What is it Like Dating a Person With Peter Pan Syndrome? | Here Are the Signs to Watch Out For

What is it Like Dating a Person With Peter Pan Syndrome? | Here Are the Signs to Watch Out For

Peter Pan Syndrome is common in men. Realizing your partner's behavior pattern may help you decide the course of your relationship.

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Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 2, 2020. It has since been updated.

Relationships are often complex. However, the constant dialogue between partners enables them to navigate through tough times. But sometimes, you come across partners who never seem to understand the concept of bearing responsibilities. Apart from that, you are disturbed by their level of immaturity. While adults like them are ready to commit and plan ahead for future goals, their primary goals revolve around Friday parties and Sunday game night. No matter how much you love your partner, these childish behaviors can leave you angry and upset. According to experts, an individual who struggles to realize that they have grown up may be struggling with  Peter Pan Syndrome.


What is Peter Pan Syndrome?

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In simple terms, it is the desire to stay as a child despite having the physical growth of an adult. According to Science Daily, they are "people who do not want or feel unable to grow up, people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child. They don’t know how to or don’t want to stop being children and start being mothers or fathers." The syndrome is not considered to be a psychological disorder by the World Health Organization but an increasingly large number of people have started to display this kind of emotional immature behavior.

Who is affected?

The syndrome affects both men and women. However, it is most commonly observed in men. “It usually affects dependent people who have been overprotected by their families and haven’t developed the necessary skills to confront life," said Humbelina Robles Ortega, professor of the Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment of the University of Granada, according to Science Daily. He added, they “see the adult world as very problematic and glorify adolescence, which is why they want to stay in that state of privilege."


How to recognize them in a relationship? 

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If you have a partner who suffers from the syndrome, you may often notice them deviating from their responsibilities. They do not give importance to the seriousness of life and plan their life like a child or a teenager. Instead of focusing on a career or a family, their life revolves around games and parties. They refuse a change in lifestyle no matter what. 

“You can recognize if your partner has Peter Pan Syndrome or he can’t take responsibilities for his own actions; is only thinking about himself and his own needs; doesn’t want to or doesn’t know how to have a deep conversation; or has a hard time being emotionally intimate,” said Coltrane Lord, Intimacy and Relationship Expert and Author of Love Avatar and The Kinky Vanilla Love Project, according to Goalcast.


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Being scared of commitment, these people tend to change partners frequently and may have had many short term relationships. “Whenever the relationship starts to ask for a high level of commitment and responsibility, they become afraid and break it up. Relationships with younger women have the advantage of being able to live by the day without any worries, and they also involve less future plans, therefore less responsibilities," stated Ortega, according to Science Daily. Moreover, they make sure that they choose partners who can fulfill their needs and wants.

Ortega also claimed that these people are scared of being lonely in life and lack self-confidence. “They become anxious when they are evaluated by their work colleagues or their superiors, given they are completely intolerant towards any criticism. Sometimes they can have serious adaptation problems at work or in personal relationships.”


How can you bring about a change in your partner?

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When you love someone, it is not possible to leave them without even trying to see if there is a fix. According to experts, you can slowly induce changes in your partner by taking small steps if they are willing to undergo a transformation. “This type of man does not want a fence around him, it suffocates his need for freedom and play, so you must be a little bit of a savvy partner and offer him the stages of ‘growing up’ and celebrating him for each step of the way with adoration, acceptance, attention, and affection,” said Lord, according to Goalcast. However, if you feel your partner is not accepting of any change, you are to decide what you want in life. "Healing the boy to reveal the man is the only way for his maturing. If he is worth the mentoring, you are in for a fun adventure together. If he is not capable (we all have free will), then you have to ask yourself if you want to partner with a boy or a man," said Lord.





Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.