We all have dreams and wishes when it comes to relationships, a lot of these are formed even before we meet the partner who comes into our life. The truth is, our relational needs stem from our childhood experiences, as well as the patterns we’ve become accustomed to in adulthood. Of course, it can be difficult sometimes to take a step back and know when to slow down, especially if we think we’re onto a good thing.

The eagerness to move as quickly as possible and to arrive at the next stage can see people making mistakes that don’t need to be made. Moving too fast results in missing out on cues or red flags, ones that would be extremely beneficial to heed. If you need to ask the question about whether your relationship is moving too quickly for you, then the likely answer is yes, it is. For extra clarity, take a read of the below.

Big choices, minimal knowledge

Being in love is one thing, being actually compatible for a long term and serious relationship is quite another. If you and your partner are contemplating scenarios such as moving in together, marriage, or having a child, but you have no idea what you want as individuals over the next two or three years, then you absolutely need to call a time out. Making plans that stretch a significant length of time into the future is a recipe for disaster, when basic conversations have not happened. Realising that your ultimate hopes and dreams veer off into different directions can come as a crushing blow, if irreversible decisions have been made in the meantime.

The idea of throwing caution to the wind and getting to know each other fast and furiously is really the stuff of Hollywood romantic comedies. You may think, what’s the worst that could happen? but actually there is quite a bit. Important conversations are encouraged before any sort of contract is signed, large or small, on paper or emotionally. Basic discussions protect you from obvious mistakes and unnecessary heartache.

Meeting significant others too soon

In this instance by significant others, we mean friends, family and even children. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable at introducing your partner, or being introduced, it can be a clear sign that things are moving way too fast. Obviously, introductions can be nerve-wrecking experience at the best of times, few people are immune to the natural jitters that can arise. You should, however, try to ensure that you’re distinguishing accurately between nerves and uncertainty.

There are some of you who naturally lead very open and fluid lifestyles, and for those of you, the introduction of a new partner isn’t particularly momentous or important. It does pay to be aware though, that you may have a partner who is very nervous and for whom it is a big deal. Think about whether the signals they’re receiving by being introduced to your significant others are a good reflection of your own feelings for them.

If you’re already making big decisions such as moving in together, or taking extended holidays, and you haven’t yet broached the subject of connecting your inner circles, then take a step back. Ponder why it feels easier to make huge life plans, than to have the people in your life meet your new partner. It may be that your desires aren’t marrying up to something you subconsciously already know and don’t want to admit to.

You’re only doing what is expected

Our ages and cultures can be a huge factor in the decisions we make and when. We end up dating people we don’t want to date, or even hiding away those we truly love, for fear of the backlash that may ensue. If you find yourself entering into situations because you feel pressured, then this is a big sign that the path you’re on is either not for you, or needs to be travelled slower.

The hope is that within relationships there is an excitement and joy about the future. Even if you’re nervous about a next step, one would want it to be nerves which stem from this excitement, rather than anxiety. Agreeing to arrangements that your heart is not truly invested in, only because it’s seen as the right thing to do, is a sure sign that your feelings need to be re-engaged and listened to more. Definitely put the breaks on while you consider your position.

Your connection is mainly sexual

If you and your partner have not had a romantic dinner together, if you have not had a challenge or disagreement that you’ve had to resolve, but still you’re making vast plans based on what you think is the perfect relationship, you’re probably moving too quickly.

Whilst no one necessarily likes to argue or be involved in tension, it can be in these moments that our characters and true natures are highlighted; they are some of the most telling moments you’ll share with a partner, you’ll see how they treat you, children, friends and indeed themselves. This is where you can witness the mental and emotional landscape that you’re working with and really learn what it is you need to know about each other.

If you’re only connecting sexually it’s usually not enough to know how well you compromise with someone, or to learn if you can listen and be heard, not lose tempers, not hold grudges or remain open and available for forgiveness.

You feel constricted

If you’re already feeling suffocated, like you need space to breathe, or simply time alone, it may be that you’re already out of the honeymoon phase. Sometimes it isn’t immediately apparent that a certain level of consistent commitment isn’t really for you. Early on in a relationship boundaries are often not set because you’re so excited to be with one another. Feeling constricted is definitely a sign to slow the pace to one with which you’re more comfortable.

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