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Perhaps Dr. John Gray was on to something in his critical analysis of the sexes with Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus. That book is still as relevant today as it was in ‘92 when it was first published. It’s no surprise and certainly not news that women are a lot more advanced in certain areas of life than men, especially when it comes to biological and emotional activity. According to an article published in Psychology Today, women are more emotionally intelligent than men. Women have the advantage of being more self-aware, possess more social skills, empathy and have a surprisingly better handle on managing our emotions than men do, simply because we express them.

A British study also revealed that men have an 11-year disadvantage compared to women when it comes to maturing. It was shown that women as a whole reached full maturity by age 32, whereas our male counterparts do so around age 43. That is an enormous gap. During the study, reportedly, women often said that they felt like the grown-up in their relationships and more than half wished that their partners talked about themselves, and most importantly, their feelings, more.

I’ve had my fair share of emotionally unavailable men. I’ve dated men who couldn’t articulate their feelings, which resulted in a game of emotional charades. I’ve dated men who often misplaced their emotions and just couldn’t cope. I’ve dated men who weren’t mature and decided they just weren’t ready to take me seriously yet. And I’ve dated men who were just emotionally taxing individuals. If you’ve found yourself struggling with these same types of men and wondering if he’s really ready for love and to open up to you, here are some ways to know if your man is emotionally mature.

He’s Open To Communicating His Feelings

The great Robin S once said, “Words are so easy to say…you’ve got to show me love.” Kudos to her for finding a man who knows how to use his words. But for most of us women, the issues rest mainly on his lack of words, or in simpler terms, poor communication skills. A man who is emotionally mature will actively seek out someone he can trust his feelings with. Let’s hope that person is you, ladies. But if not, at least he’s properly dealing with them. By being able to openly talk about his feelings, he will also be able to appropriately place them in the right avenues and manage them. He won’t come home from a frustrating day at work and project that stress and anger onto you. Instead, he will be able to have a conversation with you about how his day made him feel so that you won’t have to play mind reader and throw out false guesses that will just make him angrier.

He’ll Surround Himself With Emotionally Mature Men

If you’re a Martin fan, as I am, you’ll notice that whenever Martin got in trouble with Gina or an issue escalated between the two of them, it was usually due to Martin seeking counsel from his boys Tommy and Cole who were very single and sometimes jaded by their experiences. I’m not saying a man can’t have single friends, because it’s important to have that balance and perspective. However, when his single friends are causing him to act childish, and when his behavior around his emotionally immature boys starts to become shady, he clearly has a lot of growing up to do. An emotionally mature man will treat you the same whether you’re alone together or he’s in front of his friends. He will even treat you the same when you’re not in his presence. 

He Accepts His Feelings…And Yours

An emotionally mature man wears his emotions on his sleeve. He’s not a wimp, but he’s secure in how he feels. He accepts that he is human and has natural human emotions regardless of what society has painted masculinity to be. He doesn’t try to suppress or resist his feelings. In turn, this acceptance makes him more open to understanding and accepting your emotions. This makes him more susceptible to learning and growing as a person and in the relationship.

He’ll Be Willing To Have Those Difficult Talks

A man’s initial reaction to “We need to talk” is usually to take flight to avoid whatever is coming, and most times, the conversation isn’t as bad as he’s worked himself up to believe. An emotionally mature man will allow himself to be vulnerable and open to having the conversation. He will listen without attacking and he will share without holding back. Even when you’re ready to chew his head off, he will stay levelheaded, creating a space for his partner to be completely open.

In a perfect world, your man is all of these things. But let’s be honest: His “I’m fine,” or his “I’m okay” and that “Nothing is wrong” has more meaning than what you see on the surface. The most important thing to remember is that he’s not perfect, but if he’s willing and striving to be an emotionally mature man, then you have a keeper. 

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