If your Relationship is Moving too Fast

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There is little else that can match the heady feeling that accompanies the first days in a relationship – the breathless anxiety with which you wait to meet,  the rush of adrenalin as you catch each other’s eye and the fire licking your skin as you melt in one others arms are all enough to send you rushing headlong into a new relationship. And yet beneath it all, you may be bothered by a niggling doubt that things are moving way too fast for your comfort. In case you think so in a relationship, here is what you do.

Spot the signs

Falling in love is exciting. But if you have been getting a lot of this "teetering over the edge" feeling, and especially if you are hooked to this relationship, because of the feeling of impending doom or a hidden danger, chances are you are moving too fast for your own good. Other signs that should put you on the alert are completely losing touch with close friends and family so much so that your new ‘love’ has entirely replaced your normal social life as well as the sudden realization that you actually know quite little about your new partner. In the latter case, if you've spent every single day with someone for three weeks, you may at least have some idea of what he/she does for a living but regarding previous relationships, upbringing kids, age, their friends, you realize that you know precious little. If this is true of your situation too, maybe you need to spend more time first in getting to know the person rather than shacking up with him/her every waking moment.

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Be cautious with your health

Having sex with a partner before you have come to know him/her really well could also leave you exposed to various health hazards. Sexually transmitted diseases vary in their lethality and curability but all have the potential to leave you with life-long complications. Infections like HIV are still fatal and many like gonorrhea and syphilis can make you infertile for life. Then there is the aspect of unwanted pregnancies to consider and each of the options, whether abortion, adoption or single-parenting, has its own challenges. So think twice before you agree to sleep with a new partner, no matter how attractive and romantic he/she seems.  If you feel that you are not yet comfortable discussing safe sex with this person, then it is too early for you to be sleeping with him/her anyway.



Examine your priorities

Once you are clear that a relationship is moving too fast, you need to go over your priorities in life and in love. If necessary take a day off from work and let your partner know that you will be spending it on your own. Don’t rush to discuss things with a friend or a family member right away. Choose to unwind yourself physically and mentally and then retire to a place which calms you down and helps you to think. Go over your goals for the future and the tasks you had set for yourself at different stages in life. Think back upon what you had wanted from life and see if you are where you had wished to be. Then go over your relationship and see if it fits in with your dreams and plans for the future; if they don’t be honest about what value your relationship has added to your life, your personality and your present. Also consider why you want a partner at this stage – just for companionship, for sex or a long term relationship and then see how your present partner meets those needs. Most importantly ask yourself if the relationship is actually moving too quickly or if you are just frightened about getting hurt once again. Baggage from past relationships can affect future ones if you are not honest about your fears feelings.

If necessary, jot down your thoughts or briefly note what decisions have you taken today and so that after you go back and meet your partner, things do not get muddled under the rush of emotions or desire. In this way, examining and re-evaluating your priorities in life and relationships, will help you understand why you should slow down things and where to go from here.

Bring in some space

A good way of reining in a relationship moving at breakneck speed is to put in some space. Remove yourself from your partner’s pad or request him/her to move out if you had been practically living together all this while. Renew contact with your friends and take a weekend off to go and meet your family. Be more social with your co-workers and sometimes join them for an after-work drink instead of rushing back to your partner as you used to. All these small steps will cool down things a bit and bring your relationship on a more even keel instead of tossing about perpetually on the waves of emotions.

Focus on yourself

This is also a good time to come back to the person who matters most – yourself. Take time off from every other concern and focus on the person you are, your priorities, the goals you want to set for yourself and the person that you eventually want to become. A common trait of a relationship moving too fast is such an over-involvement in another person that you are likely to lose focus of your own self. This is right time to start working towards regaining your own identity. Better still, see if you can translate your aspirations into something concrete – like learning a new skill, taking up a hobby that you always found interesting or even relocating to a new city with a new job.  

Establish guidelines

Slowing things down in a relationship need not mean that you have to break off. Instead you can establish certain dating guidelines and decide upon a minimum amount of time you and your partner must date before considering certain actions. For example, set a three-month minimum before your partner can spend more than two nights a week at your place or a six-month minimum before you would consider moving in with your partner. By establishing guidelines you can help prevent feeling pressured into moving faster in your relationship than you feel comfortable.

Be clear on the ground rules

If you have been feeling so overwhelmed in your relationship that now you are considering taking a break, it is better to clear up certain points with your partner. For instance how long with the “break” last – a couple of weeks or a couple of months. It is a bad idea to leave the break open-ended as it may keep either of you hopeful of a return. Also suggest a meeting when the period of the break is over so that you both know where the relationship stands. Yet another aspect of the break you need to clarify with your partner is whether during this period either of you are allowed to see other people. And to what extend could “seeing” go – whether it should be limited to only meeting other people or could it have room for sexual encounters too.

Every relationship goes through a period where one of the partners may feel the need to slow down a bit. This can be taken positively as an opportunity to re-evaluate priorities or can be seen as a sign of going separate ways. What path you eventually take depends on how you and your partner decide to resolve your relationship issues.