Signs of emotional immaturity.

Monica S
8 min readJan 17, 2024

We all know people who are emotionally immature. Chances are you’ve probably dated someone like that. People who are emotionally immature are not always inherently bad people, but their stunted emotional growth leads to them hurting other people. Many young people are often emotionally immature, but eventually they grow up. However some never do. Here are the signs that you’re dealing with an emotionally immature person.

1. They constantly repeat the same mistakes.

Mistakes are all part of the learning curve of life. Mistakes help to shape us, but if somebody keeps on repeating the same mistakes without learning from them, it’s a sign of emotional immaturity. For example this can be someone who keeps going for the same type of partner (for example high-maintenance and superficial women or bad boys) despite the fact that relationships with this type of person never work.

However it’s not always to do with the person the emotionally immature person dates. Emotionally immature people can date the loveliest people only to pick flaws in them without acknowledging that they themselves are the problem. My recent ex had 20 past relationships, only to find flaws in every ex. Let’s call my ex Johnny*. Johnny didn’t say a bad word about his exes but only that there was something missing in the relationship with each of them. He broke up with me saying he didn’t feel the spark anymore and something was “missing.” After 20 (well 21) exes, surely there can’t have been something wrong with all of them.

The emotionally immature person finds flaws in people they date and finds reasons to reject them. I wasn’t the problem and nor were Johnny’s 20 other exes. It was Johnny who was the problem. He had deep seated issues that he didn’t want to deal with. He himself didn’t have much to offer. Emotionally immature people have little to offer a partner themselves and they confuse that with the person they’re dating being lacking. No wonder they feel that something is missing, when in reality there is a lot missing inside of them as a person, which they project onto a partner. How can you be a good partner if you haven’t got your shit together?

2. Lack of personal growth and introspection.

Personal growth is a part of growing up. As I mentioned in my first point, emotionally immature people don’t learn from their mistakes. They don’t reflect on their life experiences and what they’ve learn from life. Personal growth is also focusing on yourself and getting to know yourself better. Emotionally immature people don’t know who they are. They’re uncomfortable with being alone with themselves. Many emotionally immature people hate being alone and rely on other people to fill the void and make them happy instead of working on themselves. Some emotionally immature people jump from relationship to relationship, or look for other people to meet their emotional and physical needs without being in a relationship. Some are serial daters and need the validation from dating the desired sex.

The last guy I was with who happened to be a guy friend, was like this. Let’s call him Damian*. Damian told me how lonely he was and hated being alone. He missed his ex despite the fact that she broke up with him two years ago and certainly didn’t want him back. Damian is a serial dater and constantly goes on dates, but he doesn’t want a relationship. When we hung out together he acted like we were in a relationship. He wasn’t even into the sex that much when we slept together. He just wanted emotional support and someone to cuddle with.

When we were still friends, I encouraged Damian to work on himself. Damian is a person that feels deeply uncomfortable being by himself. He doesn’t have many friends or interests outside of dating. He’s so focused on finding “perfection” in a woman, but he has little to offer himself. He says that he wants kids and a relationship, but he’s nowhere near ready for one! Damian is pushing 40 and I can see him ten years from now still single, being unhappy about it, but looking for something unattainable.

3. They don’t know what they want.

Emotionally immature people don’t know who they are, so how can they know what they want? They think that they want marriage and kids like Damian, but the actually reality scares them. In their mind they’ve built a fantasy world, but as we know, fantasy rarely ever translates to reality. They want a perfect person who will make them feel that everlasting indescribable feeling that they crave. They’re too immature to understand how real adult relationships work. Infatuation is only temporary and is not indicative of real love. Relationships take work and time, but emotionally immature people don’t want to deal with the less perfect aspects of a relationship because it means acknowledging their own weaknesses.

However, like I mentioned, they feel lonely by themselves and hate being alone, but push away partners and potential partners for not being enough, even though they’re exactly what they need. Emotionally immature people are also scared; scared of rejection and hurt, but like a coward, they’ll walk away instead of allow themselves to vulnerable and take a chance.

4. Refusal to deal with past trauma.

Mr 20(21) exes, Johnny, had some fucked up family dynamics going on that he refused to deal with. Johnny’s dad cheated on his mum when she was alive (his mum passed away when he was young) and fathered a child with another woman; a child which Johnny’s dad refused to acknowledge. When I was with Johnny, his dad was in an open relationship with an Eastern European woman not much older than Johnny.

I was shocked by this messed up family dynamic, but more shocking was that Johnny didn’t think that there was anything wrong with his dad cheating on his mum and having a child with another woman. Johnny didn’t seemed phased by discovering that he had a half sibling. Obviously it wasn’t the kid’s fault for being born, but if I found out that I had a half sibling, I would be shocked and upset. Johnny said that his dad was “a good husband in other ways.” Presumably that meant buying Johnny’s mum expensive things. He said his mum also knew about the child that his dad fathered with another woman.

It’s clear to see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and no wonder Johnny can’t maintain a proper relationship. He refused to see a therapist and he said that after his mum died, his dad didn’t think that he needed any therapy. Johnny was very influenced by his dad and he was certainly a toxic influence.

Trauma has a huge impact on relationships and can lead to negative patterns such as pushing partners away. Acknowledging that trauma allows you to understand yourself better and why you keep making the same mistakes. Therapy also allows you to change your attitude and behaviour in a safe and non-judgemental space. I really believe that therapy can help you learn so much about yourself that you didn’t know. It helps to unclog all of the baggage that’s been weighing you down. People that carry a lot of unresolved trauma carry that unhappiness and weak sense of self into relationships like Johnny. I don’t know if Damian has any traumas, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he has some unresolved trauma in his life.

My narcissistic ex, let’s call him Alexandros* had a hell of of a load of issues that he refused to deal with and refused to even acknowledge were fucked up. His dad sounded like a cruel and abusive tyrant from what Alexandros told me, but Alexander didn’t think that his father’s behaviour was abnormal. Like I said, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Alexandros was a cruel and callous malignant narcissist. He tried to convince me that I was the one who needed therapy and that he didn’t need any therapy because he thought he was perfect with zero issues. I beg to differ. Alexandros was certainly cray-cray on another level!

5. Not taking responsibility for their actions.

Emotionally immature people will never take responsibility for their actions. They’re too immature and childish to reflect on the errors of their ways. They won’t even understand why you’re upset! I was extremely upset when Johnny broke up with me after claiming he didn’t feel that spark with me, despite love bombing me and telling me he was in love with me only the day before. He turned it around and accused me of being intense! He also refused to hold himself responsible. He said, “so it’s all my fault then?”

“So it’s all my fault?” is such a typically childish response and shows lack of remorse or understanding for their actions. Johnny was extremely childish so what could I expect really? Another response from emotionally immature people that irks me is, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Again it shows that they’re not really sorry and they imply that your reaction to their behaviour is the problem. Like, you’re just too sensitive. That was Damian’s response when I told him how hurt I was for leading me on (telling me he was developing feelings for me and acting like we were in a relationship when we were together). It’s like he was saying it was my fault for not being able to read his mind and for being so sensitive.

Alexandros my narc ex NEVER apologised even when he was blatantly in the wrong. Even when his cruel remarks were upsetting, he refused to apologise. Even when he was clearly in the wrong, he always blamed me. Nothing was ever his fault.

6. Not understanding how their actions impact others.

Emotionally immature people lack emotional intelligence and are too delusional to understand cause and effect. Johnny said he wanted us to be close friends after breaking up with me!! Seriously what chutzpah?? Does he think that despite breaking my heart, I was going to suck it up and be like yay let’s be best friends?

It was the same with Damian who said that he didn’t want to loose me as a friend. He messaged me a few days after we hooked up saying he still wanted to be my friend. Are you deluded?? We’ve crossed so many lines and blurred so many boundaries. How can he expect that after everything, nothing will have changed?? I told him from the start that sleeping together would make things complicated between us but he just brushed it off.

Emotionally immature people just expect people to be able to easily get over and forgive their behaviour. They don’t understand how unacceptable and inappropriate their expectations and actions are. A few weeks after Johnny broke up with me, he messaged one of my best friends, trying to come onto her (despite the fact he told me he didn’t find her attractive). When she rebuffed his advances, he said to her “so I take it Monica’s still upset with me?” Seriously?? Emotionally immature people have no boundaries or shame.

So those are the main signs that somebody is emotionally immature. I think I need therapy myself after dating and dealing with so many emotionally immature men. Maybe I’m doing something wrong to attract them in the first place. At least I’m learning now how to spot the signs of emotionally immature guys and am not allowing myself to becoming involved with them. I’ve cut Damian off and don’t want anything more to do with him.

What other signs of emotionally immaturity do you think are common? Do you have any exes that have behaved like mine? Let me know in the comments.



Monica S

I love writing. I may be controversial but I'm not afraid to say it how it is.