10 Problems You'll Usually Find in an Immature Relationship

10 Problems You'll Usually Find in an Immature Relationship

Relationships are like magnified mirrors; they show us parts of ourselves we never knew were there. If there is one thing that will reveal the areas we need to grow in, it’s entering a relationship with another person. Whether in friendship, familial or in marriage, relationships have a special way of helping us grow and mature as people. However, when our relationships fail to grow us, it may be because the relationship itself is immature. No relationship is perfect, but they can’t grow to anything more when they are immature.

Here are 10 indicators that you may be in an immature relationship.

  • 1. Lying

    1. Lying

    When I told my mom I was dating my now-husband, she asked me if I trusted him and I said “yes”. She then asked, “Has he ever lied to you?” I thought about it and, “no”, he hadn’t. My mom understood that the key to any healthy relationship is trust and that you can’t have trust if lying and deception are present. 1 Corinthians 13:6 tells us that love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” (ESV) A sign of true love and maturity is honesty. 

  • 2. Disrespect

    2. Disrespect

    I was watching a reality show one day about a family and saw how rudely the wife spoke to the husband. She confessed that she was not always kind but said that they had been married long enough for him to understand that they don’t have time for manners. That marriage did not last long because they lost respect. Sometimes we can get so comfortable with being with someone we think they no longer need the same respect that we show to coworkers and strangers. That could not be further from the truth. Both people in a truly mature relationship treat one another with the utmost respect and honor. 

  • 3. Competition

    3. Competition

    A sign you may be in an immature relationship is when instead of cheering one another on for your accomplishments you compete with one another. When you feel that one person’s success means your failure, that is not healthy. A relationship is not about competing and winning. It’s about growing and encouraging one another.

    If you’re struggling with a competitive spirit in your relationships, try talking yourself through those emotions as them emerge. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling competitive about this? What am I trying to prove? I don’t need to prove myself here- I can rest in who God made me.” 

  • 4. Bringing Up the Past

    4. Bringing Up the Past

    A relationship where past mistakes are constantly being brought up is immature. Harboring bitterness will not help your relationship grow. Practicing healthy communication and forgiveness is key to growth. If not, you are sure to stay stagnant and immature.

    It’s possible to work this out in your relationships. Ask your friend/spouse/family member: “I’ve noticed we are always bringing up the past. I want to do better in our relationship. Let’s start over here and let the past stay in the past.” How your loved one response to this will tell you whether this is a relationship that can move forward or needs outside counsel to work. 

  • 5. Not Addressing Problems

    5. Not Addressing Problems

    When problems arise it is important to address them. Two people in an immature relationship will ignore them, hoping they will go away on their own. This, however, only intensifies a problem. To grow and mature, we all must learn how to talk about and work on difficult topics. It’s easy to run away or shut down, but if you sincerely want to grow together you will press through the awkwardness and face your issues head-on.

    Often, this is where counseling can help struggling relationships. Even friendships can benefit from having an outside (professional) party sit down and work through a problem to try and find a healthy solution.

  • 6. Unrealistic Expectations

    6. Unrealistic Expectations

    Any relationship where one or both people expect the world from each other is not healthy. We must realize that no one on this earth can complete and fulfill us like God. Not even our spouses. So when we have unrealistic expectations we set ourselves up for failure. A mature relationship communicates expectations and leans on God to fulfill the areas only He can.

    Want to learn more about unrealistic expectations, particular in a marriage? Here is a great article from Kia Stephens on unrealistic expectations and how to deal with them.


  • 7. Negative Talk

    7. Negative Talk

    The Bible tells us to use our words to build up and not tear down. (Ephesians 4:29) So when we talk negatively to others about our relationship by gossiping and complaining we harm the growth of our relationship. This doesn’t mean act like everything is perfect and you have no issues. It means when you have issues you need to discuss them within your relationship unless the two of you decide to seek outside help. I challenge you to think about the last few times your relationship came up in conversation. Was there more complaining or gratitude? 

  • 8. Not Keeping Private Matters Private

    8. Not Keeping Private Matters Private

    Going to social media to post every time you are upset in your relationships or friendships is a sign of immaturity. Instead, we should take our issues to God and trusted wise counsel. Social media cannot resolve our issues and many times only magnifies them. It’s a way of escape and not a solution. 

    In the same way, calling up your mom or your best friend every time your spouse or another close friend or family member upsets you isn't healthy either. You owe it to your relationships to settle problems one-on-one, and not pit the people in your life against each other.

  • 9. Being Overly Negative and Critical

    9. Being Overly Negative and Critical

    When we are overly negative and critical it harms our relationship. Usually, we do this because we want to see a change in the person we are in a relationship with. However, individuals in a mature relationship know that only God can change someone’s hearts. No amount of criticism and negative comments can change someone. It’s a complete waste of time. When it comes to changing someone’s heart you have to give it to God. 

  • 10. Only Thinking of Your Own Needs

    10. Only Thinking of Your Own Needs

    Individuals in a mature relationship make the choice to not only think of their needs but also the needs of others. This takes placing yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to see the situation from their perspective. A mature relationship is patient and takes the necessary time to gain understanding about one another. 


    Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.