I love talking about growth in a relationship. There’s something magical about the transformations that you go through between your teenage years and adulthood. These changes don’t happen at exactly the same time for everyone, and for some people they never happen – I’m sure you can think of a few people who still act like kids, even well into their 30s and 40s. (I’m related to a few.)
What’s even more magical is the fact that, sometimes, the most mature people I know are the ones who are bad at relationships. There are things that make us mature in all other aspects of our lives – such as keeping our emotions to ourselves – that don’t necessarily mean we’re a grown ass woman in our relationships.
Curious about how to treat your relationship with the maturity it deserves? Just follow these 9 simple tips.
Scenario #1: Your partner is too busy to answer your calls.
Immature response: The immature partner may feel insecure if their partner isn’t able to respond right away. She may worry that her partner is cheating on her, or that she’s moving on without even saying goodbye.
Mature response: The grown ass woman understands that her girlfriend’s phone doesn’t live in her hand, and sometimes there are more important things going on. She knows that not every little thing is “a sign” of something bad, and she’s not going to raise a fuss without something a little more concrete.
Scenario #2: Your partner falls behind on her share of the housework.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend might keep score about who does the dishes more often, and who forgot to fold the clothes when it was their turn to do the laundry. She holds onto these things in order to bring them up at a later date.
Mature response: The grown ass woman tries to see things from her girlfriend’s perspective first. She takes time to calm down so that her anger doesn’t get the better of her. Finally, she forgives her partner and remembers that there are more important things in life than the cleaning.
Scenario #3: Your partner wants to spend some time with her friends.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend immediately gets suspicious. She feels that her partner is trying to get away from her, and she may try to tag along, or to convince her girlfriend to just stay home instead. She’s worried that her partner will cheat with her attractive friends.
Mature response: A grown ass woman knows exactly why her girlfriend has attractive friends, and also knows that it’s not a threat to her. She knows that friends are absolutely vital to happiness and that her girlfriend, who is also a grown ass woman, doesn’t need a babysitter.
Scenario #4: Your sex life starts to slow down.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend may assume that her partner is losing interest in her. Whether she’s getting it somewhere else, or she’s simply disinterested, doesn’t really matter – and the immature girlfriend refuses to ask anyway.
Mature response: A grown ass woman knows that sex isn’t always going to be the pinnacle of the relationship. She is, however, willing to negotiate when the mood doesn’t line up just right – such as giving her partner pleasure even when she’s not in the mood. (As long as her partner asks nicely, of course.)
Scenario #5: Your partner has an occasional bad attitude.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend will take this bad attitude very personally, and may even react to it with anger. Best case scenario, she’ll dwell on it and worry about what it means for the relationship.
Mature response: A grown ass woman understands that nobody’s perfect. Sometimes, you’re on your period, or sick, or stressed out from work and/or school, but that doesn’t mean that you stop loving the person you love. Instead, the grown ass woman thanks her for putting up with her bad attitudes, too.
Scenario #6: You disagree about something.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend may respond to differences with horror, anger, or insecurity. Differences are seen as polar, and are hard to work around. It seems like she’ll never find a partner she’s actually compatible with.
Mature response: A grown ass woman is flexible about the little things. She knows that she’s not always going to get her way, and that’s okay. She knows that differences are what make us human, and they’re worth celebrating – or, at the very least, respecting.
Scenario #7: Your partner needs time for herself.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend will see this “alone time” as an immediate and urgent threat to the relationship. She may feel abandoned or neglected, and she may even question whether the alone time is actually being spent alone.
Mature response: A grown ass woman encourages her girlfriend to find her own independence. She values her own privacy, so she respects her partner’s privacy, too. Most of all, she knows that arguing while you’re angry is one of the fastest ways to say something you regret, so she would never deny her partner the ability to reflect in private first.
Scenario #8: Your partner has strong feelings about something.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend may be disinterested if her partner is having problems that don’t have anything to do with her. If the problem does have something to do with her, she may become defensive. Either way, this scenario is bound to be awkward.
Mature response: A grown ass woman listens to her girlfriend’s complaints without judgment or assumptions. Then, when her partner is done airing her complaints, the mature girlfriend offers support and, only if requested, advice.
Scenario #9: Your partner makes more money than you do.
Immature response: An immature girlfriend may feel jealous and insecure when her partner makes more money than her. Society teaches us that we need to be competitive with other women. When the “other woman” is someone you love, that competition gets really strange, really fast. I’ve known lesbians who have actually broken up with a woman because of income differences.
Mature response: A grown ass woman is inspired by other people’s success stories, and seeing her girlfriend succeed will motivate her to reach her own goals, too. She knows that her partner’s wins are also her wins, because they’re working to build an empire together – not just a way to pass the time.