10 Types Of Men That Aren’t Cut Out For Adult Relationships

Navigating adult relationships takes maturity, emotional intelligence, and a willingness to put in the work. Sadly, not all guys are equipped to handle that. No matter how attracted you are to them or how much you try to make it work, the sad fact is that relationships with guys like these will simply never work. Save yourself the time and energy and bow out now.

  1. Commitment-phobes Men who have a fear of commitment often struggle with the idea of settling down in a long-term, adult relationship. They constantly think the grass is greener on the other side, so they either avoid putting a label on things or they’re gung-ho about being official and end up cheating on you. No thanks!
  2. Emotionally unavailable men Look, we all have issues. Chances are we’ve been hurt before, screwed over, abandoned, whatever. It sucks and it’s hard. That’s what therapy is for. Men who use their past experiences as an excuse to treat you like crap are not it. You’ll never go anywhere with a guy who keeps you at arm’s length and acts like he couldn’t give a damn. It’s better if you don’t either.
  3. Serial cheaters Whether or not you believe the old “once a cheater, always a cheater” adage, it’s kinda true. In fact, a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 45% of men who cheated in their first relationship did it again in the next one. That’s a pretty significant number if you ask me. Please do not fool yourself into believing that you can be the one to tame him and that you’re different from all the other girls (even if that’s what he tells you). Men like this cannot have adult relationships unless by “adult” you mean “sex with many women.”
  4. Narcissists Just what every woman wants — a relationship with a self-centered guy who lacks any empathy whatsoever for his partners’ needs and feelings. Sounds like a winner! Guys like this will never be capable of adult relationships — or any relationship at all that’s not completely toxic. Steer well clear.
  5. Control freaks Their desire to manipulate and control you is oppressive and can even be downright dangerous. Coercive and controlling behavior is a form of abuse and is not something that anyone should put up with. And even if his control freak ways don’t manifest in major ways, the fact that any man thinks he gets a say in how his partner lives her life is seriously problematic.
  6. Conflict avoiders Some men (and women too, admittedly) avoid confrontation and conflict resolution, which of course leads to unresolved issues in the relationship. If you can’t communicate with each other, the relationship will break down as little issues become big ones and you grow further and further apart. No one likes conflict, but sometimes it’s necessary to solve issues so that you can move on from them. If he can’t handle that, he can’t date you.
  7. Substance abusers It goes without saying that people with substance abuse issues shouldn’t be in any relationship except one with a licensed professional who can help them overcome their addictions. Whether alcohol, gambling, drugs, or sex are their addiction of choice, this will lead to a world of hurt for anyone who’s close to them. Don’t try to be a savior or think you can help guys like this overcome their problems. It’s their job, not yours.
  8. Workaholics Men who are excessively focused on their careers or work may neglect their relationships, leaving their partners feeling neglected and unimportant. There’s nothing that says “unhappy relationship” quite like being bailed on more times than he turns up because he wants to get a bit more of this end-of-month report done. It’s great to be with an ambitious guy, but if he has no work-life balance, walk on.
  9. Insecure guys Deep-seated insecurities can lead to jealousy, possessiveness, and irrational behavior, making it challenging to maintain a stable and trusting adult relationship. We all have things we don’t feel confident about, and that’s fine. However, it’s no one else’s responsibility to make you feel validated and to help you recognize your own self-worth. Men who are so deeply insecure end up taking it out on you and are clearly incapable of adult relationships.
  10. Men who can’t communicate Like I said above, no communication = no relationship. If you can never talk about anything, what are you even doing? From talking through arguments to even discussing how you’re feeling about work stress or the fact that you have a sick parent, you should be able to talk about anything and everything with your partner. If he clams up the minute you try and coax any sense of vulnerability out of him, he needs to grow up. Same goes for if he expects you to know how he’s feeling without him ever having said a word. What are you, a mind reader?

Obviously, there are some men who are incapable of adult relationships right now that can and will change in the future. However, don’t latch onto one now thinking that you can stick it out until he gets there. You’re not looking for a project, you’re looking for a partner. Let him do the work in his own time and find someone who’s actually ready for you now. You’ll be much happier.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill