Mature and Immature Love © Martyn Carruthers

This is part 2 about the differences between infatuation and love – and between immature affairs and mature partnership. I wrote this for people who want to solve relationship problems … for people who want to share lives together.

Wherever I teach, women seem generally more mature than men, and the competition to find mature men can be fierce. Many women seem to settle for immature or irresponsible men so that they can become mothers … and these women
often seem quite prepared to leave their men if the men won’t grow up.

Continued from Part 1: How did your Partnership get to this?

4. Evaluate your Partnership!

Partnership conflicts are inevitable! No matter how compatible you are – you will not agree on EVERYTHING! Mature partners must solve real partnership problems! Both partners can choose to resolve conflicts and solve problems – or they can try to avoid conflicts and ignore problems. We help people evaluate partnership and parenthood issues as a basis for responsible decisions.

If you or your partner have sexual issues, see Sexual Solutions

Immature Assumptions Mature Evaluation
You assume that your partner cannot change You support your partner’s development
You assume that your values, fears, transferences, habits etc will not change You explore and evaluate your own values, fears, transferences and habits, etc
You assume that you already know your partner’s values, commitments and limitations You explore and evaluate your partner’s values, commitments and limitations
You distract yourself and avoid discussing your own or your partner’s feelings You stay present, with compassion, commitment and integrity
You assume that your partner is unworthy of further effort on your part You assess whether you and your partner are compatible for a committed relationship


Evaluating compatibility for committed partnership will likely require that you compare beliefs, values, ethics, morals and your relationship skills. Some useful topics are:

  1. How do you show love?
  2. How do you manage money?
  3. What is your educational background?
  4. What bonds do you have to your family?
  5. What are your interests, sports and hobbies?
  6. How motivated are you to improve relationship skills?
  7. What about your physical weight, health and hygiene?
  8. How do you express your feelings … and your thoughts?
  9. What is your attitude to sex? Is sex a pleasure or a duty?
  10. What are your ethics, morals, sense of life, religious behavior?
5. Make Decisions!

Passive aggressive people and immature adults may be unable to end unsuitable relationships. If your relationship is in crisis, can you decide whether or not you want to stay together … and how to stay together? Can you decide to end or change a relationship? Or do you feel stuck?

Irresponsible Responsible
You avoid discussing your needs and desires, or you make demands and threats You discuss your needs and heartfelt desires with your partner in friendly ways
You withhold your thoughts and feelings from your partner, and may share them with someone else! You share your thoughts and feelings with your partner – even the uncomfortable ones
You dictate what your partner should think or feel! You welcome your partner’s perspectives
You withhold the truth and avoid commitment! You are truthful and candid!
You cling to memories of past partners! You clarify your past partnerships
You repeat the patterns of your parents! You explore and resolve bad family habits
You follow toxic role models without question! You seek role models for happy partnership
You hide your relationship deficiencies! You improve your relationship skills!
You want your partner to fulfill your needs! You want your partnership to make sense


  1. Do you have compatible financial, physical and economic situations?
  2. Do you have compatible professional, personal and family expectations?
  3. Are you both responsible for your decisions, behavior and consequences?
  4. Do you have compatible national, social, educational and religious backgrounds?
6. Stay Together or Separate?

You and your partner may not consider separation – or you may stay together while feeling emotionally separated – or one of you may cling to the other. (If you say that you want to protect your marriage – I might ask, “What marriage do you want to protect?“)

Separating requires one decision Partnership requires two decisions
Do you want to make independent life choices? Can you both commit to creating a satisfying, fulfilling partnership?
Do you want to manage life issues independently? Can you both accept conflicts as opportunities to learn and develop?
Do you want to end financial and economic bonds to your partner? Can you both work together to create ongoing contentment and satisfaction?
Do you want your feelings and emotions to be independent of your partner’s behavior? Can you both discuss your feelings and not-so-pleasant emotions?
Do you want to seek another partner? Can you both accept the responsibilities of your partnership roles?
7. Commit to Partnership – or Start Again?

Do you have the essential skills for mature, happy partnership? Do you enjoy partnership – or do you settle for less? Do you hope that happy partnership will magically happen – somehow – effortlessly? Do you repeat a cycle of shallow relationships until you have no more energy – or no more life?

Explore New Relationships

Commit to Partnership

Can you define what you want and what you want to give in a partnership? Can you both discuss your partnership goals and responsibilities, and how to fulfill them?
Can you accept yourself as you are and commit to being true to your own values? Can you discuss your own and each other’s actions, and resolve conflicts quickly?
Can you list what you want to change (in yourself) and create a changework plan? Can you both accept reality as it is, and work together as a team to improve it?
Can you list essential, non-negotiable characteristics of an appropriate partner? Can you both commit to partnership while maintaining your own interests & identities?
Can you consider how you can identify and attract suitable potential partners? Can you both be realistic, independent and cooperative in the evolving relationship?

Ending a potentially wonderful relationship because one person clings to immature behaviors can be distressing. So many people waste their lives waiting for someone else to develop his or her potential … or at least to just grow up!

Contact us to manage your emotions and solve relationship problems.

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