What Defines a Man: 5 Distinct Indicators of Maturity



Funny kid with fake mustache

We have all watched many coming of age movies but it is still hard to pinpoint what makes a man, isn’t it? To paraphrase the acclaimed horror writer Stephen King and mastermind behind “It” and HBO’s “Castle Rock”, the transition from boy to man is never a flick of a switch.

Adulthood doesn’t happen instantaneously but it fades in and bites you when you least expect it. Remember, it takes more than just having the brains and the brawns to demonstrate proper masculine qualities. If you have ever doubted your maturity, here are 5 signs which indicate that you have come full-bloom.

Your keen sense of fashion

Portrait of cheerful man in suit in cloakroom

Clothing is not just a layer of fabric that keeps you warm. It is a reflection of your current mental state. How you choose to style yourself says a lot about how you carry yourself and opting for dignified pieces spells maturity. Check your wardrobe selection.

T-shirts and sneakers are all fine and dandy but do you have an elegant lifelong leather bag in your closet? A classy coat to weather the cold? A suit for business and stylish shoes and belt to match? All these essential pieces and accessories define a man so better go shopping if you don’t have garments which also create a poise of class.

Your sense of humor

Portrait of the surprised and joyful mime with open mouth

Men are known to be childish. In all candor, it is a trait we love to indulge. However, there is a time and a place for everything and knowing how to utilize your sense of humor in given situations is what sets men apart from boys. Cracking jokes that don’t lie in the current underlying context doesn’t benefit anyone.

Using your wits and charm is a skill which can be learned, whether you are flirting or demonstrating your playful intelligence. Think carefully not just about what you intend to say but how you are going to say it, too.

For instance, imagine you are charged for organizing stag do’s, the rite of passage for all grooms-to-be. Would you rather spend an evening getting wasted in some pub or would you rather surprise the man of honor with an elaborate stag do adventure in Madrid, Prague, or Krakow?

Your sense of hygiene

Morning hygiene, Man in the bathroom and his morning routine

Boys love to get their hands dirty and this habit can extend into adulthood. Sure, we all sweat, break wind, and occasionally stay in same underpants for days but actively keeping your hygiene in check is an unmistakable sign of maturity. As said by Jordan Peterson, an acclaimed breakthrough thinker, clinical psychologist, and internet sensation – clean your room! Start with your own castle. Regular housekeeping helps you develop character and set certain values.

Your fitness and diet


Make no mistake, a sound mind is in a sound body so taking care of your physique is vital for a man. Whether you are into team sports, like to play solo or just prefer hitting the weights in the gym – it doesn’t matter as long as you are active and attentive to your health.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, if you want to do cardio, just lift the weights faster. As for dieting, you don’t have to be rigorous about it (unless you are training for the Olympics). Eat anything that appeals to you in moderation and avoid raiding the fridge in late hours.

Mental well-being

Finally, men who know how to interpret emotions and articulate their own to others are indeed mature. How so? Emotional intelligence is a vital component of one’s development. Sure, men tend to be naturally dominant, logical, and aggressive, but that doesn’t they shouldn’t be able to be submissive, sensitive, and withdrawn when circumstances demand it.

Being adaptable and analytical about one’s mental state is crucial for developing lasting relationships. As mentioned before, there is a time and a place for everything – and knowing when to show your soft side and knowing when to show your teeth is equally important.


It is every father’s dream for his son to surpass him but how can we measure whether or not the child was successful in that endeavor if each life is unique by itself? The truth is, there is no recipe for becoming a man. Each path is different and requires making mistakes and learning from them. Growing up takes time. You have got your own life to live as a man to take it one step at a time.