As someone who really prefers
taking things slow early on in a relationship, being rushed or pushed is a huge turnoff for me. That kind of pressure freaks me out and makes me lose interest quickly. There have been times when I really liked a person, but I needed them to relax, back off, and let me get there on my own time. In those cases, it was important to know how to slow down a relationship in a way that communicated that I really needed them to pump the brakes, but also that, if they did, we had a much better chance of actually taking things to the next level.
Finding that delicate balance is not always easy, and I definitely haven't always been successful — which is why, if you're currently in a similar situation, expert advice might be helpful. For all you need to know about the subject of pumping the brakes, Elite Daily asked relationship experts for their advice on how to slow things down in a relationship that's moving too quickly for your comfort — because yes, you absolutely have the right to set the pace that feels good to you. Here's what they had to say.
How To Know If A Relationship Is Moving Too Fast
relationship moves too quickly, it’s not uncommon for it to happen so fast that, once you realize you’ve gone past the place you’re comfortable, you may be left wondering how you even got there in the first place. Grace Lee, co-founder of A Good First Date Online, tells Elite Daily it’s usually because it’s so easy to get caught up the chemistry of a new relationship. “The euphoria that sets in blinds [you] from asking important questions, because if you're seeing somebody everyday, there isn't time to really think about what's happening,” she says.
Lee adds that it can also happen when you’re not on the same page about how committed you both are. “A relationship also feels fast when one person becomes a de facto girlfriend [or] boyfriend without really saying that it's their intention.”
Chris Armstrong, founder of the relationship coaching company Maze of Love, tells Elite Daily that this feeling can also happen when it’s going really well between the two of you, or better than expected. “When we walk into a relationship with lower expectations and things are going swimmingly, it can feel like too much, too soon — largely because we walked in with low expectations,” he says. Armstrong adds that feeling like the relationship is developing too quickly can be a result of the other person wanting more intimacy than you are ready for.
Why You Should Take Things At Your Own Pace
You may feel guilt or pressure to speed things up for the sake of the other person's feelings. The experts say to resist that urge, because not only is it OK to take things at your own pace, but it's also necessary.
“If the relationship is moving too fast in the eyes of any or both partners, slowing down is necessary to take stock, re-establish a more comfortable pace, and ensure both people move forward with an understanding of where each other is at,” Armstrong says. “Not doing these three things will ensure that the relationship is doomed.”
If you feel like
you are rushing, that should be a sign on its own to take a beat and reflect. “Imagine feeling rushed but never taking stock to understand where that feeling comes from,” Armstrong continues. “Worse, imagine never sharing your feelings with your partner. They will continue moving at a different pace and with a different set of beliefs and expectations about where the relationship is and where it is headed. Not good.”
Beginning a relationship slowly is generally the safest bet for success, according to the experts. “No matter what pace you’re set for, it is always a win-win strategy to start out slow, especially in the beginning stages of a relationship,” matchmaker and dating coach
Lori Salkin tells Elite Daily. “Rushing or progressing to activities that are more appropriate for a more mature relationship before the proper foundation is laid can cause confusion, wariness, or even distrust.”
Taking the time to get to know someone’s ins and outs can be a lengthy process — but a healthy one. “We all feel unsure of ourselves in the
awkward and insecure space of getting to know someone," Megan Murphy, a psychotherapist at LGBTQ-inclusive practice Expansive Therapy, previously told Elite Daily. "Allowing yourself be in this space gives you the time to understand all that is arising within you, as well as help clarify what you really want.”
How To Slow Down A Relationship That’s Moving Too Fast
When you feel like things are moving too fast, it’s time to do something about it. The first step, Armstrong says, is to understand what part of the relationship needs more space. Consider mentally breaking the relationship into three parts: physical, intellectual, and emotional. “[It] is key to know why one or both partners feels like things are moving too fast,” explains Armstrong.
Once you have a better idea of where the problem lies, all that's left is to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. “[Say] something simple like, ‘I love spending time with you, but things that start fast end fast, and I'd love to slow it down so that we have time to get to know each other. I still really want to date and see you, but I think I need a little more time,’” suggests Lee. Once you’ve had that conversation, Armstrong adds that you should also have follow-up conversations as the relationship progresses. “It becomes vital to
check in with the partner who is uncomfortable,” he says.
In any stage of a relationship, everyone involved should be on the same page when it comes to feelings and commitment. If one of you wants to take things fast and progress the relationship quickly, but the other doesn’t, things are bound to get messy. “If someone needs something more than what you can offer them in this moment, it is best to be completely transparent about that,” relationship coach
Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, previously told Elite Daily. “If you aren't, it will end up becoming an issue down the line and cause more pain for them and for you.”
Ultimately, it all comes down to knowing what you need by listening to yourself. If that little voice inside of you starts saying it’s uncomfortable with the pace of your relationship, don't ignore it. Do some self-reflecting and find out why you're feeling that way. As Lee says, “If the other person takes it well, that's great information, and if the person shuts down, then they might not be for you.”
Experts: Grace Lee, co-founder of A Good First Date Online Chris Armstrong, founder of the relationship coaching company Maze of Love Lori Salkin, matchmaker and dating coach Megan Murphy, psychotherapist at LGBTQ-inclusive practice Expansive Therapy Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, relationship coach Don't miss a thing
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