Emotionally Mature Men Display These 12 Qualities
EXCLUSIVE ADVICE & OFFERS RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX (NEVER SPAM)
Photo: Rachel Sama and James Michael Sama
Emotional maturity is the result of life experiences and intentional growth that bring a man on a path of personal evolution. It empowers him to show up in the world (and in his relationships) as the healthiest and most authentic version of himself.
The challenge often lies in knowing just who has actually done this inner work, and who is simply putting on a good show that draws you to them for what ends up being the wrong reasons.
In this article, we’ll discuss some “green flags” to look for that determine if a man is truly emotionally mature based on the way he lives his life, treats others around him, and also…how he treats himself.
1: He has a calming energy.
Emotional self-regulation is something that comes with time, experience, and wisdom.
It is a daunting and intimidating task to look one’s emotions in the eye and fully experience them. To ascertain whether or not they are rooted in truth, or a product of biological evolution that is misplaced in the modern world.
If, though, we don’t gather the courage to eventually learn what our inner-most feelings are telling us, we will remain a slave to them over the years.
We’ll be reactive rather than responsive, working off of impulses and instincts rather than taking a pause to determine what our subconscious is really trying to tell us.
This pause, albeit short, gives us the time we need to truly understand ourselves.
Subsequently, it helps us become more intentional and deliberate with the ways that we do respond.
As we become more comfortable with our responses, we gain more confidence in a variety of situations because we’ve built trust with ourselves, shown ourselves that we can “handle anything,” and aren’t just a ping-pong ball in the game of life.
This level of certainty in one’s self brings a calmness and a peace that is expressed through a steady and stable energy.
Have you ever been around a man who seems perpetually frantic? Who responds in extreme ways to changing circumstances or stimuli around him? While this doesn’t make him a bad person, and there are a myriad of explanations for the level of reaction, it does not align with the type of person who you need to be with that has worked to manage their responses to the world.
This, in turn, will put him in a better position to be more patient and understanding in your relationship, as well.
2: He says what he means, and means what he says.
To understand emotional maturity, it helps to understand emotional immaturity.
Immaturity is always seeking external validation and approval. In order to feel good about itself, it needs others to praise and compliment it.
Sure — we all enjoy external validation, but there’s a big difference between enjoying it and relying upon it.
When a man is still in this phase of life, he will say and do things specifically designed to garner that validation. In doing so, he says things just because they “sound good,” not because he actually means them.
When he grows past this phase of life, though, living with integrity becomes the goal, and integrity is based on one’s words aligning with their actions.
This is key to watch particularly early on in a relationship, because that’s when people “act their best.” They say the things you want to hear, are always on their best behavior, and are doing the best they can to win you over.
The question, though, is not what he says — but what he does to back it up…and how consistently he does it.
3: Sometimes, he doesn’t say anything at all.
Emotionally immature men always need to be proving themselves to you.
In order to do so, they must, well…always be talking. Usually about themselves.
There’s a discomfort they feel in silence, because that empty space makes them nervous about what you’re thinking, if you’re bored, if you dislike them, or if they’re missing a chance to tell you how great they are.
So, they fill that space, usually with the “features and benefits” of dating them.
Some people, granted, become uncomfortable in silence and seek ways to fill that gap for a variety of reasons. I’d suggest, though, that falls under the same umbrella as the aforementioned personality and does not qualify as “emotionally mature.”
Some of these points may be controversial and divisive because, quite obviously, not everyone is in full control of their responses to stimuli and that does not make them any less worthy of life.
The criteria to be met here, though, is that of an emotionally mature man — and in my opinion, one of those criteria is the ability to simply listen, absorb, and entertain information without always needing to interject his opinions and thoughts.
This way, when he does speak, the people around him know that it’s meaningful and thoughtful. “Still waters run deep,” as the saying goes.
4: He can be challenged WITHOUT feeling threatened.
Being challenged and being threatened are two very different things — but it requires emotional maturity in order to recognize that.
Those who value growth and change welcome challenges into their lives. They understand that it brings an opportunity to problem solve, to change their way of thinking, to excel beyond what they thought was possible in order to overcome what is before them.
Without this perspective, though, every challenge is going to feel like a threat.
When you disagree, it’s a threat to his opinions.
When there’s new competition at work, it’s a threat to his job.
When a problem arises that is difficult to solve, it’s a threat to his ego.
Now — the truth of life is that sometimes there are threats, but we must be able to clearly see the difference between the two, lest we risk treating one like the other.
Challenges are part of life, and if you choose to spend your life with this person, you’re going to face plenty of those challenges together.
Health challenges, financial challenges, compatibility challenges, parenting challenges — the list goes on.
The question isn’t whether or not they will arise (they will)…the question is how equipped he is to handle them when they do.
5: He makes you feel safe.
Since we are talking about emotional maturity, this point is similarly about emotional safety.
Of course all kinds of safety are essential in a relationship, for nobody who feels unsafe in any way can fully give themselves to another person — nor should they.
Emotional safety, though, is when you can feel comfortable opening up and building a deep bond with another person, free of judgment.
Emotional maturity is accepting and loving. It holds space for you to step into without wondering what the “catch” is, or what’s coming next.
Emotional maturity holds a safe place for you because it’s already created that place for itself. If someone has not yet done that level of work and they themselves live in turmoil and chaos, how can you expect anything different when you step into that world?
6: He takes responsibility.
How many men have you been with before that avoided all responsibility for wrongdoing? Or refused to admit mistakes? Or simply could just…not be at fault? Refused to apologize (ever)?
I think we can all agree that this doesn’t really meet the mark of “emotional maturity,” just the opposite, actually.
It follows, then, that the opposite of that would be a sign of emotional maturity — the ability and willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions.
Not just actions, though — but also mindset, personal development, successes, failures, victories, mistakes…
There is a philosophy in the U.S. Navy SEALS known as “extreme responsibility” where the motto is “everything is my fault.”
At first glance, this might seem self-pitying or even powerless — but the more we explore, the more we understand that it’s about holding one’s self accountable. Being the one who steps up to the plate to create change. Looking for a solution to a problem, whether or not you caused it.
Men like this will be a solid teammate and partner in life because they’ll be trustworthy and reliable. You can count on them to step up to the plate for you, as well — because that’s part of who they are.
7: He knows what he is (or isn’t) ready for.
You’ve done it before, haven’t you? You’ve tried to “fix” someone. You’ve taken on a “project” rather than a partner. You’ve convinced yourself that if you just love them enough/in the right way/with the right intensity, they’ll come around and fall into your arms for the rest of your lives…
Then, after months — or maybe even years of trying — you learned that this just isn’t how things work.
It simply does not matter what you say or do if someone is not ready to receive you.
You know it yourself, if you’re not ready, or just out of a breakup, or going through a tumultuous phase in life, it’s simply not about what anyone else says or does, only what you feel ready for.
Emotional maturity is about awareness.
It doesn’t force itself into the wrong relationship at the wrong time.
It doesn’t convince itself that it’s ready for something that it isn’t.
It knows itself enough to understand that acting for the wrong reasons is only going to bring more heartbreak and sadness down the road.
If he’s ready — you’ll know it and feel it. If he’s not, you’ll always be left wondering about his feelings.
8: He is capable of introspection.
Emotionally mature men understand the challenge of, but also the value of, looking inward and being honest about what (and who) they see.
This is one of the most difficult things that any of us can do, because it requires looking at ourselves in an uncensored way and, possibly, not liking what we find.
Therein lies the value, though — understanding ourselves on a level that few are willing to. This gives us the clarity and ability to see the good, the bad, the iffy, the awkward.
While some may cringe at the thought, it’s important to understand that improvements in one’s self cannot be made unless the areas for them are first recognized.
It’s easy to avoid what we don’t want to see, and even pretend like it doesn’t even exist. The hard part — but also the important part — is facing them head on. That takes true strength and maturity.
9: He can put your needs first.
Great relationships are not about give and take, they’re about give and give.
Forming a true partnership with someone can never happen if one (or both) people maintain their selfish tendencies that once served them when they were single.
The same mindset simply does not apply to building an intimate relationship, or a family.
We must be willing to compromise, to sacrifice, to give to our partner in all ways — emotionally, physically, spiritually — and they must do the same for us in return as they match our efforts.
If a man is still doing everything to can to live as if he’s single…let him.
10: He is patient.
When we’re young and excitedly writing out the list of wants and needs that our ideal partner has — “patience” doesn’t always top the list.
As we grow more mature, though, and have more life experiences, meet more people, and understand what really matters in life — it becomes obvious that being patient is a large factor in the quality of a relationship and how two people merge their lives together.
Patience is necessary when we’re getting to know each other, learning about different family traditions, planning parties or events together, meeting each others’ family and friends — definitely when planning a wedding.
Patience is a sign of emotional maturity because it understands that there’s no point in rushing something if you want it to last forever.
11: He’s inspired by your strength, not intimidated by it.
A relationship is a partnership. We must come together with another person to build the life and love that we both desire — and this cannot happen if just one person is putting in the work or effort.
It also cannot happen if one person thinks that their partner stepping up means they’re trying to “overpower” or “overshadow” them.
Instead, we must see this as what it really is: Someone putting in equal effort in order to match our strength as we do with theirs.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
12: He lives in full alignment with his identity.
Our identity and purpose are the two driving forces in how we spend our days. They determine our level of happiness and fulfillment. They guide our decision making and ensure that we live in alignment with our values and beliefs.
Lack of clarity around identity and purpose, then, can cause confusion and conflict within one’s self.
How can we make the right decision for “me” if we don’t know who that is?
How can we be guided by our values if we’re unclear on them?
How can we choose the right partner if we don’t know what (or who) we’re truly looking for in life?
A man who has done the work to develop and cultivate his identity will be in the process of building his life around that central core. As a result, he’ll be able to recognize the right things (and people) when they come along.
For the right guy — that means you.
Subscribe to my newsletter “The Next Level” for honest and uncensored advice normally reserved for private clients.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 39 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
EXCLUSIVE ADVICE & OFFERS RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX (NO SPAM)