Learning The Signs A Relationship is Moving Too Fast

    what-can-happen-when-your-relationship-moves-too-fastWhen you meet someone and fall in love there’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. You’re all wrapped up in an intoxicating mix of lust and love and want to spend as much time with that person as possible. It’s only natural to start imagining a future together, even if it means ignoring signs the relationship is moving too fast.

    And if their enthusiasm matches yours, before you know it you can find yourselves naming your yet to be conceived children before you’ve even learned if they think cats are better than dogs or vice versa. If this is the case, could it be a sign your relationship may be moving too fast?

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    The pace at which a relationship moves can vary from couple to couple. But the love stories where boy meets girl and boy marries girl four months later rarely result in boy and girl living happily ever after. There’s just too much important stuff that gets skipped along the way. So how fast is too fast? Again, it varies a great deal, but there are some signs that your relationship could be moving along too quickly to be well positioned for a really happy ending.

    How To Tell If Your Relationship Is Moving Too Fast

    Because everyone and every relationship is different, only you will know if things between you are going too fast. And, yes, if you really think about it and examine your feelings you probably will know. In fact, there is a fair chance that if you’re reading this you already have suspicions that it is. And if you are like most of us, you may be looking for some help on being certain of that determination.

    While the list below isn’t ALL the signs that your relationship is moving too fast, they are some of the most common and, incidentally, the ones that can be most detrimental as your relationship grows.

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    • You haven’t had THE conversations. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for relationships are the unfortunate surprises that can come from avoiding discussing certain topics. If you haven’t taken the time to have some of the most important conversations before you really get serious about one another, your relationship is probably moving too fast. Couples that are truly interested in a long-term, successful relationship need to make sure they are on the same page about the following:
      • Finances, credit, and debt.
      • Children and how to raise them.
      • Religious views.
      • Health issues.
      • Past relationships that could become problematic.
      • Family and how they factor into your life.
    • You can’t spend time together without it ending up getting physical. Sex is great and in a healthy relationship sex should happen regularly. But we all know that at the beginning of a relationship it can be hard to keep your hands off each other and sex is often more frequent than the later years. While that’s normal and fine, it can also mask incompatibility and other potential problems. So, before you determine that the or she is “the one” you need to make sure that there is more to your relationship than good sex. And then make sure that the sex stays good for all the years to come.
    • You haven’t met the most important people in their lives. No one exists in a bubble. Even if your new partner doesn’t have close family there are bound to be friends or other important figures in his or her life. If you’ve never met any of them then your partner hasn’t really incorporated you into the most intimate parts of their life. For a couple that is on the road to getting serious (or already are serious) this can be a big red flag that the two of you are moving too quickly through your relationship.
    • You haven’t yet discussed plans. Not the plans for your relationship necessarily, but the plans each of you have for your own lives. You had a life and plans before meeting your partner and you should still. A romance that’s destined for success will involve two supportive individuals who want to see each other succeed and grow. This means knowing where you each want to be in years to come and discussing what you each want and need to make your plans happen.
    • You haven’t had a fight. While fighting with someone you love sounds like a bad thing, it really isn’t when it’s done the right way. In fact, the strongest relationships will have survived monumental disagreements and generally grown stronger from them. No two people agree on everything all the time and how you handle an agreement and resolving it says a lot about how you will do as a couple for the long haul. Good communication and conflict resolution is crucial for a healthy, happy relationship. So, if you haven’t yet had a fight or two and respectfully and effectively resolved them, it could be a sign your relationship is moving too fast.

    If some (or all) of these sound familiar it’s probably time to take a beat and slow things down a bit. Of course, that can feel a lot like trying to stop a speeding train. Not only are things already barreling down the track, but you may not really want to slow down, right? If that’s the case read on.

    What Can Happen If A Relationship Has Moved Too Fast

    You may think, “Okay, but not us. We’re different.” After all, things feel good and are fun right now, so why not just roll the dice and see where things go? Well, because the truth is that relationships that start too fast often end fast as well, or at least commonly encounter big problems. If you really want something long lasting with your partner then you need to make sure you build a strong foundation, and that cannot be rushed.

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    Dr. Kurt routinely works with couples who have impulsively jumped into things before building a strong foundation. He’s seen first hand what can happen. When asked for his insight he had this to say,

    A common complaint I hear from couples whose relationships are in trouble is that they have come to the realization they either don't really know their partner or they're not who they thought they were. While we all can find out new things about our significant other even after years of being together, these aren't usually deal breakers. Couples who let their relationships move too fast, however, often by moving in together, making a large purchase like a car or house together, or getting married, discover things much bigger than 'I never knew you liked Jalapenos.' Things like, he's verbally abusive and won't get a job (I'm working with his wife right now), or she talks to her mother 3 times a day and now wants mom to move in (helped this couple last year). A guy told me last month that he thought it was 'cute' that he and his girlfriend (of 4 months) bought a truck together (totally impulsive and unplanned). Not surprisingly, he's already divorced once from marrying someone after only 9 days. Some of us are slow learners on certain things, particularly regarding love and relationships (I've been one too)."

    Rushing into things can mean having to double back to rebuild and redo and that doesn’t always work well. It can also mean that as time goes on you find that you each are trying to change each other or wishing for someone different. This can leave you more open to larger problems like emotional or physical affairs as you try to fill the needs your partner isn’t meeting.

    Couples often find that dreaming of your future together and how amazing it will be is replaced by dreaming of divorce and how liberating that will be. Rates of divorce for couples who married before really knowing and understanding one another are much higher than couples who take their time, as are incidences of relationship related depression.

    It may seem impossible to stop that train once it’s left the station, but it’s really not. If your relationship is destined to be a long one then putting the breaks on won’t change that. You will need to start with a frank an honest discussion with your partner regarding your concerns and motivations for slowing things down, though. One of the signs that a relationship has moved to fast is the tendency for misunderstanding the intentions of one another and constant frustration and arguing that results.

    Is There A Way You Can Save A Relationship That Moved Too Fast?

    At this point you may be wondering if there’s any way you can save your relationship knowing that it moved too fast. The answer to that is, probably. But it may take some work. If you’ve gotten to a place in your relationship where things have started to break down and the foundation just doesn’t seem to be there, you will now need to spend time working together to rebuild it. This will require effort from both of you and potentially a skilled couple’s counselor.

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    Once you and your partner have had an honest conversation and been candid about your respective concerns you can make a plan for resetting things in a way that is acceptable for both of you. Some of the things to consider are,

    • Revisiting the warning signs above. If you have moved too fast in your relationship, then most, if not all, of those warning signs have been encountered and skipping these crucial steps is part of what got you here in the first place. So, as you are trying improve things you will need to revisit these areas and work to add them into the foundation of your relationship. This can be a difficult step, but having those crucial conversations, connecting beyond the physical, knowing the important people in your lives, respecting the plans you each have for your futures, and learning how to grow together after conflict are what it will take in order to move forward.
    • Make a list of the problems you’re facing. Talking is good but putting things on paper gives you something tangible to look at and revisit. Seeing the problem defined on paper can also add some weight to things and help you each take your issues more seriously. This is vitally important if you are really trying to fix things.
    • Choosing a new activity or hobby that you can learn together. Doing this will put you on even ground for learning new things about each other and building trust.
    • Make a point to spend time with friends together and apart. One of the signs that your relationship has moved too fast is that you focused so heavily on each other that you let friends and family fall by the wayside. It’s crucial for both personal and relationship balance to maintain these relationships.
    • Rediscover and maintain outside interests. A hazard of relationships that burn hot and fast is that you lose yourself in each other. This will eventually lead to dissatisfaction and feeling stifled. A healthy relationship has two people who have their own identities and interests and chose to live their lives together. Doing this will help keep things interesting and stave off any resentment that could build.

    Doing these things doesn’t mean that your relationship will automatically be fine. If you’re seeing signs your relationship moved too fast and you and your partner are now facing challenges because of it, there is no overnight fix. It will take time, effort, and patience to build something now that should have been built at the onset.

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