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How to determine his emotional age

Just because he’s 30 doesn’t mean he acts like it! We talked to some experts to help you determine the emotional age of your love interest. Do these tips raise any red flags?

Woman watching boyfriend play video games

Ever since we were young women, it’s been ingrained in our heads that we mature faster than men. Physically, yes — but emotionally? Heck yes! It’s hard to deny that women are, by far, more emotionally charged than men. We’re more self-aware and it seems that our biological clocks tick faster than those of men. There’s no denying (as we’ve all surely experienced this) that the emotional age versus the chronological age of a man can be on two different spectrums. Here are some red flag behaviors to look out for:

Dependence vs. independence

Being dependent is something that happens naturally from birth. Equally, we must learn to be independent and do things on our own. If you’re with a man who cannot find a happy medium and is dependent on others for everything, it should raise a red flag for you.


Does your man talk about himself and/or refocus a conversation on himself all the time? Karen Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. says, “Most of us recall being toddlers when everything was ‘me, me, me’ and all we wanted was our parents’ undivided attention. Not being able to take in the fact that another person has needs shows stunted emotional growth.”


Is he always rebelling like an adolescent? Ideally, this happens in our teens when we come out from under parental control and think more for ourselves. Some men are stuck in perpetual adolescence, says Koenig, never wanting to be told what to do and get angry when someone tries to give them advice.

Dr. Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D., says, “You can tell if your partner has their stuff together by what they talk about and how they share.” While she believes that the car they drive and how they dress is a sign of maturity (what do you think about that?), they aren’t always sure signs. “The only way to know this deeply is to spend some time with your partner and observe their life, work schedule and how consistently and smoothly their life is running.”

So what are some other red flags you should look out for? Aside from some great expert advice from the above experts, here are some reader responses!

  • Does he have furniture that would be suitable for a college dorm room?
  • Does he hesitate when given the choice between a date with you and a boys’ night out?
  • Does he change his sheets weekly?
  • Can he easily give up watching “the game” to help you with something, or does he pout and complain?
  • Does he sleep in any kind of clothing with a superhero or beer logo on it?
  • Does he own more plastic kitchenware than glass?
  • Is there a separate fridge for the keg or for beer?
  • Does he call his mom/dad to ask their advice on most things?

Tell us

What about you? Do you have any to add? Share in the comments below!

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