Are you in love with a man-child? You probably aren’t; man-children generally don’t excite women very often. However, the “child” part of the equation does sometimes elicit the nurturing qualities many women possess. Some women even find the general helplessness of a man-child endearing until the novelty wears off, and they realize that feeding and clothing a big baby who would otherwise starve is a thankless job that yields few results in the final analysis. “He just wasn’t mature enough for a relationship, let alone marriage”, is what many of them will tell you afterwards. However, a lot of women probably could save themselves a lot of exasperation if they’d simply refer to DNN’s simple guide for knowing if your potential paramour is, in fact, a bona-fide man-child. To wit:
He’s a slob. The typical man-child is incapable of cleaning up after himself. He will wait much too long to launder clothing and will wear soiled clothing if nothing else is clean. He will let dishes accumulate in the sink until you get grossed out enough to wash them. Open surfaces are cluttered with trash, closets are filled to bursting with junk, and dust coats the un-vacuumed floors. Scolding will do little good. If you clean his mess for him, he will make a feeble effort to assist, but you’ll do the brunt of the work.
He won’t commit. There are two types of men who won’t commit. One is the player, who would rather shun marriage and children because another good lay is right around the corner. The other is the man-child, for whom marriage is a pleasant enough concept but too close to actual adulthood and responsibility-taking for comfort. Even if the man-child brings up marriage first, he’ll never actually get around to taking the first step. A man-child doesn’t know how to go about setting up a wedding, much less afford one.
You have to nag him all the time. Man-children spend a lot of time daydreaming, wasting time playing games, or watching TV. Getting one to do the simplest task outside of their ordinary lazy routine is an exercise in futility. A request to clean the basement may take over a year to fulfill, and even then it will be a half-assed, 15-minute cursory job. They do need reminders, but then they will ignore the reminders. Many do intend to comply with the nags at some point, but man-children are famous for procrastinating beyond normal human ability.
No conversation is ever serious. A man-child can spend hours discussing video games or cartoon episodes or bubblegum music. Hours and hours. However, they can never be pinned down when it comes to serious topics. Planning for the future is beyond their abilities. Making a plan for career advancement never gets beyond a vague “maybe” stage. Don’t even bother discussing your feelings; the man-child can only relate to his own feelings. When pressed to discuss an important matter, the man-child will become irritable, cranky, or quiet, or even start an argument as an avoidance mechanism.
He likes kid stuff. Does your man play with action figures? Is he obsessed with Batman or comic books? Does he go to hobbyist conventions with a middle-school vibe? Does he watch anything animated? Does he collect mindless junk most people would throw away? Your relationship is probably doomed. It is a rare man-child who gives up his childish obsessions for a woman; most would rather wait to find a woman who shares their obsessions. Needless to say, women who obsess on childish pastimes such as collecting toys or comics or watching cartoons are seldom among the upper tiers of eligible girlfriends. If you are drawn to his obsessions, then something is wrong with you too.
He gets sick a lot. Real adult men are stoic. They will work overtime at the office even when suffering from pneumonia because they have a job to do and others expect them to do it. Not so the man-child. The man-child will fall ill at the drop of a hat, and once he does he will appear to be dying. He will stay in bed as much as possible, and he will need you to bring him food and comfort. This is when you really have to become a mommy. However, if you are the one who is sick, he will take it as on an opportunity for extra cartoon-watching or video game playing.
Money? Hah! If your man-child even has a job, yours will be higher-paying, more professional, and offer more opportunity for advancement. However, many man-children have no job or cannot remain employed for long. Thus, they never have much money for anything. They prefer dates occur at their homes, they spend whatever money they have on useless items like comics, CDs, games, or DVD’s, and they frequently will hit you up for $20 here, $30 there. Many have difficulty paying monthly bills, few have a credit card, and almost none are saving toward retirement (despite living an entire life of semi-retirement)
His friends are a bunch of losers. Most real men disdain man-children and have little in common with them anyway. The only men who will befriend them are other man-children who share their inane obsessions. These guys will usually be dumber, smellier, and more neurotic than your man; at least your guy somehow landed a girlfriend, while his friends hang out with your man-child because they could not even manage that. Even if your frustrations with your man-child lead you to cheat, you’ll find no worthy candidates among his useless friends. You will probably hate them anyway.
He is prone to temper outbursts. Like any spoiled child, if he doesn’t get his way, he will throw an irrational tantrum. Such tantrums will usually include accusations that you don’t love him, you don’t understand him, or you won’t give him enough space. Many will claim you don’t “respect” them, despite offering absolutely nothing anyone could possibly respect. Transgressions that can cause such tantrums include paying too much attention to your friends or job, insisting your man-child clean up his pigsty, or asking your man-child about his future plans.
He can’t handle your parents. Most parents don’t want their daughters to date man-children, so they will grow immediately suspicious of him on first meeting. They will want to hear about a job, education, standing in the community. Since your man-child will not have impressive credentials in any of those areas, he will usually clam up and remain uncomfortably silent in their presence. Since a man-child has no adult interests or responsibilities, he will have difficulty finding common ground with your parents for discussion. Some may attempt lame jokes to compensate, but this usually leaves a bad impression.
These are just some of the many warning signs. If this sounds like your man, take a hard look at yourself. What are you doing with such a load in the first place? Are you a loser too? If not, you will need to consider the future because your man-child will not. Will you be happy being the primary or sole breadwinner? Are you okay with doing all the housework on top? Do the opinions of your family and friends mean nothing to you? Is a life of clutter and cartoons what you dreamed about as a little girl? While some man-children have wound up in happy marriages, they are in the minority. So, before you take the final plunge, take one last look around. The life you save may be your own.