4 Signs He Has Peter Pan Syndrome

Let’s say life as we know it was a lot like Disney Cartoons.

That means you’re a Disney Princess (the Mulan variety, as opposed to the Snow White type!) and you have to choose an eligible bachelor from among all of Disney’s plethora of character.

Now some of these guys are bad news right away. The Beast throws scary temper tantrums. Aladdin’s kind of a liar. Hades is well, Hades is hell to date. Gaston and Hans, some bad news dudes. And of course, Prince Eric is into some really kinky stuff, so I don’t know if that’s going to work.

Now then there’s Peter Pan. He’s probably a great guy if you’re Wendy’s age.

There’s just one problem. You know, he never, NEVER grows up.

And now we come back to the real world.

A man who has the “Peter Pan Complex” seems at first like a very good alternative to all the bratty princes and villains of the dating game. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t cheat, he’s not abusive and he’s not singing songs about how big his biceps are.

So at first glance, a man who’s “forever young” and never grows up might seem like a real catch. He’s funny, he’s creative, he’s self-confident and loves to have fun. He’s a great guy for a rebound too because he’s the opposite of the abusive boyfriend or the cheating husband. He seems a little too perfect.

Maybe that’s because he is. He is, after all, living like Peter Pan and that means he will never grow up. He will never commit. He will never love you as much as you love him. Or if he does love you, his desire to grow up and leave Neverland will always take second place to staying forever young.

He doesn’t just want to stay young physically since that’s a fight against nature. Rather, he wants to feel liberated. Free. Totally removed from all responsibility, trust, and obligation.

And for some men that works and they die happy staying that way. On the other hand, some men finally grow up right about 60 or 70 just so they can have a live-in nurse if you know what I mean.

But for the most part, men with Peter Pan complexes, do NOT live happily ever after in your arms. They make find happiness but it’s not in settling down and getting married. Unfortunately, many women think they can change a man who feels this way and get him excited about marriage, monogamy, and commitment.

Maybe it’ll work if he has commitment issues. But if he has the Peter Pan complex and is destined by his own choice to remain single for most of his life, you will not change him. The best thing to do is to avoid this type of guy altogether, or friend-zone him before you invest any serious emotion into this doomed relationship. Here are four ways to spot a Peter Pan before things get too serious.

1. What you see as his spontaneity is actually proof that he only wants fun all the time.

Peter Pan guys seem very willing to take you away on vacation, drink, and party, and avoid responsibility as much as possible. And it makes for a great date. The problem is, he never actually DOES anything beyond all these fun and spontaneous things. Adulting is a big turn-off, perhaps even a phobia. You can tell by how miserable he seems when he’s just chilling, just talking and just thinking about a full-time job. Raising children is always a hypothetical and the more serious the conversation becomes, the more spooked he gets. He well knows there is no adult side to him…the “boy” is all he can ever give you.

2. He has no ability to handle conflict like a mature or intelligent adult.

Conflict is ONLY resolved by compromise. However, Peter Pan is too much of a brat to settle things like a man, which means a traditional relationship between man and woman is way too much to handle. He will “respond” to conflict only by running away, or throwing a tantrum, or passive-aggressively punishing you. It’s always his way or no way.

3. He has no healthy coping mechanism.

While some Peter Pans do eventually hold down a job, many will fall to their vices—pot, alcohol, gambling, video games, sex, and so on. They don’t just indulge on the weekend…they may literally get high or stoned every weeknight. Playing games or gambling may be the only time he’s genuinely happy.

Why? The reason is simple. These are the only things that make him really happy. He has no ambition as an adult and so heavy distraction helps him avoid those adult problems. His escapism will only get worse as time goes on. You will be trying to manage a household while he thinks up new ways to avoid responsibility. His priorities are all out of whack and guess who pays for it?

4. He gets emotional intimacy from everyone but you.

There’s nothing wrong with a guy having his bro friends, or being close to his mother. The problem is when he’s obviously emotionally absent when it comes to dealing with you, and yet he has close relationships with his male friends, or his mother, or some other person who’s more important to him. This strongly indicates that whatever he could have with you—the emotional intimacy, the bonding—he is getting elsewhere. He may want or even need sex from you, but he doesn’t need the emotional intimacy. It’s no wonder then that many Peter Pans eventually cheat, or dump you, simply because they don’t feel they have anything special.

They may love you, but they’re not in love with you—at least not enough to change their lifestyle.

Look, I’m not saying all these guys are pure evil. Some of them really are “nice guys”, sweet guys, and so on. But if you’re serious about commitment and marriage (even if it’s far into the future), then he is going to be a waste of time. He will never change. He’s Peter Pan. Pity him and move on to your happily ever after.

About The Author

Matthew Coast

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