It's easy to get carried away when you're physically attracted to someone and end up getting serious after only a few dates. Taking a new relationship slowly gives you the chance to really get to know the person before you make a long-term commitment and gives you a better chance at a happier, healthier, more committed relationship, says Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., in the Psychology Today article "How Long Does It Take to Get to Know Someone?" It's possible to strike a balance between taking your time and letting the person know you're interested in them.
Keep busy. Arrange evenings with your friends and devote time to activities you enjoy without your new partner. If you quickly get into the habit of spending all your free time together, the relationship is more likely to speed up. Your relationship will be healthier in the long term if you both have individual social lives and interests. Plan dates well in advance and let your partner know you are looking forward to getting together to show you are still keen. Send him a text message to tell him you're thinking of him if you haven't seen him for several days. This will reassure him that he's still on your mind even though you haven't met up in person.
Take your time to reveal your feelings to your partner, even if you are bursting to declare your love. Don't mention love during the early stages. If you do, you'll find yourself in a very serious relationship, possibly before you're ready. Focus on getting to know your partner, which will allow you to decide at a more appropriate time whether she is a potential long-term love interest. Compliment your partner on the qualities you find attractive in her and say how much you enjoy spending time with her to show your interest.
Delay sex until you've had a chance to work out whether your partner is right for you in other ways, advises Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., in the Psychology Today article "Take It Slow If You Want Your Relationship to Last." It's easier to be objective about a relationship when sex isn't in the picture. Show your partner affection by holding his hand and cuddling so that he doesn't feel rejected.
- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images