“Next time, I’ll take things slow.” How many times have you said that after a relationship where you moved too fast? You can see so clearly now – looking back – that moving slowly would have prevented a lot of heartache. But instead, you rushed, like perhaps you always do. So by the time the dealbreakers and red flags popped up, you were already attached. You’d gotten used to the idea of spending your life with someone, before even really knowing that person. You dove into some codependent behaviors, without exactly knowing whom you were depending on. When you move fast, you make what could be easy uncouplings very difficult on yourself. When you do things slowly, in a healthy manner, then learning a dealbreaker at, say, month three should not rock your world. You should be able to easily say, “This isn’t for me.” But those who move fast have already signed a lease and bought a ring at that point, so it is much harder to walk away for them.
Couples who often rush things might be interested to know that studies have found waiting at least three years before getting married decreases the risk of divorce by 50 percent. While this news might be upsetting to those who hope to put a ring on it by the end of year one of a relationship, it’s valuable data that shouldn’t be ignored. It’s much better to prolong nuptials for a couple of years than to rush and spend longer than you need to with the wrong person. If you are ready to change your ways, here are tips for taking things slow for those who are new to it.
Start with weekly interactions
If this rule feels difficult to follow, that should be an eye-opening realization. Spending a full week away from someone you just met should not be difficult. You have friends, family, a career, and hobbies to spend your time on. A brand-spanking-new love interest should not take up more of your time than friends and family. The time with him should be proportionate to the place he holds in your life, which should be quite small after just a couple of dates. Make a rule that says, even if you meet someone you really like, you will limit interactions to once a week for the first month. Give yourself the time and space to really evaluate the person. It’s hard to do that if you immediately hang out every day.