3 Benefits Of Taking It Slow
Slowing down at the start of a relationship not only saves time, but may make you closer and healthier.
I am speeding down a side street paralleling the freeway, hustling from one errand to another. It’s one of those days where it feels like maybe I should have stayed in bed – one thing after another has gone wrong. In trying to save time, I ordered a new modem online, paid for it, and set to pick it up at the store. Instead, when I got there, already running behind my over-scheduled lunch hour, I had to wait in 3 lines to get my modem that was supposed to be grab and go.
Thanks to the sour look I gave the millennial who handed it to me with a naive smile, I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m an cranky old lady. In this moment I probably am. I am headed to errand two – helping a friend move heavy furniture into her new office, when I pull up to a stop sign. Suddenly, an SUV pulls up to my right, the window rolls down and a paper cup is being hurled at my window. “You need to slow down,” the angry driver yells at me.
Later, I would think of the perfect comeback: “I’m not sure I should be taking driving advice from someone who throws garbage at people.” Instead, never one to think of such clever things in the moment, I give her a sarcastic smile, wave and yell “Ok bye!” Yeah that was the best I had on short notice. As she speeds away, tires squealing ahead of me (ironic right?), I realize that despite her crappy delivery, she was right. I needed to slow down.
Later at home, feet up in front of the fire, glass of wine in front of me, I can’t help but wonder: why do we get ourselves so hurried? What would happen if we slowed down a little? In life? In dating? Here are 3 benefits to slowing down in dating.
1. You’re less likely to ignore red flags
When we first start dating a woman, we’re likely to see just what we want to see. We are biologically built to connect, to find things in other people that are similar to ourselves and to bond. Once sex is involved the stakes get even higher. Literally. Having an orgasm, kissing, or even just hugging releases the powerful hormone oxytocin, which acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain that contributes to our connection with a partner and can cause virtual blindness to incompatible traits or red flags. By going slow at the beginning of a relationship, we set ourselves up to getting to know each other deeply. Then we can decide if we’re compatible the healthiest way possible – by noticing patterns over time.
2. You’re less likely to abandon yourself
I read an article recently that described the number one issue in relationships as
self-abandonment. After repeating this pattern again and again in my own relationships up until this point, I can attest to just how damaging losing ourselves in a relationship can be. For example, you like to play soccer. Playing soccer lights you up inside, creates social connections, and keeps you active. When you start dating a new woman you don’t want to miss out on time together so you skip a few practices, then a few games. Then work gets busy and before you know if you haven’t played soccer in a long time. Without this key part of yourself engaged, you literally are not the same person, which not only robs you of one of your passions in life, but places an unnecessary burden on the relationship and may create resentment over time. By going slow at the beginning of a relationship, we’re less likely to let go of the pieces that make us –us.
3. You’re more likely to find the one
Compatibility and real connection are all about shared values, mutual respect, trust, intimacy, vulnerability, and passion. These pillars of relationships develop over time, and by going slow in the beginning we give ourselves the opportunity to see if they are available in the relationship. If there is one thing I have learned in love it’s that when we haven’t taken the time in the beginning to get to know each other really well, the foundation is shaky, and can crumble later under the weight of real life.
When we meet an amazing woman, particularly after a long period of being single, it can be tempting to jump right in and fall into the U-Haul speed of light pace of moving forward. By taking it slow in the beginning though, we set ourselves up for more awareness, more self-care, and more true connection. After all, isn’t that what we really want in dating and relationships?
To read more about healthy dating, check out Girls’ Guide to Healthy Dating or read Girls’ Guide to Healthy Dating: Between the Break Up and the Next U-Haul.