In this work we study the nonequilibrium dynamical properties of an ultra-thin magnetic film model. Previous works on this system revealed the presence of novel dynamical properties that were difficult to interpret within a single physical scenario: on one hand the analysis of the aging properties suggested a glassy behavior. On the other, the study of the violation of the fluctuation dissipation theorem concluded that the system behaved in accordance to a domain growth scenario. More recently, a detailed study of the equilibrium properties determined the existence of metastable states that had not been taken into account so far. Here, we show that the slow growth of the magnetic domains due to the presence of metastable states sets a unified theoretical framework for the interpretation of these results. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.