When a new relationship begins to blossom, it can be difficult to keep your feet on the ground.
When you meet someone and the hormones start firing, you can easily get swept up in the romance of it all and move too quickly.
Then, at some point down the line, you suddenly realize that you’re in way over your head.
Any number of things can make you realize that things are going too fast for your liking…
It might be that you’ve just taken a big step, like making it exclusive or official, meeting the parents or moving in together.
It might be that your partner has started talking about the future and including you in those hypothetical plans even though you’ve only been seeing each other for a few weeks or months.
If you’ve been caught up in a whirlwind to this point, but now feel like things are getting out of hand, you may be wondering how you can gently slow things down without doing any damage to the relationship.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though.
Before we get stuck into ways to put the brakes on a relationship that’s slipping out of your control, it’s important to put your finger on what the problem really is.
You need to figure out whether things really are moving too fast for you to cope with or whether you’re just feeling the natural excitement and butterflies that are part and parcel of any new relationship and you don’t know how to deal with them.
Of course, every person and every relationship are different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all way of judging things, but these are just a couple of telling signs that your relationship really is moving too quickly for comfort.
11 Signs Your Relationship Is Moving Too Fast
1. You have a funny feeling deep down.
We all know that feeling. When you’re with the person that, up until that moment, has been setting your world on fire, and suddenly something they say or do gives you that odd sensation in your stomach that you then can’t shake.
To some, this means that, on a deep level, you know the person isn’t right for you.
That could be the case, but perhaps you just feel like things are getting out of your control.
The relationship might not be wrong, you just might not be quite ready for it. Yet.
2. You avoid talking about the serious stuff.
If you’re comfortable with the pace at which a relationship is moving, you should be happy to talk about ‘big’ issues and figure out exactly where you stand and where you think the two of you might, hypothetically, be going, knowing that you’re both on the same page.
If you’re less comfortable, as much as you love spending time with the object of your affections, you’ll dodge any potentially serious conversations. The words ‘we need to talk’ will strike fear into your heart.
3. You talk TOO much about the future.
Flip the last point around and take it to the extreme. If you and your new SO spend ages talking about how your future together is going to look, you’re getting ahead of yourselves.
Yes, you do need to have those serious conversations at some point, but if you’re discussing where you’re going to live, how many kids you want, and what your wedding is going to look like after only knowing them for a month or two, are you living in the real world or a fantasy?
4. There’s a lot that you don’t know about each other.
I hate to break it to you, but love at first sight just doesn’t exist.
If things seem to be getting pretty serious, but you can’t really claim to know the person you’re getting involved with, or you just haven’t known them that long, you’re probably right in thinking that things need to be taken down a notch.
A relationship needs to be given time and space to develop naturally.
You need to really get to know each other to be able to figure out whether you might be a match made in heaven, without any pressure being put on things. That can only come with time.
5. You’re making unreasonable sacrifices.
Sacrifice and compromise are part of being in a healthy, loving relationship. But they are things that come with time. If you are sacrificing things in your life that are important to you so that you can be with this new person, or to please them in some way, you have to ask yourself whether they are deserving of these sacrifices just yet.
Of course you want to see them a lot, and of course you want them to like you and have those feelings grow into love, but if you are giving up too much too soon, you’ll probably regret it later.
6. Your friends have commented on how quickly feelings seemed to have developed.
Whilst no one can get inside your head and understand what you may be feeling, when someone who cares for you expresses their concern that things are moving too quickly, you should listen to them.
From within the relationship, everything might appear to be going great, but you might not be able to see the red flags from where you are. It sometimes takes an outside perspective to identify if and when something doesn’t quite seem right. After all, your friends don’t want to see you get hurt.
That’s not to say that this relationship is not going to work out, just that it could do with having the brakes applied to it slightly.
7. You’re hitting relationship milestones at a rapid rate.
You’re barely a couple of months into the relationship and yet you’ve met each other’s friends, family, colleagues, pet dogs… pretty much everyone.
You’ve been on your first vacation as a couple, you’ve said “I love you” to each other, you’re seriously considering moving in together, and you’ve exchanged some sort of eternity ring or other extra special gifts.
These things can take many couples several months. Others may take a year or more. If you’ve ticked them all off already, your relationship is certainly going at a rapid pace.
8. You trust them completely before even having your first fight.
Trust takes time to build. You can’t simply flick a switch in your head and trust someone. And trust is much more than believing they will be faithful to you. Trust covers everything from expressing honesty in how you feel, to knowing that a person will try their best at every opportunity to take your feelings into account.
Trust is also about being reliable and being there when someone needs you. But if you have only known this person for a little while, there’s no way to tell for sure that they can be relied upon to support you when you go through a difficult time.
They may run for the hills at the first sign of trouble, both in your life and in your relationship. Have you had your first fight? If not, you don’t know how they will react and whether their commitment will waiver.
9. You can’t make decisions without consulting them.
Has your relationship already reached a point where you can’t make decisions about your own life without consulting them first?
Whilst established couples may be each other’s sounding boards for big decisions, if you’re in the early days of the relationship, you should still be making the decisions that are best for you and not worrying too much about the other person.
10. You’ve reached the same “couple level” as your recent past relationship.
If you entered into this new relationship not long after the end of your last relationship, it can be tempting to treat it and your new partner in the same way you did you past relationship and ex.
This is a classic sign of a rebound relationship. You want that same level of connection and commitment and couply behavior and so you force things before they are ready. You think in terms of “us” because you’ve been in that mindset with a recent ex and it had become a part of your identity that you lost and now want back.
11. One of you is more invested than the other.
For a relationship to move quickly and still be successful in the long run, both parties need to be equally as invested in it. But if one of you is trying to go faster than the other is comfortable with, that person needs to slow down a bit.
If you are always pushing ahead with more dates or spending more time together and they have had to say no sometimes, it’s a sign that the relationship is moving too fast for them. They might just want to get to know you at a slower pace, and if you are struggling to accept that, you’re getting too emotionally invested too quickly.
Of course, it could be the other way around and it is you who is having to say no to their requests or invitations to see each other more.
15 Tips For Putting The Brakes On Your Runaway Relationship
If any of the above rings true for you, then yes, it might be that your relationship is getting a little out of hand.
Don’t panic, though. Just because things are going too fast, doesn’t mean that it isn’t right. Love doesn’t develop overnight.
There are plenty of ways that you can slow things down to a pace you feel more comfortable with.
Some people worry that everything will fall apart if they try to take things down a gear.
But if you’re meant to be, taking things at a slightly more leisurely pace won’t do your relationship any harm. In fact, it should do it a whole world of good.
If you need to slow things down, here are a few tips that should help you reduce the speed that your relationship train is travelling at without derailing it entirely.
1. Be honest about your concerns.
First things first, you need to get your feelings out in the open.
You’re a grown up now, and tempting as it might be to just stick your head in the sand and avoid all tricky conversations, that won’t help matters.
You need to be clear with the other person about the way you’ve been feeling.
If you want things to carry on, make sure to reassure them of that, otherwise they might start thinking that this is your way of slowly backing out of the relationship altogether.
You never know, they might even be feeling exactly the same way as you are; they may breathe a sigh of relief when you mention that you’d like to slow things down a little.
Although it’s normal for someone to be a little doubtful if they’re told that you want to slow things down (assuming they haven’t been feeling the same way), if they really care about you and want to make things work, they should be happy to respect your decision and adapt.
2. Keep yourself busy.
Relationships tend to sneak in and fill up any free time you have.
If you don’t have any set plans or something specific to do with your evenings and weekends, you’ve got no concrete reason to say no to spending time with your partner.
Spending time with them can become your default.
The answer here is to find something that fills up those gaps in your diary.
Get some space from your relationship and do something wonderful for yourself.
Take up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try, and encourage your partner to do the same. Your life will be all the richer for it and your relationship the healthier.
3. Make sure you actually want a relationship right now.
When things feel like they are going too fast, it might be because you didn’t intend to get into a relationship in the first place. If you were happily single until you met this person and found yourself dating them, it can all seem a bit rushed.
Whilst you don’t need to break things off with them in order to work out whether you are ready for a relationship, you can try to see less of them and test the waters of being in a relationship before fully committing.
Try to take some time alone and spend it thinking about what you really want and how a relationship might fit into your wider life, goals, and commitments. It’s important that no relationship becomes your soul means of personal validation. You must keep other dreams and aspirations in sight and continue to work toward those.
4. Be okay with saying no.
If things are moving too fast in your new relationship, it will have gained a momentum of its own. Perhaps you are settled into a routine of seeing each other 3 nights a week and all weekend already.
But if you want to slow things down, you are going to have to say no once in a while. No to dates, no to spending the night at theirs, no to being with them the entire weekend.
And that might be an uncomfortable thing to do, especially if you’ve said yes to all these things thus far.
But if you are going to spend time with your friends, family, by yourself, or on hobbies that are important to you, you’re going to have to decline some of their invitations to meet up.
Remember to communicate your feelings clearly and remind them that you love spending time with them. But also be honest about wanting to spend time doing other things – things that don’t involve them.
They may get upset, which is another sign that they are getting too invested in this relationship already. But if they get angry or try to pressure you into giving up your other plans to spend time with them, it’s worth asking yourself whether they respect you and whether they are going to be a good partner to you in the long run.
It’s often when we don’t get our own way that our true colors show. If they act differently toward you just because you want to assert a little control over your own life, what does this say to you?
5. Steer clear of meeting the family.
No matter how much you might play it down, there’s no getting away from the fact that meeting the parents is a big step.
If things are getting a bit out of hand, consider rescheduling that dinner you had planned.
If your partner invites you as their plus one for a wedding, have a chat with them about whether you’re sure the two of you are ready for such things.
Don’t make up excuses to get out of family obligations, as lies will always come back to haunt you.
Just make it clear that you don’t want to put that kind of pressure on your relationship yet as you don’t want to ruin things between you.
6. Don’t go crazy on the texting.
When you’re into someone, it can be easy to spend the whole day glued to your phone just waiting for their name to pop up on your screen.
It quickly becomes an addiction and a habit. If you’re worried about things going too quickly, consider toning down the frequency of texts a little.
Whilst I’m normally an advocate for total honesty in relationships, this is the kind of territory where a little white lie can’t hurt.
Rather than directly saying you don’t want to talk to them as much, try mentioning to your love interest that you’re trying to cut back on texting whilst at work because you’re trying to reduce your screen time.
Or tell them that you’ve made a new rule that you can’t be tapping away on your phone whilst you’re out socializing in an effort to be more present.
Not having constant contact and not knowing each other’s every move means that you’ll have more to talk about when you see each other and it gives you both space to focus on things other than each other.
7. Let them be the initiator of conversations and plans.
If you are the one in this relationship who is driving things forward, it’s good that you are aware of it. One thing you can do to slow down and avoid scaring the other person off is to stop being the one who texts first or who asks to meet up. Let them take the lead for a while.
This will mean you have to go at their pace, which may be difficult if you really like them. But it might work out better in the long run if it means you don’t get carried along on a wave of emotions into a relationship that isn’t right for you, or you don’t get too intense too soon and cause the relationship to burn itself out before it had a chance to really get going.
8. Set some boundaries and communicate them clearly.
A relationship can often move too quickly when one or both parties forgets to set boundaries on what they are and aren’t comfortable with.
Boundaries aren’t just physical either. They range from when and how you are willing to communicate electronically (for example, not liking or commenting on every single photo on your social feed) to what you are and are not willing to purchase together as a couple (no major purchases straight away).
Boundaries may also include the amount of information you are willing to share, especially about your past and other private things.
Of course, you may wish to set a boundary relating to sex or other physical acts, whether that’s the frequency you’re comfortable with or even whether to hold off going that far at this point in the relationship.
If the other person really wants to be with you, they will respect your boundaries and work with you to make sure they understand them.
9. Stop neglecting your friends.
I don’t think anyone can categorically say that they’ve never been a bit swept up in a relationship and let their friendships slide.
Make a conscious effort to ensure that your friends are just as much of a priority as they ever were.
Whilst it’s great for your lover and your mates to bond, make sure that you also spend quality time alone with them too, like it was before your love interest came into the picture.
10. Get away for a weekend.
Whether you go away on your own or with friends, escape somewhere for the weekend without your lover.
It’s especially important to get away on your own if you tend to be joined at the hip. Some mental space and doing something independently of each other will help remind you both that you shouldn’t be entirely co-dependent.
11. Make sure you are falling in love with the person and not just their actions or words.
If your feelings for this person are becoming quite intense already, it’s important to ask yourself whether you are falling for them as a person, or just their actions and words.
Some people are keen to say all the right things and convince a potential partner that they love them. They rush into saying “I love you” and express how they’ve never felt this way before.
They might also buy lavish gifts, or make other grand gestures of their feelings for you.
To a degree, if you like someone, you are bound to put extra effort into making them feel special, but if you are basing your feelings on your partner’s efforts alone, you may be overlooking how compatible (or incompatible) you really are underneath all that surface level stuff.
12. Plan for now, not the future.
Try to avoid talking about things that the two of you could do together next month or next year. For now, just focus on next weekend instead.
13. Arrange double dates.
If the time the two of you spend together one on one gets a bit intense and you want to keep things light and fun, consider going on double dates with another couple that you get on well with.
That way, you get to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company in a less pressured environment.
14. Be your true self.
Often, at the beginning of a relationship, we’re strictly on our best behavior whenever we see the person who’s got our heart fluttering.
We tend to put on a bit of an act and only show the best sides of ourselves.
Try to consciously be more authentic and relaxed around them so that you can find out whether or not your true selves really compliment each other.
Don’t allow yourselves to get caught up in an unrealistic bubble.
15. Take it slow but consider the direction you want things to go.
Just because you want to slow your relationship down, doesn’t mean you can’t have some idea of where you’d like it to go. Whilst relationship expectations should be pretty loose during the early stages, you should want it to become more than simply seeing or dating someone.
If you don’t want to take it further with this person, it won’t matter how slowly you go, the relationship won’t become a serious long term union. So always be thinking about how things are going right now and how you’d like things to go in the next month or so.
You can find a more controlled and balanced speed at which to allow the relationship to develop, knowing that such a transition is something you are interested in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is moving too fast a red flag?
It can be a red flag if your relationship is moving at a pace that is too fast for you or your partner. But because every relationship is different, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation as to the ideal length of time a person should spend getting to know their partner or in the development stage of their relationship.
The one barometer that won’t fail you, however, is your gut. What does your gut tell you about the speed of your relationship? Do you have a funny feeling deep down?
This is your body’s way of telling you that something about your relationship is off.
Maybe your partner is moving at a speed that you’re not comfortable with. Perhaps they’re forcing intimacy and delving into personal matters that you are not yet ready to disclose or share. Are they discussing your future together before you’ve even decided whether or not you like them?
It’s possible that the issue is not even your partner but you. Have you recently ended a long-term relationship, only to jump straight into a new one? Do you miss the level of intimacy you had in your previous relationship? Is it possible you’re forcing your new relationship to advance rapidly to make up for what you’re missing?
The tightening feeling in your stomach, the increase of your heartbeat, and the sensation of feeling overwhelmed may not be symptoms of being swept away or falling head of heels in love. It could be your body’s fight-or-flight system kicking in to tell you to pump your breaks, things are moving too fast.
Listen to what your body is telling you. Discuss how you’re feeling with your partner and slow things down. If they ignore your feelings and continue to barrel through your boundaries, then the warp speed at which your relationship is moving is indeed a red flag that you need to pay attention to.
Is it okay to move fast in a relationship?
When you’re in a new relationship, it can be pretty difficult to determine if you’re moving too fast or too slow because your hormones are pushing you to give in to what you are feeling.
And because every relationship involves two very different people, with varying backgrounds, attachment styles, and experiences, there is no ideal length of time that is suitable for every situation.
You can be in a relationship with someone that feels as if it is moving too fast even though you’ve been together for over a year and have yet to meet each other’s parents. Likewise, you can be in a relationship where you are considering moving in together after dating for two months. What makes these two situations different is the people involved and the reason behind the pace of their relationship.
Do they feel the relationship is moving too fast because there are glaring red flags that they need to pay attention to? Or do they feel it’s moving too fast because they’re afraid of commitment and intimacy?
Are they trying to slow down their relationship in a bid to avoid a toxic situation or because they’re afraid that falling in love might open them up to getting hurt?
If you are in a relationship and wondering if you are going too fast or slow, consider the reason behind your feelings.
Is it fear that is pushing you to feel this way? Then facing your fears is the best way to overcome them. It is likely that your relationship isn’t moving fast at all, but because of fear, it feels as though it is. So, lean into it and don’t block yourself from opening up to love.
On the other hand, if you feel as if your relationship is moving too fast because there are red flags that you’re struggling to ignore or hoping will eventually go away, then you need to stop ignoring your gut and leave a potentially toxic situation.
Why do relationships fail when you move too fast?
Relationships tend to fail when you move too fast because you haven’t given yourself time to get to know your own feelings and assess your partner. You’ve probably gotten too physical too soon and now your hormones are clouding your judgment. And in situations where our bodies and minds are fighting for control, often our bodies win out. This causes us to engage in behavior we normally wouldn’t.
If you look back on relationships where you feel things progressed too quickly, you’ll realize that you didn’t have enough time to get to know your partner. You rushed through the initial relationship stage where things like compatibility, temperament, and goals should have been looked at and assessed. Before you knew it, you were living with (or even married to) someone you hardly recognized.
It’s possible you rushed into the relationship because you were tired of being single. Let’s be honest, being single sucks when you want to be in a relationship. When you’re out having fun and getting to know people, being single is awesome. But if you’re at the point in your life where you want to settle down and start a family, being single can feel like a curse that will never be lifted.
In a world with too many options, finding a person who closely resembles what you’re looking for in a partner can feel like striking gold. So you rush past red flags straight into a committed relationship.
As one might guess, neither of these situations is ideal for a lasting or healthy relationship. While no one can prescribe the right amount of time for you and your partner to spend getting to know one another, ensuring you don’t rush through this phase can only help your relationship in the long run.
Relationships that move too fast often fail because the people involved do not take the necessary time to assess one another, their relationship, and compatibility.
How fast should a relationship progress?
The only people who can determine how fast a relationship should progress are the two people involved. Your friends and family may want to chime in with their opinion, but ultimately they’re only guessing at what they feel is best for you. Their assumptions are based largely on their experiences and not necessarily on what they know about you.
After all, we’ve all heard stories about couples who’ve had whirlwind romances and are now approaching their 60th anniversary. On the flip side, we’ve heard of couples who spent years dating, only to get divorced after a few months of marriage.
Human beings are such dynamic creatures that a person might behave horribly with one person but be completely reformed with another. Someone can bring out the worst in you, while another brings out qualities you didn’t even know you had in yourself.
While there is wisdom in taking time to get to know a potential partner, the pace of your relationship should be determined by how comfortable both of you are with one another.
How well do you feel you know the other person? Do you believe you’re compatible? Is there alignment in your wants, needs, and desires in a romantic relationship?
The answers to these questions comes from a deep examination of yourself, your partner, and your relationship. No matter how close a friend or family member is to you, they can’t know the answer to these questions, nor answer them on your behalf.
That being said, you shouldn’t flippantly ignore their warnings. As we know, we tend to have blinkers on when we think we’re in love. Rather, you can take their suggestions into consideration as you decide whether to proceed with your relationship.
But the final decision on the pace of your relationship lies with you and your partner. If you are both comfortable with how your relationship is going, then that is what matters.
How soon is too soon to say “I love you”?
Knowing when to say “I love you” is a milestone every relationship must come to. If you say it too soon, you run the risk of scaring the other person away. But if you keep your feelings bottled up inside, your significant other will not know how much you care.
Before you confess your feelings of love, first ensure you understand what it means to truly love someone. Unfortunately, because of the way our society has watered down the meaning of love, many people confuse it with infatuation. But infatuation fades away with time.
When you truly love someone, you accept them for who they are, with all of their weaknesses and strengths. You do not try to change them or mold them into what you think they should be. Instead, you accept them with all their faults and failures.
While Hollywood would lead us to believe that this is something that can occur at first sight or after a few dates, this type of love and acceptance takes effort and time to develop. It cannot arise through a series of short dates or fabulous sexual encounters.
If you are saying “I love you” before you’ve had time to differentiate true love from infatuation, then you’re saying it too soon.
You’re saying “I love you” too soon if you’re proclaiming your love during sex or because of sexual desire.
It’s too soon to say “I love you” if you haven’t had time to get to know your partner.
The right time to say “I love you” is once you are sure of your feelings. If it’s important that the other person loves you back, you might want to delay your confession until you have a clear idea that they feel the same way about you.
You may also like:
- What Does Taking It Slow Mean To A Guy/Girl?
- 7 Unrealistic Expectations To Avoid When Entering A New Relationship
- 7 Key Differences Between Lust And Love
- 10 Telling Signs Someone Has Commitment Issues
- 17 Warning Signs That Overthinking Is Wrecking Your Relationship
- 9 Relationship Goals Every Couple Should Set
- How Often Should You See Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
- How Long Does It Take To Fall In Love?
- 13 No Bullsh*t Tips To Stop Falling In Love So Easily (Or At All)