Are you worried that your relationship is moving too fast and you’d like to slow things down? Are you trying to figure out how to do that without giving your partner the impression that you want to break up?
On the other hand, maybe it’s your partner who is on the fence and is asking for more space. Are you struggling to understand their perspective when you don’t feel the same?
How Do You Know If You’re Moving Too Fast?
You know that you are moving too fast in a relationship when you are taking steps before you feel fully ready for them. For example, maybe your partner already wants to move in together, and you’re not sure about that because you only just met a month ago.
The “speed” of a relationship is relative, of course. What is too fast for some people may be a snail’s pace for others. Also, people may give significance to different relationship milestones. Maybe for you saying “I love you” is a big deal, but for your partner, it’s something they could say after knowing someone for a single day.
If you feel uncomfortable with how things are developing, though, you need to speak up!
Here are some signs that your relationship may be moving too fast for you.
You’re Always Hesitating and Half-Committing
Does your partner keep wanting to move things along and you’re dragging your feet? Are you constantly compromising and half-agreeing to satisfy them?
For example, maybe your partner wants to get a dog together, but taking care of another creature that could live for a decade is a huge commitment to share. You don’t know if your relationship will even last that long—but in order to appease your partner, you agree to get some gerbils instead.
Does this happen a lot? Does it feel like your partner is chasing you down to get you to commit and you keep backing away? Things might be moving too fast for you!
You Feel Like Your Boundaries Are Shifting Too Soon
Relationships require a certain level of negotiation. Since you’re coming together to become one unit, you’ll find that occasionally you’ll have to make compromises as an individual. Hopefully, you’re compatible enough that this doesn’t happen constantly. One part of compatibility is that you’ll have boundaries and preferences that align with each other fairly easily, things like:
- The amount of PDA you’re comfortable with.
- When you tell other people about your relationship.
- What you even “officially” call your relationship.
Figuring out where the boundaries lie, though, can take a while. It’s a process of you and your partner inching toward each other, then pulling back when necessary. You’re trying to find balance. You could say it’s something like a dance!
If you feel like you are making too many compromises on your boundaries, then this is a sign that things are moving faster than you can negotiate. For example, your partner might have just assumed that they can show up at your house unannounced, but you’re not comfortable with that yet. You did not talk about it beforehand, so it feels like they crossed a boundary.
Everyone was raised differently and comes with different baggage. Maybe your partner grew up in a town where it wasn’t a big deal to just show up without calling first, and maybe you think this is rude and that they “should” already know better.
This is why it’s important to address stuff like this as soon as possible. Never assume. Let your partner know—in a way that is not accusatory or judgmental—what your boundaries are.
You Feel You Can’t Be Your Full Self
Branching out from the last point, one of the hallmarks of having your boundaries disregarded is that you feel you can’t be you. Does it seem like you’re just disappearing into the relationship? Does it feel like the relationship is mostly structured in accordance with your partner’s preferences, without your input?
This could be a sign that your relationship is moving too fast. You have not had enough time to figure out where the individual “you” exists within the relationship. Again, this is a dance that takes time.
Sometimes this imbalance can occur with both partners at the same time if the two of you are too accommodating! I’ve been in a relationship like this before. We were so different that we were unable to truly meet in the middle, so we ended up building a relationship full of compromises that both of us were unsatisfied with.
We loved each other, but neither one of us could be our full selves. We moved too fast, and we were already living together before we realized we were headed in very different directions in life. This can cause a lot of unnecessary pain.
That’s the problem with committing too early and moving too fast in a relationship: You need time to figure out if you can be your true self while also being compatible with the other person.
You’re Nervous About the Relationship’s Future
Instead of being excited about the next relationship step, do you get a sinking feeling in your stomach? While it’s normal to be a mix of nervous and excited before you say “I love you” or before you move in together, is there something in the back of your mind that’s telling you that you’re just not ready?
Ignoring that voice is not a good idea. Even if you find that it was just an unfounded fear in the end, there’s a reason that feelings of doubt exist. It’s better to address that stuff before you push forward. Take things slow and be sure of what you want before you ram straight into an emotional block at full speed.
One of You Keeps Asking for Space
Are you constantly having to negotiate space? Is that a strong area of contention? Does your partner want to see you way more often than you do—or the other way around?
You might be moving too fast. A natural reaction to feel like things are getting too serious is to ask for space. This isn’t a bad thing. It can give you both time to think and come back to each other with a renewed perspective.
You Don’t Feel Relaxed About the Relationship
Do you feel generally good about where the relationship is headed, or is there an edge of dread? Do you feel tense and emotional about the relationship a lot of the time?
This tension could mean a lot of things, but it can be a sign that you are moving too quickly and your subconscious is telling you to slow down. Ideally, you want to feel that your relationship is moving at a pace that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.
It’s normal that sometimes relationships take us out of our comfort zone, but if this is the general vibe of your connection—to always be in tension—then it may be that the pace is too stressful for you.
You’re Overwhelmed By All the Changes
Do you just feel like your life has changed too much since you started dating this person and you can’t keep up?
Feeling overwhelmed is a sign that you’re moving too fast—with anything, not just a relationship. You need to give yourself time to adapt to the presence of another person in your life.
If your partner keeps pushing too much, this is something you need to communicate with them. They could also be trying to move fast for reasons that aren’t super healthy, such as being on the rebound. It’s important to face this early on.
How to Slow Things Down When Your Relationship is Moving Too Fast
Now, what if you’ve decided that you’d like to slow things down after all?
There are a couple of things you can do:
1. Tell Your Partner You Need Time Alone
First, it’s good to get some introspection going. Think about where your boundaries lie and what type of pace is good for you in the relationship.
2. Explain Exactly How Things Are Moving Too Fast
Once you’ve clarified to yourself in what ways the relationship is moving “too fast” for you, it’s time to let your partner know. It’s important to be clear that this is about your needs and not anything that your partner did wrong. No one needs to be right or wrong, and you don’t need to justify yourself. You have certain needs—such as the need for privacy, space, or security—and these are not negotiable.
3. Let Go of What Doesn’t Work. . .For Now
If you feel that things are moving too fast, there are bound to be aspects of the relationship that you’re not comfortable with at the moment. Maybe one day you will be comfortable with them, but in order for that to happen, you may need to let it go for a while.
For example, maybe you were talking about moving in together, and that’s not right for you at the moment. Your partner might be bothered by this, but reassure them that this doesn’t mean the end of your relationship. It doesn’t work now, but maybe later on when you get to know each other better, it will be a good idea.
4. Add Some Things to Your Life That You Enjoy as an Individual
Many times when we enter into a relationship, we end up forgetting about many of the things we enjoyed before. This can create a vacuum in our lives that gets filled with more and more “relationship stuff.” One way you can ensure that you’ll still have your space is to deliberately include activities in your life that you love, but that don’t involve your partner.
5. Hang Out With Other People
Similarly, fill some of your time up with your friends, family, and other people in your life. It’s easy to move too fast in a relationship when the only person you’re seeing is your partner! Just spending a little less time together will often slow things down naturally.
Moving Too Fast? There’s Nothing Wrong With Slowing Down
It’s not the end of the world if your relationship is moving too fast and you want to slow things down. A good partner will understand and not try to push you beyond your limits, even if they might be a little disappointed.
It’s better to have small disappointments here and there in the beginning stages of a relationship than to have to deal with the consequences of massive incompatibilities later. Plant the seeds carefully now and let your relationship grow at the right pace!