Are You Moving Too Fast in a Relationship?

How fast is too fast in a relationship?
on May 07, 2024
Read time: 10 mins
by Moraya Seeger DeGeare

Situationships might be accused of moving too slowly, but how do you know if you’re moving too fast in a relationship? 

While we all might think we want that whirlwind romance, the speedy side-effects might just give you emotional whiplash, leaving you reeling and confused. So, when you’re in a new relationship — what speed should you be going? 

How long should you wait until you move in, or until you start thinking about popping the question? And if those actions pop up too soon, how do you know when to start ringing those alarm bells and raising those red flags? 

Take a deep breath. For all those questions and more, we’ve got you covered. 

Key Takeaways
  • A relationship may be moving too fast if you are quickly ticking off major relationship milestones without adequately knowing your partner, such as saying "I love you," discussing marriage, or making significant life decisions influenced by your partner.
  • Moving too quickly can lead to emotional whiplash, where the initial thrill gives way to confusion and vulnerability. This may cause you to question your knowledge of your partner and the foundation of the relationship.
  • Common indicators include overlooking potential flaws in your partner, focusing intensely and exclusively on the relationship, making major life decisions prematurely, and feeling overwhelmed by the relationship's pace.
  • Every relationship progresses at its own pace. What feels too fast for one might be too slow for another. The key is to determine what feels right for both partners and ensure alignment in relationship goals.
  • If a relationship is moving too fast, slowing down is possible through open communication, focusing on self-care, setting boundaries, considering a temporary break, and engaging in regular relationship check-ins.
  • For those struggling to manage the pace of their relationship, seeking relationship counseling can provide a space to explore concerns and develop strategies to establish a healthier progression.

Is my relationship moving too fast? 

When you start seeing someone new, it’s easy to get swept off your feet in the throes of the honeymoon phase! But how do you know the pace of your relationship is something to worry about?

Every romantic relationship naturally moves at its own pace, with some couples going straight from their first date to a serious relationship within a matter of weeks. Others might prefer to date for longer periods, so they can get to know each other properly before jumping into something more serious. 

These differing timelines are completely normal and just because your relationship might not follow the conventional timeline, it isn’t always a bad thing! However, if you have found yourself in a relationship where you have cleared several relationship milestones within a short period — it could be cause for alarm. 

Is moving too fast in a relationship a red flag?

Healthy relationships usually move naturally from one milestone to the next, with both partners taking the time to get to know one another as they go along. 

However, if you’ve found yourself in a fast-moving relationship, you might feel like you haven’t had a moment to catch your breath! While whirlwinds might seem romantic, never letting the dust settle could expose you down the line. 

“The first thing I ask a client when they pose this question to me is – what confirmation are you looking for me to say right now?” says Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist and In-House Expert at Paired.

“That gives the client insight into if they are craving someone to say go for it, or if they crave someone to pump the breaks and say slow down. We can’t always wave a flag for ourselves but we often know what flag we want waved.”

For example, if you’ve entered a period of infatuation with your new partner, your rose-colored glasses might blind you to some very important red flags. 

Signs a relationship is moving too fast 

  1. See no faults: No matter what anyone says, you believe your new partner is absolutely and completely perfect. Words like soulmate might be thrown around, as you speed through relationship milestones — believing you have found the one (even if you’ve just met!) 

  2. Focused 100% on your partner: Instead of setting boundaries, you have allowed your partner to dominate your everyday life. As you focus on your new partner, it’s easier to deprioritize your loved ones or even your own well-being. 

  3. Have already asked the big questions: Most early dating advice will encourage you to slowly unpeel the layers of your new lover over time. However, you seem to have skipped all of these stages and find yourself discussing the BIG things in no time at all. You might already know if they want kids, or where they want to settle down. 

  4. Influence on financial decisions: If you’ve become wrapped up in the idea of your love story, it’s easy to allow this person to have great weight in your bigger life decisions. As you try to formulate a lasting relationship, you consider their needs when making major personal or financial decisions. 

  5. Ticking off milestones: Even though you haven’t been together that long, you’ve ticked off a range of romantic milestones. For example, you may have said ‘I love you’ very quickly, or met their family members within no time at all. 

  6. No issues: If things have moved along quickly, everything seems like smooth sailing. You’ve encountered no major issues, and have not even fought or been in a tiff once. While this might seem healthy, every relationship has its ups and downs — with no couple truly immune. 

  7. Unpacked baggage: Not only can you move too fast in a relationship, but you can also move too quickly from one relationship to another. Rebound relationships often mean that you haven’t given yourself the proper time to heal and reflect — carrying these unresolved issues into your new relationship.  

  8. Trauma dumping: Honesty is the best policy in any long-term relationship. However, this doesn’t mean that you should spill your guts about your past relationships or trauma right from the beginning! If both of you are constantly engaging in these behaviors, it could be a warning sign that neither of you is ready for a serious commitment. 

  9. Overwhelmed: Relationships should be fun and exciting, but they shouldn’t feel entirely overwhelming. If you find yourself bowled over by the whole affair, it could be a sign you’re moving too fast. 

  10. Too trusting: Trust is everything in a relationship, and while it’s foundational to any relationship, it should be earned over time. If you trust your partner completely, while they might be giving you reasons not to… this could come back to bite you later on. 

  11. Rushing to keep up: Relationships shouldn’t be about keeping up with the Joneses! Just because your friends might be getting engaged or having kids, doesn’t mean that you have to keep up with everyone else. Forcing a relationship to move faster won’t give you the happy ending you’re after. 

  12. Suffocating: If one person is keen to keep the relationship moving quickly, it’s unlikely the other will always feel the same way. This can leave them feeling frustrated or suffocated with the dynamic, as they want to slow things down to a healthy pace. 

  13. They are your future: While it’s romantic to think that someone will be part of your future, your whole future shouldn’t hinge on them. 

  14. Arguing with family: If you find yourself fighting with your family over the speed of the relationship or your new partner — they might be seeing some red flags that you aren’t seeing. 

  15. Feeling in your stomach: They say when you know, you just know. However, if you have that niggling feeling in your stomach that something just isn’t right — you should listen.

What happens if you move too quickly in a relationship?

If you move too quickly in a relationship, it can leave you both feeling confused and vulnerable — as you don’t know where you truly stand with one another. 

While you might have been swept away by the original excitement of the relationship, when you finally pause to breathe, it can all feel quite overwhelming. You might start asking yourself several questions like ‘Is this the right person for me?’, ‘Did we rush into things too quickly’, or even ‘Do I really know this person?’ 

It’s easy to critique yourself in hindsight and beat yourself up for not slowing things down. However, no relationship has a clear trajectory and you can always hit the pause button if you’re worried you’ve made a mistake. 

How fast should a relationship move? 

There is no exact timeline for how fast a relationship should move. 

While one relationship might seem too fast for one person, another could consider it too slow! It all depends on what you’re both comfortable with and what you want from your relationship. 

If one person only wants to pursue something casual and the other is looking to find their life partner, this discrepancy in paces can often tear the relationship apart. This is why it’s so important to communicate what you want from a relationship and feel comfortable enough to vocalize if you feel it’s moving too fast or too slow for you. 

Can you fix a relationship that went too fast?

The short answer is yes. 

Maybe you got swept up by your chemistry on the first date and rushed into physical intimacy without thinking too deeply about it. Now you might curse yourself for rushing into things and fear that you can’t get things back on track. 

Or you might have found yourself in a committed relationship, or signed up to move in with someone when this isn’t really what you wanted. 

Even though there might be some difficult conversations ahead as you try to pull things back, it’s possible to pull things back so you’re on the same page with your partner. 

How do you slow down a relationship that is moving too fast?

  1. Communication: If you feel like you’re moving too fast, it’s important to communicate this with your partner. This might come as a surprise for your partner or they might be feeling the same way! Either way, you should express why you feel this way and how you would like to move forward. It’s important to not make your partner feel like they’re being cast aside and clearly articulate your feelings. 

  2. Increase focus on self-care: Instead of giving all of your energy to your relationship, take a step back and focus on yourself. Pursue your own projects and monitor how much time you spend with your partner. 

  3. Set boundaries: As part of this, it’s important to set some boundaries to reign in how fast the relationship is moving. You could decide how many times a week you see each other, or put some emotional boundaries in place to preserve your feelings and prevent you from feeling more overwhelmed. 

  4. Consider a break: If you feel like you need to take a total step back, it could be time to take a break to assess how you really feel about your relationship. Then you can return to communication with this person feeling more confident about what you want. 

  5. Regular check-ins: Within any relationship, it’s important to regularly check in to see how you’re both feeling and if there’s anything on your mind. Giving each other the platform to raise any issues or concerns in the moment can actually help preserve your dynamic. 

  6. One step at a time: Remember no relationship is a race! Trust your gut and take things one step at a time. There is no ‘right’ age to move in with someone or have kids, it’s all about what you and your partner feel comfortable with. Never settle for something you’re not 100% happy with. 

  7. No rush: No part of your relationship should feel rushed! Be honest with yourself and your partner about what pace you feel comfortable with and be open to compromise where necessary. 

  8. Consider relationship counseling: If you’re struggling with the pace of your relationship, whether too fast or too slow, it could be time to pursue relationship counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can you tell if you're moving too fast emotionally in a new relationship?

    If you’re moving too fast in a relationship, it can be very overwhelming emotionally. In some cases, you could be in a toxic relationship dynamic, where your partner is love-bombing you and pushing you to make decisions that you’re not entirely comfortable with. Even though it’s very difficult to take a step back in these scenarios, you should allow yourself the time and space to think clearly — without the influence of someone else. Trust your gut and don’t allow yourself to be pushed to move faster than you’re willing to.
  • How do you know if you’re moving too fast sexually in a relationship?

    While some people can be very judgemental about the ‘perfect time to sleep with someone’, the truth is that there is no ‘right time’. If you’ve slept with someone quite quickly, it can feel like you’ve dove into things too quickly and you might worry that they will treat you differently. However, it’s important to remember that physical intimacy is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of! Take things at your own pace and never feel forced or pushed to do anything sexual that you’re uncomfortable with.
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