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Taking It Slow in a Relationship – How Should You Do It?

taking it slow in a relationship

Stop worrying about sleeping together after three dates, or dropping “I love you” too soon. Here’s how to start taking it slow in a relationship.

Life today is fast. We want fast internet, fast food, fast money and fast sex. Alright, maybe not so much that last one out of context, but the rest is true. Some of us fall in love fast, and sometimes, even before that happens we’re have sex with our partner.

As teenagers, taking it slow in a relationship was much easier and much more common. When you’re young, taking it slow meant getting to know yourself. It meant asking yourself all of the questions that would fill your heart with butterflies like: How long before we kiss? Is it too soon to hold her hand? What will his body feel like? How will I know when the time is right?

While frustrating to be made to wait, these questions also made for a tantalizing dating experience. The rush of new experiences and the flush of slowly falling in love meant everything.

As adults who have already felt the thrills of sexual gratification and the connection it creates with a loved partner, we tend to spend less time falling in love in new relationships and more time itching to get our pants off. How romantic does that sound? [Read: 13 lusty signs to know if the sexual attraction is intense]

How to take it slow in your relationship

Whether you’ve found that you keep putting out early only to end up with selfish jerks *surprise, surprise – he only wanted one thing!* or you’re just ready to go back to the built-up sexual foreplay known as “dating someone before you’ve had sex with them” then we’re here to help. We’re looking at 5 ways of taking it slow in a relationship. [Read: 11 signs to know if you’re only being used for sex or money]

#1 Have active dates. If you’re determined to take your newest relationship slow, consider your date ideas as a helpful tool. Having active dates, such as going to the beach, going for a hike, heading to dinner, or hanging out in groups may actually encourage the two of you to take it slow in your relationship. Group dating allows you both to get to know one-another without the opportunity to get it on.

#2 Lay down the line before you’re in too deep. Taking it slow in a relationship may seem a little scary and unknown at first, and there are certainly many questions to consider before taking the leap. For example, are you going to offend your partner with your actions? If so, they’re a total jerk. That being said, it’s important to get it all out in the open at first.

As a male, you may wonder if you’re coming off like a wuss, or perhaps you may even be offending your partner and making her wonder why she isn’t desirable to you. As a female, you don’t want to lose your partner’s interest by never putting out, or equally make him feel like you don’t love or want him sexually. [Read: Why men subconsciously find the chase irresistible and end up falling harder]

Letting your partner know where you stand is important. Now, you probably shouldn’t jump out of a cake on your first date shouting from the rooftops about how they won’t be getting laid for a while if they go out with you… but don’t let it linger on for too long without saying *something*. Simply let your partner know: “I want to take things slow. Is that alright with you?” Then you can figure out where the other person stands before you’ve gone in too deep.

#3 Avoid sleeping over. The biggest no-no if you’re trying to take it slow is sleeping over, especially if wine is involved. Just because you’re trying not to sleep with somebody doesn’t mean you don’t want to.

In fact, *not* doing it is probably ensuring that sex is constantly on your mind. That’s why if you’re truly determined to go without sex until the time is right, don’t do anything that would make you tempted… like sleeping over!

#4 Don’t leave sex completely out. Just because you’re not having sex doesn’t mean you don’t want your partner, nor does it mean you don’t want to be desired by them. While you may not want to have sex right away, make sure you send the occasional naughty text or whisper in the ear about how bad you want them or all the naughty things you’ll do to them once you take that step. Remember, you don’t want to chase your partner away with your chastity. You want them to desire you. [Read: 20 sexy texts to start a naughty conversation, and yet stay away from sex]

#5 Don’t forget to have fun. Not to sound like your mom, but you’ll have plenty of time for sex later in your relationship. For now, get to know one-another and have fun dating and being together. Let’s be honest: Sex may be one of the most fun things you can possibly do with somebody, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hundreds of other great things to enjoy with your boyfriend/girlfriend!

Enjoy each other’s company and this fleeting time you have together before you actually *do* start hooking up, and let them see that you’re totally worth waiting for. [Read: How to be more playful and fun in your relationship]

Why wait

Learning is only half the battle! Now that we’ve seen how you can implement taking it slow in a relationship, here’s some great reasons why it’s a good idea!

#1 It builds anticipation. Anticipation is important in all relationships, old or new. What’s more thrilling than the months-long foreplay of not getting to sleep with someone? You get the option of wondering all about their most private of areas.

This is the best kind of fun and frustrating. Remember, once you have sex with someone, you can never undo it. This is the only time during your relationship where you don’t know the ins and outs of their bodies. No pun intended. [Read: 10 reasons why saying “I love you” too soon just sucks!]

#2 It prevents blinded expectations. Taking it slow in a relationship by not having sex may actually prevent you from staying with a total douche-bag longer than you should have. Due to the love-drug known as oxytocin, some men and women become somehow emotionally bonded after having sex. This means you’re more likely to overlook their less than charming personality traits. [Read: Why oxytocin can be toxic to less-than-perfect relationships]

How many women have stayed with a total jerk longer than necessary just because they were having sex? Keeping sex out of a relationship for an appropriate amount of time allows you to properly fall in love with that person and get to know their real qualities and personality without a sexually charged bias.

#3 It can un-complicate things. By not having sex right away, you’re going to be able to get to know exactly what you are and are not getting into with this person. Assuming you want a committed relationship to follow, you’ll get to know if sex means commitment for your partner, and whether they see this as a long-term deal. It also allows you to get to know your partner’s sexual history and STD-risks before things have already gotten messy. [Read: 18 tips to fall in love slowly like you’re in a fairytale]

The bottom line

While this advice may sound very high-school in nature, the truth is that if you’re with someone new and they can’t wait to have sex: dump them! Do all rushed sexual encounters turn into meaningless flings or morning walk-of-shames? Of course not. My parents were each other’s only one-night-stand, and they’ve been together 28 years. C’est la vie!

[Read: New relationship advice to have a perfect start to love]

If you want to wait, DO! You should never be made to feel pressured or uncomfortable in your relationship. In the meantime, keep saying yes to new relationships and new opportunities. You never know when your equally-as-chaste and willing-to-wait partner may turn up.

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Waverly Smith
Waverly Smith

Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...

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4 thoughts on “Taking It Slow in a Relationship – How Should You Do It?”

  1. Claire says:

    I never regretted that I waited for the right guy and had taken our relationship slowly. While we are on the early stage of our relationship, we made sure that we have enough time to know each other. We dated several times, sometimes with our friends and oftentimes, just the two of us. We didn’t deny to each other how badly we want to be laid but then we both decided to wait until we got married. During the time before we got married, the anticipation to be in bed together grew stronger as the days went by. Finally, on the first night of our honeymoon we released the build-up tension between us. We had sex until we are totally exhausted and I can tell you guys, it was wildly excited and gloriously fulfilling. Our waiting for that moment was not wasted. Now after 5 years of marriage, our love and desire for each other remained strong and we are counting for more years to come with the same feelings for each other.

  2. Anna Thompson says:

    Yup, when things reach the sleep over stage, then you’ve definitely lost the whole idea of taking it slow. It’s unfortunate because I love my sexual side and embrace my sexuality as a whole, but guys take it as a giant cue to think things are actually going somewhere. To some degree they are, I’m not a slut, but it’s always around that point that their neediness and clinginess starts coming out to play. I don’t need a clingy guy and that’s one thing I know for sure. I’ve already been there with my now ex husband!

  3. sissy says:

    Taking it slow is right if you want to develop the relationship and consider it as something worth looking towards a future with. I think the points of avoiding sleeping over while still remembering to have fun are a part of the development. I also think that waiting before having sex makes the getting to know each other so much richer. You can do things to express desire and build up to that and it does make that much more special. Taking it slow does not however mean be a turtle and boring. Go for the doing and creating memories while savoring the time you have getting to know every aspect of the person.

  4. Geryo says:

    So here’s the deal. I’ve been dating this girl for several weeks now…this was our second date..i took her to the movies and we held hands n stuff. So, we were flirting and then boom, we kissed, like almost making out..then she leaned against me and i asked her if she wanted to be my girlfriend (since we kissed already i figured it was a good time)..so she says at first..”mmm i dont know” so we went on with the movie..with our hands held and stuff and after the movie finished we kissed again and again when I dropped her off at her house. We made out for 10 seconds I think and I pulled out not her! Then the next day she tells me that its been 2 yrs since her last relationship and right now she says she wants to get to know me a little bit better to be in a relationship w/ me but she didn’t necessarily said to take things slow, she said lets just be friends and see where it goes from there. I mean, we kissed, so yeah. I just don’t know what she means.

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