Recently, I've had a lot of time to think--simply because it's the summer, my kid's been in Israel for a month, & I only work 2 days a week. There just ain't a lot to do--especially while swimming laps at the pool--thinking just creeps in, ya' know? Anyhow, I digress & I haven't even started. But I've been thinking about all of my past relationships & how they compare to my current one. I hate to say it but I think this one is my first really mature relationship. Here I am, 46 years old & up until this point I've been floundering in a morass of immature, often, destructive relationships...sigh. I've been thinking about this because of some of the folks around me & their current situations. Comparisons abound & when I look at what these people are going through, I wince because at some point that was me & like them, I never recognized the toxicity of the relationship. And now, observing my current situation, & no it ain't perfect by any stretch, but I can definitely say that it is mature. Can you step back & look at what is going on? Signs that your romantic relationship is immature:
1. You keep breaking up & then reuniting. This could be due to the fact that your guy keeps cheating on you or asks for space or isn't able to discuss anything that causes issues in the relationship....
2. You argue constantly. OK, everyone has disagreements & sometimes they get a bit heated, but is it everyday? Are you able to even discuss a problem with respect & without disintegrating into name-calling? You get my point--conflict happens, but how you deal with the process is what's telling.
3. You feel disconnected. Emotionally, physically, proximity--as in he's never available by phone, email, or even for a date....and when you bring it up, he gets defensive and/or secretive. You're sick, you need a ride to the doctor, your car broke down & you need a ride to the mechanic but he can't help--evah. A man who is emotionally unavailable is very immature about your relationship--if he's unwilling to talk about what bothers you...ever, run, don't walk to the nearest exit!
4. You are always suspicious. What is he doing? With whom? Why didn't he text, call, email? Why didn't he tell me he loves me? Why didn't he take me out? Why haven't I met his friends, family yet & we've been together ____ months? Get it?
5. You feel like it's just game-playing. See all of the above--this is player behavior!
6. You haven't developed a real friendship. A mature relationship is based on an underlying friendship that grows deeper over time. Sex & attraction is important, but do you enjoy each other as companions? 'nuff said!
7. You don't show affection. This could be in public--I'm not saying an all-out make-out session a la middle school--I'm just saying hand holding, a kiss in the parking lot of the Giant, or a shoulder rub as you sit at Merriweather watching a concert. That kind of thing. A mature guy is not afraid of a little PDA.
8. You never look beyond the current interaction. In other words, you have no future plans--for another date if it is a relatively new relationship, or for a trip somewhere together, if you've been with this person for a while. Or even, you don't see him, or you, intertwining your futures--
9. You are supplementing them. If you are giving money, "therapy", a place to live, etc., and not getting anything in return. Yes, couples need to be there for each other but not provide a place to live without a prior agreement of living together, and/or giving money to that person because they're short every month, or providing "therapy" instead of support emotionally. This is over-the-top. Mature relationships do not have this kind of one-sidedness. It is very shared. Yes, emergencies do come up but it not quite such a land-slide in one direction.
10. You believe that it will get better. If all of the above circumstances apply to you & your sig other....It won't! End it!
I'm no therapist myself, but the old adage, "been there, done that" applies. I'd rather throw in my two cents than to sit idly by & watch the destruction. Good luck, & I hope I can help even a little bit. And everyone who wants a good, loving relationship deserves to have one!