We live in a culture of instant gratification and immediate pleasure. We want things fast and we want things now, oftentimes with no consideration to what it might cost us in the long run.
This consumer mentality applies to everything from the technology we get caught up in, to the food we consume, and even the relationships we get involved in. And the emptier we feel, the hungrier we are, the lonelier we become—the more impulsive our decision making.
The past few months I’ve interacted with so many people who are moving way too fast in their relationships. While I don’t necessarily know the cause of this desire to move so fast, one thing I’ve observed as a professional counselor is this:
The more desperate a person feels, the faster they tend to go in their relationship.
Maybe you find yourself in a relationship in which you wonder if things might be moving too fast. Here are some things to be on the lookout for:
No. 1: You find yourself spending most or all of your time together early on in the relationship. Like, seeing each other every single day since you got together
No. 2: You find your relationship takes a nosedive right into physical/sexual intimacy and then tends to revolve around being intimate whenever you’re together.
No. 3: You find yourself talking about really deep things before you’ve even had a chance to talk about the basics.
No. 4: You just recently got out of an “intense” relationship and now you find yourself in another one.
No. 5: You spend time talking about the future/marriage/children.
No. 6: You find your relationships with your friends and family slipping away because you’re so consumed with your dating relationship.
No. 7: You find yourself with a high level of trust, before trust has actually had a chance to be earned.
No. 8: You have a history of moving too fast in relationships.
No. 9: You start planning ahead and making “big life decisions together,” yet haven’t had enough time together to share the “small things” of life.
No. 10: You jump right into meeting friends and family before you’ve really had a chance to get to know one another.
No. 11: You tend to be blind to their faults, flaws and weaknesses—even when other people might bring them to your attention.
No. 12: You’ve dropped the “love” word within the first few months. Remember, love isn’t a feeling—it’s a commitment made up by a series of actions.
No. 13: You find yourselves planning over-the-top romantic experiences involving a lot of money, a lot of intimacy or a lot of time together. There’s a time and place for special moments, but the level of romance should always correlate with the level of commitment.
The interesting thing about relationships is that in my years as a professional counselor, never in my life have I met someone who told me they “wished they moved faster.”
The truth is that no one ever regrets taking their time in a relationship. Don’t give in to instant gratification in your love life because instant gratification almost always leads to disappointment. Taking your time through the seasons of your relationship will set up your relationship to succeed. Each season reveals deeper levels of knowledge, intimacy and information about the person you’re dating moving you one step closer to marriage, or maybe one step back.
If you find yourself in a relationship that has been speeding through the warning signs or fits any of the descriptions on this list, take a moment to assess if you’re headed in the right direction. It never hurts to slow things down.
Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, relationship expert, speaker and author of several books, including True Love Dates. Debra is also the creator of the popular relationship advice blog TrueLoveDates.com, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.