Going Slow In Dating Is Actually Way Scarier Than Falling Hard And Fast

Falling hard and fast in love with someone new is exhilarating — it’s almost like nose-diving into a pile of cocaine. The end result is about as messy. The alternative for someone used to the fast life is scary. Slowing down and really getting to know someone is out of my comfort zone, but I know it’s a better option.

  1. Speed used to give me a false sense of control. My history is that of someone who would barrel into relationships and sexual encounters. I’d never stop to breathe or ask myself how I was feeling. Instead, I’d get into a toxic, codependent relationship pretty much immediately. I thought that getting into this kind of relationship so quickly meant that I had control over the situation. This thought was false, I never have control over life or love.
  2. Jumping into bed used to give me a toxic sense of comfort. When I say I zipped through the early stages of a relationship, I mean physically too. I’d sleep with someone on the first or second date, forging a false sense of intimacy. The connection wasn’t real, but I felt comfort in pretending that we knew each other more than we did. This sense of comfort was totally toxic and was destined to burnout as fast as it started.
  3. I know my past ways of being didn’t work, so I’m now trying something new. Speed failed over and over again. It resulted in unmet expectations, a ton of hurt, and messiness. Since my patterns repeatedly showed me that speed wasn’t the answer, I decided to start slowing down. This new pattern I’m building scares the crap out of me because it’s outside of my comfort zone.
  4. I’m learning to stop objectifying people.One of the reasons I slept with lovers so quickly in the past was because I objectified them. I saw only their physical body and I used them to get my needs met. This way of being started to feel really awful after a while. Instead, today I radically see everyone I date as people. What an idea, huh? I take the time to go slow and actually see them for who they are underneath their sexy skin.
  5. Slowing down and actually getting to know someone means being vulnerable. Not objectifying people means that I need to get to know them for who they are. I see them as humans who have personalities, likes, and dislikes. I see their quirks and their flaws and I decide if I want to proceed in having a relationship. It’s been completely radical for me to really slow down and do this because that means people I’m dating are going through the same discernment process as me. It’s vulnerable to see and be seen.
  6. I’ve been learning to hold off on even kissing someone for a while. Getting physical too quickly blurs my judgment. I get all caught up in the endorphins that are rushing through my body and I can’t actually see the human who’s right in front of me. As a part of learning to go slow, I’ve been waiting until later dates to kiss people. It helps because I used to use that physical contact to feel comforted and in control. Now I’m forcing myself to live in the unknown zone – going through the natural process of discovering who a person is.
  7. Taking baby steps helps keep my PTSD in check. I’m a trauma survivor, meaning I’ve been sexually assaulted. As a result, when physical intimacy happens before I get to know someone, I go into freeze-mode. I panic, implode, and feel unsafe in my body, even if I initiated the contact. To save myself from this whole fiasco, taking my time in the physical aspects means that I don’t sleep with someone until I know and trust them. Waiting is out of my comfort zone, but it’s worth it.
  8. I know the right person won’t be scared off by going slow.Anyone who’s scared off by the fact that I want to go slow is totally not a keeper. If they’d rush me or run off because we’re going too slow, they’re weeding themselves out of my life. Alternatively, the person who’s happy to go at a pace that works for me will be one who’s worth keeping around. They won’t be scared off because they’ll honor my choices.
  9. The couples I deeply respect took it slow. There are only two couples in my life that I want to emanate. I don’t want what everyone else has. What these two couples have in common is that they moved slowly in the beginning stages. The women pumped the brakes with the physical aspect (both of them also are trauma survivors). I want to take a page from their books and slow things way down in my dating life.
  10. Walking through fear can often mean something beautiful on the other side. I’m talking so much about my history because I often feel scared to leave old patterns behind. The idea of taking things slow scares the crap out of me, despite knowing just how much beauty can be found when doing that. Nonetheless, I know in my heart that it’s worth walking through the fear to establish new patterns. Something beautiful will definitely be found on the other side.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.