It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of maturity to a good relationship. This is especially true in marriage.
Take some time to reflect on the qualities of maturity below. As you do this, first examine your own life before applying it to others. We are wise to focus on being the kind of person that our current or future spouse needs.
If you recognize patterns of immaturity in your life or in others, always remember that behaviors, perspectives and life-patterns rarely appear without a history. Looking closely and honestly at our history is essential to breaking these patterns of life.
Characteristics of maturity
This list is obviously not a complete description of a mature person, but it offers a starting point for self-evaluation and conversation with others.
- Not easily angered
- Not overly sensitive (taking everything personally)
- Can laugh at himself/herself
- Avoids childish drama
- Grateful for small blessings
- Doesn’t consistently choose a negative perspective
- Doesn’t major on minors
- Not narcissistic
- Not manipulative
- Takes responsibility for his actions
- Avoids the blame game
- Rejects a mentality of victimization
- Chooses honesty over deception
- Makes carefully thought-out decisions
- Shows respect to others
- Practices tolerance
- Shows compassion with discernment
- Doesn’t take life too seriously, but takes it seriously enough
- Willing to look beyond personal opinions to empathize with others
- Knows when to joke and when not to
- Able to admit when wrong
- Doesn’t gloat when right
- A capacity to endure uncertainty
- Accepts deferred gratification
- Doesn’t take important things for granted
- Forgives without enabling
How can you know whether a potential mate has these characteristics?
Keep in mind that we live in a fake it till you make it culture. Dating often conceals information marriage will later reveal. Be patient when considering a potential mate. It takes time to get to know the true character of another person.
I recommend allowing four seasons to pass (winter, spring, summer and fall) before giving your heart to another.
Get a conversation started.