Many women talk about wanting to date a mature man. What they're really referring to is emotional maturity. An emotionally mature man is a man who won't shut you out the minute things get stressful in his life. Emotionally mature men are willing to show their feelings and more importantly, they're able to allow the woman in their life to see them even when they are going through a difficult time. But how can you tell whether a man is emotionally mature and will stick it out with you through the inevitable ups and downs in every relationship?
You need to look at how he handles three key areas in his life:
- Maturity Area: Work
Is the man able to handle adversity, criticism or even intense politics at work and remain level headed, relatively calm or even compassionate? Or is he spiteful, does he talk about problems instead of thinking about solutions and how to improve personal dynamics in his work life and relationships? Compassion and the ability to handle complex mental and emotional situations without coming unglued or doing negative or harmful things to other people is one of the best signs of emotional maturity and sensitivity as well.
- Maturity Area: Friends
What type of people does a man spend his time with? It has been said that you can know all you need to know about a person simply by looking at the people in his life. A man's closest friends and peers are one of the very best windows into his mental and emotional world. Are a man's friends people of integrity? Are they doing positive things with their lives and committed to living a good life? And are a man's friends capable of being in mature and committed relationships? Does he have any married friends who have stable relationships where both partners are relatively happy and fulfilled? Men spend most of their time with people whose values they share.
- Maturity Area: Family
How does a man handle his relationships with his family members? Sure, lots of people have challenging family situations, but whether or not a guy's parents are together is not what's really telling about him. It's more important whether or not he's on stable emotional footing in the way he relates to his parents. Fighting intensely with parents, high and low emotional swings or completely estranged situations without a clear reason can be signs of deeper emotional turmoil that's unresolved and might mean that a man will have trouble being there and being present and stable with you emotionally.
You can find out a great deal about a man's emotional maturity level in conversation. All you have to do is start talking about your friends, family and work and ask him about these three areas in his life as well. When he answers, dig a little deeper and try and get him talking about how he feels about these things. How does he feel about the people at work and his family?
You'll be surprised by how much a man will share about who he is and how he lives his life — if you simply ask. Not only will you learn whether he has the emotional maturity it takes to make a relationship work for the long haul, but you'll create the kind of communication that brings two people closer together and builds a solid foundation for the future.
If you've ever wanted to know what a man really thinks about dating and commitment, subscribe to Christian's free e-newsletter. He'll reveal the kind of qualities a man can't help falling for in a woman and what it takes to make him give up his "single" freedom for the love of just one woman...for the long term.
More dating advice from YourTango: