As a young man, they learned to suppress their feelings, to be a badass, a stoic, a soldier. We encourage this way of being, so we are raising men who are emotionally separated from everyone in their lives. The good news? It should not be so. You can change. You can become emotionally stronger. You can be more open and vulnerable. It is not a game and you do not lose.

Here are 10 signs of emotional maturity (and goals to reach if you want to reach it):

1. His priorities have changed

He prefers to sleep rather than going out on a Friday evening. He has reached the point where parties no longer make sense and now he prefers to spend the night sleeping, relaxing or just lying on the couch watching Netflix or playing video games. This doesn’t necessarily mean your guy is an adult if he stays at home every Friday night, but it is a huge indicator that he has become more aware. It is a huge indicator that he is miles away from immaturity.

2. Awareness of harmful patterns

When life events trigger an unwanted emotional response in you, you can recognize and manage the response, or try to ignore it, which tends to cause anger (fight) or self-defiance (flight). Accepting discomfort as a natural state is a way you begin to discover patterns of self-sabotage and learn to manage your responses to triggering situations.

3. Open communication of their feelings

Once you have accepted and invited your feelings, you may not know what to do with them. It can be overwhelming. Try to keep a journal or discuss your feelings with someone you trust. If that doesn’t make you comfortable enough to continue feeling the emotions, consider talking to a therapist or counselor. Communicating your feelings helps you label and manage them appropriately.

4. He respects differences

While some people have this innate ability to respect and praise everything that is different, the majority of us have to work very hard on it to reach the level of total acceptance and tolerance of otherness. If your man is mature, he is probably aware of the importance of respecting humans of different sizes, abilities, and ages. After all, the world would be a very boring place if we were all the same and it is the incredible diversity among people around the world that makes it such a fascinating place.

5. Be compassionate and empathetic

It means changing your point of view in order to put conflict resolution above your desire to be right, and not to attack it when it expresses emotions that can scare you. It is practicing tolerance and patience.

6. He shows feelings

Emotionally mature men do not suppress their feelings, even if they are taught to do so. They know that acting hard and strong is not a sign of maturity, but welcoming their feelings is. They also know that communication and being able to share things with you is one of the most important things about relationships. If your guy has no problem expressing his feelings to you and talking about his fears or dreams, you can be sure he’s emotionally mature. Otherwise, he would not feel comfortable opening up to you.

7. It avoids drama

You will recognize the maturity of your man during your first fight. By observing his behavior, you can learn a lot about him. An emotionally mature man will remain calm and admit if he is wrong or sometimes even prefer to remain silent rather than engaging in a trivial argument. He never yells at you or calls you because he always respects you, whether he is mad or not. He also tries to calm you down and offers you solutions in the event of a problem.

He is ready to do anything to avoid drama and unnecessary arguments. In addition, he does not panic when the neighbors listen to loud music. Instead, he will always have a judicious solution for each problem.

8. He creates space for you

It means being present, available and open to having conversations with you. This means that he will stay put when he wants to run, and will not judge you or be emotionally ungenerous when you need to. If you feel sad, he is always there to comfort you or make you laugh because he understands the emotions you are experiencing and he wants to make you feel better with all his heart. He also appreciates your need to have some space for you and he doesn’t judge you when you want to go out with your friends. It is a huge indicator of his emotional altruism and his gift.

9. It is constantly growing

Being open to learning new things and growing as a person is a clear sign of emotional maturity. Any emotionally mature man knows that keeping old, unhealthy patterns will only repeat the same problems over and over. And that is why he is always open to seek advice from you and the people around him or to ask for help with things he is unsure about. He is not afraid to show that he is not so good at something because he is aware that you cannot be good at everything, and that the only way to grow is, to be honest about your abilities and be ready to work on them.

He works hard to become a better person. His ambition and motivation to become bigger and better will increase his maturity and fill not only his life but also yours.

10 Emotional generosity

You realize that your role is to be there to support you. You are there to breed rather than “win” at any cost. Experiencing fear, pain or self-awareness does not mean that you lose and should not trigger aggression. Humanity means to live these things. It is not a game and you do not lose. Being emotionally mature means that you care and comfort yourself. This means that you can have a great relationship. It’s already a victory.

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