Why A Guy Wants To “Take Things Slow” And What It Means

When you start seeing a new guy and things are going well, obviously you’re going to want to ramp things up quickly. After all, it’s not often that you find someone you actually like and who seems to like you back, so why wouldn’t you want to lock things down ASAP? However, when he turns around and says he’d like to “take things slow,” it can totally deflate you. What does this mean and why is he saying it? Here are a few possible meanings.

  1. He’s been hurt before and he’s scared of it happening again. It might seem like a giant red flag when a guy says he wants to take things slow, but there could be a really innocent reason behind it, and this is it. If he had a really bad breakup or got his heart totally stomped on by a previous girlfriend, maybe he’s really struggling with the damage that relationship caused. He could be terrified of experiencing the same thing again. Yes, you’re not her, but that doesn’t make it any easier to trust again.
  2. He wants to be sure how he feels about you before it gets too heavy. In a way, this guy is doing you a favor by requesting to take things slow. Yeah, it might not feel good knowing that he’s not 100% sure about you right away, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. You’d rather him be all about you and certain of his feelings for you than to lead you on and then decide in a few weeks or a few months that he’s just not feeling it anymore. In this case, pacing yourselves is a blessing in disguise.
  3. He doesn’t want to give up being a bachelor. This is pretty immature but it does happen. He might be interested in dating you but he also loves playing the field and not being tied down. By slowing down the pace at which your relationship progresses, he can continue to claim that you’re not exclusive and that he’s doing nothing wrong by dating multiple women at once without risking losing you. Lame but true.
  4. He doesn’t actually want a long-term relationship. He might be happy to date you, maybe even exclusively, but the guy might want to take things slow because he doesn’t want a long-term relationship and all the responsibilities that come with it. Maybe being a boyfriend isn’t really for him but he doesn’t know how to tell you to (and doesn’t want to) because he still wants you in his life. If that’s the case, he should just come out and say it.
  5. He legitimately wants to do things right this time. It’s tempting to want to jump right in with this guy, especially if he checks a lot of boxes on your list. However, he’s likely doing the right thing by suggesting you take things slow because it gives you both an opportunity to truly get to know one another and see if your chemistry will last and if you’re compatible long-term. It may be frustrating and you may want to pick up the pace, but give it time. If it’s meant to be, you’ve got forever.


Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia