When should you start dating

How to Take a Relationship Slow (And Why You Should)

We all know that exhilarating, butterflies in the stomach, heart-pounding feeling of beginning a new relationship with the fun-loving, good-looking person who shares your interests (one of which is YOU!). But, since we live in a fast-paced world, and because that feeling is something akin to smoking crack, we can often rush into a relationship simply because it’s providing us with the connection we crave! That said, it’s critical that you stop, breathe and take a “40-foot view” of your relationship so you don’t overlook some very important factors that could eventually lead to heartbreak.

How to take a relationship slow? Here at Dating with Dignity, we recommend taking a relationship slowly in order to closely consider to whom you’re giving your valuable time and attention. Reciprocated interest and attraction can be exciting at first, but they’re not the only boxes a guy needs to check off to be worth a relationship. While it can be tough to walk the fine line between taking it slow and appearing disinterested, we’ve provided a few tips on how to ease up and increase the likelihood of a lasting, fulfilling relationship.

Adopt a Mantra: The Slower You Go, the Faster You’ll Get There Remember that the man who wants to rush into a relationship with you, talks marriage on the second date, and has a pattern of serial monogamy may be a serious “pink” flag. If it seems too good to be true, it may actually be too good to be true. A man who is relationship-ready, mature, confident and self-aware will also realize that good things come to those who wait. Finding out if your new guy subscribes to the same mantra can help you both keep a similar pace with reasonable and realistic expectations.

Make Time for Yourself It can be easy to spend all your time with a person you’ve just started seeing; after all, the beginning is the most exciting part! However, it’s important to make sure you’re sprinkling in some “Me Time” to let the dust settle a bit and really think about whether or not this person is someone you want to be with long term. Spending too much time together can create a false sense of comfort and cause you to overlook significant red-flag behavior, so make sure to take a couple of days between dates and check in with yourself to keep things in perspective. If there’s a personality trait or behavior of his that continues to nag at you as you spend time with him, don’t ignore it. Something that needs to be “explained away” will likely come back to haunt you should the relationship continue. Keep in mind, however, that some seemingly negative qualities are situational and may be irrelevant over time (such as being unemployed); but inherent personality traits are almost always unchangeable.

Encourage Group Dates Alone time is crucial, but your friends’ opinions are important too. Organizing group activities with your friends and his can be a great way for you to blend your lives in a natural way while providing an opportunity for you to observe how the two of you interact as a couple. Hanging out in a group opens up your relationship to fun “quality time” without the intensity of constant one-on-one time; it’ll also give you the opportunity to meet and bond with his friends. In addition, seeing your new guy through the eyes of others who know him well can help you connect to why you like him in the first place.

Be Honest In the grown-up dating world, the notion of “playing hard to get” is seen as immature. Guys can misread “taking things slow” for “uninterested,” and you may lose them before you even get a chance to decide whether or not he’s worth pursuing. You also may sense some frustration on his end that things aren’t progressing faster, whether commitment-wise or sexually. These feelings are totally natural. But just to ensure you’re on the same page, it’s important you let him know why you prefer to take things slowly. Share only so much as you’re comfortable with: a mere “I don’t want to rush into anything” should suffice. But being honest with him will put his mind at ease and let him know you want the relationship to have clear communication. This could even encourage him to open up and feel more comfortable expressing how he feels about how the relationship is going. If he can’t respect the pace you’re comfortable with, then there’s your answer. The right guy will understand.

Hold Off on Sex (At First) Sex is certainly an important indicator of compatibility, but introducing it too early in the relationship can create a false sense of intimacy that clouds your judgment. Before you get too ingrained, set a guideline for how long you’ll wait (e.g., after X number of dates, X number of weeks, etc.) and pledge to stick to it. Waiting to sleep together until you have a stronger sense of who he is will better allow you to determine how you feel about the whole package.

Have Fun! There’s a lot of thinking involved in this process, but don’t forget to have fun! If you spend all your time together analyzing and trying to come to a concrete conclusion, you’ll miss out on the actual experience. Try to focus on him and having fun while you’re with him, and then gauge how you feel later when you’re alone or discussing with friends. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your partner can sense when you’re feeling guarded or preoccupied; so don’t let that affect how you interact with him or the things you’re doing together. If you know what you want out of a relationship going into it — and a guy meets those standards after you’ve taken the time to get to know him — then you’re golden. Always remember that the right person will understand your desire to take things slowly and will appreciate the time to get to know you as well.

Click here to learn how to become perpetually irresistible – and attract and keep a high-quality man!

Noosa girl – I’m confused. You’re dating a guy but you don’t want a commitment but then you are confused or frustrated why your relationship is not working…

I found this website quite helpful but still confused and worried about my own dating situation….

I have been dating a guy for just over three weeks. We were both upfront with our intentions from the start (both want a long term relationship) and have similar goals eg travelling, starting a family. First few dates were great and was the first guy I’ve dated that hasn’t tried making the first move. he is always willing to catch up and do things and makes time for me. Organising to catch up can be difficult because he works early and very long hours which leaves him exhausted by the night….but he still makes the effort to see me anyway. We slept together on the fourth date which I initiated but afterwards I regretted as I thought that I had rushed things. We communicate mainly through txt and he messages me several times everyday to check in and ask how I am. We may go a couple of days without seeing each other and he will let me know he misses me and is keen to catch up soon as possible. He introduced me to his parents and I have had dinner and stayed over. He had admitted that he really likes me and is happy with our dating progress so far. Sounds great so far right? Well how come im still worried about how often he texts, when I will see him again, why doesn’t he want to see me every single day? Or make more effort? Txt messages can be vague and I’m left wondering how into he is with me. The few times we have slept together haven’t been great and I’m trying to convince myself that I shouldn’t write someone off for being bad in bed, that part of it can be improved over time…I know I am just rambling now just trying to get it off my chest. I am worried I am over investing my time and emotions into this and worried about it not working out….again. Everyone says to take it slow and take it a day at a time, which I am trying to do but seem to be stressing a lot. I tried talking to other guys at the same time and keeping my options open, trying not to focus on just one guy but that only made me feel guilty as I know this guy is only seeing me. We both agreed to take it slow and I’m trying to convince myself I want to do the same, I’m not even sure I really like this guy but I do enjoy his company. I came out of a long term relationship recently and not in any hurry to be committed but I also do not want to go wasting my time. Can anyone relate or give share a similar dating story?

I like Kindra’s november 2015 comment. What Kindra says is true. I am a guy and I agree. If I am interested in someone, heck believe this, I will move fast with them. Men are different. Serious men who like you will not worry about moving fast if they really like you. Of course there are sly characters out there who will want to move fast for other reasons but the average honest guy that wants to move fast is a good sign for women. People who value moving slow, please convince me of one thing: You meet the person of your dreams, feel attracted to them physically and like their personality and would still keep telling that person that you want to move slowly? Please stop the BS. That is simply not true. If I tell someone I want to move slowly it basically means I may be checking out other people or I am communicating with others or at least seeing them or I am not ready for a relationship. Period!

So I am a guy who you could say is a little more sensitive than others. I am the kind of guy that goes out of his way to make a girl feel special. I’ve been told that I go too fast in relationships and I’ve tried working on that. It just seems like I’m always getting hurt and I don’t want that anymore. Girls always tell me that I’m “the perfect guy” or that I deserve better but it still keeps happening. People have made suggestions that I stop looking and let the girls come to me. Others have said to refrain from having a girlfriend for awhile and worry about myself but its hard to do that because I see my friends in relationships and I guess I’m jealous of them. I could definitely use some advice on how to not get so emotionally invested and take things slower.

I met this girl. She was the first one i truly loved. We met at a bar drinking with friends and i noticed this one person who wasnt drinking much. I asked what was the problem. She said she doest drink that much. I asked if she wanted to eat and we did. We were still students at the time so i rqn out of money. She offered to buy me a hotdog for dinner. It was nice of here to do that. She started giving interest to me. I started taking notice. My life came to a stop as i thought is this a chance for love?. 21 at that time i was. She was courted by many guys. Many. They werent welcome. I offered to repel them by pretending to be in a relationship. There i understood. This could be a real chance. So i took a leap of faith and asked. “Do you want to make this a serious relationship?” She said yes. The first months were hard. I cheated on her two times. Im sorry for that. But then when everything happened. Everthing was done. I thought. Shes still here. There i realized something else. Shes the one. The one girl i can truly love. Heck im madly in love with her right now. I promise to take it slow because she said she wasnt ready. So i waited. Now we are on the brink of a collapse. We had a cool off and now she wants to break off. I couldnt just let her off like that? If i really do love her i’ll stay. I’ll fight. Her land lady seems interested in breaking us apart. Her friends too. But i dont give a care for them. I dont love them. I love my Grace ?? she’s the real one i care about. The only one i care about.

I hope you left him. He is an abusive person and if you stay with him you will regret it. He is a classic example…everything he did and how he acts is whatbyou should benlooking for and avoid.

Tell him to buzz off. He is not damaged goods because of his past. It is because he is rotten in the present and seems to have the potential to be pure evil in the future. He brings up his past to lure you in. You did nothing wrong. make you feel sorry for him. You cannot fix him or save him. Life is too short and there are too many fish in the sea.

Maybe everyone is different but this is my experience…

As a woman, when men moved fast, it was always a good thing because they knew what they wanted. All of my serious relationships moved swiftly. Sure they ended but they didn’t end until some years later.

And when it moved slow, it was always a bad sign. The slow moving men were still in love with their exes, were emotionally unavailable and scared of commitment, or were dating lots of women and just completely unsure about me in general.

People seem to think that moving slow helps you to learn more about someone but it does not. Even a slow moving guy will still hide stuff. If anything, I hid more the slower it went.

Maybe its a personality thing. I’m an open book so moving slow wont reveal anything more than what you already see. But from experience, you want the guys who are moving fast. Those men know what they want.

Met this guy online, we’re an older couple. He said he’s taking his profile down before we even met. Hot and heavy the first 2 weeks. He saw me during the week, took me dancing,nice dinners, brought me flowers. He wanted to give me a key to his condo a week after we met. He gave me his passwords to computer, phone, etc. he showed me his pay checks, wanted a future. He wanted me to move in a month later. I see change after 2nd week, he wants me to come to his house during week, he works some weekends. He still texts a lot, says he loves me on 2nd week. No more flowers.

On my bd, he says, “I think about getting out like I usually do, but you’re everything I want” scared me, we got into an argument, it was horrible timing. He became cold, uncaring, wall up. He admits he does that. I end up apologizing, we had good time.

Next week, he has plans to take me out officially for birthday weekend. He doesn’t call, text for almost 2 days. So, I text asking if we’re on for weekend. He goes ballistic saying he called, I showed no missed calls. I sent him my phone history. He asked if I was seeing someone else, I must not care, etc. he wouldn’t calm down, yet again! I don’t know why he didn’t leave a message, or text. Again, I apologize, I ask why he can’t get over things? He said I’ve not slep all night, sick to my stomach all day at work. We ended up going, after he calmed down.

Third week, he told me when he met he’s a devout catholic, he reads bible, religious books daily. He blurts out at lunch, “I believe in evolution, the bibles written by men.” Very contradictive to what he originally told me. He knows I’m religious. I responded, “I think that’s wrong, but you are entitled to believe whatever you like.” He grabs the bill, I’m not done eating, he said I will not discuss this again, we’re done!

He berates me for an hour, telling me I think he’s dumb, I was disrespectful. I profusely apologize, he won’t accept. He brings up everything he doesn’t like about me. I cried, he said, “you’re feeling sorry for yourself.”

He says constantly, you always want a reason to break up anyway.

I said, what do you want, me to jump off a cliff, there’s nothing I can do to make you stop, nor accept my apology. His wall goes up, he brings me home.

I ask if we can forget this, have a good day? No, he says he needs a break, he’s too upset. Tomorrow will be better, I need to sleep on it and we will go to brunch maybe.

He’s opened up to me a lot, he was sexually abused as a child, his mom was a drinker, his grandma raised him.

He’s been married once for 3 years. His ex is getting alimony and he despises her. He makes good money, but lives like a pauper.

When he told me, he said many women leave me, because of my background. Are you? I said no, but I didn’t know if I could handle all this?

He sent me a text 2 days later, asking how I was. I responded a day later, stating I was disappointed he never called about brunch. No response, haven’t seen him for a week.

I’m sad, it was fast moving, and ended fast. I’m very upset, but I don’t think I could be with someone who gets so easily upset, and can’t get over it.

Same day he wants me to start moving some things in, we get into an argument and it’s over?

I met this young woman 5 years ago. She was a good friend of my then-partner, and we double dated at the bar a couple times. I’ve never dated even casually what I’ve always thought to be my type. As a sapiosexual male, I’ve always been drawn to a woman’s character, intelligence and emotional maturity before a physical draw. This girl? She was a physically ideal woman for my dreams. Though I’ve always taken great pride in my fidelity, she was definitely attractive to me. She moved to the east coast, which was more impressive to me than anything for the reason she moved with her then beau was, in my opinion, a wonderful choice to find herself, and at the time, themselves; losing themselves in the experience of life, of which no nobler journey could be had. For anyone who can be unselfishly happy for any other human, this is a great thing to see. A sense of ambition and self-defined purpose.

I heard about them, but I rarely saw or heard from them. Facebook banter here and there. Unrelated, I chose to leave my girlfriend as she was wanting something more and I never had that positive closure that I loved this woman to my core. I’m not an asshole so I made sure she was alright financially and with a good support group of friends, and I went to go find myself for a couple of years too.

This just about brings us current. When I came back from my journey, a new and reinvigorated person, I dabbled as a FWB with my ex – as we were and are still very good friends, for about a year. That was good until it was becoming not, and we both decided to chill out on seeing each other for a time. That was until about August 2014. My ex has since found herself a great guy to date, which has been great to see. Over the course of that year as a fwb, I reconnected with this beautiful girl from years earlier, who had broken up with her original man.

In fact, one of the first times seeing her again was helping her move out of her boyfriend’s home (though this is a subsequent boyfriend from whom I met her with). I’d say that was January of 14 or so. I exchanged numbers and a few conversations and that led to getting together once every few months or so. As a musician, and her a music lover, we’ve had a great time getting to know each other through jam sessions – piano, ukulele, guitar, that sort of thing. I took her to dinner a couple times, we met up at her place a couple times, mine a couple times, and it was all rather innocent, get to know this beautiful and beautifully deep young woman. This spanned between about May to October or so. November, I invite her over to my place and thought maybe I’d make it more of a different kinda date night with her. Perhaps sensing this, the day before she comes, she lays the bomb. “Can I bring my bf?”.

Well, throughout these such brief moments of companionship, a boyfriend was never brought up. After some time, I gave it thought and decided to tell her to bring the guy on by. Turns out it’s the guy I helped her move out from now nearly a year earlier. It gets a bit complicated, but suffice it to say, here are the pertinents: My lady friend lives with my ex’s mother at this time. I thought she was single, but at some point along these months, she’s gone back. My ex (wich I only say so you can keep along, she’s really just a good friend these days, not so much a title of “ex” to me, but I digress) became estranged from my friend because she kept going back to this bf of hers, and only by reputation up to this point, he’s a dbag who manipulates (according to the ex, verbally and emotionally abuses) my friend. I figure, keep your enemies closer, lets give the sport a lookdown.

Guy is a good enough kid to drink with, but ignorant as hell, and I could immediately see the maniupulative tendencies. It was actually very enlightening to watch her interact. I’ve really no interest in wrecking this guys life and with this sudden red flag, I’m not interested in pursuing her right away either. Though, throughout this time, I’ve felt immense, growing chemistry for this friend of mine. Which, coming from previous relationships, has been incredibly refreshing and insightful. But chemistry is such a limited piece of the consideration of the big picture, I chose to just continue enjoying the occasional get togethers for what they were.

At the end of November, she invited me over to her and my ex’s mother’s home. Homeboy wasn’t there because the family of the ex would never allow him around. Indeed that’s why my friend lived there, because they provided her a safehaven to live after the move out. Mom went down to bed after a bit and my friend and I drank two glasses of wine, jammed and smoked on the balcony. In what I can only describe as a growing, insatiable urge, we both leaned in and kissed. Holy shit. The best kiss I’ve ever known. After a good thirty seconds, we both stopped ourselves and I told her I’d better be going.

I didn’t see her again, though had a few texts over the phone for a couple months. Very sweet and playful. No tension or angst. Just simple things here and there. Just after the first couple months of this year, I’d received a message from her that in a couple of days there was going to be a festival in town and she wanted me to join her and her guy for the day. I hemmed and hawed, but the festival was an Aloha Festival. When I went on my journey, I moved to Hawaii for almost two years and I couldn’t pass it up, so I begrudgingly told her ok. Begrudgingly to myself, to be more specific. To her, I told I’d think about it and call her back in an hour with an answer. After confirming, I drove down to meet them at the festival. Wouldn’t you know it, this sweet as an iced tea on a summers day thing walks up without her guy. She was fretting when I said I’d think about it, she admits, and says her guy has extreme issues with ‘time management’, and she left without him to come hang out with me because she wanted to hang out so badly.

We spent the next 2 hours enjoying the festival and then decided to go grab a beer at a local haunt that was known for shuffleboard and ping pong and bags and that sort of thing. We had a few beers and she asked if I wanted to see her office which was across the street in the same parking garage as both our vehicles. I don’t know if she was just really proud of the fact she had an office across the street or if she had other thoughts on her mind, but as I’ve REALLY been enjoying getting to know this girl and knowing that there’s a great chemistry there, I’d rather she close out her time with her other guy before I move a muscle. I’m relatively poly-amorous these days, so I don’t really give a shit if she’s sleeping with another guy or not, but I do know one thing. With her getting back with this guy, my ex and the ex’s family have shunned her, she has so few other friends because of the manipulation of this clown as well as a few others (including the guy I met her with) over the years, 1 she has absolutely NO CLUE how to respond to the type of love and encouragement she’d have with me, and that’s a deeper love and encouragement than I’ve been willing or capable of giving to anyone for a couple of years now, for one reason or another. And 2, everyone one of those assholes, my ex included, placed controlling conditions on who she should or shouldn’t enjoy her time with. And I don’t even like the guy. But their motivations were because he took her away from them as a unit of friends. As I’ve struggled with conditional love and respect with my relationships and friendships, I am literally the only person on this planet who genuinely wants to encourage this girl and not ‘protect’ her. I am so thrilled to see what this beautiful bundle of energy grows in to as she’s just on the cusp of finding the inner confidence and spirit that will make her a goddess among mortals. She has been so beat down by everyone in her life, she clams up. But cracks in the shell reveal this fantastic light that has to come through as she grows up a bit more.

So, what does it mean from a guy’s perspective to take it slow? This, I think. Enjoy this wonderful feeling of deep chemical and intellectual attraction without fear of wondering if I’m taking it too slow, as anything with her with a guy still attached at the pelvis is too fast, so this is an easy line in the sand for me. Let’s see where the next 11 months goes. I’m moving this weekend which will end up being much closer to her, she’s since moved out of the ex’s mother’s and back in with her bf, and I’m thrilled I’m still predominantly focusing on my own life right now. As good as I could be for her today, I will be infinitely better in the morrows. And should she never find her way in my journey, I’m still better off for all of the experience and will always, unconditionally support her as I’ve always promised I would. Either as a friend a few months apart in visits so as to calm that undeniable connection, or as something more defined that grows toward each other.

I appreciate being able to tell about my last year especially as I’ve told no one. But it’s important to see a man’s perspective on this too. This has been rather cathartic. Thank you.

Well, reading this article made me realize what I did wrong. I’ll be brief, we met beginning December, I expressed my feelings a month later. A week after valentine’s she said she feels we’re not taking things slow and she doesn’t want to be unjust to me, she has no energy. we had talked about this twice already, so my mistake I guess was that I didn’t keep the slow pace. Now what would be better to do, step back and be discreetly around? Or come straight forward again and ask for another chance to be around and take things slow?

I’m a guy, and some of the stories above sound very similar to my situation. I broke up from a six year relationship and thought I was ok with things, well until I started to see people and realise how much I wanted someone back in my life. I’ve since met two really sweet women and each time it would start off very quickly, but a point came for various reasons the other party would want to slow things down. I could and should have pulled back and given space, but instead in my clouded delusional view I felt this was them not wanting me so I felt the solution was to increased my efforts thus pushing them away.

Only after the most recent experience have I stopped to stock of my behaviour and how I dealt with things… I think the advice above is sound for both men and women, move ahead at a pace where both parties feel comfortable…. As much as it was sad and upsetting I feel better equipped and intend to go a lot slower when, I hopefully meet someone else.

All, I am in my mid thirties male with decent personality and financial status. Just came out from a long relationship. I read all that above and is making me little confused, especially with the term ‘slow’. What does that actually mean??

I work in a big organization with buildings far apart from each other. I noticed a young girl who works in another department. She never noticed me in the beginning but some weeks later she knew my interest in her. Then she started giving me signs such as staring, trued sitting near me during lunch hours etc. After some weeks, I had to go away for work reasons for a week. When I came back, I found her giving me more obvious signs, i.e. turning her body towards me and looked back at me. I decided to approach her, and the short conversation went very well. She laughed and smiled. She is not a native english speaker, but holds good language skills. I invited her to join lunch, but she took her lunch away – refused politely. Next day was similarly interesting, she smiled at me – she was with her friends/colleagues and her friends looked back at me at well.

I didn’t see her for the weekend and another couple of days. The next week, I found her not around in the lunch area. I met her on the way to car park to catch the internal bus, she saw me and smiled and we had brief chat before she boarded the bus. I live local and she lives far away. I said, you should move local and spend more time here – she didn’t respond except that her family is there. Same 1min chat the next 2 days.

Now this is third week and I don’t know anything about her except her name the department she works at.

Is this going slow? I am being needy or not acting properly? I am not sure on the first two brief meetings she had the spark but I am not seeing it anymore. I realized that didn’t want to tell me that she is learning English. I could see, she hesitated and smiled when telling me. She asked what I do, I have a senior role in this organization, she heard that but reaction but cold.

I am a guy, and yes, I am in a relationship that I wished was moving forward a little faster. Call it insecure or what you like but I feel like things are going so slow that I would rather focus on someone else who “knows” more of what they want. I really like this young lady so I am willing to wait it out and go slowly at her pace. I am not going to jump in the sack with someone after a few dates, I feel like I should really care deeply for them before that happens but how can I even get to know them at such a slow rate? I don’t see the speed of getting to know someone as getting to know them any better, I just see it as the girl is a little immature and doesn’t know what she wants yet. No one likes to be put in the “maybe” category, I don’t care how confident you are, guys are human too and have feelings. So, I think it is a good idea to meet in the middle, it’s not only about your needs, it’s also about his.

Ok, ill throw in my monies worth. Its different for everyone. I have an aunt and uncle who got married after knowing and being with each other for 9 years..they made it to 48 and then a messy divorce. I have another aunt and uncle who were married after 4 dates..they stayed together for 62 yrs…go figure.

I have been single for 12 months after an 8 year relationship and decided to try online dating I met a nice girl who was single 2 years since an 8 year marriage. We were both excited about our first date and I fell for her after date one we both work hard and have had 8 dates in total mostly fun days out to theme parks etc she seemed as eager as me after date one but then went a bit less responsive and said she wants to move at a slower pace we’ve not slept together yet and she has said I’m the only man she wants to get to know and spend time with. I if I’m honest love her but she said she needs to trust me and get to know me more which is frustrating at times just hope good things come to those who wait? I’m 33 and she’s 30 any advice please? .

You are right – a guy taking it slow is not always uninterested & it can be a sign of maturity. I am seeing someone & we have just decided to cool things off a little & get back to friendship until we feel a little more comfortable. Things were moving too fast emotionally even though we waited about 8 or 9 dates to sleep together. We are not kids – I’m actually a grandma of a 3 y.o.! I have a lot of respect for him – this isn’t about seeing others but getting closer as friends first. That’s what every good relationship should be built on along with mutual trust and honesty. Most people would not go this route – everything today is so superficial that this is actually refreshing instead of guys who only want to know the physical side of who I am.

Great information! My last relationship was my 2nd relationship in my life. It was the worst experience ever lasting 5yrs and two kids out of it. Such an unhealthy relationship with jealousy, insecurity, possessiveness, verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I feel that I’m still in the process of healing. I’ve been single for almost 4yrs and I have been afraid to get serious since. I’ve dated extensively but no one seems to float my boat and I just get fed up easily because it all moves too fast. Plus I have two kids and I don’t want to introduce them to every person I go out with. They’ve only met one person I dated because I dated him for about 6 months.

I found a childhood friend on FB earlier this year. We were each other’s first kiss. I always had a crush on him as a little girl. We lost contact about 14yrs ago. His birthday was a few days ago and he invited me over to the BBQ he was having to celebrate. I met a group of his friends and hung out the remainder of the evening and I went home the next morning. We made out for a few hours. We didn’t have sex but it almost got there, there was some foreplay that went on and I don’t know if that is going to sabotage what I want this to become… I’m not sure if he feels the same way but he did call me later on that day to make sure I arrived home safely and asking if I had a good time. He called me the following day saying he’s going to have another BBQ and if I’d like to attend, if it’s not too far of a drive for me and if not he will be closer to my area the following day and he would like to get together.

I’m very used to continuous communication especially over text and I was eager to hear from him but I’ve calmed down because I don’t want to blow this like everything else where I get clingy or the guy gets clingy and we just end up sick of each other a week or two later. And that is something he and I discussed over text about 2 months ago, and we seem to have the same issue. But in my opinion I believe the feeling is mutual.

I know I messed up but allowing it to go as far as it did but I don’t want him to be under the impression that that is what’s going to be happening every time we hang out or on future dates if they happen.

I don’t know what a “normal” dating life is. I don’t know what a “normal” and “healthy” relationship is. I need to learn because I don’t want to be needy, clingy, and horny for someone. I want there to be respect, love, affection, and happiness. And when is an appropriate time to bring someone around my kids?

Sorry to make this so long. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

I can only speak for myself, but any woman I am dating who tells me to “go slow” won’t hear from me again. If you are dating, you should be ready, willing, and able to be in a relationship.

I met this guy online, and we get along great. We’ve only known each other for three weeks but we’re trying to take things slow. He says he likes me and of course I like him too. The problem is I’m 25 but I don’t have much dating experience. My last serious relationship was two years ago, and it left me heartbroken. This new guy is 30 and he seems to be level headed and I can tell he’s being sincere with his feelingz. Now I don’t want to rush into anything, and obviously neither does he, but we’re already having sex…are we doomed? We don’t text each other everyday, so in a way we’re giving each other space. Did we both mess up?

I really enjoyed this article! I met someone two months ago and he is great! We really hit it off, and things certainly got pretty intense pretty quickly…. I feel a bit, upset with myself that we did sleep together. I felt ready and for other personal reasons, I am glad it happened. But, naturally, I became much more attached and emotionally invested once we had… and that was the moment he decided to pull back a bit. It boggles my mind because he was pushing so hard in the beginning and I was the one saying ” can we take it slow ” and then, sex happened and now I am all ” oh this is just lovely! I do feel deeply for him!” and he is now saying ” I am not looking for a relationship, but I like you very much”– so I am confused.

I am so lost right now. I met this absolutely amazing man. He just turned 41 and I am about to be 28, but we are a good match. Both of us are divorced and we both have to kids apiece. His boys are 12 and 19, my girls are 3 and 7. We made it clear from the start that we were very interested in one another and soon decided that we wanted to be exclusive. Within a matter of weeks, he told me that he loved me and that it was totally new for him to feel that way so fast but I totally understood and felt the same way. But we also agreed we wanted to go slow. Now when I say slow, I meant us just date and have a good time. No real commitment like engagements or moving or marriage.

We never fought or disagreed, until one day he decides that we are going too fast and he needs to slow down. He doesn’t want to stay the night any more and he doesn’t want to have to text or call everyday. he needs his time and his space. Meanwhile I am shocked. This came out of nowhere. I felt betrayed…like he had been faking all the happiness he supposedly felt. But I loved him so things slowed down and he realized that I was distant and hurt and things sped up a little but not to where it was before. He commented that I don’t text or call as much and said I could. We took my girls on vacation together and after we got back we saw each other almost everyday for the next week. Then all of a sudden he stops calling, barely texts and when we do talk he doesn’t say I love you anymore. I seriously don’t know how to feel now. I am so hurt. I shouldn’t feel like it is a privilege to talk to my boyfriend. My friends shouldn’t know more about what is going on in my life than my boyfriend. I feel like we just aren’t on the same page anymore and have tried to express that but I don’t think he understands what I am trying to say. Everyday I ask myself if I should just tell him I want to take a break and the I remember…We are already on a break. We hardly talk. What is going on? Is this him reverting back to wanting to go slow? He says that everything is ok between us. But honestly I just feel neglected. I am not trying to be needy. But I do need communication.

This is good advice, but, there are some points that I logically hate.

Taking a relationship slow is good, but, hanging out.. once or twice a week? How are you REALLY getting to know that person? You’re not. You’re getting to know that ‘guy’ on Dates. You plan a date a week in advance, he doesn’t clean his apartment until hours before. How would you know he was a slob, or all he did in his free time was play video games with his neighbor or walk around his apartment all weekend smoking cigars and drinking with his buddies without showering if he didn’t have plans with you.

Men are LOGICAL thinkers, Women are EMOTIONAL thinkers. A wife will ask her husband, “this garbage looks full.. doesn’t it?” which the Husband will think he is being nagged, when in reality she is avoiding being direct so she doesn’t sound hurtful.. but, it sounds more hurtful than just asking to take out the trash.

When a woman says she wants to “take things slow”, it doesn’t mean ‘she’s making sure you’re the right guy’ to a Man… It means, “I don’t want a serious relationship, so if I don’t put out.. you can become my shopping buddy.” If you’re not direct, and you play the relationship on your rules and your rules alone.. you’re gonna have a bad time.

I find myself in an interesting position. I broke up with my girlfriend of 2 years about four months ago. About a month ago, I finally deciding I was ready to start casual dating (never contemplated anything serious). Out of the blue, someone who I knew “caught my eye” if you will. But I was still in “this could be fun” mode.

I suppose important background is that we live in Israel. I finished my mandatory service nearly 4 years ago, and she is in her last year, so when I say she is in the army and I understand the difficulties of seeing someone you can only see a maximum of once a week, I think I do.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep this short. She is the type of woman who I would love to have as just a friend, but has a lot of emotional/intimacy issues. We met for the first time (a get to know you “date”-loosely) and after that were unable to see each other for a month. But in that month, became very close very quickly. But for the first 2-3 weeks, I had to put up with her constantly pushing me away. And it was EXTREMELY emotionally intense. We texted/talked on the phone nearly every day for those two weeks. I had to take a step back and really question if I was ready to be so emotionally invested in someone so soon after coming out of a relationship. Moreover, we weren’t even in a relationship! It was confusing. At this point we mutually tried turning things down a notch.

I am not sure why I stuck it out. It was hard and exhausting. I think it’s because I really feel like I understood her. I used to be emotionally unavailable as well and learned to overcome it through the compassion and empathy (and patience!) of my previous relationship. So I have learned to be compassionate and patient, open and honest. Anyway, she eventually opened up and stopped pushing me away. I guess she wanted my friendship/companionship/relationship/whatever more than she wanted to push me away in the end.

Keep in mind that this entire time, I haven’t even been pushing the romantic aspect. I honestly would have been happy having her as a friend if that is what she would have had me as (she pushes her platonic relationships away too sometimes… though I have met her friends recently and I think she doesn’t give herself enough credit).

So suddenly about 2 weeks ago, there were some huge breakthroughs, and she stopped pushing me away, and now is showing a genuine and active interest in me. The feeling is mutual.

So now it’s a little strange. She needs to take things slowly-which I am COMPLETELY fine with. I don’t know what issues she has had.

It’s just that it’s like we jumped all of the hard hurdles before the “honeymoon” period, and now suddenly we are there after nearly a month of really hard stuff, which has me in this rather unintuitive position of feeling like we know an awful lot about our annoying quirks (like emotional blockading), but actually only being in the beginning stages of what might be a relationship.

I am not under any illusions that if she has had this kind of trouble in the past that I have finished climbing the mountain. But I just find myself a little confused on exactly how to judge the pacing of what is going on between us.

Anyway.. just wanted to know if this sounds okay. I feel good. And I think she feels good too. As soon as she started opening up to me the entire mood and the entire dynamic shifted 180 degrees.

I’ve been dating a girl for a month now, and we only talk when we are together on a date or hanging out i.e. phone and text is just for conveying short messages of information, not conversations. So, in that regard I think the pace is fine.

I brought up the idea of being in a relationship; I didn’t outright say it, but I suggested that I’d be open to the idea. I’m thinking I’d start to lighty press the issue about two months in.

My question though is about the physical aspect. We’ve both been open about keeping the physical part slow, as in not having sex for a while, but how does that relate to the other physical aspects?

Should I try to limit it to just kissing all together, or it is okay to get a little physical as long as it’s not sex?

Dylan: I’m so sorry you’re feeling so upset about this! How did bible study go? Was it awkward?

I had almost convinced myself that I didn’t mess up the beginning of something good and then I read your blog.

We haven’t gone out. Emails, phone calls and one time we met somewhere and went dancing.

Yesterday I emailed the guy asking him to go to an event with me.

Immediately I regretted it. Especially when he took a long time to answer.

He is in my bible study which is tonight (Thursday). I don’t know what to say if anything. My instinct is too not say anything…or approach him.

I am in love with a guy that works with me. We work in different departments and hardly see each other. We always felt very attracted to each other. He started getting close to me and we dated for about a month at which time I felt deeply in love with him and felt the same from him but then he had a personal issue and walked away. We went our separate ways and not too long ago he came back and appologized. I felt he was honest and decided to give my self a second chance with him. We both agreed to take it slow and not rush into it again but I get desperate because I feel it is way to slow. We don’t go out and hardly talk…we only text every once in a while. what can i do to know if he truly cares and is interested? I don’t want to waist my time but I also don’t want to lose him. Please advise. thanks.

I’m a 32yo man and I found this article (and the comments) to be incredibly insightful. I recently started dating again after ending a 5 year relationship some months ago. I met someone immediately and started falling head over heels; it moved fast for two weeks (no we didn’t have sex) but thank god she was grounded in herself to slow things down organically. It made me squirm but I kept it to myself and cooled off emotionally. That’s where I am now. The hardest part is not knowing what this means to her – aka uncertainty – but if I’m objective, she says she’s interested in getting to know me better, as I am in her. But slowing down the date/communication frequency can be confusing – so be intentional from the get go or communicate if you’re going to slow things down. I had to read it and reflect it back to her and tell her thank you – because the slow down made me realize I want to take it slow too – especially if this is going to be lasting. Also, I agree with Paul, and just about everyone who posted. Great stuff. Definitely a vacuum out there.

A guy wanting to take it slow doesn’t mean he’s not interested. More likely, it means he’s mature and knows that it’s in his best interest to take his time and get to know you before jumping right in.

what about that guy that wants to take it slow i.e. a date every fortnight am I wrong to assume that he is not interested?

Paul: I appreciate your passion, and it’s true that men COULD benefit from learning how to date with dignity. That said, at this point in my business, I’m focused on catering the website to women primarily (although I do work one-on-one with men).

Twinkies: Yes, I do know those couples, but they’re the exception, not the rule! You don’t have to take it painfully slow, but you should remember that the slower you go, the faster you get there. Don’t push the relationships, and make sure you’re aware every step of the way, and aren’t getting swept up in the moment and overlooking possible red flags.

Emily: Glad the advice is helping you! Keep reading and commenting!

Kendra: It’s tough to say based just on what you’ve told me, but I’d play it by ear. It sounds like he’s a little insecure, but he’s letting you be as requested and not pushing you for more time. I’d see how the date goes and take it from there.

‘Im’ I totally hear you, I was in the exact same place as you are until quite recently. You might be interested in reading about manifesting love and listening to some of the amazing audios that are available on how to take a different approach. It’s not so much about what you do differently as your intentions…

I have experienced a radical shift from ‘needing’ a relationship to work out to accepting that my dates/relationships need to fail if the person isn’t right for me…this is the only way I will find the relationship that is right, by letting go of the ones that aren’t and unfortunately there is no foolproof way to ‘screen’ men so that you don’t start dating someone who turns out not to be right for you…it takes time to get to know someone before you can decide if they are right for you or not. Try not to see this as wasted time though, it is all time and effort you are investing towards finding the best partner for you. There is no shortcut! Love, Heather

I’m deeply perplexed about why this site, “dating with dignity”, appears to be addressed to women alone. As a lifelong male feminist, I am as committed to that goal as any of my many female friends, and the quite a frequent tenor of the posts seems to be based on the assumption that women need to manipulate men to get them to behave well. Well, men respond to respect every much as women. And if the advice is good, why isn’t it as relevant to men as women? I’m a member of a CODA group where one of the most constructive things is the equal sharing and listening of men and women and the realisation that they’re so often trying to solve the same problem. Excessively compliant people are far from universally female. Excessively controlling people are far from male. Surely this site could be striving towards the feminist ideal of equality. For women, and for men?

This “taking a relationship slow” is relative. For the young people the advice is important. however those who are in their late thirties or forties and would still want to have children and are emotionally and financially ready, are way very compatible and sincerely love each other THEN it’s okay not to take it too slow.

I’m sure you know couples who got engaged a few months after knowing each other and got married in a short time yet have lasting marriages.

I completely agree with the advice that by taking it slowly, you will get to a genuine healthy, happy relationship faster. For much of my dating life I have had sex too soon, which, in my case means before I wanted to, because I could not tolerate the fear that I would be rejected. I did not have enough confidence to live through the uncertainty that is an important part of the beginning of a relationship, during which either person may see that the other one is not a good match for marriage. The result is that I had a series of monogamous relationships that lasted for about two years until I was disastified with them enough to end them. My solution has been to continue in therapy to develop the confidence to be “ready to date.” I don’t believe I am there yet, but I moved forward tremendously several years ago when I did some Internet dating for about two years and went out with four people, each of whom I dated for only two months before either I or the other person ended the relationship. I still struggled with wanting to sleep with them too soon, but managed to keep from sleeping with all but one. I also understand SO WELL the complaint from IM for “advice that works” because I agree that bubble baths and walks don’t cut it. I believe one thing that would be helpful for me would be to be in a support group of women committed to dating with dignity, where we could become more connected to our inner intentions through becoming connected to other people with the same goal. For me, having a healthy connection with other people is the most natural solution because we all want to connect. I think this would require a leader and about eight women. There used to be support groups for “Women Who Love Too Much.” I think it would be great to put a more positive spin on it and have groups for “Dating with Dignity.” It might be nice to have co-ed groups, too. Because it would be helpful to hear the point of view of men who were committed to finding a good marriage partner comment on the lines that we women get fed and our reactions to them.

“Guys can misread “taking things slow” for “uninterested,” and you may lose them before you even get a chance to decide whether or not he’s worth pursuing. You also may sense some frustration on his end that things aren’t progressing faster, whether commitment-wise or sexually.”

I’ve had this happen to me at least three times in the past six months alone.

I don’t mean to sound critical (I know that’s just … taboo … for women, apparently) but if one is going to go so far as to put oneself out there as a “dating and relationship expert”, I can’t help but think it sounds kind of facile to just keep jumping up and saying “Keep putting yourself out there!”, when it’s well-known that women are up against certain prejudices involving time limits in these kinds of situations (“looking ‘old'”, the “ticking clock”, and on and on) without providing some kind of suggestions as to how to deal with it more effectively (and no, “Just pick better!” doesn’t offer enough detail to cover it either) — if it’s a common enough phenomenon that the need is felt to write a blog about it, while offering *no* tools or strategies to try to produce a different result.

Didn’t Einstein say something about “doing the same thing” and “expecting a different result” and … “insanity”? Something.

I know the common refrain among dating & relationship “experts” is “Well, men won’t change, so women have to” … so I know nobody is interested in addressing the entitled expectations and selfish, impatient, petulant behavior of the men who act like this.

I can’t believe the answer is supposed to be that we’re supposed to keep just … running through men, dating and dating, till we “hit one” that doesn’t behave like this, like it’s some sort of lottery? Especially if, as stated above, according to the societal strictures we’re dealing with, time is always “running out”? I can’t imagine any “dating & relationship experts” putting forth that approach as a rational one. At best, that feels really masochistic to me.

And so if, then, it’s all up to us women — how are we supposed to “handle them better” when they do this?

And where are the specific recommendations — suggestions, at least, at minimum (and I can personally vouch for “meditate daily” and “take a warm bath” being a bit insufficient to be effective palliatives in these situations) for handling the unbelievable pain, not to mention the physical and spiritual exhaustion, when you “keep putting yourself out there” as a woman, and, in terms of relationship value, getting nothing back??

I like your point about group activities. It’s a good way to evaluate potential red flags. I once dated a guy who never, ever introduced me to his friends. Found out eventually that he was a workaholic who had no friends. He would go to a group social event and put on a good front, but complain to me afterward about people he felt uncomfortable with–or he would disappear in the middle of the event, without so much as a word to me. Once, he told me afterward that he had disappeared because the party had been “excruciatingly painful.” The party had been a perfectly normal 50th birthday party, with nice people that were all having fun and behaving perfectly fine. A hallmark of the guy’s behavior was “complaining.” It was always about his “discomfort,” and it was always situations that a normal person would have been fine with. So, I think group activities are great for weeding out a man who has negativity and social phobias, something that was a bad fit for me. Problem with me was…I didn’t know how to walk away when red flags were waving frantically, hoping to get my attention. Instead, I would make excuses for his behavior, and accept less than I deserved. It took me TWO YEARS to walk away from Mr. Negative/Social Phobia Guy. I’m trying to learn how to take better care of my own needs, and all of this information is helpful for identifying the patterns of my own behavior that don’t serve me well in dating.

Thank you, Marni! This came at the perfect time. I met a guy last weekend who I considered to be exactly what I’ve been looking for. He seemed so perfect! I fell hard after knowing him for a few short hours. Afterwards, I became bothered by how quickly and strongly I had latched myself onto him. I took it as an opportunity to turn inward and ask myself why I was clinging to him so strongly, a man I barely knew! It’s so easy to become overly attached and to forget to have fun with it..which now I wish I had done more of instead of getting so excited that I found a good one! Thank you for all your words of wisdom ??

I am in a 2 month relationship that started REALLY fast. I pulled back after a weekend with him. He is still pushing to keep the intense pace and I’m getting frustrated. He is a good guy, says he’s emotionally open, but now that openness is landing on me as very needy. He has said he is insecure at the beginning of relationships, but he is questioning EVERYTHING right now. Example: when I said we had to scale back from seeing each other every day, his response was, “so instead of assuming you want me to come over unless you say not to, then I should plan on seeing you only once or twice a week, when you say it’s okay?” (He said this completely seriously – not sarcastically.) Why does this need to be quantified? I’ve explained how I feel and asked for space apart. He finally has left me be as I’d asked. I’m seeing him tonight for the first time in 4 days and I am concerned the pressure will start again, so I am not sure if I will be able to relax and have fun with him. Historically I would run but he’s open to talking – and thanked me for sharing my feelings and needs – so this feels different. Did I just trade my standard emotionally unavailable insecure man for an emotional vampire-like insecure man? Or is this new relationship bump? Any advice? Thank you!

Most Popular Episodes

Let’s say you meet a great guy, and he comes on strong: really strong. The way he looks at you… Read more…

Do you want to be a badass but can’t get out of your own way? Do you want a different… Read more…

Do your clothes reflect the way you feel? We should all be expressing our personal flair, whether it’s a dating… Read more…

One in three women were sexually abused as children. And, as a result, your relationships (or lack thereof) as well… Read more…