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 all you do is spend all your time with your partner. Hold your horses, 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.
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 slow down a relationship before things go wrong.
Why People Want To Slow Down A Relationship
If you’ve landed on this article after searching for, “How do I slow things down in a relationship?”, you probably have a fair idea of why you want to do so as well. But if your partner sent you this article and you assumed that things were fine and dandy, you might just be scratching your head right now.
Sure, it feels like everything is absolutely perfect, but sometimes, going too fast can have adverse effects you might not even know about. Here are some of the top reasons why 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 all you do is spend time with your partner, you might find that your social life has suffered, and all the time you invested in your partner has left you feeling like you have nothing to do when your partner isn’t around. When you realize you need a breather and some time to yourself, you might try to think about how to slow down a relationship.
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.
In the middle of it all, someone might feel like they’re now stuck in this dynamic, and that can get very suffocating. As a result, they’re now looking to slow down when you move too fast.
3. When one of you is doubtful about the relationship
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, however. 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, Jacob found himself head over heels for her. They jumped into a relationship, spent all their time with each other and even went on a European trip two months later.
One day, Jacob was reminded of how he did the exact same thing with his ex, Samatha, 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 was moving too quick and I’ve been 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. Making sure they don’t rush big decisions
When you’re rushing things in a relationship, it may all feel right, as though it’s meant to be. But when you get ahead of yourself and start discussing major decisions like moving in together, thinking about slowing down a relationship is natural.
Despite how perfect things might appear to be in your dynamic, you’re bound to take a step back and think about if you’re taking things too fast when you and your partner talk about moving in with each other five months into dating.
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.
How To Slow Down A Relationship Without Breaking Up
Melissa and Erik knew they had something special going on from the get-go and ended up in a relationship before they even knew what they could expect from it. In the months to follow, they both sort of dismissed their lives outside of their relationship, focusing solely on each other.
When they started making plans to meet each other’s families for Christmas just a few months after dating, Erik’s friends cautiously warned him against going too fast. Erik realized that he had perhaps dived into the deep end and he ended up going to meet his parents in Minnesota without even telling Melissa he 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 known (since they literally did not have the time to experience that side of each other).
Erik knew he had to figure out how to slow down a relationship, but he 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, no matter how much you freak out.
Related Reading: 21 Dos And Don’ts When Starting A New Relationship
Irrespective of what your reasons might be, it’s important to know exactly how to fix a rushed relationship. To make sure you don’t end up damaging the bond you’ve established, here are a few things you must keep in mind:
1. Let your partner know what you want
So, you’ve decided you’re not okay with the perpetual sleepovers you two are always having. Should you go from replying within seconds to taking forever to respond? Perhaps you should make up excuses to not meet, hoping your partner gets the hint?
Nope. You’re in a relationship, and playing mind games should be the last thing your resort to for handling your 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 wrong with the relationship or with them, and you must tell them why you’ve decided to take this step.
“We should slow down. I was moving too quick. I feel that way because my professional and social life has suffered, and I’d like to give more 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. How to slow down a relationship: Personal space
Personal space in a relationship holds it together. Unless you find some time for yourself, you won’t have much to offer the relationship after a while. You might even feel like your personality isn’t developing since you’re spending all your time with one person.
Go back to the things you like doing, and don’t spend every weekend with your partner. You’ll miss them, but you’ll also understand the importance of having a life outside of them too.
3. Focus on yourself
A relationship is meant to facilitate personal and collective growth, not halt it. Take up more responsibility at work or go back to the things you loved to do. Focus on your growth, as you would’ve if you weren’t in the relationship.
When you’re spending more time on yourself, you won’t need to worry about figuring out how to slow down a relationship; it’ll happen on its own.
4. Don’t meet the parents just yet
Not just meeting the parents, but other milestones like sleepovers, leaving things at each other’s apartments, getting a pet together, or moving in together. Slow these big milestones down, since they can influence the speed of your relationship greatly.
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 rent that place downtown. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
Related Reading: 10 Must-Follow Healthy Relationship Boundaries
5. How to slow down 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.
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 when you move too fast.
6. 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 keep the marriage talk far away from your conversations.
Don’t talk about 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 don’t talk too much about how you plan on always being with this person. Improve the communication in your relationship, and you’ll naturally see yourself enjoying what you have rather than making big plans.
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.
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 own 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.