How To Confront Your Immature Partner & Know When To Let Go

For some women, connecting with a partner who's wild, free, and something of an anti-hero is exciting. Some people play by their own rules and seem to break stereotypes with their outlaw energy and blustery personality. They're spontaneous, uninhibited, and, after months of non-stop swagger ... may turn out to be too emotionally immature for a mutually satisfying partnership.

If you find yourself noticing your partner's refusal to reveal their vulnerable side or discuss anything in-depth about your relationship, you could be feeling mighty frustrated. You might be wondering how to confront them — or questioning if the relationship's a lost cause. Consider first pausing and scanning their behavior. Notice the specific signs of an emotionally intelligent partner, like showing empathy when you've had a hellish day, or being fully present and engaged when you're sharing an important realization. If that's not even close to happening, how do you know if it's time to let go of the relationship?

How emotional immaturity shows up

We know the brain keeps growing until about age 25, per The University of Rochester, and that's the age most people become more fully adult. Neuroplasticity, or the brain's capacity to adapt and change based on our environment and experiences means we keep learning; our capacity is not fixed once the brain physically matures. That should give you hope if you're in love with someone who's emotionally immature. They might evolve.

But here's how immaturity could show up in your relationship — if your partner can't seem to take responsibility or allow themselves to be held accountable, pay attention. So if the car has faulty breaks and they didn't take it to the mechanic as promised, they might blame a circumstance or someone else. You may find them resistant to committing to any future-related plans because it makes them feel restricted or inhibited. They won't admit to making a mistake. They may resort to deflating your attempts at a serious conversation with jokes, pranks, or even bullying. They could be impulsive and not too interested in dealing with the consequences of thoughtless remarks.

Often, emotionally immature people refuse to partake in conversations or situations with any depth, choosing to keep life superficial. The takeaway: over time, after the fun and excitement are no longer sustainable on their own, you may feel a sense of emptiness from a profound lack of intimacy.

What to do & how to know if it's time to move on

Healthline reports that communication is your number one tool to confront your partner's immaturity. Have a frank talk and use "I" statements about their behavior. Referencing someone's behavior instead of accusing them of "being" immature is a respectful approach that keeps defensiveness to a minimum.

For example, if your partner's not contributing to the household, and that's critical to your sense of fairness, address it. You could say, "When we got this apartment, you agreed to help with the cooking because of my late work schedule. I feel like you're not helping or willing to address it, and that's incredibly frustrating for me. Will you tell me why you won't keep that agreement?"

If your boundaries have been lax, according to Healthline, set strong ones. Let them know there are things you won't tolerate and if there's a consequence for overstepping your boundary, keep your word. Conversely, any time your partner responds in emotionally mature ways, tell them how much you love what they said or did, per WebMD. Notice their response and whether the positive reinforcement works to increase their maturity level over time. If there are zero improvements, or if you're dealing with someone who shouts or bullies you, those are huge red flags. Although you can learn how to handle fights when your partner has no conflict resolution skills, if you feel bad most of the time, you might want to consider leaving.