As a Couples and Family Therapist, I run into a lot of immature antics that are completely preventable. Personally, I didn’t grow up with a lot of dating experience and in turn never learned how to maintain a mature connection with someone. Dating is where we find out how to have mature relationships and in turn, make the probability of a successful mature marriage very possible. So, what are some things that make a mature relationship? Below are my top five mature qualities of a relationship.
Top 5 Qualities of a Mature Relationship
1) Equal Conversation. Have you ever been on a date and all your date does is ramble on about themselves and hardly engages you? Those are not fun! In fact, in conversations like that I lose all interest and start thinking about my mental to do list and all of the things I could be getting done if /I wasn’t on this lame date. Mature relationships have shared conversation where each person is intrigued by what the other has to say. Asking for the others perceptions or views on a topic can be exciting and fun. Even when couples don’t share the same interest, the mature and healthy thing to do is listen and participate. This shows acceptance and respect for the person you are involved with.
2) Shared Goals. The flirty and fun attraction of a new partner can cloud judgement quicker than you can shake a spoon at. Infatuation and passion are exciting, but a mature relationship is a long-term one. And in a mature relationship your goals of commitment, longevity and having direction are shared by your partner. If you desire a family, home, and shared life, you probably don’t want to settle for the first guy/gal who sends you a topless picture.
3) Standards. I have been completely floored by how common hookups and one-night stands are. Forget about finding out what their favorite color or animal is! I also find an immature relationship will consist of sacrificing your beliefs to match up with a person who may not even be a good fit for you. Giving up your standards or beliefs will usually turn to resentment later on and you may never really feel understood by your partner.
4. Timing. Have you ever experienced a really incredible connection with someone, but the timing is wrong? For example, they’re job takes them to another state, or they are going through a rough termination of a relationship that has not been concluded. In a mature relationship, you and your partner both acknowledge timing because it affects your life and the circumstances of others. Sure, the timing may become right, possibly…but the strength of that possibility depends on the respect you expect of yourself and others and also your ability to set boundaries during those circumstances. If not, standards decrease, goals become blurred, and expectations become compromised.
5) Value. Have you ever experienced a relationship where your partner is mean, jealous or controlling? Well, it’s not fun nor mature. One of my greatest peeves is when I look really great on a date and my partner gets jealous of every guy who looks at me. I find it really sexy when a guy is excited to be out with a beautiful woman and sees that beauty as a compliment to himself, not as a threat. Partners who are mean don’t value your feelings or stances and a partner should never be controlling. Expect to be valued and to value your partner.
If you can bring these elements into your dating life, the quality and maturity of your relationship will be sustainable and long term. Sometimes it takes wisdom, strength and self-worth to aim for a mature relationship. It’s not easy, but the payout is great and well worth it in the long run.
Tristan Beymer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and marriage and family counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. She specializes in helping couples rebuild their relationship to be strong, healthy and passionate. She also works with individuals to overcome difficulties related to trauma and addictions.