When you're in the early stages of a relationship, everything is great.
You're still learning about your partner, experiences are new and fresh, and you're caught up in too much ~love~ to care about anything else in the world. But sometimes, if you fast-track through the early relationship stages, things in a relationship can feel stale real fast. But what's the benefit of taking things slow in a new relationship? And what do people actually mean when they say it?
According to Thomas Edwards Jr., founder of The Professional Wingman, taking it slow “indicates a desire for the pace in which intimacy, connection, feelings, and commitments grow in a relationship to be one that feels comfortable." But, he says, the idea of “taking it slow” is subjective, and the reason for doing so can change from person to person. “For some, it’s a way of protecting themselves from getting into something they may not want to be in,” he says. “For others, who would prefer to grow the relationship at a slower pace, it’s a real thing.”
When you take the fast track with your SO, you may stop and realize you're not as head over heels as you thought you were. You might have been caught up in lust — not love — and found yourself all-in on a relationship that was destined for failure. Lori Salkin, matchmaker and dating coach, says, “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.”
While taking it slow could just be something people say when they’re not interested in a long-term commitment, there are other reasons why it might be beneficial to tap the brakes on a new relationship. A handful of people took to Reddit to reveal exactly what they mean when they tell someone they're dating they just want to "take things slow":
Some people can't connect with others if they jump right into bed with them.
I figured out a while ago that if I sleep with a girl too fast, I just never form the right kind of bond with her. I have to decide for sure I like her before making that connection.
This is a common reason for taking a relationship slow. Edwards says that in a situation like this, “there’s no rush — some people have a preference of truly getting to know someone over a longer span of time before ‘going all in.’”
Not diving headfirst into a relationship may turn it into something deeper.
One, remember people have different life experiences, so just because you haven't experienced anything to make you want to take things slow, doesn't mean other people haven't.
Sometimes, a relationship can be all about sex, and nothing else, and if you have had enough of empty relationships, you want something more meaningful.
Taking things slow may help differentiate between feelings and infatuation.
I met a girl and I really liked her, but my previous relationship had escalated too quickly, gotten serious too quickly, and I realized that what I thought were real feelings were actually more like a short-term infatuation.
So the next time I met a girl that I really liked, I decided I was going to take things a bit slower. We had a conversation and I told her as much, told her what had happened with my previous girlfriend. We took things slow for a bit, and then when I was sure that I did really like her, and that it wasn't a flash in the pan, that was when our relationship started rapidly getting more serious. How did it work? We've been married for two years.
So how do you know if this guy is full of sh*t? Who knows. He might well be. Or he might not be. I'm not a mind-reader.
As was the case in this situation, Salkin says taking it slow is a great way to build on your connection. “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,” she says.
Jumping the gun means you may miss some red flags.
I've done this before. I didn't know her well, and she liked to dive into stuff...I prefer to ease in, because if I move too fast, I miss red flags.
My pace wasn't fast enough for her, so she lost interest. It's all good, though... we're still cool, and I've dated a few folks since.
Those “red flags” could be a good thing to look out for if you feel your relationship is moving too quickly. Edwards says, “It’s important that [when] things are moving fast, be aware of the important conversations you have and make sure you’re not only ready to have them, but also they’re appropriate for where you are in the progression of the relationship.”
Sometimes you want to establish a friendship first, then move to a relationship.
I feel like adult relationships can go by really fast. Whether it is cultural, stuff we get from films, or what, I don't know, but too often it seems like people are jumping into the bed first thing.
If I was really interested in a gal, seriously interested in something long term, I wanted to take at least a few dates/weeks to get to know the person, enjoy each step of building a relationship, build a foundation of friendship first, etc.
For those thinking 'That's sappy, and I want more hot sex,' well, better sex was part of it too. Think of it like a long foreplay. Anticipation and build-up.
Salkin says, “In most new relationships, you are both strangers. Just as when you met your best friend or close work colleague — you started out slow and slowly built up the friendship — the same applies in dating. You need to first build a solid foundation and friendship with a prospective partner, and then once that is developed, romance can ensue.”
A failed relationship may cause someone to approach future ones more slowly.
I have told a girl I wanted to take it slow once when I had just gotten out of a serious relationship and was only ready for an ill-advised and totally mentally unhealthy rebound. It didn't help.
Regarding your situation, well, if all of his relationships go to sh*t after a few months and you're already beginning month [two] with him, you won't have to wait long to find out what he meant by that, now will you!
This is another big reason for slowing down with your SO — protection. Edwards says your partner “may have had an experience where they did rush and [were] heartbroken, so it’s a way to prevent that from happening again.”
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