When you enter into a new relationship, it's easy to get swept up in all honeymoon-type feelings you typically have for your new partner. Regardless of whether your relationship is headed towards lifelong commitment or not, pacing is super important. You don't want to your relationship moving too fast into anything you're not seriously ready for, and you don't want to move too slowly to the point that your relationship isn't going anywhere. So, how can you tell if your relationship is moving at a healthy pace?
"Every couple has a different pace, this is not one-size-fits all situation," Tina Wilson, dating expert and Founder of matchmaking app, Wingman, tells Bustle. "As long as the couple is aligned in terms of timing and expectations, it's all good."
So if you and your partner are ready to get serious three or four months into your relationship, go for it. As long as you're both ready and you're both on the same page, a quicker pace might be OK for your relationship.
The problem occurs, however, when a couple's expectations are misaligned. Because of that, compromise and communication is key. "There are deal breakers in any relationship," Wilson says. "So I always tell people to be open and transparent in their communication. Even if it brings up (necessary) confrontation, so be it!"
So how can you tell if your relationship is moving at an unhealthy pace? Here are some signs to look out for, according to experts.
1Your Conversations Stay Surface-Level
"When a relationship is moving forward, the two people will continue to feel more and more comfortable with each other and continue to share confidences, vulnerabilities, hopes and dreams," Samantha Daniels, Professional Matchmaker and President of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking tells Bustle. So if you've been together for a while and you still feel like you don't really "know" your partner, that could be a sign that your relationship isn't moving at a healthy pace.
2There Are A Ton Of Starts And Stops
If you feel like your relationship isn't consistently moving, that could be a sign that your pacing is off. "If so much time has passed between your last encounter and the next one to the point that you feel a little bit like strangers with each other, then you know that the relationship isn’t moving at a healthy pace," Daniels says. "All the stop and starts says that the two of you aren’t really in a relationship, but are just going on a date here and there."
3Your Partner Doesn't Turn To You For Advice
While everyone has their network when it comes to seeking advice, if your partner never asks you for help and chooses to turn to friends and family members instead, Jim Antonsen, matchmaker and Co-Owner of LuvBiz Chicago tells Bustle, that's a sign that your relationship isn't moving at a healthy pace. In a relationship that moves naturally, eventually a partner will feel comfortable enough depending on their partner, along with the other people they trust.
4Your Partner Can't Seem To Return Texts
Some people are just bad at texting and that should be established early on in the relationship. But as Antonsen says, if your partner often fails to return a simple text message, take note. "This is a simple thing but if you are attempting to reach your partner and they chronically ignore your text messages," Antonsen says your relationship might not be progressing as you may have wanted.
5You Question Whether Your Relationship Has A Future
"Relationships are alive and need to grow. Every person and every relationship needs to have hope," Antonsen says. "Believing there is no future ends that hope and will cause you and your partner to become complacent and uncaring."
While that doesn't necessarily mean you've decided when you're going to get married or start a family, it's important to discuss future plans together as a couple. But if you don't want to discuss those things, or even see that happening with your partner, that's a sign that might also be a sign.
6You Haven't Met Their Family
If you’ve been together for awhile and you have yet to meet each other’s friends or family, experts say that's a sign your pacing is off. "When we’re really connected and in love with someone we can’t wait for them to meet the other people that are integral to our lives," Dr. Emily Morse, relationship expert and host of the iTunes top-rated podcast Sex with Emily tells Bustle. If your partner isn't making any moves to introduce you to the people they care about, your relationship may be moving too slowly.
7Making Plans Is Not A Common Thing In Your Relationship
Talking about the future of your relationship is one thing. Talking about plans for next Friday is the other. If you and your partner have troubling making immediate plans together, that could be a sign that your relationship isn't moving at a healthy pace.
"Even making tiny commitments within your larger commitment will indicate that you both are looking towards the future — a future that includes each other," Morse says. "If you can’t commit to Thursday’s lunch, how can you fully commit to opening yourself up to a real intimate connection? People in healthy relationships continue to commit everyday, and know they’re working towards well-aligned goals."
8You Don't Feel Emotionally Fulfilled
If you’re showing signs of being not invested emotionally or disconnected, the relationship may not be moving at a healthy pace. "An example of being invested in this way is having open communication, specifically about your feelings for each other," Rori Sassoon, Relationship Expert and CEO of VIP elite matchmaking service Platinum Poire, tells Bustle. "If you or your partner is not emotionally fulfilled, there's likely a lack of communication around this from one or both partners."
9Your Relationship Is Consuming Your Life Right From The Start
Moving at an extremely slow pace isn't that great for the future of a relationship. Moving too fast also might not be that great. "If a relationship is consuming your life rather than complimenting it, then you’re probably rushing into unstable waters," Chelsea Leigh Trescott, relationship coach and founder of Breakupward tells Bustle.
Relationships that aren’t moving at a healthy pace will often consume you right out of the gate, she says. "Granted it’s difficult to give into love slowly, especially when it feels so good and the connection itself is so unique. But, the thing is, the best, most sustainable relationships will not turn your life on its head." It's important to not get too carried away.
Like Wilson says, all relationships are different and what constitutes a healthy pace is up to you and your partner. But if you've noticed that your relationship is moving too quickly/too slowly, Erika Labuzan-Lopez, LMFT, LPC tells Bustle it's important to talk about it.
"It is essential to have communication about the state of the relationship and have conversations about how both partners see the future in order to gauge if the pace is moving at an appropriate rate for you as a couple," she says. "Also, don't compare yourselves based on what couples around you are doing." What works for other people won't necessarily work for you.
So the best thing to do is to figure out the best pacing for your relationship and go from there.