If you’re sick and tired of feeling like you’re the only adult in most of your relationships, you’re not alone. So many women just want to be loved by an emotionally mature, capable man who’s an actual grown-up, just like she is. But sadly, many men don’t reach that place with themselves until later in life.

That said, it’s essential to know how to tell a man who’s emotionally mature from the man-children you’re no doubt tired of dating by now. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know.

What is emotional maturity, anyway?

Everyone’s heard of emotional maturity, but what is it, really? What separates a person who’s emotionally mature from everyone else out there. In a nutshell, emotionally mature people are people who can:

  • Manage their emotions, no matter how complicated they may be
  • Make responsible adult decisions, big and small
  • Be appropriately considerate of others around them
  • Take responsibility for their actions, decisions, and choices
  • Apologize and make amends for wrongdoing

Emotionally mature people naturally still make mistakes and have bad days. They get angry or frustrated, as well, sometimes visibly so. But they’re infinitely better at responding to their emotions (and other people’s) with decorum and good sense. Let’s look at a few signs that you’re dealing with such a person.

He runs in emotionally mature circles.

Although saying “you are who you hang with” may be overstating things a bit, you really can tell a lot about a person by looking at the people they spend their time with. Emotionally mature people generally prefer to spend time around others like themselves, just like everyone.

So, if a particular guy doesn’t seem like a bad bet himself, but his friends still drink too much just for the sake of it and think toilet jokes are the height of comedy, it’s a red flag. He may just be on his best behavior, waiting to let his guard down until you’re emotionally invested.

He has his priorities straight.

Emotionally mature men care about other people’s feelings. They also care about the quality of their own futures, so they’re over that whole YOLO attitude so many people have going on when they’re still young. They understand what’s important in life, and they make choices accordingly.

So don’t waste your time on men who don’t believe in thinking ahead or investing in their relationships with plenty of quality time. You deserve better than someone who only wants to see you when it suits them and doesn’t care about building a future with you.

He’s comfortable expressing his feelings.

Emotionally mature men aren’t just good at managing their emotions. They’re comfortable unpacking them, figuring out why they feel the way they do about things, and communicating their feelings to others when it’s warranted.

They understand that having and expressing their feelings doesn’t somehow make them less of a man, so be careful of anyone who says otherwise. An emotionally mature man is aware of how unhealthy it is to keep his feelings all bottled up inside, and he conducts himself accordingly. He’s also willing to listen to other people when they need to express things they might be feeling.

He respects other people’s boundaries.

Most smart, beautiful young women with plenty to offer know how it feels to be the target of a bro dude who doesn’t respect himself and doesn’t respect women. Men like that are really only interested in getting what they want out of people, whatever that might happen to be. They couldn’t care less about how it might affect the other person.

On the other hand, an emotionally mature man will be the exact opposite of that. He’ll get that people have boundaries for very good reasons. He may well ask you why you have the boundaries and limits that you do, but he’ll respect them even if he doesn’t entirely understand them.

He cares about growing as a person.

Emotionally mature people realize just how much value there is in learning and growing as a person. This isn’t just the case when they’re young, either. They see those values as meaningful lifelong pursuits, and it shows.

Emotionally mature men don’t stay stuck in the past. They look forward to the future. They manage money responsibly, invest in their significant relationships, and care where both they and their loved ones will end up later in life.

At the end of the day, you deserve to be in a relationship with someone who cares about you and wants the two of you to have a fantastic future together. So, whether you’re looking for a sugar daddy, a man to have children with, or something else entirely, make sure emotional maturity is at the top of your wish list for personal qualities in a man. You’ll ultimately be glad you did.