13 Reasons to Feel Better About Having ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’

You know the type.

They party as hard as they did in university, show zero signs of committing to anyone long-term anytime soon, and – aside from work commitments – have pretty much zero responsibility to anyone.

If you ask them, most would say they’ve had a pretty good summer. (Go ahead and try, we’ll wait.)

And, though their parents may give them a little slack, they’re just fine with that. In our young professional (YP) circles, it’s called ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’, or an unwillingness to settle down and finally become a responsible (i.e. boring) adult.

If you ask us, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. In fact, here are 13 reasons to feel better about suffering from ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’:

1. You have more fun
If there’s one thing that young professionals with Peter Pan Syndrome have, it’s a lot of fun. From wild nights that last well into the morning (you don’t have to wake up and answer to anyone about that Saturday morning Home Depot trip, after all), to spontaneous trips with the guys and girls – life is certainly exciting.

2. You’re more in tune with what’s out there
Because you didn’t choose to settle for the suburbs and routine Friday night episodes of 20/20 on the couch, your eyes have been opened to exactly what’s out there in our cities – the good, bad, and ugly. In other words, you’re not sheltered (and that comes into play in all factors of your life – both professional and personal).

3. You’re getting it all out of your system
Once you finally find yourself joining the ranks of your high school or university friends and opting for a life of couples’ dinners, nights in, a relationship that’s heading toward (yikes) serious, and making financial sacrifices to save for a mortgage, you won’t have that sick ‘trapped’ feeling you so fear because you’ve gotten it all out of your system and, frankly, there’s nothing you haven’t done.

4. As a result, you experience more of your city
Those with ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ are always looking to make the most of their surroundings. That’s why they’re the go-to for restaurant, bar, open mic, and event suggestions in their city when their ‘responsible’ friends need to know. Why sit at home alone when our cities are more alive than ever?

 5. You live with few regrets
There’s little to regret when you’ve had the time to pretty much do it all since university ended. You’ve had more than enough exciting dating stories (fine, some better than others), didn’t waste years of your life in a dead-end relationship, have been able to travel on a whim (perhaps even alone) and as a result really don’t feel like you’ve wasted any time at all. And if there’s anything you haven’t done, you can still do it.

6. You still look good
Which is probably because you still make a total effort in your appearance – whether dressing the part (albeit shamelessly younger than you actually are) or maintaining that body at the gym (since you’re not ‘locked down’ you have more time to put that membership to use). 

7. People think you’re younger than you are
Which is because of the way you look and because your free-spirit demeanor always adds to that youth factor. Ever notice how having kids ages (some/most/all) people?

8. You’ll know when you finally meet ‘the one’
And that’s not only because you refuse to settle, but because your perpetual single status has allowed you to date around. And with each date, fling, or mini relationship, you’ve learned exactly what you want, what you don’t, and what you are and aren’t able to deal with.

9. Your married friends live vicariously through you
Sure, you may have ‘grass is greener’ episodes when it comes to your married friends and their secure, stable lives and cute kids. But don’t forget that they feel the same way about you. They may have the stable ‘dream,’ but you have the real life excitement.

10. You could write a book on your life experiences
And have been encouraged to by those very same friends. But seriously though…

11. You are the best aunt, uncle, or godparent
Despite your mother’s perpetual nagging for grandchildren, you’re able to at least get your baby fix with your nieces, nephews, and friends’ kids. And because you have none of your own to spoil rotten or to play with – you know you’re their favourite.

12. You’re a good wing-person
You remain a staple and trusted ‘plus one’ or wing woman/man amongst your fellow Peter Pan Syndrome ‘suffering’ friends. They know you’re up for anything; you don’t have to ask permission, know how to conduct yourself after years of experience, and best of all, they’ll repay the favour for you sometime.

13. You can be more spontaneous
A Vegas trip this weekend? A last-minute concert with the Tinder catch you “matched” with half an hour ago? A work promotion that requires a yearlong relocation to another city? Bring it on.


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