When you have met that someone special who reciprocates your feelings, putting the brakes on may be the last thing you want to do. But rushing to deeper levels of intimacy can lead to several common pitfalls --and even to the end of your relationship. In the long term, taking it slow can help your relationship grow.
Avoiding Personal Problems
Though it is natural to feel swept up in a new romance, pushing your relationship forward fast can indicate the desire to escape from personal troubles. Whether you are experiencing conflict with your parents or feel anxious about your future, a romance may strike you as the perfect escape. You may hope the positive experience of being in a committed relationship will outweigh your previous issues. But the problems you seek to avoid can easily resurface, complicating matters between you and your sweetheart.
When the Bubble Bursts
Rushed romances frequently involve infatuation. When you are infatuated with someone -- rather than in love -- you anticipate perfection while not growing emotionally, according to psychologist J. Michelle Davis in her Psych Central article, "Love Versus Infatuation." When you idealize one another, you skim over potentially undesirable traits. While this might mean few disagreements at the very beginning, it can lead to outbursts, feelings of betrayal and loss of interest down the line. When you are willing to take it slowly, you give yourself the chance to get to know the other person.
Missing the Sweet, Small Stuff
Perhaps those milestones most couples keep track of sound insignificant --the first time he kissed her on the cheek or the time she laid her head on his shoulder while they watched a movie. But those seemingly small, sentimental moments can turn out to be some of the fondest memories of long-term couples. When you are in a rush to secure deeper commitment, you may find yourself losing out on the early flirtations. Later, when one or both of you look back on what feels like a rushed history, you might feel shortchanged and even bitter.
The Accidental Fast Track
In some cases, outside factors goad a relationship along too quickly. Say, for example, that after only a few weeks dating, your new sweetheart announces he must attend a wedding or family reunion. You will meet relatives, be introduced to traditions reserved for family or close friends, and feel that you are further into the relationship than you are, according to therapist Jane Greer in her Psychology Today post, “Taylor Swift: How Fast Is Too Fast?” This can lead to misunderstandings about what you are ready for as a couple. Avoid this pitfall by politely declining an invitation to a serious event if it comes too soon.
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