You’re a month in, and you’re already planning vacations two years down the line. You’re two months in, and you can’t stop talking about spending the rest of your lives with each other. You’re three months in, and you forsake your own friends and your personal life and spend way too much time together. Hold your horses, lovers, you need a quick lesson in how to slow down a relationship.
We get it. The thrill of a new relationship makes you feel emotions you’ve never felt before. When the sky seems bluer and everything is falling into place, even thinking about slowing down a relationship sounds like crazy talk to you. From where you are standing, you are all for making long-term plans and experiencing new things with the right person by your side.
But trust us when we say this: Going too fast can ruin even a perfectly healthy bond. If you jump in with both feet expecting shallow water and find yourself neck-deep in quicksand, you’re going to want out. Let’s take a look at how to pace a relationship before one of you loses interest.
Why People Want To Slow Down A Relationship
You’re either here because you want to learn how to slow down a relationship without ending it, or your partner sent you this article. In the latter scenario, you had probably assumed that things were fine and dandy, so you might just be scratching your head right now.
You can’t help but wonder, “I thought we were on the same page about taking this relationship forward. Then where is this ‘moving too fast’ talk coming from?” Sure, it feels like everything is perfect, but sometimes, moving too fast can have adverse effects you might not even know about. Here are some of the top reasons that someone would want to slow things down in a relationship if they’re falling in love too fast:
1. When one partner or both need a breather
The heady, exhilarating effect of a blossoming romance can end up exhausting you. When a major part of your day/week is occupied in spending time with your partner, you might find that your social life has suffered. All the time you invested in them has left you feeling like you have nothing to do when your partner isn’t around.
Getting too emotionally attached in the very early stages of a relationship comes with its burden of expectations. It may feel too heavy, and you may want to seek an out. When you realize you need a breather to embrace your own life and your own needs, the thoughts of slowing things down will pop into your mind.
Related Reading: 15 Characteristics Of A Healthy Relationship
2. One of you may feel stuck
A few months into the relationship, you’re already planning out the rest of your lives together. You’re talking about what your wedding is going to look like, and you’ve already settled on the names of all the dogs you’re going to get. What you don’t realize is that the other person may not want the exact same thing. They may not have chalked their entire life around you.
They are just too shy to admit they want different things. In the middle of it all, one of you might feel like you’re trapped in a full-blown committed relationship; you didn’t sign up for this long road trip. And that can get very suffocating. As a result, you’re now feeling pressured and looking to slow down when you move too fast.
3. When one of you is doubtful about the relationship
A relationship that started too fast may not have given you enough space and time to notice any red flags, or to check your compatibility quotient with your new partner. Slowly, as the initial euphoria fades, the thought of “Are they the right partner for me?” creeps in between you two. There’s a chance when you are rushing a relationship, love slows down.
In some cases, it’s possible that a person might just be reconsidering the whole thing. Wanting to slow things down in a relationship doesn’t immediately mean that they’re done with it. They might just need some time to themselves to be able to think about the relationship timeline and figure out what they want.
4. Past experiences may trigger unpleasant emotions
Three days after being introduced to Lisa through a mutual friend, Jacques found himself head over heels for her. They jumped into a relationship, spent all their time together, and even went on a European trip two months later. Meanwhile, they completely skipped the part of giving space in a relationship.
One day, Jacques was reminded of how he did the exact same thing with his ex, and what followed after a blissful four months was something he desperately wanted to avoid. The next day, he told Lisa, “We should slow down. I tend to rush things and I’ve been severely hurt in the past because of it.”
A negative past experience can urge someone to take things slow, or even be scared of accomplishing relationship milestones. Commitment and trust issues can trigger anxiety about the relationship going too fast.
5. People want to slow down a relationship so they don’t rush big decisions
Rushing a relationship within a few months after you started dating may feel comfortable to begin with, as though it’s meant to be. But when you get ahead of yourself and start discussing major decisions like moving in together, feeling nervous about the consequences of a hasty decision is natural. Despite how perfect things might appear to be in your dynamic or how much you enjoy spending time with your bae, you’re bound to take a step back and catch your own pace.
If you or your partner are currently thinking about how to slow down a relationship, the first thing you need to do is understand that it’s completely normal to want to do so. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’ve now got to split up, or that your relationship is destined for failure. Let’s take a look at exactly what you can do if you think it’s a little too soon to be leaving toothbrushes at each other’s houses.
Related Reading: 21 Dos And Don’ts When Starting A New Relationship
How do you make a relationship go slower?
Melissa and Erica knew they had something special going on from the get-go, and ended up in a pretty serious relationship before they even knew what they could expect from it. In the months to follow, when they started making plans to meet each other’s families for Christmas after dating for just a few months, Erica’s friends cautiously warned her against going too fast.
Erica realized that she had perhaps dived into the deep end, and she ended up going to meet her parents in Minnesota without even telling Melissa she had left. After a few days of jilted conversation, a huge fight followed, where both saw an ugly side of each other they had not had the chance to see yet.
Erica knew she had to figure out how to slow down a relationship without ending it, but she opted to take drastic measures and immediately stopped communication with Melissa. What you’ve just seen is a perfect example of how NOT to go about slowing down a relationship. Irrespective of what your reasons might be, it’s important to know how to fix a rushed relationship and that’s exactly what we are here to help you with.
how to slow down a relationship that is going too fast
So, you’ve decided you’re not okay with the perpetual sleepovers you two are always having. Now would you strategically try to avoid sleeping with your partner, or go to their place and clearly declare that physical intimacy is off the table? Do you go straight from replying within seconds to taking forever to respond? What seems to be the right approach when it comes to taking things slowly? It’s more important than you think because one wrong move and your partner may want to end things for good.
1. Let your partner know what you want
The first step toward taking a relationship slow is open communication. No strategies, no dropping hints that they may or may not get. You’re in a relationship, and playing mind games should be the last thing you resort to for handling these issues.
- Have a conversation with your partner and let them know why you want to take things slow and how you plan on doing it
- Keep in mind that it’s normal for your partner to feel hurt once you bring this topic up. They may assume there’s something fundamentally wrong with the relationship or with them. State your reasons gently
- “We should slow down. I was moving too fast. I feel that way because my professional and social life has suffered, and I’d like to devote time to my hobbies as well” can be good enough
- Let them know you’re still invested, and that this is just a healthy precautionary measure to make sure things don’t falter
2. Personal space is important for a lasting relationship
You can solve some major relationship crises with a little space between you and your partner. More so if you want to slow down a relationship when you live together. Personal space in a relationship holds it together.
- Unless you find some time for yourself, you won’t have much to offer to the relationship after a while
- Couples tend to fall into a set pattern like ordering in and watching movies every night. You might feel like your personality isn’t developing since you’re spending time with only one person doing very specific things
- Consequently, the adventurous, curious, risk-taker person in you dims down, and you always go for the easy bet. That’s not a very smart way of keeping a relationship alive
- Go back to the things you like doing, and don’t spend every weekend with your partner. You’ll miss them, but you’ll understand the importance of having a life outside of them too
How to pace a new relationship
There’s a lot at stake when you decide to slow down a new relationship. For one thing, you are only starting to get to know each other. You are yet to build trust and mutual understanding that make for a healthy relationship. At this stage, most of us live with the insecurity of whether this person wants us the same way that we do. On top of that, when you talk about taking the relationship slow, they might perceive it way too personally, shutting you off altogether. So, how to slow down a relationship before your love slows down?
Related Reading: 9 Examples Of Mutual Respect In A Relationship
1. Don’t discuss the future too much
It’s okay to talk about any upcoming trips you might want to take in the near future or any immediate plans you want to make. But “How many kids do you want?” is not the appropriate conversation topic for a first date, or a fifth date for that matter. It’s all about maintaining the right balance between moving too fast and letting them know how much you are invested in this relationship.
New relationships are supposed to keep a safe distance from the marriage talk. Don’t chalk out what you’ll be doing six months down the line, and don’t talk about booking two tickets to the concert that’s a year away. Focus on the now and the future will itself fall into place. Improve communication in your relationship, and you’ll naturally see yourself enjoying what you have rather than making big plans.
2. Don’t meet the parents just yet
Not just meeting each other’s parents, but other milestones like sleepovers, leaving things at each other’s apartments, getting a pet together, or moving to a new city because your partner’s relocated. Slow these big milestones down, since they can influence the speed of your relationship greatly.
To slow down a new relationship, you need to make sure you know your partner well enough before you get to know their parents. If you come to the conclusion that you want out when you’re already living together, it’s just going to complicate things further. Spend the appropriate amount of time with each other before you take things forward and rent that place downtown. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
3. How to pace a relationship: Hang out in a group
You don’t have to go out in a group of ten people every time you two step out but try to involve more friends in the frequent dates you go on. That way, you’ll get to know your partner in different social settings rather than just getting to see how they’re with you. Not that we are saying you should stop going on real dates or give up your quality time for the sake of taking the relationship slow.
But you have to admit it’s a clever way to divert all attention away from each other while still having a fun time. Hit up your friends for those double or triple dates, and you won’t even have to think about how to slow down a relationship when you move too fast. Fair warning though: Check beforehand how your partner feels about it. Otherwise, you inviting the entire high school gang to a dinner that they thought was intimate is going to be a disaster.
how to slow down a relationship without ending
It’s a tricky business to slow down a relationship when you live together. Even a little misunderstanding in the process of convincing your partner might drift you far apart. So, here’s what you do to take the relationship light without accidentally calling it quits:
Related Reading: Secure Relationships – What Are They And What Do They Look Like?
1. Set healthy boundaries
We get it. You love your partner and don’t have the least bit of intention of hurting them. That’s exactly why it’s difficult for you to say no to hanging out at her sister’s place every weekend or to his proposition of opening a joint bank account. A relationship that started too fast must have swept you both away in the stream of love, and you never really got to the point where you set boundaries against the things that make you feel uncomfortable.
Of course, in the beginning, you were tiptoeing thinking your words might hurt your partner or kill your perfectly built impression. Now that you are past the initial hesitation, setting healthy boundaries has to be your next course of action to control the pace of how this relationship moves.
2. Cut your texting/calling time
How about you put that cell phone down for a while and go back to the real world? As long as you are constantly connected with your partner over Facetime and sending them funny memes, you will go nowhere near pacing down the relationship; rather, the very opposite will happen. It will be wise to set some time apart for daily conversation based on both of your convenience.
3. Focus on yourself
A relationship is meant to facilitate personal and collective growth, not halt it. Take up more responsibility at work, try new activities, or go back to the things you loved to do. Focus on your growth, as you would have if you weren’t in the relationship. When you’re spending more time on yourself, you won’t need to worry about figuring out ways to slow down the relationship; it’ll happen on its own.
- It’s okay to want to pace a relationship if you are feeling stuck in it or having doubts
- The best way to go about it is to talk to your partner about why you took this decision and how you want to go about it
- Give each other enough personal space if you are living together and set some healthy boundaries
- Put a hold on big life decisions like meeting parents or moving in together
- Spend time on yourself and focus on your personal growth
It doesn’t take much to fix a rushed relationship, but at the same time, it doesn’t take much to mess it up either. Hopefully, with the points we’ve listed out, you won’t be freaking out about the slippers your partner has left in your apartment. Keep in mind that figuring out how to slow down a relationship is a team effort.
Keep the mind games far, far away, and let your partner know exactly what’s going on in your mind. When things start to feel stable again, you won’t be overthinking your dynamic too much. Unfortunately, if the relationship ends despite your best efforts, it was probably never meant to be.
Yes, you can fix a rushed relationship (without even splitting up). All you need to do is take things slow henceforth by reducing the time you spend with your partner a bit, having a conversation with them about the same, and making sure you’re not joined at the hip all the time. Eventually, things will start to feel stable once again.
According to studies, relationships that indulge in sexual activities very early on can often have decreased relationship quality in the long run. Hence, in some cases, it can be true that the relationships that start fast end fast. However, if you use some ways to slow down your relationship, you might be in the clear.
How soon it is to say “I love you” depends on how you and your partner react to it. If it’s something both of you want to say after a few weeks of dating, there’s no rulebook that says it isn’t okay. However, if you or your partner like to take your time with saying “I love you,” there’s nothing wrong with that either.