Healthy relationships are most likely to move at 'the right' pace. Of course, when it comes to how fast a relationship should move, there are no definitive rules. Really, it's all about how you're both feeling and what feels comfortable.
Saying that, taking it slow can sometimes be a good thing depending on the type of people you are. Which is why it's important to take stock of how quickly your relationship is moving. "A number of factors can regulate the progress of a relationship," says Carole Ann Rice, a leading relationship expert and coach. "But the most important thing is that you are building something healthy and full of substance." Carole says the following signs might indicate you're moving a little too quickly.
You're not getting much personal space
Everyone, regardless of their personality, can benefit from having time to themselves. And, this one works both ways - allow your partner space, and make sure you are getting space, too. "In a new relationship, it seldom occurs where you spend every minute of every day with a person," Carole explains. "If your partner is constantly asking you where you are, wanting to know exactly what you’re doing, or even asking to be with you more than you wish for, it is a sure sign that your relationship could be moving too quickly."
This behaviour could also indicate a very unhealthy relationship, according to domestic abuse charity Women's Aid.
They invite you to go everywhere with them
This one's kind of linked to personal space. "Although contact is important in the early stages of getting to know someone, too much of it can be suffocating," Carole explains. "If your partner is constantly inviting you to places and events, but you can’t really be bothered, it may be time to have a talk and set boundaries. Having time apart from each other is healthy - and there'll be many opportunities to do things together in the future."
Meeting their family before you're ready
It's totally normal to be filled with the fear of god at the idea of meeting someone's family for the first time. "It's a huge milestone for many people as it adds a new dimension to the relationship," Carole says. "But, it can be highly stressful, and maybe even a little intimidating. If you aren’t ready for it, you need to delay this primary encounter as you could set a bad impression - and dampen the relationship."
Excessive future planning
It's easy to get carried away when you're planning a future together, and that's not necessarily always a bad thing. "It helps organisation within the relationship, and it could enhance each other’s goals," she explains. "However, if the plans are getting a little out of your comfort zone, this is a red flag. If you've just started dating someone, and they’re already trying to discuss major life events like buying a home, children, and marriage, it is time to slow down." And vice versa, if you're bringing up super big things like buying a house together very early on, you might want to take a step back and reassess.
You're feeling a bit tied down
In any healthy and respectful relationship, commitment is obviously key. "The blanket of security has to be there in order for it to flourish," Carole says. "But too much commitment is suffocating. A relationship should be natural, easy, and move at a pace that is right for both parties. If your partner is making decisions for you, obligating you to things that make you uncomfortable, or assuming that you agree without consulting how you feel, then it’s time to slow it down."
Be sure to always check in with yourself, to see how you're feeling. When it comes to relationships and what's right and wrong, you can pretty much always trust your gut instinct.