I talk a good game about how all I want out of my romantic life is a grown man with focused ambition and emotional maturity. When it comes down to it, though, I’m terrified to actually date someone like that because it brings up all my insecurities and fears. Here’s why I have a hard time practicing what I preach.
I’m not used to mature guys. I’ve dated very few men in my life and a whole lot of boys. It’s also been a long time since I’ve dated anyone for any length of time so I’m out of practice. If a man who has his act together actually indicates that he wants me, I’ll probably run away terrified.
I don’t like feeling out of control. As much as I detest dating immature dudes, there’s obviously something there that appeals to me subconsciously. I think that I have a need to feel like I’m in charge of romantic situations. It dates back to my childhood issues, I guess. I want to keep the upper hand.
I have an unhealthy familiarity with dating boys. It might not be a good thing, but it’s what I know. I understand emotionally stunted and immature men and something in me wants to take care of them. A friend once told me that I have a savior complex and she’s not wrong. I know it’s not my responsibility to fix guys but old habits die hard.
I’m not usually attracted to grown men. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’ve always been into guys who are my own age or younger. For the most part, I don’t feel any physical chemistry with older men. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course, and not all emotionally developed men are older than me, but this has been the general trend.
I have a hard time being vulnerable. I’m very honest, yes, but I’m emotionally closed-off. There is a definite distinction between the two. There are certain places that I simply don’t (or can’t) go with most people. When I’m confronted with a man who is open with his feelings, it freaks me out.
I crave an emotionally mature connection but can’t handle it in reality. I’d like to think that if I meet the right guy, this won’t feel so difficult. Hopefully he’ll make me feel at ease and we’ll get along so well that I can open up. That being said, the initial shock of trying to make that connection with someone is scary as hell.
I feel weird around traditionally successful guys. It’s not necessary that a man be financially or materially successful—that’s not the same as being a mature adult. On the other hand, most of the men I’ve met who are emotionally developed also have the rest of their act together, and it makes me feel like maybe I don’t.
I worry about feeling like I owe them. A truly evolved man would never make me feel this way. The problem is I get paranoid because I hate being at a disadvantage. I take care of myself and pay my own bills, but I also can’t exactly go crazy throwing money around. I try not to care, but I always feel like I’m lacking.
I’m not interested in a standard lifestyle. Again, there are exceptions to the rule, but most mature men that I meet are pretty stable in their lives. They have good jobs and they want a steady relationship—and usually a home and a family and all the trappings. That just isn’t me, but I don’t want to end up with an irresponsible bum either.
I hate to admit that mature men test my confidence. I like to think that I’ve made great strides in the past few years and that I’m fairly self-confident now. It certainly feels that way… until I come up against a guy who challenges the way I see myself and also the way I see men. I can’t take a position of superiority and I don’t want to be inferior, but I don’t feel equal.
I love the idea of a deep partnership but not the work that’s involved. I’m not that different from the rest of my generation in some ways. I’m used to the ease of being single, and while ideally I’d like a deep and loving adult relationship, I also know that it takes time and energy that I’m not sure I’m willing to give up.
I’m honestly terrified when someone actually chooses me. I’m always falling for men who are unavailable in some way or another. I hate that I’m like this and I know that I operate this way because it feels safer than engaging in risky vulnerability with someone who truly wants to be with me.
I’ve been alone so long that dating a grown man baffles me. I’ve not had many mature relationships in my life. I’ve been in love and I’ve had serious boyfriends, but there was often an element of childishness to our interactions. We never really discussed our futures together or acted… adult. Now I feel like I don’t even know how to begin.
I don’t like to feel that my partner is more emotionally mature than me. This is the real kicker. If I find a fully open and emotionally vulnerable man to date, I have to then confront and deal with my own issues with exposing my heart. I don’t know that I’m quite ready to go there, but then again, there’s never an ideal time to face your fears.
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