My sister-friend has been dating a new man for about a month. Within that month, she has already met his family, his children, his ex-wife and he has met all of her friends. Moreover, they spend five days a week together mostly at her house where she cooks for him and has often hosted his friends. Last week, when he suggested she give him a key, it raised a red flag, causing my sister-friend to evaluate the pace the relationship thus far.
“How do I put the brakes on now after I’ve allowed it to get to this point?” she asked, when we spoke on the phone. To me, it was simple: Although she had acquiesced to the rapid progression of the romance, it wasn’t too late -- having only been a month -- to slow it down. Her fear was that she would somehow hurt the man’s feelings, which she did not want to do because she truly does care for him.
“If he cares for you then, he will understand if you tell him that though you are enjoying him, you realize that things need to move at a different speed,” I said. We’ve all experienced the quick and burn relationship that starts off at rocket fire and then quickly burns out. We see it happen in Hollywood every day. And, like I said, in rare circumstances these relationships work out, but for the most part, long-lasting relationships are built over time.
To prove my point, I started asking her questions about the guy. Questions like, what is his favorite color? What would be his last meal if he got to choose it? What was the name of his high school best friend? Simple questions that ultimately don’t equate to much in a relationship but things you know about your partner when you’ve spent time learning about them. Quite frankly, it was too soon in their relationship to be playing house.
I did somewhat understand my sister-friend’s concern because the male ego can be a fragile thing. And, guys take these types of conversations a bit harder than women do because they are not used to hearing, “Let’s slow down.” Many women are excited when a guy shows that much interest and wants to insert himself in her life. Initially, my sister-friend was excited about this until she snapped out of it and realized what was happening.
Thankfully, her boyfriend is a reasonable person and understood my sister-friend’s point of view when she brought up the discussion. They’ve pulled back on the “wifey” and “hubby” act and have decided to change the pace of the relationship. In the long run, I think it will be for the best.
It’s very easy to get caught up at the beginning of a relationship, especially when you click with someone. But, there is such a thing as moving too fast. You’ll serve your relationship better if you take it at a slower pace and don’t let it become a runaway love.
Wishing you love and ceaseless joy! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.
Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.