What It Means to "Take Things Slow" in a Relationship

The phrase means different things to different people.

taking it slow

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When it comes to dating and relationship lingo, the expression “taking things slow” can mean different things to different people. For instance, it can refer to someone’s desire to hold off on engaging in different kinds of intimate acts, while other people might think of it as wanting to spend a certain amount of time together before making a more serious commitment.

What Is "Taking It Slow"?

"Taking it slow" is a colloquial phrase used to indicate that a romantic relationship is progressing slowly, physically and/or emotionally.

Whatever the case may be, if your partner tells you that they'd like to take things slow, it’s important to understand the possible motivations and explanations behind that come along with this statement. We break it all down ahead.

They're Just Getting Out of a Serious Relationship

In many cases, people want to take things slow because they’re just getting out of a serious commitment, and the thought of immediately plunging back into an intense connection with someone new is a bit daunting. If your partner had been hurt in this past relationship and/or has been off the market for some time, it may be even more challenging for him or her to fully open his or her heart to you right off the bat. With this in mind, taking things slow enables your partner to develop your new connection at a rate that’s comfortable.

They're Setting Boundaries for Intimate Acts

Another incentive for your partner’s desire to take things slowly may simply have to do with their comfort level and/or the importance they place on certain physical acts. For example, some people choose to be intimate right away, while others want to wait a certain amount of time before moving their relationship to new levels. By taking things slowly, your partner is able to build a physical as well as emotional connection with you at a relaxed pace that’s pressure-free.

They're Figuring Out Their Wants and Needs

Your partner may not be fully able or ready to move your relationship forward at a faster pace, because they may still be unsure about what he or she’s looking for at this point in his or her life. To that end, your partner may still want to get to know you better, date other people, and/or fully explore their options before diving into something more serious with you—and taking things slowly grants the freedom to do so.

They're Trying to Avoid Ruining a Good Thing

Another motivation for this approach is that your partner doesn't want to ruin or rush the good thing you have going together. After all, many relationships that start off too fast can end up leading to heartache and heartbreak because you and your partner took major relationship steps before really getting to know each other. However, by taking things slow, your partner is hoping to build an even stronger foundation on which your budding and blooming connection can grow.  

They're Setting by a Timeframe for Relationship Milestones

Your partner may have assigned meaning to different relationship milestones, occurrences, and events. For example, they may put a great deal of importance on introducing you to his parents, going on a trip together, or even becoming friends on Facebook. And in order for your partner to be truly comfortable, ready, and willing to hit these self-proclaimed monumental relationship moments, taking things slow enables these occurrences to happen when the timing is right in every respect.

So, Is This for Me?

Once you understand the different possible reasons behind your partner’s motivation, you can then decide if you’re on board with his or her timetable with respect to your own wants and needs. After all, relationships are all about timing, and if you and your partner have conflicting preferences and priorities regarding its pace, it may be a bigger sign that you may not want to enter into a relationship with this person.

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