He Said, She Said: Taking It Slow?

I'm just starting out a new relationship and I really like the guy. I want to take it slow and not rush things - if you know what I mean. How do I know that I am not taking it too slow for him? I don't want him to lose interest in me and I'm afraid that we're not at a point where we can talk about these kinds of things just yet. Help? —Easy Rider

He Said:

Dear Easy Rider,

Ah, keeping that balance can be a really tough thing to do. On one hand, you don’t want to move too fast but you also don’t want your new boyfriend to lose interest.

While the easy solution would be to just sit down and have a conversation about the relationship and where you both see it heading at each turn, it’s not always that easy. But I’m going to be an advocate for your boyfriend. Here’s what you should be keeping in mind from his side:

First off, you should know that your boyfriend could totally be thinking the same thing. Let’s not jump to conclusions and think that all he wants to do is score, he could be equally as nervous about it. Not all of us have a one-track-mind, though many of us do.

Granted, you must remember that he is a guy. Eventually that thought will cross his mind, and if you are continually shutting him down, things could get ugly. My advice is to let him know you are into him but make it obvious that a home run isn’t going to happen for a few more innings.

Not wanting to rush things (for a short period of time, I hope — as does your boyfriend) is normal and probably means that you really like this guy, which is good. I’m sure he’d love to hear what you are thinking, mainly so he can guestimate how long until the momentous event happens.

So keep his interest up and be clear with him. After all, we don’t understand you women at all.

HCXO,
 He Said

She Said:

Dear Easy Rider,

I completely understand your concern. When you first enter into a new relationship, the honeymoon effect envelops you. Oxytocin is at a dangerously delicious high. There are butterflies in your stomach every time you see him and every T-cell in your body is screaming “don’t screw this up!”

That being said, I think you’re looking at this situation from the wrong angle. I know that you are concerned about keeping the relationship hot but if you are not comfortable advancing sexually, then don’t do it! His ideas about the rate at which relationships should progress should not dictate yours. Further, sex is not an irrevocable right. It is your body. Thus, you have the final say on how far things go.

However, if you have made the conscious decision to take things slow, you must also honor that. Don’t be a tease! Some women think that this sort of coy behavior is endearing or sexy. News flash: it’s not. It’s honestly just confusing. So, if you are not willing to engage in certain things, then do not put on a facade like you are (I know this is an easy trap to fall into, especially when those late night texts get flirtatious!). Do not work him up just to shy away when he pursues you further. You need to establish boundaries and they need to be clear so that neither party is surprised or upset later. Basically, you WILL have to discuss this with him. Better to do that early on in the relationship and clear the air than to wait out of fear and leave ambiguity. Besides, the best relationships are based on foundations of honesty and openness. If you cannot be open with your partner, who can you be open with?

Lastly, do not be intimidated by the thought of losing him. Trust me, if he is worthy of you, he will not be put off by having to wait on some things. If he is, then consider what that says about him. Disregard looks and those butterflies and look at his character. A man who cannot wait until you are ready is showing signs of impatience and a lack of understanding and respect for your views. You do not need a man like that in your life.

HCXO, She Said