and the more expectations are communicated, the more likely he will be to commit.
If he doesn’t come to the realization that commitment doesn’t have to be scary, you might have to give him an ultimatum. He’ll need a wakeup call.
8. Date Flaking and Lateness
If he’s bad about responding to you, not showing up to dates or showing up late without warning, or is always late, it’s a huge sign of immaturity.
Being chronically late for dates is one of the most acceptable forms of immaturity, but it’s incredibly rude.
Turn the tables and see how they like it. If they’re late, leave without them…
Express your concerns and let him know how it makes you feel when he’s late or when he fails to communicate his intent. Again, play on his empathy and hope he responds.
Another thing you can do if he’s chronically late (rather than just flaky) is tell him to be there a certain amount of time before you actually need him there.
This is addressing the symptom though, rather than the cause, so while it makes the problem less annoying, he should still try to improve the problem.
9. Mother Issues
It’s good for a guy to love his mother, but if he’s overly attached or putting her before you, it’s going to be a problem.
He needs to grow up and detach from her. It's possible he may also have a mother who is overly involved, but this isn’t necessarily his fault.
He does need to be grown up enough to stand up to her though.
Of course, you could confront the mother. But you also need to make him realize that you’re supposed to be the most important woman in his life, not his mother.
Express how his mother makes you feel while trying not to be accusatory or negative. You might have to this a few times, but eventually he’ll get the point.
He needs to man up and stand up to her.
You might not be able to change him, but at least you know how to deal with immature guys now.
If he’s not receptive to change, find someone who’s more mature and able to give you what you need and deserve.