Well it sounds like everyone enjoyed their weekends!  I received a few emails here is the first one:

How fast, is too fast for a relationship to progress? Say if both people are adults and have had many serious relationships in their pasts, and go into their new relationship at a faster than norm speed (whatever norm is). Also, how should you address the nay sayers. Even if they are well meaning family and friends that are just trying to look out for both parties? Shouldn’t the daters have the support (even if they are making their own mistakes by rushing?)

Sincerely, TR

Well TR you bring up an interesting point.  For a fast-paced society, we are very slow when it comes to relationships.  When our friends get married after 6 months, we often whisper, and wonder how long it will last.  (Side note- That is EXACTLY how long my parents dated and they’ve been married over 30 years!)

That being said sometimes it is a good idea to err on the side of caution.  Sometimes it is not.  Remember that concept of ‘the Pure Relationship’ that we talked about before?  Well it’s very important in understanding the contemporary dating mine field.   Relationships today are about mutual satisfaction insofar as both parties are feeling satisfied by the relationship.  At which point one of the parties it is not, this will signal end of the relationship.

In deciding what is ‘too fast’, you must ask yourself a few questions.

1- Is their still fresh baggage from these previous relationships?  Or has there been time for dust to settle on that baggage?  This isn’t an absolute, but fresh baggage can lead to a myriad of misunderstood signals and emotions.  It can lead to false hopes and false conclusions.  However, let’s be honest, we all have baggage.  If the dust has settled, and we can articulate exactly what this baggage is, then it is time to move on to question #2.

2- While getting caught up in the roller-coaster ride of this new relationship, are you losing yourself?  Is one becoming part of the two, but forgetting about the one?  It is very important, both early on, and decades into a relationship, to maintain your sense of self.  Relationships today are a partnership.  If one person gives too much of their ‘self’ to the relationship, both parties will suffer.  If you are still maintaining a sense of independence, of yourself as an individual, then proceed to question #3.

3- Are BOTH parties partaking in the speedy nature of this relationship?  This is a very important piece.  Sometimes when we find someone we really like, we unintentionally speed up this process.  We want to see them all the time, we get excited when they call or text, we even find ourselves thinking of them far too often.  The most important question; is it mutual?  Do you find them calling or texting as much as you?  Have they remarked “Wow this is awesome”?  Have they admitted their enjoyment in all of this?  If not, it may be time to tap the brakes.

On the other hand, if this is mutual, then it is time to go with it.  However structured your approach to dating and relationships is, sometimes you have to let go of control and go with it.  After all, the beginning of the relationship, is something you will only feel once, enjoy it.  Let yourself go for the ride and see where it takes you.  Constantly questioning the speed, will slow it down, and you may miss out.

Just understand the risks. With any relationship, you run the risk of heartbreak.  With any relationship, you run the risk of burn out.  That is why it is a crucial step to understand where the other party is at.  (Which, is often times puzzeling.)  That is why you have to be a clue detective.  Sometimes the other person will come right out and say, “this is crazy, and I love it”.  Sometimes you have to go deeper than that.  Beyond the frequency of calls and texts, watch the body language.  Do you catch them staring at you?  Do they always want to be near you?  Do you find them making up excuses to see you?  If the answers are yes, then it’s time to ease off those brakes for a bit.  Even with all the changes in contemporary society, most dating and relationships still have the eventual goal of living together, and still, quite often marriage.  If you get burnt out too quickly, this is a good sign that this was not the partnership for you.  One must be able to be around the person a great deal, and not pull their hair out.  There will be days (and sometimes weeks) of illness, of bad moods, and of blatant annoyance.  The key is making it through those bad days and back onto the good.

As long as you are feeling emotionally ready, you still feel yourself as an individual in part of a partnership, and you think the feelings are mutual, let yourself go.  Just be ready to tap the brakes when you aren’t feeling each one of these.

As for explaining it?  Friends and family always want what they feel is in the best interest of you.  The problem is, they aren’t you.  They don’t completely understand how you feel.  They aren’t there on those dates or for those phone conversations.  This is one case where you have to make the best decision for you.  And perhaps the most simple way to explain this to them is, “I’m just enjoying the ride”.  If they question further, another simple answer of, “I’m having fun.  I know the risks, but I’m having fun” is about as much as you need to give them.

With all the baggage we carry each and every day, sometimes, it’s nice to let go and stop trying to control every detail.  As much as The Relationship Academic advocates smart dating, sometimes you have to let go.  It is still possible, even this day in age, for people to be swept of their feet.  We can’t always control the outcome, but denying ourselves the experience at all, is counting ourselves out, before we ever make it in.