“Things are going really well, I just don’t want to rush into a relationship”
Sound familiar? I know it has for me in the past, and maybe it has for you. I’ve always hated uncertainty in dating, and nothing would make me more uncertain than that phrase.
In the interest of helping you get a little more certainty about your dating situations, I’ve got an idea. When you’re faced with the uncertainty of “I don’t want to rush” here’s what you can do:
First, you need to figure out why they’re saying that they don’t want to rush into a relationship.
What prompted them to say that they don’t want to rush into a relationship? Was it a reaction to something you may have said or done, or was it more of a proactive statement? If, for example, you talked about what you’re looking for in the future, and they then respond by saying “I want that too, but I don’t want to rush into a relationship”, that’s a Reactive response. If you’re talking about your weird fan theories about Game of Thrones and they say “Yes, it is sad that they never added the character Strong Belwas to the show, but also I don’t want to rush into a relationship” that would be proactive (and also, kind of weird thing to say?). I’ve found (based on my experience) that people who are proactive about telling you that they don’t want to rush into a relationship are generally commitment averse, while people who are reactive tend to be risk averse. They don’t want to rush because they don’t want to make a bad choice.
Next, figure out if they are commitment averse by nature, or just averse to rushing into a commitment.
Sometimes, when people say “I don’t want to rush things” they mean that in a general sense, because to them, no matter how long you date, a commitment will always feel rushed. For others, a rush into a commitment really just comes down to timing. Maybe a month of dating then committing feels rushed, whereas 3 months of dating then commitment feels just right. You can figure that out by just straight up asking, or looking for hints. How they bring up being rushed is one way to tell, but you can also tell a lot about how they talk about their past dating history, or how they talk about dating in relationships in general. If they have a negative view of relationships, they’re likely to be commitment averse. If they describe their dating history in a way that implies that they regret their dating decision, they’re likely to be worried about being hurt in the future, though not wholly against relationships.
Penultimate step! If they say they don’t want to feel rushed, can they articulate what would make them not feel rushed?
If their answer is that nothing could ever make them not feel rushed, that should be a pretty big red flag to you if you’re looking for a commitment. If it comes down to time, or intimacy developed, or anything else that actually sounds feasible, that’s also good to know. Some people have a check list of prerequisites for commitment, while others are looking for a vague feeling that it’s a good time to settle down. Whatever their answer, it’s good to know how your partner feels, because the last step involves a bit of critical thinking.
Finally, ask yourself if you’re okay with their answers.
It’s entirely possible that what they’re looking for, and the pace they would need to not feel rushed into anything, actually match up with what you want as well. It’s also possible that this person just isn’t a good fit for you. It’s up to you to decide whether or not their fears about being rushed are concerns you think are valid, or if they’re going to be a deal breaker.
But hey, making decisions can get hard, so here’s a really basic rundown of what you should do in 2 different scenarios:
They won’t feel rushed if you date for 3 months then commit, and that sounds good to you: Stick with them.
They don’t want to rush into a relationship because they never want to be in a relationship, but you do: Leave them.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, if you’ve got conflicting priorities, even if those priorities conflict when it comes to time, it’s probably a good idea to call it quits. They aren’t perfect for you if they don’t want the things you want, and are unwilling to compromise.
Good Luck Out There.