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Exactly How Slow Is Too Slow in a Relationship? Must-Know Details

Progress is progress regardless of the speed, but exactly how slow is too slow in a relationship that doesn’t seem to be moving?

Exactly How Slow Is Too Slow in a Relationship

In a relationship, it’s hard to know whether you should chill out and go with the flow or have ‘the conversation’ about where things are going. If you want the relationship to move forward over time, you have to know that you’re both on the same page and that you want the same things, right? Because, honestly, exactly how slow is too slow in a relationship really?

The problem is, you might think that you’re simply going with a very slow flow. In actual fact, you’ve been friendzoned and never realized it. In that case, the relationship is never going to move at all, because friendships don’t tend to move very much over time!

[Read: Have you been friendzoned? Flirty ways to slide back into the sexual zone]

With that in mind, it’s important to know that some movement is happening, that you both have the same idea about the relationship. You also should know exactly how slow is too slow in a relationship to help you figure out the best time for that dreaded conversation, if need be.

How slow is too slow in a relationship?

It’s important to mention one thing! You should never compare your relationship to anyone else’s. Everyone’s relationships move at slightly different paces. For instance, I have a friend who was engaged and married after four months of meeting her partner. You might think that’s super quick, but for them it worked very well.

I also have a friend who has been with her partner for upwards of ten years. They’re still living in their own apartments and living a very casual life. They like it. Again, it works for them.

[Read: The 9 relationship stages that all couples go through]

It’s about whether you’re both happy with the pace of the relationship. However, if you’re wondering exactly how slow is too slow in a relationship, the chances are that you feel something isn’t quite right.

At the start of a relationship, you can’t push things. It’s never wise to attempt it. There are many people in the world who become freaked out whenever someone they’re seeing starts to question what the relationship is or whenever they try and move things to the next level. That’s all very well and good if you’ve been dating for a short amount of time and you’re both trying to figure things out; however, if you’ve been dating for a considerable length of time, you might want to consider whether or not you’re dating someone who is terrified of commitment.

[Read: How to work through the most common commitment issues]

Personally, I think within the first three months you shouldn’t question or push anything speed-wise. Go with the flow, enjoy the first flourishes, and get to know one another. You don’t need to add any pressure onto this type of situation.

However, what if you’ve reached a whole year of dating stage, and you still haven’t met the parents? That’s when I’d be red-flagging the whole situation! If you’re asking exactly how slow is too slow in a relationship, that’s when I’d worry.

If you’ve been seeing someone for almost a year or over a year and you aren’t a solid part of their life by that point, i.e. you haven’t met family and you’re not known by their friends, are they hiding you? Why don’t they want you to be part and parcel of their daily life? Sure, some people are just a little slow on the uptake with these things. Maybe you need to have a conversation, but if after that they still don’t show any signs of movement, quite frankly, it’s not looking good. [Read: How to tell if you’re in a low-key relationship or a secret affair]

There is no solid timeline or acceptable amount of time for things like moving in together, engagement, marriage, children, etc. These things come when they’re ready. In some cases they don’t come at all. Not everyone wants to live with their partner, not everyone wants to get married, and many people don’t want to have children. Provided you both agree then there’s no need to even think about progress for these subjects. However, showing someone that they’re an important part of your life does need to happen. And there should be progress in this case.

[Read: The grey area dilemma of dating exclusively but not in a relationship]

For instance, things like saying “I love you” when you’re ready, spending time together in each other’s homes, meeting family and friends, going away on vacation together, and having conversations about the future, these are all things which need to happen at some stage in a relationship.

If they’re not happening, either the person you’re with doesn’t see the need, i.e. they’re not invested in the relationship, or you’ve totally misunderstood the situation and you’re actually been friendzoned. Relationships are confusing, right?

Comparisons never work

Never compare your relationship to someone else’s. Timelines are different for everyone. As long as you’re making some progress and you’re happy with the speed of it, that’s all that should matter.

In terms of how slow is too slow in a relationship, the answer is it’s too slow when you don’t feel appreciated and feel like it’s going nowhere. You have to be realistic and make sure that you’re not rushing at the start. However, if a good enough amount of time has passed, e.g. upwards of six or seven months to a year, and nothing is changing, it’s time for a conversation.

[Read: The 10 definite signs it’s time for the relationship talk]

Will it be a fun conversation? Probably not. But you’re the one asking how slow is too slow in a relationship and obviously worried about what’s going on. There’s no way to sugarcoat it either. You simply sit down and say something along the lines of “we’ve been dating for x number of months now, where is this going?” Terrifying? Yes. Necessary? Definitely. [Read: How to bring up the relationship talk without feeling awkward]

Some might not agree with me, but it’s better to know? Now, it’s important to get the timing right. Under no circumstances even attempt to have this conversation underneath the seven month mark. Don’t do it. It won’t end well. However, you deserve to know where the relationship in your life is going if no progress has been made. If nothing is happening, if everything just feels like Groundhog Day, what have you got to lose?

Perhaps your partner wants to move things along but doesn’t quite know how to do it. Maybe they were scared that you didn’t want the same thing. In that case, this conversation is the ideal time to put both of your worries aside and start some movement.

[Read: 19 sure signs you’re ready for a serious relationship]

The thing is, how slow is too slow in a relationship is such a personal deal. I can’t give you any specific dates. It’s not like I can say “if you have met their parents after five months, you’re doomed!” Every situation is different! You have to be happy with the pace. If you’re not, and if enough time has elapsed, then you need to do something about it for your own happiness. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself ticking along with zero progress and become slowly more resentful as a result.

Of course, it could be that you’ve found yourself in that dreaded friend zone and you had no idea. In that case, it’s time to get yourself out of it, or decide that the relationship just isn’t meant to be romantic. Again, it’s far better to know!

[Read: How to take a relationship slow but not so slow that it ends it]

Asking exactly how slow is too slow in a relationship is almost like asking “how long is a piece of string?” Nobody has a solid answer. What’s important is if you’re happy with the progress. And you do something about it if you aren’t.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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