What Do I Do if My Boyfriend Moves Too Slow in a Relationship?

He might want to take things slow to focus on school.
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You've taken the time to get to know each other, and you're sure that this is the guy for you. You want to make that all-important promise of commitment or take your relationship to a deeper level, but he's putting the brakes on. Whether he's lagging in the emotional or physical parts of your relationship, pushing your guy too move faster isn't the way to go. Respect his boundaries and help him understand your expectations through careful communication.

1 Get to the Reasons

Before you start stressing about your guy's slow approach, ask him about it. He may have been hurt in the past by an ex, he may have strict boundaries based on his religion or his family's values or he may just not see any reason to speed your relationship up. Say something such as "I want us to be completely honest with each other. I know that you want to take our relationship slow, and I'm not sure why."

2 Face the Future

When your relationship isn't moving at the pace that you want, sit your guy down and talk about what he sees happening in the future. While he isn't in the same place that you are right now when it comes to your budding romance, that doesn't mean he won't catch up in the future. For example, between school, work, friends and family obligations, your guy might not be ready to commit to you right now. That said, he may say that he's open to the idea of speeding things up when the rest of his life slows down. If you're willing to wait, keep things as they are and let your him have the time that he needs. If not, look at how your expectations match up with his and consider moving on.

3 Respect Boundaries

Pushing him to move faster than he wants or pressuring him to do or say things that he's not ready to shows a lack of respect on your part. Valuing your guy's beliefs and boundaries is part of having a healthy relationship, according to the Stay Teen website in the article "What's Your Relationship Reality?" Whether your boyfriend thinks that hugging and kissing is as far as unmarried couples should go or wants to keep things casual, you need to respect these boundaries if you intend to continue in a relationship with him.

4 Re-Evaluate Your Own Expectations

While the rush of a new relationship may make you want to set things into fast motion, you have the ability to control yourself and keep things slow. Think about why you want to move your romance along at a quicker step than he does. Unless one of you is leaving for another country in the near future, you have plenty of time to get to know each other on a slow and steady level. Re-evaluate why you're pushing him to go faster and try to wait for your relationship to grow in its own natural time. For example, instead of asking for a commitment after a few weeks of dating, use this time to get to know each other better and put of a pledge or promise until later on.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.