A crucial part of any relationship is keeping track of its pace. Moving too fast or too slow is a sign of future problems. A relationship may seem solid on the outside, but the pace can reveal more about you and your partner than you thought possible.
If you take it too slow, you risk throwing your relationship into a rut before you've even established a routine, and you risk spending time with a person without ever really getting to know them. When you move too fast, you may discover too late that your relationship is about to collapse, or you may be blindsided if your partner changes their mind.
Moving too fast with your physical relationship might alienate your partner or give them a negative impression of you. For example, if you have sex too early in a relationship, you risk losing the emotional intimacy that can result from sex. Waiting a little while will help make first-time sex feel like more than an ordinary physical act. Additionally, be careful about being too touchy-feely: Your partner might react differently to sudden intimacy and feel smothered.
On the flip side, if you do not show physical affection, you risk moving too slowly in your relationship. Body language is as important as the words coming from your mouth, and you want the person you're dating to know you care. While you may not want to have sex right away or until marriage, you can still hug, kiss or hold that person's hand. If you are physically distant towards the person you're dating, the person might think you are emotionally distant as well.
Spending Time Together
This is a no-brainer: Don't spend every free moment together. A little space will help you retain your individuality and the element of surprise. If you spend every waking moment together, you may lose contact with friends and family and lose your support network. Part of being in a relationship is also feeling comfortable alone.
In fact, think about how you spend your time. Not seeing anyone besides the person you're dating is a sign that something is wrong and that the relationship might be moving too fast.
On the other hand, if you see your loved one too little, you might wonder if you are even dating. Seeing your loved one once a month or feeling as if you know little about them is a sign that something has to change.
Think about how often and when you consider your loved one when making decisions. The person you're dating should naturally be a consideration in the decisions you make, but they should not be your only concern in both big and small decisions.
If you are incapable of choosing a brand of toothpaste without your partner's advice, you need to assert some independence. Additionally, if you make decisions about how to spend your weekend and do not think of your partner, this may be a sign that you are not only taking your relationship too slow, but also that there might be trouble in paradise. There's a difference between being independent and being inconsiderate of the person you're dating.
Additionally, think about how you and your loved one decide how you will spend time with each another. In a well-paced relationship, you will respect one another's interests and make decisions together. However, if one person is always making the decision or if the two of you are indecisive and stay in rather than going out, this could be a sign that the pace of your relationship is off.
After some time dating, look at the person you are now and the person you were before you got together. People change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, when they become romantically involved with others. But, if you've changed drastically and you don't recognize yourself, you need to make adjustments.
A good way to gauge your relationship's pace is to listen to how the two of you talk about the future. If you have been dating your loved one for only six weeks and you're considering moving in together or marriage, things are likely moving too fast. Love at first sight can and does happen, but it happens more often in the movies than in real life. You should allow your relationship to coast at a steady pace and unfold naturally. If you force things, you risk permanently damaging your relationship.
Additionally, if you have been with your loved one for years and years and you do not talk about the future, your relationship might have a problem. Think about it: If you've been with your loved one for two years, and marriage talk leads to a fight, you may need to consider some big changes.
Wouldn't it be nice if there were literally visible red flags in a relationship? If things weren't quite right, a red flag would pop out. It would be a dead give-away that there is an impending relationship problem. There would be no guessing or needless paranoia because it would all be there in black and white (or red).
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