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How Fast Is Too Fast in a Relationship? A Guide to Perfect Timings

Every relationship moves at a different pace, but how fast is too fast in a relationship? When is it time to slow things down and protect your heart?

How Fast Is Too Fast in a Relationship

I want to talk about how fast is too fast in a relationship. I’ve recently advised someone on this issue. A friend has been with her partner for around four months and she is smitten. I mean totally and utterly head over heels. It’s great to see, and she’s smiling more than she ever has before. But… I am a little worried that she is pushing things a little too soon.

I should butt out, right?

Love is an emotion which causes humans to do crazy things. We act out of character, take risks, rush ahead, and dream of rainbows and butterflies. It’s a wonderful feeling, but it’s certainly worth going with the flow, rather than rushing into huge commitments too soon.

Well, yes and no. I have seen my friend push relationships and go too fast, too soon, before, and it’s ended in tears. I don’t want the same thing to happen to her again.

This entire situation made me wonder just how fast is too fast in a relationship. Are there any guidelines in the first place?

[Read: 18 tips to fall in love slowly like you’re in a fairytale]

After pondering this for a while, I concluded that every single relationship has its own guidelines, so you can’t really set a timeline for relationships and say what is too slow and what is too fast. It’s what feels comfortable, but it should feel comfortable for both partners. I think that’s where the sticking point often occurs.

If one partner rushes things and dreams of weddings, and the other partner is going with the flow and enjoying the company, at some stage there will be a clash of interests. It’s this situation that worries me in my friend’s relationship.

How fast is too fast in a relationship really?

Like I said, there aren’t any rules, but add in a little common sense.

When you first meet someone, everything feels amazing and chaotic, and it’s an adrenaline rush that you simply don’t want to end. That feeling of wanting to keep things as exciting and enjoyable can cause you to push things into a commitment, when there really doesn’t need to be firm plans being made just yet. [Read: When should you say “I love you” for the first time?]

It’s understandable in many ways. You’ve found someone wonderful and you’re having the time of your life, so of course, you don’t want it to end. The problem is, by pushing things you might doom your relationship to an early demise. Not everyone wants to be pushed, not everyone wants to rush. Figure out where your partner is on the grand scale of things and really just go with the flow, wherever that flow might be going.

Sure, know that you’re both on the same page. For instance, at some stage in the relationship, you need to know whether your futures are in alignment. If you want children but your partner doesn’t, that’s going to be a sticking point and could turn out to be a deal breaker. You need to know these things ahead of time. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility instantly]

However, don’t do any of the big stuff too soon. By ‘big stuff’ I mean moving in together, getting engaged, perhaps even getting married, thinking about babies. If you want any of this, it’s best to let it work its way into your life naturally, when the time is right.

If you push things, you’re missing out on the fun early part of the relationship. In addition, that early part of the relationship is when you’re getting to know each other. If you skip it, you’ll have problems later down the line. [Read: 14 stages of a new relationship to define your budding romance]

Let me tell you a story

Let me share my ‘how fast is too fast in a relationship’ story.

My partner and I moved in together after three months of casual dating. In some ways it was forced upon us. He either moved in with me, or he had to go home to his city, which was a two hour drive away. The problem? We weren’t even solidly committed by that stage and didn’t know much about each other.

That first winter we were together we argued constantly. Literally, if we went more than two days without an argument we did well. We didn’t know each other well enough to be sharing the serious stuff, i.e. living side by side, understanding the other one’s quirks, and we also have cultural differences in our relationship, which made everything much harder because of the rush involved.

There isn’t an unhappy ending to this story, because we’re still together now. It has taken us four years to get to the point where we’re not arguing almost every day! For some couples, that strain is enough to end the relationship, when it may have had the potential to bloom into something wonderful — over time. [Read: 13 relationship mistakes new couples make all the time]

But really, how fast is too fast in a relationship?

So, let’s really put a firm answer on the question, how fast is too fast in a relationship.

If you or your partner ever feels out of control is the simple answer. You should both be totally happy and in sync with the pace at which your relationship is moving. If it’s not moving, but gently ambling along, that’s fine too! There are no rules here. You shouldn’t compare your relationship with anyone else’s either. Provided you’re both happy and enjoying your time, what’s the problem?

Couples who jump into huge commitments too soon, i.e. after only a few months, tend to be the ones who have the most problems. Not always, but a lot of the time. It’s impossible to know each other well enough to face these huge life issues together. You need time to build that bond of trust and understand the small quirks that you both have. That is something only time can reveal. [Read: Instant relationship – How to slow down and prepare for happiness]

Is your relationship doomed to failure because you got engaged after three months? No, not necessarily. You might experience a few problems further down the line because you didn’t have the time to work on the foundation of your relationship before pushing it to extremes. How you handle it is your personal choice, and it doesn’t mean everything is going to end. [Read: How to slow down a relationship that’s moving too fast]

Relationships don’t have rules. I guess that is why we see so many different takes on the theme. Nobody can tell you that what you’re doing is right or not. You can only decide for yourself and as a couple.

If you’re both fine with it, does it really matter what anyone else thinks? If you’re married after six months and both blissfully happy, so what? Good luck to you, I say.

[Read: How to keep from moving too fast in your relationship]

Understanding how fast is too fast in a relationship is like asking how wet is water. There is no hard and fast rule. It pays to be a little restrained and sensible when you’re dealing with something as sensitive as a romantic relationship.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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