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You’ve been dating for just one month and he wants to move in together. It seems that, despite stereotypes, in some instances it’s the man that’s speeds up the process when it comes to relationships. We discuss how to identify whether your relationship is moving too fast and how to slow things down.

Understanding his rush
A man could be motivated by any number of factors when it comes to his need to rush the next step. If a man immediately wants to live together or get engaged, it’s wise to question his motives, says relationship counsellor and executive coach Mary Ovenstone. “A common motivation is a man’s need to be cared for. He may be looking to replace his mother or find someone to fulfil a feminine role in his life.”

Handling his behaviour
While we may worry when our relationships are fast-tracked, for many of us it may feel like a dream come true. “Women are flattered by attention from men and by the idea that ‘it’s me he wants’. However, when we’re in a fast relationship, we run the risk of becoming embroiled in a relationship that’s all about his wants and needs,” says Ovenstone. “Women love feeling desired and desirable by men, but we should be careful not to equate desire and love,” she continues. If you’re feeling uneasy by your new man’s behaviour or think he’s placing your relationship on the fast track, ask him why and trust your instincts. His motivations may not be as pure as you think they are.

Pace yourself
Often it’s women who feel rushed to fulfil their idealistic fantasies of marriage and babies. “Women often put up with bad behaviour because they want to get married,” says Ovenstone. “In their 20s women often don’t have enough experience to make such a big commitment; they’re still getting to know themselves. Make it a goal to wait until your 30s before marriage,” she advises. Obviously we all mature at different rates, but make sure you’re not caught up in the excitement of a fast-paced relationship because you’re vulnerable and lack self knowledge.

If you feel bulldozed, it’s time to set some boundaries. Maybe limit the amount of time you spend together or let him know that you’d prefer to take things slowly. If he doesn’t respect your feelings, maybe he’s not right for you. It’s important to feel secure and supported in a relationship. “Have a sober approach when making important life decisions,” concludes Ovenstone.