I am extremely guilty of moving way too fast in a new relationship. Sometimes I just can’t help it! I fall fast and I fall hard, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone stop me.
Well, until recently, that is. And I’ll tell you why.
Most of the guys I’ve dated have felt the same way I have and have been eager to jump right in. But those relationships have all gone down in flames because we skipped all of the important stuff and went right to being “in love,” which I now realize, we weren’t.
So why have I decided to stop myself from moving too fast in a new relationship?
Because relationships need to be built. They can’t just be thrown together and expected to last. And to be completely honest, I want to make it last with this guy. Not that I haven’t wanted that with previous boyfriends, but he is different. I want to take all the time I can and get to know who he really is as a person before deciding to invest all of my time in him.
Just like you would wade through the water at the bottom of a cliff to test the depth before jumping off into it, you should always take the time to “test the waters” with someone new before diving in.
Slow your roll
How do you go about preventing yourself from moving too fast in a new relationship? Here are a few ways to slow down the process.
#1 Go on dates. This may sound kind of silly—of course you’ll go on dates with someone new! But I mean real dates. Go out to a restaurant, go out in public, walk the streets, just do anything but sit in your apartment and “watch movies,” because we all know where that leads.
When you actually go out on dates with people in public, you are forced to talk to each other and get to know one another’s quirks. You have the opportunity to talk about your passions and interests instead of ignoring what’s on Netflix and finding interest in each other’s mouths.
Go on dates, and go on a lot of them. Avoid spending too much time alone that can lead to things that are too advanced for your liking. [Read: Top 50 amazing first date ideas to wow your date!]
#2 Don’t see them too often. I used to want to see a new guy *as in, we just started talking a few weeks ago* every day. Anytime I got the chance, I would be running to his door. Trust me, don’t do it. Seeing him too frequently will lead to both of you feeling like you have to engage in things prematurely.
There’s nothing that will speed up a relationship more than too much time spent together too soon. Slowly progress into seeing each other more and more. Start with one date a week, then work up to seeing each other more frequently from there.
#3 Set your boundaries ahead of time. Not only should you make boundaries for yourself, but you should also make the other person aware of them in the best way you can.
When things seem to be getting too close for comfort, subtly let them know that you’re not there yet. It will help the both of you slow things down if everyone is aware of the boundaries that are in place.
This will not only stop yourself from pursuing anything more, but it will also help your partner not to pressure you into too much. [Read: 10 tips for setting boundaries with difficult people]
#4 Be open about your intentions. Far too many times, I have been rushed into a relationship purely to see how much they like me. I would basically test the limits, because I was unsure of whether or not they would go there and whether or not they liked me enough to actually date me.
Just be open about it. A simple conversation about how you are feeling will clear the air and put you both at ease. It’s also a great way to find out just how far the relationship will go. Do you feel the same? Is there an uneven amount of feelings between you two?
This will help you realize that you don’t have to rush into things if both of you are feeling the same way about one another. It will also help you set yourself back a bit if you realize that maybe they aren’t at the same level as you are, so you shouldn’t push anything. [Read: A guide on effective communication in a relationship]
#5 Reflect on how you really feel about them. It’s one thing to talk to each other about how you’re feeling, but it’s another to talk to yourself—and yes, I am giving you permission to talk to yourself without feeling like a schizophrenic.
How do you really feel about them? Do you really find them to be compatible with you, or do you just think they’re really hot and want to strip them down for a good time?
If you realize that you really care about them and can see a future together, then what’s the rush? Let things happen naturally and slowly. Rushing into things before thinking about them can lead to regret and, ultimately, heartache. If you want to be with this person long-term, you’ve got all the time you need for everything else. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility]
#6 Take some time away. Nothing will slow the progression of a relationship faster than being apart. Not only will you halt any forward motion, but you will also have time to reflect on how you feel about the other person.
Always being around someone you’re attracted to can cloud your mind and judgement, making it easier to slip into a relationship—or their bed sheets. With time apart, you can also get a feel for how they behave when you’re not around, something that is very important when heading into a new relationship. [Read: Does absence make the heart grow fonder or wander?]
#7 Make sure the relationship is something you want. Even though you really like someone and want to jump into their arms and have them carry you off into the sunset, you should always be sure that a new relationship is something you want and/or have time for.
The only way to test this out is to move slowly. Ease your way into things and feel out if it’s the right thing for you. They may require more of your attention than you can give. Plunging into a new relationship before knowing that can lead to arguments and pain on both sides.
[Read: 18 tips to fall in love slowly like you’re in a fairytale]
Overall, the best way to stop yourself from moving too fast in a new relationship is to simply get to know the other person as best you can before confirming that you officially want to be with them. Moving too fast can cause unwanted heartache and pain, so keep these things in mind when you find your next crush!
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