Love In The Fast Lane: How To Slow Down An Accelerating Relationship Without Ending It

May 19, 2016  |  

Corbis Images

Corbis Images

Being in a relationship is cool when you’ve found the right person, but sometimes the person you thought was right for you turns out to be anything but months later. Things were moving too fast too soon, and because of that, the things that you should have paid attention to became a blur. 

There are several reasons why couples end up moving too fast in the hopes of creating a lasting connection. Maybe you were blinded by the excitement of someone new or perhaps it was the clock ticking loudly in your ear, telling you to hurry up and get your life together so that you could settle down. You find yourself enveloped in infatuation with the idea of a person, but when you truly get to know them and spend a large chunk of your time together, you begin to wonder if you can slow things down without ruining the good that still exists. This is my current dilemma, and if you’ve also found yourself in a similar predicament, know that it doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship. There are ways to pump the brakes, slow it down, and put things in reverse.

For starters, pull up your big girl panties and make it known to your partner that you would like to slow things down and maybe redefine the terms of your relationship. Consider how long you’ve been dating and the problems that have presented themselves thus far and discuss them. Maybe you got into something you weren’t expecting. Maybe your partner isn’t holding themselves to what they said they could do and handle, or maybe there’s a thick layer of complacency and comfort brewing between the two of you that needs to be cut. The best way to handle this situation is to first address it. Because if you’re feeling this way, you can’t just assume that your partner is going to be able to tell what’s going on in your head.

The second thing to do is fill idle time with productive things you enjoy, such as work or a hobby. Give each other a break. When I didn’t have anything to do and when I had a lot of free time, I often filled it by being with my partner. It’s important to give each other space to do the things that you enjoy doing as individuals. When you’re smothering each other and feel attached at the hip, things can change really quickly and get obnoxious. Rather than letting the relationship unfold in due time, you’re finding out all there is to know about each other up front, which leaves nothing intriguing or cute left to be discovered. Reiterate the importance of having a separate life and balancing the amount of alone time with quality time together. Picking up a hobby and creating space isn’t about avoiding your significant other. It’s about pacing the amount of intense, on-top-of-each-other-but-not-in-the-way-you’d-like time spent together.

And most importantly, try and keep your relationship between the two of you. Don’t be too hasty to meet the important people in their lives just yet or have them meet your side. If you’ve only been dating for less than six months, you probably shouldn’t be meeting the parents or the grandparents. Meeting some of each other’s friends is one thing, but reconsider scheduling that brunch with the parents. Meeting the parents and other family members is a surefire way to hit the accelerator on things. If you’ve already taken that step, express to your partner how you feel about the pace of things, and agree that for the time being, you’ll stop making appearances at all of the family gatherings.

There are some cases where slowing down means coming to a complete halt, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Just make sure you take your time getting to know one another so the fire doesn’t burn out too fast and keep the lines of communication open between the two of you so that you both know what you want, and how soon.

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