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We Get LoveNotes: "I stumbled upon your site by accident recently, looking for an article about immaturity in relationships. Six months ago I came out of a very negative and damaging relationship with my ex-boyfriend who is an extremely immature person, but I tried to pretend he was not. It was emotionally exhausting and I lost a lot of confidence in myself.
Having read articles on your website, including the one about maturity in relationships, I am now beginning to feel much better about myself and my chances of meeting my life-partner. My self-esteem has returned, and I feel ready to get out there and find him! I know he is waiting for me."
Hilary, Oxford, UK
NOTE from Larry James: "There are no accidents!"
Maturity in Relationships
Maturity, in general, is many things. Maturity in a love relationship is
everything! First it is the ability to base a decision about a love relationship
on the big picture - the long haul. In general, it means being able to pass up
the fun for the moment and select the course of action which will pay off
- LoveNote. . . To be
capable of real love means becoming mature, with realistic expectations of the
other person. It means accepting responsibility for our own happiness or
unhappiness, and neither expecting the other person to make us happy nor blaming
that person for our bad moods and frustrations. ~ John A. Sanford
In a love relationship, it means being able to enjoy the instant gratification
that comes with the romance of the moment while knowing the best is yet to be and
being patient while you watch your love grow. It is knowing that by working
together, the state of unconditional love will presence itself in the
relationship and will mature with time. It is knowing that you grow into a love
relationship. It doesn't happen all at once. Mature love partners seek new ways
to help each other grow.
One of the characteristics of infancy is the "I want it now" approach. Grown-up
people can wait. And often they don't. Often they allow themselves to slip back
into infancy so they can justify rushing into things.
Maturity is the ability to stick with a project or a situation until it is
finished. It means doing whatever it takes to make the relationship be one you
are proud to be in. The adult who is constantly changing jobs, relationships,
and friends, is in a word. . . immature. They cannot stick it out because they
have not grown up. Everything seems to turn sour after a while.
Mature love partners have learned not to expect perfection in each other. They
know that acceptance has its own reward. Each lover's differences test the
other's capacity for acceptance, forgiveness and understanding. They never dance
around issues. When necessary, they discuss their imperfections, lovingly, with
care not to pass judgment with harmful words. Acceptance and tolerance hold
hands in the presence of unconditional love.
- LoveNote. . . For a love
relationship to mature, both partners must experience a deep feeling, a tacit
belief, that there is something quite special about them which would never have
happened had each not contributed to its creation. ~ Larry A. Bugen
Mature lovers -- lovers who love unconditionally -- develop a knack for side-
stepping resentment and focusing on the good they see in one another. They have
evolved to a higher level of understanding, one that transcends taking notice of
the imperfections of the other.
Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness, frustration, discomfort and
defeat without complaint or collapse. Mature love partners know they can't have
everything their own way. They are able to defer to circumstances, to other
people - and to time, when necessary.
Mature love partners permit each other the freedom to pursue their individual
interests and friends without restriction. This is when trust presents itself.
Mature love allows this level of separateness to bring lovers closer together. In
this scenario separateness is perceived as a bond, not a wedge. It encourages
love partners to celebrate their own uniqueness.
Maturity is the ability to live up to the responsibilities of a love
relationship, and this means being dependable. It means keeping your word; it
means living in your relationship like your word really means something.
Dependability equates with personal integrity. This means no withholds. It
means saying what needs to be said, with love. Do you mean what you say? Do you
say what you mean?
- LoveNote. . . We can
come to realize that mature love equals loving yourself for being what you are,
and likewise loving another person for who they are. When we can feel such
unconditional no-matter-how-you-act love, we have learned what I call mature
love. Mature love allows you fully to be yourself with your loved one. ~ Bruce
The world is filled with people who can't be counted on, people who never seem to
come through in the clutches, people who break promises and substitute alibis for
performance. They make excuses. They show up late - or not at all. They are
confused and disorganized. Their lives are a chaotic maze of unfinished business
and uncommitted relationships. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. Immature people
spend their lives exploring endless possibilities and then do nothing. Action
requires courage. There is no maturity without courage.
- LoveNote. . . Mature
love offers us our most profound opportunity for regaining wholeness - not
because our partners will fill all of our emptiness, but because we can use the
embrace of a loving relationship to nurture ourselves toward greater maturation
and ripening. ~ Larry A. Bugen
Maturity is the ability to harness your abilities and your energies and to do
more than is expected in your relationships. The mature person refuses to settle
for mediocrity. They would rather aim high and miss the mark than aim low and
Copyright © - Larry James.
Adapted from the book, "How to Really Love the One You're With."
If you would like to talk
one-on-one with Larry James about relationship issues related to this article, you are invited to arrange for a
private coaching session by telephone. Go to Personal Relationship Coaching
for specific details.
Relationship books by Larry James:
How to Really Love the One You're With:
Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship
LoveNotes for Lovers:
Words That Make Music for Two
Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers (Career Assurance
Author Larry James is a professional speaker. He presents "Relationship
Enrichment LoveShops" nationally for singles and couples.
More About Larry James
For a personally autographed copy of Larry's books, or for
more information, please contact:
P.O. Box 12695
Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695
Fax 480 998-2173