According to Urban Dictionary, the word “manolescent” is a noun and describes a “man of any age who shirks adult responsibilities.” Peter Pan Syndrome occurs when a male or female does not grow emotionally. Although he or she may appear to be old physically, he or she is probably still young in terms of maturation.
In other words, an adult male, chronologically and physically, who still wants to live the carefree life he had as an adolescent. You probably know a few. They ascribe to the Peter Pan code as defined by J.M.Barrie, “I don’t want ever to be a man. I want always to be a little boy and to have fun.”
I’m not talking only about those men in their 20’s and early 30’s; the manolescent can be any age. Yeah, this person is practically ageless. No worries, no concerns, no stress. Getting ahead career-wise is not an objective nor is the idea of a mortgage, a car lease, or any type of relationship commitment.
These men are charming in their guilelessness and naivete. Responsibility is a bad word to them and denotes the dreaded territory known as adulthood. They live to have fun. As one of the original “lost boys” in Never-Never Land, they have a strong female following.
These men are fun to be with. Boyish, of course, and playful, they make dating a joy even though their idea of someplace special for dinner may be Burger King and they rarely have enough money to pay for the both of you at a movie theatre. The woman who dates a manolescent had better always have cash, or at least a credit card, on hand.
It may be fun at first when you find out that their idea of a car ride is more than likely to be bumper cars at a theme park than a ride in a hot, new vehicle. We more than tolerate them. We become their Wendy Darling, wise beyond our years and capable of taking care of ‘our boys’. The attraction is potent; we want to be Wendy to the manolescent’s Peter Pan. It feeds the female instinct of taking care of the innocent and helpless, it’s fun, we feel needed, we’re happy…for a while at least.
But eventually, the boy-man charmer becomes a bit much to take even for the most passionate Wendy Darling. How often can you agree to foot his bills for every event? When do his comments that life should be fun and that work is only for drudges begin to sound more like a song that praises his own laziness? How much time are you willing to give to a relationship that is based only on “Let’s live for today” and makes no attempt to plan for a tomorrow.
Becoming an adult is a frightening prospect. After all, we become our parents in a way (no matter how much we don’t want to) by becoming responsible. With responsibility comes some sort of personal sacrifice; we do have to have a job, we do have to make car and credit card payments. We pay rent and we buy food. That’s adulthood and that’s being a responsible human being. The manolescent wants none of this to be placed in his lap. It scares him witless.
Maybe because of the shift in societal dynamics, women making their own money and having excellent careers and not having to be dependent on anyone else, the rise of the manolescent has become more easily facilitated. Maybe the manolescent doesn’t really have to grow up. The Peter Pan syndrome is very appealing even to women. Who needs all the responsibility anyway?
But we do grow up. The problem is that the charmingly boyish man who refuses to grow up will age just the same as the men who have careers, mortgages and families. He will grow older too, but with much less in his life. Peter Pan at 60 isn’t nearly as adorable as at 20.
If you’ve gotten involved with someone who has Peter Pan Syndrome, run. You can’t change him or her. Sure, it’s easy to get caught up with someone who seems fun and exciting, but if you get attached to someone of this sort, you’ll likely get sick of playing in Neverland sooner rather than later.
If your relationship becomes hot and heavy quickly, chances are, it’ll cool and freeze quickly, as well. Your special someone does not want to look into the future, but rather, into the past — back to a time when he or she missed out on an emotional slumber.
Yes, I am a believer that there is always an exception to the rule. But still, this is the rule. If someone can’t take care of him or herself, the last thing the person wants is another suitcase of baggage in the shape of you. If you’re able to shut off your emotions and have fun, I say, do it.
Dating those who have Peter Pan Syndrome is a great experience and you’ll enjoy seeing life through someone who “lives on the edge.” It’s still a dangerous game to play with your heart, especially if you give it to someone who can’t locate his or her own heart.
If you’re looking for a romantic, fairytale ending, remember this: Even Wendy Darling had to leave Peter Pan at the end of the story. There are only so many nights of staying out partying and emotional un-attachment a girl can take.
Ladies and gentlemen of this generation, focus on yourself and get your lives together. We only have one chance to do it right. Don’t be tricked by the Peter Pans of the world.
Only 3 more days before my hectic
college life resumes!
Half missing my college life,
the other half wanting a
never ending holiday.
Oh, the joys of being a student.
signing out, x