He didn’t want a partner, he wanted a mom

My relationship with a “man-baby” taught me a lot about what I wanted in a romantic partner.

Rose Bak


Photo by DepositPhotos

I remember the day I realized that was I was dating a “man-baby”.

My live-in boyfriend and I had gone for a hike. It was a rare sunny spring day in Portland. The hike was my idea, if it was up to him, he would have sat in the house with the drapes closed playing video games all day. I insisted we go outside and get some fresh air and exercise and he reluctantly agreed.

Once we started hiking, he whined the entire way. There was too much mud. I’d chosen a trail in the woods that was “uphill both ways”. We were not even halfway through when he asked if we could stop at his favorite restaurant on the way home so he could get a chocolate shake. By the time we finished our hike, I was beyond annoyed with his constant whining. We drove to the restaurant and got there at 2:10 p.m. only to find that it closed at 2:00.

“NOOOOO!!!!!” he shouted — seriously he shouted — “Why does everything bad happen to me?”

For a minute I seriously thought he was going to cry. And then I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I’m dating a toddler!”

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

The Urban Dictionary defines a “man-baby” like this:

They look like men but act like babies. A man in constant need of nurturing and attention. The manbaby thinks his problems are fascinating and far more important and tragic than anyone else’s.”

Later that night I lay in bed asking myself why I’d never realized I was dating a man-baby.

At first, he just seemed vulnerable. He was recently divorced and was full of stories about how mean his ex-wife allegedly was, and how she never took care of his needs.

I tend to be a nurturer, so I fell into the role of his caretaker. I overlooked the fact that he stayed over at my house one night and never left. I felt annoyed by the way he could never pick up after himself, how he never cooked dinner, or took my car to work when his gas tank was empty, leaving…



Rose Bak

Rose Bak is a freelance non-fiction writer as well as the author of more than 50 books. Find Rose's books at bit.ly/AuthorRoseBak .