Falling Too Fast...
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “Oh my god, he’s the one!,” within hours, days, or mere weeks after meeting a new guy? The trouble is, when you fall hard and fast, you aren’t really falling for him, because you don’t even know him- yet. Instead, you’re falling for the ideal man in your head, who you’re hoping he’ll be.
Here are some common signs of falling too fast. Within the first few weeks:
- You’re obsessed: You can’t stop thinking and talking about him.
- You’re in constant contact: You talk, text, or email every day, or even more frequently.
- You’re together often: You spend several weeknights and almost all weekend together.
- You’re higher than a kite: You experience intense emotions, which can include highs and lows.
- You can’t keep your hands off of him: You hop into bed and enjoy a whirlwind of romance right away.
Essentially, when you fall fast, you make the mistake of plugging this guy into your life, before you know if he’s really the right match. The risk? That the reality of him won’t match your dream version of him. And typically, within three months, your idealized version of love comes crashing down around you, as you both discover who you really are and realize the crucial match is missing. Then comes the heartbreak.
Or worse, you became so emotionally attached that once you know he isn’t the one, you still can’t break it off easily because you’ve allowed your lives to become so entwined. So instead of dating a few weeks and congenially moving on, you end up wasting 6, 9, 12 months on the wrong guy.
The Solution: Go Slow
You know the old saying about the slow turtle beating the speedy hare? That’s because the turtle knows that when you take your time, you can make smart decisions that get you where you want to go more quickly, without being blinded by illusion.
In fact, the only really safe way to date is slowly!
Here is the hitch. Mother Nature would rather you rush. You know those heady feelings of infatuation that crop up in the beginning? They actually make you want to race ahead like the hare.
The feelings are fabulous, but those love chemicals also blind you to reality, encouraging you to make decisions that are often not in your best interest, leading you off the road to finding real love, in favor of enjoying an exciting, romantic fling.
To avoid going off track, you need to slowly grow a new connection, giving yourself the time to accurately assess if this partner is really right for you.
Three Ways to Go Slow to Get Ahead in Love
To safely date, it helps to set a few limits in the beginning. These limits help you to go slowly so you can really get to know someone without becoming overly attached to him. The goal is to avoid plugging him into your life before you know if it’s the right fit. After the first month or so, gradually increase your connection only if you feel like all is going well.
1. Limit Your Time Together
In the rush of new love, you can feel compelled to spend every free moment together. In the very beginning, you should only get together once a week. You need to keep your life separate so you can objectively assess the situation without becoming dependent on his companionship.
2. Curtail the Contact
It’s easy to be temped to check in- a lot. But if you start talking and emailing every day, your new guy becomes a central part of your life, before you even know if he is deserving. By keeping your emails and phone calls to a couple a week, you gradually build familiarity without going off the deep end.
3. Keep Boundaries in your Brain Space
It’s easy to become preoccupied with a new beau, filling your head with yummy thoughts about him. But when you indulge in 24/7 fantasies, you actually add to the illusion about him, not the truth. So try to limit your thinking time to when you are with him and keep your attention on your own life when you are apart.
By going slowing with a new love interest, you can see clearly and make the best decisions based on the facts that keep you on track to creating a real love in less time.
Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D., is a relationship psychologist and dating coach. Her passion is coaching singles in Authentic Attraction so they can step into their best self and attract the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. She’s also an expert in helping singles dissolve the deepest obstacles that keep them from creating fulfilling relationships. Find out how to become a Mate Magnet by taking her quizzes at mysoulmatesolution.com.