It's hard to tell if you're moving too fast in a relationship. It's one of those things that's so easy to identify in other people, yet when it comes to turning the same critique on yourself it's so easy to miss it. It's normal to get all loved up and gooey during the honeymoon phase, but if you get caught up in that, you can end up rushing into a relationship built on giggles and sex, without much substance.
This isn't about judging anyone's relationship choice, it's more about making one that's good for you. Rushing into a relationship often comes out of a low or volatile self-esteem, which is then exacerbated by the relationship. As clinical psychologist Dr. Seth Meyers tells eHarmony: "Simply put, people who feel good about and proud of the overall package they are don’t feel the need to rush because they don’t have emotional holes they’re looking to fill." So it's good to keep an eye out on how the relationship is progressing, as it can be a sign whether or not you're getting involved for the right reasons and ensure that you're not getting into a relationship that's going to damage your self-esteem in the long run.
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It's important stuff. Here are seven signs that you're moving too fast in your relationship:
1. You Let The Honeymoon Period Run Away With You
Your friends will forgive you when you disappear into a relationship in the initial stages, but what if you never come back? Sometimes you're aware in the back of your mind that your relationship won't hold up so well in the real world, so you can retreat into it completely. It's not sustainable — slow down and try to make it work in real life.
2. You Have Complete Faith In Them Before They've Actually Proven Themselves
The loved up halo you get at the beginning can mean you project good traits onto your new partner that they might not actually deserve. You convince yourself they're an amazing person, and forgive selfish behavior because it's "out of character" or "just once in a while" without realizing that's who they are all the time.
If there was behavior that's always bothered you before, don't compromise on it or continually give the benefit of the doubt. "When you feel you are compromising your values, morals, or judgment for the sake of holding on to the relationship it is moving too fast," Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. Make sure that you've established the level of trust you need to move forward at this speed.
3. There Are Lots Of Over-The-Top Romantic Gestures Right From The Get-Go
Flattery can go a long way — which means it's often used and abused by manipulative personalities. If your new significant other is constantly laying it on thick, that can make things move along really quickly, as you're so swept away by the romance. All the fireworks can be great, just be aware that sometimes it can be hiding toxic behavior.
It may even be that these over-the-top gestures are genuine — but that can still mean you're moving too fast. "Relationships are a dance of speeding up and slowing down," Klapow says to Bustle. "Sometimes one partner needs to back of and slow things down. Sometimes a partner needs to speed up a bit." If it feels too fast for you, you should feel comfortable saying something. "If you are feeling you are going beyond that it is time to talk. Your partner may be moving at a pace that is comfortable to them, but they may be more than willing to slow down to keep you in the relationship."
4. You Just Got Out Of A Relationship (That Also Moved Too Fast... )
This one has nothing to do with the other person's behavior; it's all down to you. If you've just come out of a bad relationship and you toss yourself right into a new one, chances are you're doing it for the wrong reasons. Either your self-esteem is too relationship-dependent or you're not over your ex and trying to bury it. Leaving enough time means you get started on the right foot.
5. You Jump Right Into Meeting The Friends And Family
It's definitely important that your partner gets along with your friends and family and vice versa. I need to get my friends' approval when I'm dating someone, just so I'm sure I'm not kidding myself or imagining this person is far more amazing than they actually are.. But if it's a week in and all of a sudden you're inviting each other to family gatherings, it's a red flag. This is especially true if your partner is putting pressure on you to integrate in a way you don't feel comfortable with. "When we feel rushed, pushed, or feel we are engaging in actions that are not aligned with a pace that feels comfortable we are likely out of our comfort zone," Klapow tells Bustle. "When it comes to relationships, that means we are moving too fast." If you feel like important meetings are happening before you're ready, trust your gut.
6. You Fight Over All The Day-To-Day Things
So you can't stop having sex and writing each other love notes, but you can't pick a restaurant, her laundry habits drive you nuts, you disagree on everything from politics to TV? It's a sign. Fights can be good, but not all the time, and not about the basic stuff. It can mean you're running on lust and fairy dust, and you got a bit carried away and made a relationship out of what should have been a fling.
7. You Make A Big Decision Before You Know Their Favorite Color
This one may seem obvious, but big life decisions, like moving in together, spending the holidays together, or getting engaged, are called "big" for a reason. If you're thinking about making massive life steps and your closest friends and family seem shocked, take a step back. Maybe they're wrong, and it's totally your decision, but you need to spend some time thinking if you're actually ready for this or rushing into something.
It may be that your partner is making you feel that you need to take these big steps if you want to be with them — and that should be a real warning sign. "In every relationship we are asked to take some risks, to trust, to put our faith in the other person, but if you feel deep down that the level of trust and faith you have in your partner does not match the actions that you are being asked to take (i.e. sex, moving in together, marriage, relocation) then your relationship is moving too fast," Klapow tells Bustle. You should feel like major life decisions are sometimes you both feel comfortable with — and ultimatums are almost always an indicator that something's off.
Different relationships move at different speeds — and that's totally understandable. But if you feel like something's off, you should feel like you can trust your gut on that. Remember, your relationship should move at a pace you both feel comfortable with, no matter what. If you need things to slow down, that's totally OK.
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This post was originally published on October 23, 2015. It was updated on June 4, 2019.