When it comes to dating, what consists of “too fast” and “love at first sight” is a sketchy gray line. Sure, it’s easy to look at your friend and think, “Wow, slow down, crazy, you’re not being smart about this,” but when it comes to evaluating your own relationships, that critique could be spot on or way off. Especially with speedy online dating making relationships come and go faster than ever, narrowing down when to put on the brakes is difficult.
If you’re uncertain, run your relationship through these 6 warning signs to make sure you’re not headed for trouble.
1. You Don’t Expect Relationship Checkmarks
There are steps that need to be observed in a relationship. Love at first sight means you can jump a few, but if you’re jumping most or all of them, watch out. They shouldn’t be allowed in your phone in the first few weeks, they can’t have a key to your apartment after a month, they don’t get to tell you who to be friends with, and they don’t get to demand where you’ve been after a date or two. There are checkmarks and milestones to be reached in a relationship; if you’re blazing through them, put on the brakes.
2. You Can’t Hold Them Up to Scrutiny
When your family asks why you trust them, or why they do something, or points out a flaw, you dispute it – but without any real reason. You can’t point to one specific event or sign that indicates why you should trust them, you can’t explain why you’re able to overlook a flaw, and “just because” becomes the answer to their questions. This is a sure sign you’ve put your significant other up on a pedestal, because you don’t “know” them, you idealize them. This will turn south as the relationship progresses past the honeymoon phase.
3. You’ve Completely Ditched Your Friends
Your friends will understand if you drop off the planet for the first few weeks of a relationship, but if those weeks turn into months, you have a problem. Why do you need to give your new boyfriend or girlfriend all of your attention? Are you afraid they’ll leave if you have a life of your own? Why are you so attached so soon? Better yet, why are you afraid to introduce them to your friends? You may already know your friends will throw up the red flags.
4. You’re Inseparable
On the flipside of ditching your friends, your new date has to come with you everywhere. Girls night or a weekend with the guys is out the window; bae is with you in every picture, at every gathering, and if your friends are texting you, you can bet the bae gets input. Craving time together is good, but being your own person and having time to yourself or for other people is healthy. If you’re not able to do this in the early stages, it’s a huge red flag.
5. “Come Meet the Family” After a Few Weeks
Meeting the family is a big step, and should be treated like it. When the relationship is just getting started, it’s important to get to know each other and retain your individualism. If you’re both eager to blend each other into your social circle right off that bat, then you’re more interested in the idea of them than “them.” Why else would you be showing them off, when you don’t even know if you should keep them?
6. The “I Love You” Comes Before They Really Know You
Holding hands or kissing goodnight is great for a first date, but the romantic gestures should be kept to a minimum in the early stages. They’re valuable gestures and shouldn’t be thrown around carelessly; if they are, then it’s a sign that neither of you is taking it seriously. If your date says the big three word sentence after a few weeks – or banish the thought, days – put on the brakes. They don’t mean it, and clearly they don’t care enough to make sure it has meaning before they say it.
If you’re going to fast, it’s not a sign to end the relationship. Just slow it down. Talk with your significant other and let them know about your concerns, and then back up to take things at a more reasonable pace. If they’re not willing to do this, then that’s your final warning sign – pull up.