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Should I stay with my boyfriend in the hope that he matures at some point, or do I let him go and move on?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Dating, Friends<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (6 November 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 7 November 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 22-25, anonymous writes:

Should I stay with my boyfriend in the hope that he matures at some point, or do I let him go and move on? We're both at university (we're both 21) and have been going out for 2 years. We've been having problems lately because he wasn't spending enough time with me because he was always doing other things with friends, and I was getting at him a lot for it, to the point that we actually broke up briefly about a month ago. We decided to give it another try but I just don't know if anything's changed. He'd rather spend his free time partying with his mates than having a quiet night in with me. I know he's young and it's not fair for me to expect him to be completely settled, but I feel that his priority right now is having a student life and not making our relationship work. My problem is that I love him so much and worry that if I let him go I'd regret not putting up with this stage of his life because maybe he could mature at some point.

View related questions: broke up, move on, university

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (7 November 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntDo you both go out together and do things as a couple? Do you have nights out with your friends?

It is important when you are both young to make time for your friends as well as a partner, however if he is never making time for you, and is always making an excuse not to see you then yes it sounds like the relationship is over. It works the other way as well if you are wanting him to sit in all the time with you then it won't work either you both need to talk about what you want from the relationship and if you are both prepared to work at it.

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A male reader, TylerSage United States + , writes (7 November 2017):

TylerSage agony auntYou must realise that you guys were like sixteen, five years ago. You're still incredibly young. While I can see you're more mature and focusing on developing a future with a spouse, he's mostly likely going to be more about himself, but not necessarily in a bad way. He's still a sponge and wants to take in as many new experiences and people as possible.

From a male's perspective, being so committed to one person, so early in his life will be incredibly hard. If you two belong together you will find each other. However, you must give him an applause for being with you for over 2 years. It seems you have no other complaints out side of his focus so praise him for that. You could always consider an open relationship for now f you like.

Remember this is the time for you to test the waters too. Sometimes letting go of people we think we will die without, even when they are decent people can sometimes be the most freeing experiences.

All the best.

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (6 November 2017):

femmenoir agony auntYou're both young and for your bf, his behaviour is very normal.

A man's brain isn't fully developed until he's 25 years of age, whereas a woman's brain is fully mature by the time she's 21 years of age.

This explains why women are more able to commit and think long term from an earlier age.

Your bf will mature mentally, but not for some years yet.

I would encourage you to cut ties with him and move on with your life.

You've no guarantee whatsoever that your bf will ever change and that he'll ever wish to settle down with you for the long term.

Many young people can end up with many partners before they're truly ready to commit for the long term.

UNLESS you are prepared to wait for a number of years, without absolute guarantee of what's in store for you both, then you should make your own decision to leave him and move on.

He's obviously going to place a huge priority on Uni and that's not abnormal, otherwise why even go to Uni?

He wants to secure his educational future and as he's still young, this will be very important to him, as i'm sure your studies are important to you.

The difference between you and he though, is that you're willing to commit/settle down NOW, whereas he's not willing to settle down just now.

I can almost guarantee, that he won't always be wanting to spend his spare time with you, because his "immature brain" will be telling him to party up and party hard and there'll be plenty of time for women and relationships down the line.

Again, his behaviour is not abnormal at all and in fact, he simply wishes to enjoy his youth.

You are ready for something concrete whilst he's not, so moving forward is your best option and allowing yourself time to heal, find your closure, then being able to find somebody that's ideally suited to you.

Ps. I should also note, not every single 21 year old guy is going to behave in a mentally immature manner, however, based upon the biological facts regarding brain maturity, your scenario is more likely to be the case.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (6 November 2017):

Honeypie agony auntLet him go, not for his sake but for yours.

If you keep dating him you are with someone who treats you in a way you aren't happy with JUST to be with that person. Not a good idea.

He sees his time at University to be the time in life to party and not make time for you. So set both of you free. You can be free to find someone who WANTS to spend time with you and he, well, he can party.

What if you continue another 2 years and he still hasn't "grown up" or "matured" or he decides that after University he will continue to "bro it up!" every weekend?

He isn't ready or willing to fulfill your needs for some downtime. And you aren't really wanting to play second fiddle to a bunch of guys (aka his friends).

Focus on school. Enjoy life.

Chin up.

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom +, writes (6 November 2017):

I don't think its about maturity, its more about how he sees his priorities. Right now you are lower on his list than going out with his friends. Will that change? Perhaps, perhaps not. Does he invite you out when he goes out or does he compartmentalise his relationship with you elsewhere? If so, why does he not want to include you with the other aspects of his life? It might be because he still sees himself as an individual rather than you two as a unit. I think you shouldn't wait for him to 'mature'- I think you'll be setting yourself up for a period of conflict, frustration and disappointment. What hes doing isn't wrong or immature, it's just not what you want, he wants his girlfriend part time- you want more. You can't make him want to spend more time with you- and if you do he's likely to be poor company. You can ask him about it but he probably won't be able to articulate why he feels like this- I certainly couldn't at his age. Good Luck

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