12 Signs You’re Dating an Adult Child
Navigating the waters of the dating pond is tricky enough, regardless of what kind of relationship you’re looking for. And while there are plenty of fish in the sea, some seem to be stuck in a perpetual state of childhood. You know the type: the ones who don’t take responsibility for their actions, or who still — gasp — live at their parents’ house. Yes, those immature, childish folks are out there, and they may be the first ones to take your bait. If you think you’re dating a man or woman child, here’s how to know.
1. They talk a big game, but never actually follow through
A big part of dating, especially in the beginning stages, is going out on actual dates. The days of traditional courtship may be long gone, but proper dates — and chivalry — will never go out of style. Perhaps you’re with someone who’s constantly suggesting grand plans, but never actually delivers. That can be a real bummer — and wake-up call.
This, of course, isn’t a good sign. You get all excited at the prospect of spending the day doing something fun together, only to be let down when said plans never actually come to fruition. Well, you know you’re dating an adult child when, as Elite Daily puts it, he or she would rather just “Netflix and chill” rather than splurge on a nice date.
2. They refuse to define the relationship
The DTR talk is an important one to have. After all, you want to know where you and the relationship stand in your partner’s life. Devoting yourself to someone else is a big commitment, which is why knowing how committed they are is major. As Romper says, you know you’re “dating a grown-ass [person]” if they’ve defined the relationship. On the flip side, then, you know you’re not if this hasn’t even crossed his or her mind.
3. Dinners aren’t exactly sophisticated
Cereal or ramen for dinner every single night is also totally acceptable — if you’re in college. Assuming your partner’s not living in a dorm, you can usually tell a fair bit about a person based on their eating habits. For example, if they only eat junk food, they’re clearly not too concerned about their health.
If they’ve never used the stove for anything besides boiling water for said ramen, they’re likely not too fond of cooking, nor do they have any hopes of diving into it anytime soon. You know what you deserve, and a nice dinner every once in a while really isn’t asking too much.
4. They can’t take responsibility for anything
There are just some people out there who can’t seem to take any sort of responsibility for their actions. For some reason, they never quite got the memo that, yes, they’re an adult now, which means being held accountable for their actions.
According to Bustle, “Whether you are asking them to rightfully take the blame for something they have done wrong, or telling them that, yes, their landlord will notice if they decide not to pay rent this month, this [person] just isn’t willing in any capacity to confront all the things that come with getting older.” If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s never been wrong a day in their life, head for the hills. It’s obvious this person isn’t ready for a grown-up relationship.
5. They live with their parents, with no hopes of moving out
Living with a parent out of the need to tend to family matters is one thing. Posting up in your parents’ basement for years on end without much motivation to make a move anytime soon, is quite another. It goes like this: You meet a potential partner, start falling for them, and eventually come to realize there’s a reason the two of you only spend the night at your place.
Just because your partner’s not living with three old ladies and sleeping on a race car bed (grandma’s boy, anyone?) doesn’t mean they’re not perfectly content spending their adult years mooching off their parentals. Recognizing your partner’s living situation for what it really is is the first step in admitting you’re dating an adult child.
6. They prioritize fun over responsibility
While we’re firm believers in striking a healthy work-life balance, there’s a time and a place for everything. If your partner’s idea of properly-weighed scales leans a little too heavily on the life side, there’s a problem. People who are constantly looking for reasons to ditch work probably aren’t the most responsible of folks. Shirking important duties (i.e., showing up to work and earning a paycheck) is hardly a habit of successful adults. Our suggestion for you? Quit making excuses and ditch the person for good.
7. They’re bad with money
Your partner doesn’t have to ditch work on the reg to qualify as someone who’s terrible with personal finances. Even if they manage to hold down a steady job and make a good living, the wild world we’re living in gives them more than enough opportunities to blow that hard-earned cash on things they don’t really need. Most people could stand to be a bit better with their finances, but a person who’d rather blow their entire paycheck on a trip to Vegas even though they owe money on their taxes? Well, that’s a clear sign your partner is far too childish.
8. You feel like you’re constantly nagging
Although you may get a bad rap for being the one who nags, you’re likely doing it out of necessity. “You hear yourself nagging [them] but you can’t stop,” Jill P. Weber, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today. “You feel that if you don’t remind [them] of what [they] [need] to do, said [they] would do, or should do, [they] will never do it.” It’s not your fault if you want your partner to act more like an adult. It is your fault, though, if your frustrations default to constant nagging and you never do anything to change your situation.
9. They have no job, with zero ambition to get one
So long as your partner is an able-bodied adult, being jobless for an extended period of time isn’t acceptable. (Note: Exceptions to this include being a stay-at-home parent and just having won the lottery). If your partner doesn’t have a job, and has zero ambition to get one, Buzzfeed says it’s a surefire sign you’re dating a childish adult.
10. Their life is overly complicated
We all come with a little bit of baggage, but stay away from those whose baggage is enough to fill an airport. Thought Catalog says there’s reason to be concerned if your partner just can’t seem to get his or her life in order. If your partner is one of those people who just really needs to get a grip, it’s time to do some de-stressing and decluttering of your own, and jump ship.
11. They’re reactive rather than logical
Ever heard of love and logic? Well, if you need to use it with your partner every day, it’s time to take a good, hard look at the toll your partner’s behavior is taking on your relationship. In Buzzfeed’s example of an immature partner, it’s all about the difference between communicating when something’s bothering them and throwing a tantrum. Having a mature, calm conversation with your partner is something adults do. Stomping around like a child is, well, something children do.
12. They’re selfish and don’t take your feelings into account
A significant other who only values his or her own needs is no partner at all. Being in a relationship should be a 50/50 partnership, equal parts give and take. If your feelings are never taken into consideration, though, Romper says you’re definitely dating an immature man (or woman). It’s best to steer clear of this kind of toxic, self-centered behavior.