Are you and your partner struggling with an overt difference in overall maturity levels? Do you seem to date people who are of similar age but seem far less mature than you? Are you generally satisfied with your partner but frustrated with elements of a partner’s behavior that seem oddly immature? If any of these issues resonate with you, know that there are some actionable steps for dealing with discrepancies in psychological maturity.
Research suggests that relationships fare best when partners’ chronological ages are within a year of each other. The greater the age gap, the less likely it is that both partners will enjoy a mutually satisfying and lasting relationship. But what happens when chronological ages are well-matched, but maturity levels are not?
Psychological maturity, which comprises both emotional and mental development, is a foundational element of a healthy relationship. Those who have developed maturity have learned how to respond to relationship and general life challenges in wise, productive ways. Maturity does not automatically come with age; it develops over time as we learn how to navigate life with wisdom. For example, a 20-something individual may be exceedingly mature while a person who is decades older may be extremely irresponsible and immature in many ways. So, regardless of physical age, partners who value maturity tend to fare well in the long term.
In truth, if you are your partner are not aligned in the maturity department, it’s likely that you’ll struggle with this issue until a level of maturational balance–or a strong level of acceptance–is reached.
So, if you and your partner are around the same age, but you worry that your maturity levels may be different, here are a few ways to help you begin a healthier and more balanced relationship journey.