Opinion: Millennial Men Are Like Children And It’s Killing Dating

It feels like the older we get, the younger guys our age act. Men are getting more and more immature and women are the ones who get hurt by it. Here’s why the man-child is making our lives exponentially harder.

  1. It makes older men basically the only dating alternative. No offense to older men, but we don’t really want them to be our only dating option. The first time we date a guy significantly older than us, it’s a revelatory experience. A man! Who’s also an adult! And interested in me! Who’s thoughtful! And knows how to shave and do his laundry and is also a nice person! Wow! But at a certain point, it would be nice to just date a guy with the same Disney Channel references as us and not someone who grew up in a totally different era. Is that really asking too much?
  2. The bar is so low, anyone with a pulse is basically considered a catch. If all guys are babies, it becomes the norm and expectations are lowered accordingly. Just because a guy is financially stable doesn’t mean he’s a catch. We deserve emotional stability and a little bit of social maturity as well. Being immature isn’t attractive, it’s just self-indulgent and lazy. The more we accept immature guys, the more they’ll think that kind of behavior is acceptable.
  3. It lets guys off the hook for being immature and irresponsible. If we hear one more guy described as “a child at heart” or “youthful,” we’re going to absolutely lose it. Women are criticized for being “late bloomers” or for not taking on the weight of the world pretty early on while men are admired for it. Since when is being a child in adult form an attractive thing? We’ll take a grown-up any day.
  4. The onus always falls on women to be the responsible ones and it’s ridiculous. Why do women have to be responsible for everything? Pretty much every guy we date now seems to think we’re also his mom, which is completely obnoxious. We’re not here to make him get out of bed in the morning, do his laundry, or remind him he has work in the morning and probably shouldn’t be doing jello shots at 4 a.m. at a house party. It’s like some guys just never left their dorms.
  5. We end up settling for men that don’t deserve us. At a certain point, we just want to have a steady relationship and when all the options are disappointing, we end up lowering our standards. This just encourages guys to keep slacking off and not try to improve. This is not only an injustice to the women who feel like they have to put up with it but to the guys who actually have their acts together.
  6. It’s the opposite of “charming.” Being a child isn’t charming unless you are, in fact, a child. It doesn’t matter how many dimples a guy has or if he has a cute accent or nice hair. The only thing that turns most women on is emotional intelligence and a little bit of overall maturity. The next time a guy tries to turn on the charm while remaining hopelessly irresponsible, we should just turn and walk away.
  7. It fuels the stereotype of women being uptight. Women have always been seen as being more prudish than men simply because we tend to grow up faster, but now that men are becoming less and less mature, women are the ones getting blamed as usual. Compared to many of today’s “men,” most women are adults in the extreme, and apparently they’re insecure enough to interpret maturity as prudishness.
  8. It sets a terrible example. Whether we want kids or not, men who act like teenagers are horrible influences on boys and girls. Imagine being 12 and only seeing guys who act your age. You’re going to think that’s just how men are and accept it. We need to ask for more from guys or else their laziness and bad habits will be passed down indefinitely.
  9. Guys seem to think it excuses bad behavior. Just because a guy is “young for his age” or whatever BS descriptor he uses doesn’t mean he can be an a-hole without repercussions. He doesn’t get a free pass just because he’s cute and needs help. Women aren’t here to help guys be adults. Grow up, grow a pair, and hit us up in a few years when you know how to comport yourself like an actual grown-up. We shouldn’t stick around pretending we’re OK with all the work we have to do to make a relationship with an irresponsible child worth it.
  10. We have better things to do than enable a guy’s juvenile behavior. No matter how much we want to be in a relationship, we shouldn’t compromise our happiness for the sake of having a boyfriend, especially when the options are the collective age of 12, in spirit if not in reality. No matter how discouraged we get and how tempted we are to settle for something less than we deserve, let’s vow now to do it. It only validates the man-children. The more we as women reject this subset of maleness, the more incentive they’ll have to finally grow up.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.