How to Spot an Emotionally Mature Man

How to spot a mature manYour intuition will be your guide to recognizing an emotionally mature man. Many women make the mistake of ignoring their intuition when they meet an attractive guy who shows interest in them.

If you have not already enhanced your intuition with my course on intuition for dating, get access to those materials and invest in that important personal skill. It will help you in many areas of life beyond the world of dating and relationships. You can find information by clicking here.

Beyond intuition, there are a few specific things you can look for to help you determine whether a guy is emotionally mature enough for a committed relationship.

Probably the easiest way you can tell is simply by looking at his friends. It’s not a foolproof indicator of maturity, but generally speaking, immature friends suggest he may be more immature than he lets on when interacting with you.

Want to find a man who is ready for marriage? Then look for a man whose friends have been getting engaged or married within the past year. It speaks to his stage of life, and statistics seem to suggest people are more likely to look for a serious commitment when their friends begin to tie the knot.

The reverse is true as well. A man whose friends are getting wasted in the corner, throwing spit balls at the waitress, and making lewd remarks about what might go on between you and this guy later… well, you can probably guess what that would suggest about his attitudes, even if he does not admit to them because he senses you are a woman of higher class.

Obviously it’s not always that clear. You may meet a person who was introduced to you by someone you respect, but you may still have questions about his emotional maturity.

Here’s a method for testing his emotional maturity as it applies to readiness and willingness to really make a relationship work with a woman he learns to love and respect. You simply talk about your own needs and desires when it comes to the kind of relationship you’re looking for. Then you wait to see how he responds.

An emotionally mature man will rise to the challenge. He will see merit in the discussion and show great interest in what you hope to find in a romantic relationship.

An immature man, on the other hand, will either show very little interest in what you said, or he will disappear (because he realizes you are a mature woman who knows what she wants and who is unlikely to be easily used).

How to spot a mature manAn emotionally mature man won’t mind you talking about what you’re looking for in a relationship, even when you have not even established one with him yet. Why, because he will be interested in the same topic. He will be hoping to find a woman who is emotionally mature and thinking about relationships seriously.

I’ve given you advice before about how to ask these kinds of personal questions. You talk in general terms about what you want to find in relationships. You don’t imply that you expect him to be the one who meets those needs. Then it’s up to him whether he will join you by revealing his own hopes regarding relationships.

I have one exception to this rule of speaking first about yourself. You should not announce that you are single. In this case, it’s better to ask him if he is single or in a relationship rather than announcing your own single status. It sounds funny to announce that you are single if it is not a response to his question.

The sooner you ask the less awkward it is. If you wait until you’ve met him for the third time and then ask if he is single, he is more likely to assume you are going somewhere with that question. When you just met someone, it carries much less weight. He then feels free to ask you the same question.

I hope these mini tutorials are helpful to you. I really do wish the best for you in your relationships! I’ll talk to you again soon. Until then, embrace everything wonderful in life with every chance that you get!


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17 thoughts on “How to Spot an Emotionally Mature Man

  1. Sonia said:

    What do you do if your husband has turned into an emotionally immature man? When we were dating his friends were all in the same phase (dating and looking to get married to their respective partners). My husband was the 2nd one to propose to me out of his group of friends and soon thereafter everyone did the same. However, after marriage he started becoming very emotionally immature (Annual Vegas guy trips which were a mess to say the least and caused havoc on our relationship, Maintaining loads of single guy friends who make poor choices etc.)

    Now I’ve invested 6 years and he half gets it and half doesn’t. Like one foot is mature and the other is super immature. Friend circle is still a MAJOR concern. He can’t be told NO or he feels trapped and caged. I feel like he puts the same amount of importance on our marriage as he does on his friends even though he won’t admit it.

    Will this ever change? Will it change after kids?
    Do guys just suddenly learn priorities? Or is this something I will have to deal with forever in some manner. A man child if you will…

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Sonia. Does he show emotional maturity in other areas of his life? If he does, it would suggest he has islands of immaturity that are probably based on distorted beliefs about what will make him happy or what is good for him as a man. Some men fall prey to the notion that letting loose and doing whatever you feel like is healthy (the ridiculous “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” advertising mantra). As you have discovered, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. You bring it home with you.

      The best approach is one that focuses on reaching for the deeper wisdom hiding somewhere within him. In other words, don’t focus on his mistakes. Open a discussion about the power he has in his life and how his choices are powerful (for good or bad in his relationship with you and in the legacy he builds for his own life).

  2. Shan said:

    Hi James, thank you for this article, what you write is always so useful. Myself and my friend were talking about the influence of others just very recently. How does this fit in with exes? And what about their friends who are married but want a divorce?

    For the last couple of months myself and my ex were doing really well reconnecting – he definately came back towards me – but then suddenly he blew cold on me again. My ex appears to be a relationship phobe, as he hadn’t been in any long term relationship before me for a long time – at least 12 years according to his group of friends. He is now 41. He told me it was because he was “happy being on his own” and “had seen his friends being downtrodden by relationships”. We managed 9 months together and split up on our first, but pretty bad, argument. We had been very happy before this.

    It seems that whenever he is spending time in the company of his two closest male friends, that he becomes a “women are a drag” person. Best friend number 1 who also works in our office, is in an unhappy marriage. Strangely after friend 1 separated from his wife but then got back together with her which I now understand to be reluctantly, my ex started to distance himself from me. Indeed it seems this friend spends every opportunity to criticise his wife and express his unhappiness. Then a few weeks ago at a work event this friend called a group of younger girls in the office by a derogatory term, for no reason at all.
    My ex’s male best friend number 2, has never had a long relationship ever (he is 40 years old), and is the kind who just gets drunk, and either hits on a drunk woman or starts fondling them up. My ex is aware of this behaviour and that its wrong but nonetheless he continues to hang around with this guy. When me and my ex split up friend number 2 was apparently really pleased he had got his mate back :((.

    My ex has a twin brother, who was very encouraging of us and was sad when we broke up. The twin is “single” as such, but in fact has pursued a divorced lady for a long time, and now has settled for being “friends without benefits” with her. His heart belongs to this one woman and he has accepted that they won’t ever be a couple. When my ex is with or has spent time with his brother, his attitude towards me seems to change. I think he misses his brother and has applied for jobs in the same city where his brother lives.

    My ex has friends who are married with kids, but he does not see them that often, as obviously they are busy with families. Unfortunately my ex focuses on the negatives – from best friend number 1 – than all the positives that family life has brought to his other friends.

    I have now realised that as long as my ex is hanging around with these 2 best friends, that Im just going to get this hot/cold behaviour.

    In the past I have taken on board the opinions of certain female friends, and later realised that these friends were in fact incredibly bitter about men and relationships and that I couldn’t trust their judgment. In fact one of them I dont even see any more as I can’t stand her moaning.

    I want to say something to my ex, but I cant?!

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey, Shan. This would be a good question to address to our relationship coaching team. The process of submitting your question to them may help you refine what it is you most want and what you most need to know about how to get there.


    • Sally said:

      My marriage broke down when one of his oldest friends was divorcing. At first I’d accepted this friend, but when I saw how downtrodden his poor wife was, I began to have my doubts. He’d phone a few times a day sometime in the middle of the night when drunk, and I said I’d rather not have him around — he was going off the rails — although my husband was perfectly free to visit him or keep the friendship.

      His other oldest friend has nothing good to say about women or his wife (she’s an alcoholic — which may be true, but most women drink for a reason, I’d surmised she was deeply unhappy).

      I always felt my presence was unwanted when they visited. It was a boys’ club meeting called to diss women. Well they won. He’s gone. Yes I know it takes two, but never ever underestimate the influence of their friends for good or ill.

  3. Hi James,
    I like the topic you just brought up.I’ve been in a relationship with this guy for two years. He agreed on settling down later next year but in our Zambian culture,the man has to introduce himself to my family as a way of showing intentions of marrying me some day. That is kind of an official engagement. What is surprising me is tht he has changed and posponed dates four times since 2011,of which the last one was September this year,I’ve tried asking why but because he hates talking about issues,he would stop coming to my place and playing around with different women openly and going to bars until the following morning with his friends like teenagers. About two weeks ago,I caught him red handed at his house with a girl he had picked from a bar,I did not do anything else apart from asking the girl who she was,I left for home and its been two weeks now,he hasn’t been to my place to explain anything and he is now giving me the silent treatment as if am the one who messed up. I feel so bad and I don’t know what step to take next.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Royce. I am sorry to hear about the heartache this man has caused you. I have spent a considerable amount of time in Rwanda and a little bit of time in a few other countries in Central Africa, but I am unfamiliar with the culture and customs of Zambia, so take my advice with that in mind.

      Is there a cultural expectation that accepts this kind of behavior prior to marriage? Your question seems to suggest this is not normal behavior on his part. It seems to suggest he has little interest in settling down and pursuing a true commitment with you.

      Maybe he sees this as his last opportunity to “have fun” by getting involved with a lot of different women before he makes a commitment to one woman, but I doubt it. My guess is you could expect more of the same if you were to find yourself in a committed relationship with him. Because of that, it is better you know this now rather than later. I advised that you search for a man who seems to have a higher sense of honor and a man who values the feelings of a woman he plans to spend his life with.

  4. Willem said:

    “An immature man, on the other hand, will either show very little interest in what you said, or he will disappear (because he realizes you are a mature woman who knows what she wants and who is unlikely to be easily used).”

    Now every woman who reads this thinks a man who shows little interest from time to time is immature.
    Life and relationships are not described this easy, and being mature/immature isn’t a mature of an attitude. A person can have a certain type of mental disorder (for instance, ADHD, which is a very common one) which may cause him/her to have a short attention span and show little interest in a conversation partner. However, this does not mean the person is genuinely uninterested in his/her partner, though it may seem so.
    If you deal in extremes when dealing with life, it’s best you first try to look at your own emotional maturity before judging a potential relationship partner. You will not find a good relationship when constantly judging a person or wishing for someone to be a certain way and getting dissapointed when it turns out the person is not what you were hoping for.
    Ofcourse, I am quoting just one sentence in the whole article, but I wanted to make this point. Patience, empathy and taking time for each other are more important things when dealing with a relationship and I want to emphasize that a couple should really take the time for each other to get to know each other, since we are living in a world where everything is in a very fast pace and we have to cope with lots of stress, which makes it easy to put a low priority on a relationship.
    If you find that somebody is not the person you wanted him/her to be, that’s a shame and you probably will feel dissapointed, but it’s easy to say: “he/she was probably not mature enough for me”, instead, you should try to be more clear about what you expect from a person (which is stated in the article, so I agree with that).

    I really hope relationship advice articles will – in the future – turn more toward patience and empathy instead of expecting things from a partner or having all these high end desires and hopes. We are all great people and I (personally) believe that every person has what it takes to satisfy your needs for emotional maturity, but it will take your own emotional maturity (patience and empathy/compassion) to find it in the other person.

    • James Bauer said:

      There is a lot of truth in what you have added here, Willem. You did take the comment out of context, but I think you raise a good point nonetheless. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  5. irene said:

    This is great! Very educative. Keep it up. Your posts are doing wonderful in my relationship. Thank you very much for the wonderful works you are doing.

  6. Anisa said:

    I have been following & reading so many posts but this one I feel was most useful. Thank you!

  7. Tracey said:

    Hi James I have a guy who I have been out with for coffee and lunches a few times and then that slowed right down even after he says he craves me. In the gym we chat constantly and he watches my every move and goes out of his way to look for me when I am out of sight. Everthing seemed fine and I started becoming more responsive, then he backed off asking me out. We chat on sms especially when I remove myself from the gym for a week or so at the times I know he is there because he will then make contact. I invited him for dinner but he declined saying he knows where it would end up and he doesn’t want to do that to me. He is happy to come for coffee and just fool around which we did. I then removed mself once more from the picture as I realised that this is not what I want and two weeks later he is contacting me again asking “where I am”? Inside I am dying because I have never been so attracted to someone and really want to get to know him. He is a pisces male and is quite reserved and very sensitive. What do I do to try and get this man?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Tracey. It sounds like he is attracted to you physically but has a mental barrier to the idea of being in a relationship with you. Either that or he is playing some kind of game to make you pursue him and want to be with him more. Statistics would suggest it is probably the former rather than the latter. If so, a deeper level of understanding of what he wants in life and in relationships may help. See if you can steer the discussions to more open and genuine levels of self-disclosure on those topics and see what comes up.

  8. Colleen said:

    Hi James, your emails are insightful and inspirational, enjoy your topics. This one in particular. I am with a man who is a few years younger than me, we’re in our thirties. He has two sets of friends, single and married. Interestingly enough your comments are valid. When he’s with the singles I’m a show piece (poolside girl), however never disrespectful. When we’re with the committed friends, he dotes and is attentive. I’ve got to a point whereby I avoid the single friends, they caused friction for us, and confused him torn between his feelings for me and the displaced loyalty of the “boys”.

    One of them has gone back to an ex… It’s caused a split between them, and further distance for us, as I was spoken about by them, he did not like it, but they were his “boys”. So now the distance is part questioning his loyalties and how he really feels for me… It’s all good though, I don’t like it, but when he comes back, I’ll know where he stands in terms of committing to me.

    Interestingly enough he was the one that questioned others as to whether I was single before approaching me, and then on the first date spoke about how he ultimately wanted a committed relationship long term. I stalled… My experience was that men never spoke of commitment…

    So I’m a poster child of your above article. Thank you once again.

  9. Michelle said:

    Hi James, Will you help me understand the bit you say about asking if he is single? There is a man at my weekly dance class, who always makes a point to greet me and make connection ( hugs me, asks how I am, he asks me every week if I will be coming to the next dance) We have meet before many years ago so there is an ease and friendliness based on that. I keep expecting him to ask me out, because sometimes I get the feeling the attraction is mutual, but he hasnt so far 🙁 I am starting to wonder if he may be in a relationship already. I want to ask him, but I feel it puts me in the masculine role of pursuit. What do you think?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Michelle. That’s a good question. Basically, I was saying it’s better to ask if the other person is single rather than announcing that you yourself are single. It’s less awkward. You have seen him around a bit, which adds more power to a question about his relationship status, but in this case I would go ahead and ask him. Plan at least one conversation topic you can bring up immediately after you ask him. That prevents an awkward silence and makes it seem like you are cool with his answer regardless of what it was.

      Right after he hugs you next time, “Jake, you always greet me so warmly. I like it, but would your girlfriend be jealous if she saw you greet me like that?” When he says, “Oh no, I greet everyone like that,” you move on with the topic you planned to bring up…”Did you hear about the XYZ?” If he says “Oh, I’m not with anyone right now,” you say, “Well, you always make me feel good when I see you. Did you hear about the WYZ?” He may take the bait and ask you if you are single. Either way, you know if he is with someone.

      • Michelle said:

        Thanks James! I liked seeing an example of how that would come out. Now I have to work on my ability to be playful like that. I feel my stomach sink when i imagine those words coming out of MY mouth! I tend to be much more direct and no nonsense. My friends and family like this about me, but I’m insecure about it in the world of dating and relating with men.

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