You don’t want to take it too fast in a relationship and make the other person think that you are love-bombing them. But you don’t want to take it too slow and give out an impression as if you aren’t interested in them at all. Taking it slow in a relationship means to find a pace that won’t affect the quality of your bond.
In a study titled ‘Courtship in the Digital Age’ which had a sample of 3,000 married people in the U.S., researchers found that couples who dated for one to two years (compared to those who dated less than a year) were 20% less likely to get a divorce; and couples who dated for three years or longer were 39% less likely to part.
That’s because the human brain is soft-wired to attach to a partner slowly as the primary circuit for deep attachment can take months, sometimes even years, to activate. Slow love is in alignment with our primordial brain circuits for romance and attachment.
And there are many ways to take it slow in a relationship without making it boring or less meaningful. So let’s find out, what does ‘taking it slow’ in a relationship mean?
What Does It Mean To ‘Take It Slow’ In A Relationship?
When you meet someone you like and they match your vibe perfectly, you want to jump into a relationship with them as soon as possible. With all the butterflies in your stomach, there are chances you might crash and burn if you move too quickly. What does taking it slow in a relationship mean?
It simply means either or both the parties need time to understand where they want to take the relationship. It’s not a bad or peculiar thing at all. You need to know how to slow down a relationship if you feel like it’s moving at lightning speed. Sometimes, people who have been deeply hurt in the past request the other person to take it slow so as to be sure they won’t get hurt again.
By taking it slow in a relationship, they are making sure they move at a pace both people are comfortable with. Some want to take their time in getting to know the person before being intimate with them. Whereas some people are afraid of being vulnerable with someone without knowing them completely. Whatever your reason may be, we are here to give you some helpful tips for taking it slow in a relationship.
Taking It Slow In A Relationship — 11 Helpful Tips
Now that you know what taking it slow in a relationship means, let’s look at how it nourishes the bond you have with that person. Rushing through the initial stages of dating someone is common. That’s your hormones going haywire after meeting someone new. Someone who finally understands you, makes you laugh, has altruistic traits, and radiates warmth. If you move too quickly, they might think that it’s all ‘too good to be true’ or ‘too good too soon.’
1. Be honest from the start
This is one of the best tips for taking it slow in a relationship. Be upfront about it and tell them you want to take your time. Partners need to be on the same page otherwise it will lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication. The relationship might fall apart if you have different goals.
If one of you is expecting things to go fast but the other person doesn’t share your perspective, they might end up thinking you aren’t interested in them. This might even drive the person away. Let them know that falling in love too fast is not your thing. Honesty helps build trust at the start of a new relationship.
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2. Dates don’t have to be extravagant
Going on romantic dates is essential in the beginning stages of a relationship. They scream passion, romance, and tenderness. But when you go overboard on planning dates, it might put them in a difficult situation where they feel obliged to reciprocate your thoughtfulness. The over-the-top gestures and dinner date can even pressure them into moving quickly in the relationship.
Joanna, a nutritionist in her late 20s says, “When you are with the right person, dinner dates can be simple and fun. There’s no pestering to rush things, be it sexual or emotional coercion. Learn how to be romantic in a relationship without indulging in unnecessary spending. You will open up to your partner when you feel the time is right and it will happen naturally. In the meantime, you can take them out for burgers, or order food at home, or you can just go on a walk together and enjoy each other’s company.”
3. Focus on getting to know each other
If you want to take things slow with a guy you like or with the girl you are into, focus on getting to know them better. Before you label the relationship, get to know the things they like, how their childhood was, and their goals in life. If you want to know how to take things slow with a girl you really like, then ask open-ended questions. There are many questions to ask your significant other inn order to get to know them better.
Similarly, get to know a guy better by making him feel seen and heard. One of the benefits of taking it slow in a relationship is that you get to understand a person for who they really are, and understanding someone has to be the purest form of intimacy. A person who doesn’t understand you wouldn’t know how to love you.
4. Avoid talking 24×7
This is one of the things we often do when we meet someone new. We text them all the time and have hour-long conversations on the phone. The attraction is very strong and you pine to be around them. Let this momentary infatuation simmer and turn into something lasting and beautiful by keeping your pace steady. If the two of you are constantly talking to each other, then it’s one of the signs you are in a clingy relationship.
I spoke to Neil, a good friend of mine, when I was confused about a guy I was dating. “Is he taking it slow or not interested in me? I can’t even tell anymore. Whenever I try to initiate more emotional intimacy, he withdraws.” Neil explained that these things often look the same – taking it slow and not being interested – so I’d be better off speaking directly to the guy to know what’s on his mind. Taking it slow in the beginning of a relationship helps build curiosity among couples, but this doesn’t mean you avoid your partner. That will just make them think you are not interested.
5. You don’t have to meet every day
This is one of the tips for taking it slow in a relationship. You don’t have to meet them every day. Don’t make it look like your world revolves around them. Meet your friends and keep doing the things you used to do before they came into your life. If you fixate on them, they will either feel pressured into surrendering to your wishes or walk away. Just let the relationship flow naturally.
This is one of the things I regret doing in my previous relationship. I used to meet him every day. We would talk on the phone all night and constantly text each other. I lost all my friends because I would ditch meeting them for him. I stopped focusing on my career as well. I made him the center of my universe. Soon, both of us felt suffocated and the relationship went down like a lead balloon.
Related Reading: 23 Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship
6. Don’t have sex too soon
Only in movies a one-night stand turns into a happily-ever-after. A study conducted by researchers at Cornell University says that the “fools rush in” quote is true in most cases. They found that women who entered sexual relationships with their partners later in the relationship were happier in the subsequent marriage than those who had rushed into sex.
Early sex in a relationship was also associated with living together sooner and less satisfying marriages. That’s why it’s important to take things slow in a relationship. It’s always hot and heavy when you meet someone new. There is so much teasing and temptation that you can’t wait to jump into bed with them. If you want to take things slow with a guy you really like, then communicate about this. Tell him you want to wait before you get intimate with him.
Similarly, if you want to know how to take things slow with a girl you really like, tell her you like her a lot which is why you wish to establish boundaries for the relationship to flourish. Tell your partner you want to foster trust, vulnerability, and comfort before you get physical with them.
7. Avoid discussing the future
When you are taking it slow in the beginning of a relationship, avoid talking about the future, especially if it’s a casual relationship. Don’t start thinking of them as your soulmate or visualize that house by the ocean which you both live in. It doesn’t matter what your plans are. For now, don’t share your plans as it might scare them away if they don’t share the same feelings. This is one of the tips for taking it slow in a relationship.
8. Avoid making huge commitments
Don’t buy them extravagant gifts in the early stages of the relationship. This is one of the bad habits that ruin a relationship. It is a fact that such gifts make a person feel indebted to you. So if you take things slow with a guy you really like or a girl you are dating, avoid spending too much on a gift and get them flowers or chocolates instead.
The second huge commitment which people make hastily is introducing their partner to their family. Don’t take this decision in a rush if they aren’t ready. Both of you need to be 100% sure before introducing each other to your loved ones. If you are taking it slow in the beginning of a relationship, including family members in the mix will only complicate the relationship and put a strain on it.
9. Don’t be controlling and possessive
As a part of taking things slow in a relationship, you aren’t meeting your partner regularly. So you might get inquisitive about their daily activities and whereabouts. It’s okay to ask them how their day was or what they did during their lunch break. But don’t get jealous or possessive if they tell you they met their ex or a close friend. If they get jealous and ask you to stop meeting people, then it’s one of the signs you are with a controlling person.
You can’t assert your dominance on your partner no matter which stage of the relationship you’re in. It’s wrong to be controlling. However, it’s not uncommon to be insecure. Work on your insecurities, and if required, be honest about them with your partner (without making it their problem). If they like you with the same zest and passion, they will make it work with you.
10. Take interest in each other’s hobbies
When you are in the midst of falling in love, you tend to forget about the rest of the world. You want to be around them all the time. You can’t seem to keep your hands off them. These are the things you need to avoid when taking it slow in a relationship. Let them get to know you better by including them in your interests and hobbies. Ask them what their hobbies are and take part in them. This will create a special bond between the two of you.
11. Share your vulnerabilities
Stimulating vulnerability in a relationship is very important if you want the relationship to last forever. This is one of the benefits of taking it slow in a relationship as you will learn a lot about your partner. You will understand them better. You will learn to trust and rely on each other. Being vulnerable with them will also clear their confusion on whether you are taking it slow or not interested in them.
Express your feelings, thoughts, and desires freely without the fear of being judged. This will build honesty and empathy toward each other. When you are taking it slow in a relationship, you will get to know each other deeply. You will learn to care about them immensely and a special kind of intimacy will pull you two together. You will respect each other more when you allow the relationship to grow slowly.
Yes. It’s a good thing as long as you let them know you are interested and want to build a deeper connection by taking it slow. Otherwise, it will look like you are playing it hot and cold. You need to make it clear you don’t want to rush anything.
It’s too slow when you don’t talk for weeks on end and expect them to wait for you. You need to check in on each other at least once a day if you want the relationship to last. Or it will make them feel unappreciated and ignored.