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15 Sure Signs You’re Dating A Man-Child

It’s always nice to see a nice laidback man, confident in his own skin and completely at ease. You think that devil-may-care attitude will complement your own high strung personality perfectly well. He’s the Phil to your Claire, and it’s a match made in heaven. But as you get to know him better, you realize that the casual t-shirts were because they were the only clean clothes left and the confidence was from completing the latest level on his video game! That’s when you know that the person you’re dating belongs to that growing species of males commonly known as the man-child.

So who qualifies as a man-child? Well, since this is more or less a term introduced by pop culture, we don’t have any official definitions for you, but basically, a man-child is a grown man who’s still a kid inside. A child-like innocence in an adult may seem adorable, but when the childishness extends to all aspects of his life, you may be in for a little more ‘child’ than ‘man’. It’s not really that hard to spot a man-child; for instance, take a look at the picture below and see if you can find the odd ‘man-child’ out:


Image source: Youtube

Still confused? Well, don’t worry; we’ve got the perfect description of a man-child down pat! Here are 15 unmistakable signs that you’re dating a specimen of the man-child species.

Suggested read: 10 types of men you should think hard about before dating

15 signs you’re dating a man-child

1. He’s incapable of having a serious conversation


Image source: Youtube

This is an important sign of a man-child – the sheer inability to just sit and talk seriously about something that’s important. You could be all worried and anxious, and he’ll just sit tapping away at his phone, feet up on the coffee table, not hearing a syllable of what you say. A man-child can also be identified by his inability to focus on one thing at a time, a tendency that only intensifies when it’s about a topic that doesn’t concern his latest video game, favorite superhero or what’s for dinner.

2. He is clueless about his future

We aren’t talking about the future of your relationship; that’s a point many men are clueless about. We’re talking about his future in general, like how he’s going to earn or where he’s going to live. He has zero aspirations beyond beating his friends at the next level on his PS3. When he’s in his early twenties, this is lazy, at best, but when he’s nearing forty, it’s just plain scary!

3. His finances are in a mess

A natural consequence of not having any plans for your future is having a messy financial situation. If you find yourself paying the bill every time, chances are your date is a man-child who literally has no idea where his next meal is coming from! While it is great to have a man who welcomes women’s financial liberation, it’s no fun to have someone who makes living off you his life’s mission!

4. He is a super slob


Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

A common rule all man-children follow – ‘Never pick up after themselves.’ As a result, you’re the one left to do all the picking and putting away, much like managing a toddler. Only that this ‘toddler’ is nearly 30, has a beard that desperately needs trimming, and shorts that have seen better days. Dirty plates and coffee cups are left to form mold, and most clothes are work after a ‘sniff’ test, a task you wouldn’t dare undertake!

5. He has no sense of accountability

A man-child doesn’t realize that as an adult, he’s responsible for his decisions. He’s always late, and it’s always someone else’s fault. Worse, he keeps forgetting that he’s made plans with you! He is unreliable in case of a crisis and unlikely to have any respect for your time or anyone else’s. Soon, you’ll find yourself doing everything by yourself rather than entrust him with something he’s most likely to forget!

6. He seems misogynistic

A real grown man knows how to respect women for what they are, and can look beyond a gorgeous body. However, things are different for a man-child, whose brain and hormones are still stuck in his pubescent years. He often refers to women in degrading terms, and mostly in objectifying tones. He’s also quite likely to put his pleasure and desires first, physically speaking, which can end up being frustrating over time.

7. His clothes belong in a fifteen-year-old’s wardrobe


Image source: Flickr

Remember the cool, laid-back guy we talked about earlier? It’s all very well if that’s his weekend avatar (or if he’s Ryan Gosling), but if that’s the way he dresses all the time, then you should consider looking into his closet. If it’s filled with slogan/band/superhero T-shirts, varsity jackets, and sneakers, then you can be pretty sure you have a man-child on your hands!

8. He’s a mama’s boy

Every woman’s internal alarm bells ring at the mere mention of a ‘mama’s boy,’ but when that mama’s boy is a man-child too, you’re in real soup! As we have seen, a man-child is not really capable of handling his own affairs, which means someone is doing it for him or has been doing it all this while. In most cases, the arrow points to his mama, and in some instances, there are unemployed slackers who even get allowances from their parents!

Suggested read: 14 awesome things about dating a homebody

9. He doesn’t care for his health

The classic diet of a man-child is stuff he ate in high school, also translated as junk food, often high in fat and excess sugar. He still thinks ‘cool guys’ sleep only after 3:00 AM, and that no weekend is complete without some heavy ‘tanking’. He generally doesn’t exercise and makes gagging noises at the mention of any ‘real’ food. And if you have a particularly obnoxious man-child with you, he probably thinks smoking is cool, too.

10. His interests are limited to juvenile passions


Image source: Youtube

It might be a little hard to find a man who wasn’t excited about the latest Star Wars movie, but when the man in your life spends hours in the action figures aisle in the toy store, it requires some thinking on your part. Man-children don’t usually outgrow their childhood passions and you’ll find them still obsessed about baseball/football/cricket cards, video games, superhero toys, comic books and so on.

11. He has an inappropriate sense of humor

Playing with your boogers and farting musically are all fine when you’re twelve, but two decades later, they’re just disgusting… and sad. His idea of fine cinema is probably ‘Dumb and Dumber’ or ‘American Pie,’ and he has no idea why racist or sexist jokes are just not okay. Worse, his jokes usually don’t consider the time or the place, which can lead to a red-faced you on several occasions.

12. His friends are a lot like him

You’ve heard of birds of a feather flocking together, and this is absolutely true when it comes to a man-child. Grown men with real jobs and goals are ‘boring’ or ‘uptight’ and they’d rather hang with their ‘bros’. He often forgets about dates with you, only to hang out with his pals. They are likely to have girl watching sessions, competitions for who can hold their drink the longest, and of course, lots of potty humor.

13. He can’t handle conflict


Image source: Youtube

A major sign of growing up is knowing what battles to fight, and how to fight them. Unfortunately, the man-child has missed this memo, and the result is that nearly every conflict he tries to ‘resolve’ ends up worse than it started out to be. He may trivialize another person’s feelings, try to laugh it off, or indulge in an all-out brawl. And here we were, thinking that cavemen were ancient history!

14. He can’t do basic tasks

And we’re not even talking about stuff like making a monthly budget; a man-child can’t even operate a basic washing machine! Yes, that’s right; the dishwasher, iron box, dryer, and probably even the microwave are rocket science to him, and no prizes for guessing what that means – you have to operate said machinery for his personal purposes as well as yours! Which brings us to the next point…

Suggested read: 20 things you NEED to know if you’re dating an independent woman

15. You find yourself mothering him

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Image source: Flickr

Now, there are a lot of fantasies you’d like to play out with your significant other, but let’s face it – his mother is not one of them! However, when you’re dating a man-child, it’s highly likely that you end up overcompensating for his childishness and eventually turning into his mother. And God forbid if he gets sick; then you’re expected to wait on him hand and foot!

As you can see now, being with a man-child is far from easy, but if your motherly instincts are kicking in and you don’t mind being 100% in control of things, then this might just be the perfect training ground for you! Otherwise, there’s no need to despair; you can wish your man-child good luck, and tell him to call back when he attains full emotional puberty! There are plenty of fully grown men out there who’ll treat you the way a woman deserves to be treated, so don’t settle for less!

Featured image source: Flickr

Article Name
15 Sure Signs You're Dating A Man-child
Every woman loves a childlike innocence in a man, but when that childishness extends to every aspect of his life, you know you're dating a man-child!
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []