As someone who really prefers taking things slow early on in a relationship, being rushed or pushed is a huge turn off for me. That kind of pressure freaks me out and makes me lose interest quickly. There have been times when I really liked the 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 opinion might be just what you need. So, I reached out to Chris Armstrong, the founder of the relationship coaching company Maze of Love, and Grace Lee, co-founder of A Good First Date Online, for their advice on how to slow things down in a relationship that’s just moving too quickly for your comfort — because yes, you absolutely have the right to set the pace that feels good to you. Here’s is what they had to say.
Why a relationship might feel like it’s moving too quickly.
When a 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. Lee 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 them from asking important questions because if you’re seeing somebody everyday, there isn’t time to really think about what’s happening,” she says. She adds that it can also happen when you aren’t both on the same page about how committed you are. “A relationship also feels fast when one person becomes a defacto girlfriend [or] boyfriend without really saying that it’s their intention.”
Armstrong tells Elite Daily that feeling like a relationship moved too quickly can also happen when it’s simply because 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.
It’s essential to take things at your own pace.
It’s possible that 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, says Armstrong, 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,” he explains. “Not doing these three things will ensure that the relationship is doomed. Imagine feeling rushed but never taking stock to understand where that feeling comes from. 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.”
How to pump the breaks on a relationship that’s moving too fast.
When you feel like things are moving too fast for comfort, then it’s time to do something about it. The first step, Armstrong says, is to understand what part of the relationship is moving too quickly. 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 them 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.
Ultimately, it just comes down to knowing what you need by listening to yourself. If that little voice inside of you starts speaking up, 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. Because, as Lee concludes, “If the other person takes it well, that’s great information, and if the person shuts down then, well, they might not be for you.”
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