Signs You Might Be Dating A Man-Child And What To Do About It

A man-child is a man who thinks that everything will just work out if all he does is sit on the couch all day. He’s trapped in a former mindset and doesn’t live in the real world. These men often treat their partners like mothers and have very low emotional maturity.

Some women find themselves trying to justify their partner’s poor behavior, but sometimes, you have to take a step back from your relationship and ask yourself if it’s worth it. And who knows? You could even be dating a man-child without fully realizing it. Here are some different signs that you are dating a man-child and excerpts from people who have experienced a relationship with a man-child firsthand.

What Is A Man Child?

man vaping in bed while petting his cat
Photo Credit: Elsa Donald / Pexels
Photo Credit: Elsa Donald / Pexels

According to Urban Dictionary, “In the simplest of definition, a man-child is an immature guy who just refuses to grow up. This doesn’t mean he necessarily lives at home with mom and dad.”

“Although he probably should [consider] the way he functions in the real world―but that he just doesn’t have his life together.”

Signs That You Are Dating A Man-Child

man and woman arguing
Photo Credit: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels
Photo Credit: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

Let’s go through a couple of common signs or red flags that you may experience if you are dating a man-child.

And let’s be honest here, there are definitely women out there who do the exact same thing—there’s just no term for it quite yet that’s as catchy as man-child.

He Lives In A Fantasy World

man relaxing outside on hammock
Photo Credit: Javier Peñas / Pexels
Photo Credit: Javier Peñas / Pexels

If you’re dating someone who is afraid of commitment, shies away from responsibility, or can’t seem to handle anything real, I hate to tell you this, but you might be dating a man-child.

At this point, you should consider whether you are willing to be with someone who you will have to carry along in life instead of a partner you can always depend on.

You Find Yourself Nagging Him

upset woman with sad man behind her sitting at table
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels

If you have to ask your partner to do something multiple times or else it won’t get done, it may feel like you’re nagging them.

And even though YOU might get the heat because you’re nagging or “being annoying,” the nag is just the result of someone who can’t take responsibility on their own.

He Avoids Serious Conversations All The Time And Never Takes Any Blame For Anything

man using phone in bed
Photo Credit: Monstera / Pexels
Photo Credit: Monstera / Pexels

Just like a little kid, he can’t say sorry. If you try to bring up deeper issues or your deeper needs, in a relationship, a man-child will do whatever he can to switch the topic or appear unavailable for that conversation.

Ask yourself this question: Do you find your original point in an argument never gets addressed and you just end up talking about what you did wrong that triggered his poor behavior? If it’s a yes, that’s a huge sign of a man-child.

You Always Have To Clean Up After Him

person wiping the table
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

If you feel like you are constantly cleaning up their messes (physical or in his personal life), he’s treating you like a mom or a caregiver, not a partner.

In a normal relationship, you should never feel like you are ALWAYS picking up after a grown-a** man.

He Doesn’t Like Chatting About The Future

man and woman sipping coffee and staring at one another
Photo Credit: Jack Sparrow / Pexels
Photo Credit: Jack Sparrow / Pexels

If your guy never talks about the future, or you see a ton of panic in his eyes when you do, that’s a sure sign of an immature guy who is living in a fantasy world. If you even make a joke about kids or marriage, he’s mentally checking out or suddenly evacuating the premises.

According to Psychology Today, “If after a reasonable amount of time (this should not be years) you can’t bring up the future on any level and have a reasonable discourse about it, you are dating a man-child.” Because it’s normal in a relationship to chat about your goals, aspirations, and desires for the future so you can see if you work together long-term.

He Has No Ambition Whatsoever

woman staring at man who is on his phone
Photo Credit: Budgeron Bach / Pexels
Photo Credit: Budgeron Bach / Pexels

Is your guy currently unemployed or super unambitious about his professional life?

This means that he’s not ready or willing to live in the real world. A man-child’s motto is “why try to change or look to the future when I can stay exactly where I am and pretend that I’m a college student forever?

He Cares Too Much About His Friends’ Opinions

three male friends sitting on couch in messy room
Photo Credit: Pavel Danilyuk / Pexels
Photo Credit: Pavel Danilyuk / Pexels

It’s good to value your friends’ opinions, but you need to remember that they’re not actually involved in your relationship. If your guy’s friends are butting into your relationship, always over at your place, or making fun of you for being “uptight”—and he’s always laughing along with them—this is a huge red flag.

Because at the end of the day, if he’s putting his friends and their opinions before you instead of the other way around, he’s acting like a high-school boy.

He Gets Really Jealous

visibly angry man pulling at his hair
Photo Credit: Ryan Snaadt / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Ryan Snaadt / Unsplash

Does he get jealous if you have even a harmless conversation with another guy? Not only is this controlling, but it also yells man-child. His jealousy always wins the fight against logic, and he just can’t help it.

If he’s always getting upset at you for anything and everything involving other men, it’s probably because he doesn’t fully understand male-female platonic relationships.

You’re Trying To Justify Everything He Does

woman staring off into distance as man stares at her in kitchen
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels
Photo Credit: Alex Green / Pexels

When dating a man-child, you’ll find yourself making excuses for him, or trying to rationalize his poor choices.

Instead of trying to justify his bad decisions, think about why he makes those choices in the first place.

He’s A Mommy’s Boy To The Point That It’s Concerning

kid on large armchair
Photo Credit: Anna Shvets / Pexels
Photo Credit: Anna Shvets / Pexels

Look at his family life. Look at how he treats or talks about his mom. Did his mother clearly do everything for him when he was a kid? How does his father treat his mother when you visit?

A man-child usually has a very warped perception of how a man is supposed to treat a woman. Usually, they believe that a woman does everything around the house whereas the guy can just kick it 24/7.

He Has A Huge Ego, Even Though He Probably Shouldn’t

man taking selfie of him flexing his arm
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

The thing about man-children is that they are usually very full of themselves and overconfident even though they actually have no right to be. If you have no sense of life direction or purpose, no real job, and no responsibilities, you definitely shouldn’t have a big ego.

A man-child almost always peaked in high school or college and still believes that he’s that same cool guy now.

He Craves Attention

woman staring on camera with man on her lap
Photo Credit: Kampus Production / Pexels
Photo Credit: Kampus Production / Pexels

Some man-children are obsessed with having all eyes on them or getting lots of attention from others, just like a little kid.

If he’s often embarrassing you in public or begging you to focus on him at all times, that’s a sure sign of a man who is regressing.

On Reddit, Women Shared Their Experiences With Dating Man-Children

 In this photo illustration a Reddit logo is seen on a mobile phone and a pc screen.
Photo Credit: Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

A few years ago, Reddit user u/mhblm asked the question: “When did you realize you were dating a man-child?”

The user explained in the post that they wanted to know how long the relationship lasted, what the worst part was, and if he ever changed, even for a while.

“When You Feel Like His Mother Instead Of His Girlfriend”

Reddit comment:
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

This user explained that she felt like the mother of a guy she used to date, which is when she realized he was a man-child.

He was needy, and always slacked off because he couldn’t take any personal responsibility. And guess what? This guy never changed.

“He Was Impossible To Live With”

Reddit comment:
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

This woman explains that she broke up with her ex because he didn’t know how to clean up after himself, and expected the world to reward him for doing basically nothing.

And the fact that he doesn’t know how to work a laundry machine at 21 is honestly comical.

“Very Emotionally Immature”

Reddit comment:
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

Some man-children are obsessed with attention, and this user explains that the guy had some serious attachment issues.

And, he did the exact same thing with his MOTHER, because he thought that women only exist for his entertainment.

“He Could Never Say Sorry”

Reddit comment:
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

Once again, a man-child usually has really bad cleaning skills, and hardly understands how to pick up after themselves.

Instead of helping his girlfriend move her stuff in, he acted like a literal child about everything because she didn’t help him. Also, he could never own up to anything or say sorry. Stay safe out there, ladies, and find someone who treats you right.