noun 1. An adult male, who displays signs of grown up maturity and responsibility who is, in fact, not yet ready for grown up responsibilities or commitments.
2. A man who has reached adulthood and still has a childlike level of maturity when it comes to relationships.
We’ve all met them. Most of us have even fallen for or gotten dangerously close to loving one or two. He is charming, fun, practically magnetic to be around, and you, of course, want to be that very special lady who changes everything for him. Sure he wasn’t ready to commit before, but you’re here now, and it’s all going to be different. Get your girlfriends, man-hating memes, ice cream and tissues ready, darling; he is about to fuck your feelings.
The confusing part is that a man who doesn’t want commitment still wants companionship. He doesn’t want to sit on an island all alone with no female company; he just doesn’t want to be responsible for your feelings. He will do enough and say enough to keep the fun, exciting parts of the relationship alive – flirting, sex, adventures. He probably even does things that simulates a committed relationship, though it’s not.
He can't acknowledge or manage emotions
Calling his friends dumb idiots and the like is a common guy thing and shouldn’t be misinterpreted to mean he has no deeper feelings or capacity to express emotion. But, if he can’t tell you what someone means to him or if he gets terribly uncomfortable talking about his emotions, his capacity for emotional expression is shallow. At the very least, he should be able to tell you why his best friend is his best friend. It’s a huge, glaring red sign when a man can’t express his emotions. I don’t need a man who cries for me, but I do need someone who can talk to me about things that matter. Emotions matter. My emotions matter and his emotions matter.
He blames others for his problems and mistakes
It always seems to be someone else’s fault: his ex, his parents, his boss. It’s someone’s fault, but not his. He is likely loaded with excuses on why other people or outside forces are preventing him from advancing/maturing/being with you. You name it, he has an excuse for it.
It's all about him
You had a seriously shitty day at work and somehow him listening and supporting you has turned into him talking about himself. Even worse: you supporting him when you were the one reaching out for support.It seems to always be about him, even when it’s really not about him at all.
He avoids heavy conversations with you
And not just about relationships, he doesn’t act interested in your future, goals, family, and the things that matter to you. When you have to do big, challenging, scary things, he doesn’t extend support or offer to help. Things like a big presentation at work, moving, etc.
The bar is the most important hobby in his life
If you are 35 and under, chances are the bar is a staple in your social life, and there ain’t no shame in that. However, if all he does is work and hang out at the bar, chances are he is a manchild. Men who want something more in their life will start to build the foundation for a home.
Lack of commitment to you
There are only two reasons a man doesn’t give a commitment to a woman (and this isn’t a ‘He’s Just Not that Into You’ speech, as that whole philosophy sounds like bullshit to me):
- He doesn’t want to commit to you, i.e., he’d commit to another woman
- He doesn’t want to commit at all because something is going on with him
If you are ready for a steady commitment and he isn’t willing to give it to you, your manchild isn’t the one for this.This isn’t just about him being hot and cold with you. It’s about the boundaries of your relationship changing without warning – sometimes he wants to act like you are together, and other times he does not.
There is nothing wrong with dating a manchild. It can be fun, exciting and an all around enjoyable experience. Just don’t date him expecting him to be anything more than what he is. That’s where you get hurt.
There are, of course, exceptions to all of these things. Maybe you’ve met a man who is the exception … or maybe you are just seeing what you want to see to make yourself hold on to that charming manchild in your life.