What Is Emotional Maturity And Why Is It Important In Relationships?

Updated April 9, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Although logic is vital in all relationships, emotional maturity is equally (if not more) valuable for the connection to be stable and successful. In a healthy scenario, emotional maturity grows throughout the relationship and may become a natural progression as each individual learns new relationship and emotional skills.

In a relationship, emotional maturity in the form of taking responsibility for yourself and your actions is one of the most significant gifts you can give to your partner. When both partners hold themselves accountable for their behavior together, mutual respect and understanding will likely follow. 

Emotionally mature people are also more likely to manage their impulses and emotions, not letting a fight get excessively out of control. In this way, emotional maturity can be an essential glue that binds two people together in a robust and healthy relationship.

These are just a couple of the ways that having emotional maturity benefits relationships. In this post, we’ll discuss some traits of emotional maturity and give more examples of why it’s important in relationships.

Emotional maturity is important for healthy relationships

Common traits of emotional maturity

Some specific traits and behaviors indicate emotional maturity in an individual, including:

  • Being flexible and adaptable – An emotionally mature person may understand that things don’t always go as planned and accept this and move forward.
  • Taking ownership and responsibility – An emotionally mature individual will hold themselves accountable for their actions and behaviors, good or bad.
  • Accepting they don’t know everything – An emotionally mature person may realize they don’t know everything, and they will respect and keep an open mind to other individuals’ thoughts and opinions.
  • Take experiences as an opportunity to learn and grow – An emotionally mature individual will look at experiences and situations as a way to learn, grow, and ultimately improve themselves.
  • They’re resilient in difficult situations – An emotionally mature individual will be resilient in times of upset or disappointment. Instead of holding onto the negativity of the situation, they will find solutions and ways to move forward.
  • They have a calm disposition – Emotionally mature individuals are familiar with and experience a wide range of emotions. However, they don’t let negative emotions dictate their reactions to things. Emotionally mature individuals are usually able to manage their emotions effectively.
  • Approachability – Emotionally mature people, maybe more understanding and able to talk about a difficult subject that emotionally immature people would potentially get upset about.
  • Strong sense of self – An individual who exhibits emotional maturity typically has a strong sense of not ego-based self.

Being honest, grateful, and optimistic are all common signs of emotional maturity, as is the ability to stop and think before acting on a feeling, set healthy, reasonable boundaries, and notice one’s own emotions and needs. Emotional maturity encompasses a variety of behaviors and internal mechanisms of control.

Examples of emotional maturity in relationships

1)After an argument, emotionally mature people are often comfortable enough to apologize for their behavior if warranted. During difficult times, an emotionally mature person will exhibit resilience and adaptability, attempting to make the best of the situation.

2) Emotionally mature people can provide emotional support to their partners. Support comes in many forms, from providing a shoulder to cry on to celebrating a happy achievement. An emotionally mature partner will likely be able to take on their partner’s emotional ups and downs and will be there for them to offer encouragement and consolation when necessary. People with average or higher levels of emotional maturity may have reasonable control over their emotions to help others who are having difficulty doing the same. 

3) They communicate effectively using an appropriate communication style during arguments (and during peaceful times). A partner with emotional maturity seeks to resolve conflict rather than contribute further to conflict. Instead of blaming, using insults or abusive talk, or speaking poorly of themselves or their partner, an emotionally mature person will likely take responsibility for their part of the problem and consider possible solutions that will work for both partners. An emotionally mature person recognizes that conflict has value and strives to find a positive outcome.

Examples of emotional immaturity 

Emotional immaturity in relationships can have many causes, including but not limited to early childhood experiences, trauma, substance abuse, mental health disorders, and more.  If the emotionally immature partner(s) doesn’t grow and develop throughout the relationship, it may worsen with time. Emotional immaturity also often affects other areas of life, such as work and productivity. 

Here are some common traits and behaviors of emotional immaturity.

1) A partner does not handle alone time well. Emotionally immature people typically will not deal with solitude very well, no matter the period. In contrast, emotionally mature people may recognize that they enjoy being around other people but acknowledge that they’re also fine being alone sometimes.

2) They immediately discount and shut down discussions that are challenging or that make them feel uncomfortable. The “shutting down” of the discussion can be dramatic and harsh, or it may be more subtle and maneuvering, depending on the individual nature of the emotionally immature person. Emotionally mature people can confidently handle conversations about somewhat uncomfortable topics or go against their beliefs. Emotionally immature people will usually struggle and work to avoid these topics.

3) An emotionally immature person may avoid difficult thoughts or feelings because they bring about complex feelings that they may find challenging to manage. Instead, they may suppress these feelings. Emotionally mature people are more likely to have worked through their emotions and have more consideration about the situation.


Emotional maturity can be developed with practice and dedication, but emotionally immature people aren’t always receptive to working on it. If your partner lacks emotional maturity, they may insist they don’t need to change and that you’re the source of the relationship’s problems, or they may completely deny that there’s a problem in the relationship at all. 

It’s critical for emotionally immature people to get help from a professional, particularly if you suspect it’s a symptom of a mental health issue. There are several methods that therapists use to help people develop more emotional maturity, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are the two most common. 

CBT centers on helping the patient identify unhealthy thoughts and beliefs and reframe them to cultivate better mental well-being and develop valuable skills to navigate life’s challenges. DBT focuses on teaching emotional regulation and interpersonal skills, among other things. The common goal of both methods is to help the patient develop emotional maturity and function effectively in daily life.

Emotional maturity is important for healthy relationships

Attitude isn’t the only potential obstacle to treatment for emotionally immature people. Finding time for appointments and commuting in the middle of the week can be challenging, and some people don’t have access to a therapist in their area at all. Many assume they won’t be able to afford therapy or that it won’t work for them anyway. 

The growing popularity of virtual therapy provides an excellent solution to these barriers to treatment and more. Online platforms like Regain match people with therapists experienced in helping couples and/or individuals work through issues of emotional immaturity. Therapy can also help couples develop effective communication and learn helpful strategies for coping with future challenges. 

You can speak to a Regain counselor from the comfort of your home or anywhere with a reliable internet connection. Sessions can be conducted on your schedule via phone, online chat, text, and video chat. If you need assistance between appointments,  you may message your therapist and expect an answer as soon as possible.  

Online therapy is also often more affordable than traditional therapy without insurance coverage and is just as effective. For example, a ten-year study from the University of Amsterdam surveyed 840 participants over nine trials. The participants were treated for various mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. The collective results found that online cognitive behavioral therapy is “a viable and effective alternative to face-to-face treatment.” Patients also demonstrated higher rates of adherence to treatment in online therapy over the course of their plan.  

It is possible for you or your partner to cultivate more emotional maturity in your relationship. A Regain counselor is there to help. 

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