Peter Pan Complex: 10 Dreaded Signs Your Guy Resides in Neverland!

peter pan complex

Yes, that is right. Technically and literally, the Peter Pan complex is no fairy tale, neither is dating someone with it. Leave him to Captain Hook!

Ah, if I think of the most hideous fable, fairy tale, or story *since I am not sure what Peter Pan is* it would be Peter Pan. The problem with Peter Pan is that the story is never-ending. Wait, did I say never-ending? The man with the Peter Pan complex won’t ever find his way out of Neverland regardless if you think you are Wendy or not.

10 dreaded signs of the Peter Pan complex

Driven by a man’s incessant need not to grow up and take responsibility for both his life and his actions, the proverbial flying around from land to land is more like flying around from noncommitment to noncommitment.

If you think you’ll pull him from his fantasy world, think again. If the Peter Pan syndrome takes hold, you’re wrong. There is no way to get a hold of him.

#1 He still calls “mommy” for her opinion. The Peter Pan syndrome isn’t just about not being able to grow up. It is about not being able to let go of the past, or to find comfort in the things that we turn to in our youth. Moms are incredible, don’t get me wrong.

As old as I am, when I have a problem, I sometimes still consult mine. But, I am mature enough to know what she says isn’t always true or the final word. For the guy with the Peter Pan complex, mommy’s ego stroking is all he needs. [Read: The 10 guys you should stop dating if you want real love]

#2 Collections call his ass every minute of the day. The man with the Peter Pan syndrome doesn’t believe in things like paying bills. Credit scores are lost on him because he resides in Neverland forever. There is no need for things that make you accountable.

If you have a guy in your life with debt collectors calling him day and night, he isn’t going to treat you any different. He ignores all of his supposed commitments in the same manner. [Read: The 15 signs of immature men so you can avoid them]

#3 If he doesn’t call his mom, he doesn’t have to because he still lives in her basement. His parents’ digs are totally okay. Hey, he gets to live at home, have his meals made, his laundry folded just as he likes it, and doesn’t have to do anything for himself. Isn’t that the promise of Neverland in a nutshell?

#4 He can be 70 and still too young to make a commitment. The man with a Peter Pan complex can’t be bothered to settle down. 20 or 70 makes no difference, he lives out his wild fantasy, and there isn’t a soul that can take him away from it.

If you think once he finds the right girl, things will change, think again. It isn’t about anyone but him. In the Peter Pan world, there is only room for “the guys.” You are not one of them. The bad news is that he will let you know, but typically only after he has made you feel as important as Wendy. [Read: 12 clues a guy is just using you to play you]

#5 Can you lend me some money? He always “forgets” his wallet at home, go halves, and never takes responsibility for what he wants.

Never really wanting to live in the real or mature world, your wallet is his oyster, or someone else’s is, makes no difference to a man who lives in make-believe.

#6 He can’t hold a job because it is either beneath him or they didn’t realize that Peter always knows better. The man who lives in Neverland wears war paint and rallies the troops to mayhem. You can’t expect Peter to hold down a job while taking care of the Neverland boys *guys at the bar just as immature* and  fight the good fight with the crocodile-eating pirate. Priorities, ladies, don’t think you are one, he has shit to do!

#7 He is looking for his “Wendy” but only intends to float in and out of her life. Peter Pan’s whole story revolves around Wendy. She is the girl in his life who wishes upon a star that something exciting would grace her life. Then along comes the man with the green tights to free her from her realistic and stuffy existence.

But, if you read or watched the whole thing, he never makes a commitment to her.

He returns her to her life. Then goes back to his own land with the promise that someday he might return, but only to take her out once in a while to make her feel good for the time being. If that sounds familiar, your life is no dreamland, it is a nightmare. [Read: 20 ways to tell if he is a commitment phobe]

#8 He thinks of himself as cunning and charming, after all he continues to fool Captain Hook. The man with the Peter Pan syndrome thinks that he never ever ages. The problem? He ages on the exterior but not the interior.

Eventually what you end up with is a bald, unattractive, and unappealing guy who thinks he is a spry young man. But, by the time, he might, just might, be ready to enter the real world, his magic is all used up.

#9 His besties are a bunch of boys who can’t grow up either. Even if he is the leader, it is still the leader of the idiots. One of the worst parts about dating a man with the Peter Pan complex lies in his group of followers.

Peter Pan was defined by his ability to lead the Neverland boys. The thing about his followers is they never leave their headmaster alone. To losers, Peter Pan is the compass for which they live. Good luck shooing them from your life to try to convert Peter to a real man. [Read: What to do when your guy’s friends are a bad influence]

#10 He might not wear tights, but challenge him, and I am pretty sure he will get his undies in a bunch. Peter Pan likes a fight with the fractious Captain Hook. He definitely doesn’t like any other challenges. If you want to tame the wild Peter Pan, you might not have to contend with his tights, but you might get his tighty whities all incensed.

See, Peter Pan thinks he is the shit. So do his Neverland Groupies. He doesn’t need your acceptance or approval, so step the fuck off!

Although a fantastical world for him, Peter left Wendy miserable and alone. He led Tinkerbell on. We all saw it, but in the end, Peter Pan got what he wanted. Hang out with his Neverland boys and feel like the big man on campus, never taking responsibility for anything and never growing up.

[Read: The 16 types of guys you need to avoid and definitely don’t date]

If you notice, there is no follow up to the Peter Pan story, it ends where it does. Dating a guy with the Peter Pan complex lands you in the same place, Neverland.

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Julie Keating
Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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