At the start of a new relationship, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotions and thrill of it all – the texts that make your tummy tingle with butterflies, the late-night convos that leave you bleary-eyed for work.
And while that’s all nice and lovely, it can sometimes overshadow the fact that your relationship is moving at a pace that you’re not really comfortable with.
What might seem like romance could be a case of too much, too soon.
So, in this article, I’ll be covering 9 signs your relationship is moving too fast and how to slow things down:
1) You feel overwhelmed
The start of any relationship should be exciting – you’re getting to know each other and spending time having fun date nights.
What you shouldn’t be feeling is overwhelmed. This is a sign things may be moving at a fast pace and you simply can’t keep up.
Especially if you’re constantly texting, phoning, and meeting up with your SO.
Of course, if you naturally vibe then it’s normal to want to be in touch regularly, but not to the point where you feel pressure to speak every second of the day!
Ultimately, that can lead you to feel like you’ve got no time to yourself, which leads me to the next sign:
2) You have no personal space
Do you feel like your partner is always around? To the point where you can’t even go to the bathroom or read a book in peace?
If so, this is a red flag to watch out for. A healthy relationship isn’t about being glued to each other’s hips.
It’s about spending quality time together, but also maintaining your sense of individuality.
When I was in college, a guy I dated wanted to constantly be around me. I felt suffocated.
He was a nice guy, but he didn’t respect my boundaries. I’d let him know I was spending a quiet evening in because I was tired, and before I knew it, he’d be ringing the doorbell armed with Chinese food and movies.
It might sound romantic, but in reality, he didn’t get that I intentionally stayed home to recharge my batteries.
3) You’re ignoring red flags
Another sign your relationship is moving too fast is if you’re letting red flags slip past…
For example, you may be noticing certain toxic behaviors, such as:
- Poor communication skills
- Possessiveness or jealousy
- Disrespect towards you or your boundaries
- Controlling behavior
But it can be hard to spot these red flags when the relationship is moving from one milestone to the next so quickly. You don’t even have time to process what’s going on.
Before you know it, you’re making excuses to yourself and others for your new partner’s behavior.
4) You’re talking about the future
Look, when it comes to talking about the future, there is no right or wrong time.
I actually believe the sooner the better, because it allows both people to see whether they share the same values and goals.
Therefore, it really depends on how you feel.
Are you nervous? Anxious?
Do you feel like these conversations are happening far too soon for your liking?
If so, then it’s a sign the relationship is moving too fast. Especially if you’ve only been together a few weeks and are already planning to move in together, or have kids straight away.
The best advice I can give you in this situation is to listen to your gut.
5) You don’t feel like you know your partner very well
But even though you’re busy planning your imminent wedding, do you feel like you know your partner inside out?
Have you seen how they cope with stressful situations?
What is their relationship with their family like?
What childhood traumas are they holding onto?
All of these things take time to learn. I’ve been with my partner for five years now and we’re still discovering things about each other every day.
So, if your future is being sealed with this person but you don’t know them past their favorite color or food, you should definitely consider slowing things down!
6) You’re experiencing intense feelings
Another sign to be wary of is if you’re experiencing intense highs and lows in your relationship.
This is something called “love bombing” and it’s usually when one or both make a great deal of effort at the start of the relationship – cards, flowers and “I love you’s” all within the first couple of weeks.
And don’t get me wrong, this can feel really great.
But it’s also not the healthiest approach, simply because it’s not sustainable.
When all those intense highs wear off, you might experience intense lows, especially if you question why your partner has suddenly backed off or turned cold.
Here’s the thing, in a healthy relationship that’s moving at a steady pace, emotional stability is key. Intense feelings might be fun, but they’re also a sign that things are moving too fast!
7) You or your partner are becoming overly dependant
You’ve only been dating a while, but suddenly, you’re finding it hard to make simple decisions without consulting your partner first.
Or, the situation is reversed, and your partner seems to be heavily dependent on you.
This is another red flag that things may be moving too quickly.
If left unchecked, you may find yourself losing your sense of individuality – just as we discussed earlier, this isn’t healthy or “normal” at the start of a relationship (or at any stage, for that matter).
8) You’re ignoring the concerns of your family and friends
So far, we’ve covered how you might be feeling, but what about your loved ones?
If things are moving at the speed of lightning, it’s likely your best friends or your mom have shared their concerns by now.
I remember my mum asking me why my ex was so intense, even though we’d only been dating for a few weeks. At the time, I brushed her off… “It’s just because we get along so well, stop worrying!”
But in hindsight, I should have listened to her.
You see when you’re caught up in the emotions and the thrill of a new relationship, it’s easy to romanticize everything.
But those around you are looking in at your relationship without all the feelings you’re experiencing, and sometimes, they see things you don’t.
9) You keep needing to reassure each other
And finally, if you both keep talking about how great the relationship is, putting a label on it, and declaring your love, something isn’t quite right.
Sure, a new relationship is an unsteady ground.
You’re figuring each other out and exploring where things can go.
But if you’re constantly reassuring each other about the relationship, it signifies that you haven’t taken the time to build a solid, strong foundation of trust.
In other words, it’s all talk and very little substance or action.
So, if you’ve related to any of the points above and are now thinking, “Oh crap, what have I got myself into?” Don’t worry. Let’s look at what you can do to control the tempo of your fast-moving relationship:
How to slow things down if your relationship is moving too fast
Just because the above information sounded scary and toxic, doesn’t mean your relationship can’t work out.
It all depends on how your partner reacts and whether they’re willing to respect your feelings and slow things down.
Here’s what to do:
- Talk things through. The very first thing you should do is gather your thoughts and calmly express them to your partner. There’s a good chance they’re feeling the same way. Be sure not to place blame, but to openly communicate how you’re feeling.
- Set boundaries. Both of you need to have clear boundaries in place. These are limits that tell the other person what lines can be crossed. For example, you might set the boundary of not being contacted while you’re working. Or that you don’t want to meet each other’s families until you’ve hit the six-month mark.
- Keep maintaining your individuality. Once you’ve communicated your feelings, it’s okay to take a step back and focus on your own interests as well as participating in the relationship. Make time for your hobbies or pencil in a few evenings a week to spend by yourself.
- Balance your time. Encourage your partner to spend time with their friends and family, which will allow you to do the same. It’s nice to see each other regularly, but you should also make time for your loved ones.
- Talk to someone you trust. When things become overwhelming, a good heart-to-heart with your best friend or trusted family member can ground you and reassure you. They can also offer advice and support you as you navigate this relationship.
If you follow the above, your relationship stands a chance, but only if your partner is on board too.
If they don’t listen to you, and continue to rush the process of your relationship, it might be time to consider if they’re the one you want to be with!
Remember, healthy relationships develop over time. And while it’s fun to get caught up in a whirlwind of emotions and excitement, if you’re looking to build something that lasts, this isn’t the way forward.