Experiencing a sudden, intense love for someone new can be thrilling, akin to plunging headfirst into a pile of cocaine. However, the aftermath can be equally chaotic. Although it may be frightening for those accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle, taking the time to slow down and genuinely understand another person is a better option.
1. Speed Used To Give Me A False Sense Of Control
My past behavior included hastily diving into relationships and sexual encounters, without pausing to reflect on my own feelings. This tendency led me to enter into toxic, codependent relationships quickly. I believed that taking charge in this manner meant I had power over my romantic life. Unfortunately, this belief was erroneous, as neither life nor love can be controlled.
2. Jumping Into Bed Used To Give Me A Toxic Sense Of Comfort
When I mention rushing through the early stages of a relationship, I am also referring to physical intimacy. I would often engage in sexual activity with someone on the first or second date, which resulted in a superficial connection. Although I pretended that this connection was genuine, it was merely an illusion that provided me with temporary comfort. This comfort was toxic and short-lived.
3. I Know My Past Ways Of Being Didn't Work, So I'm Now Trying Something New
Due to its tendency to cause disappointment, pain, and chaos, relying on speed proved to be ineffective time and time again. After recognizing this pattern in my life, I resolved to take things slower. Despite feeling extremely uncomfortable, I am determined to establish this new way of doing things.
4. I'm Learning To Stop Objectifying People
In the past, I slept with lovers hastily because I objectified them, viewing them solely as physical beings who could fulfill my desires. Eventually, this way of treating people felt awful. Today, I make a point to view everyone I date as a complex individual. Taking the time to get to know them slowly and genuinely, beyond their physical appearance.
5. Slowing Down And Actually Getting To Know Someone Means Being Vulnerable
By refusing to objectify people, I am committed to understanding their personalities, preferences, and idiosyncrasies. This discernment process allows me to decide whether or not I want to pursue a relationship. Adopting this approach has been a radical shift for me, as it requires both vulnerability and reciprocity from those I am dating.
6. I've Been Learning To Hold Off On Even Kissing Someone For A While
When physical intimacy happens too soon, it clouds my judgment. The rush of endorphins that floods my body makes it difficult for me to see the person in front of me clearly. To combat this, I've made a conscious effort to slow down and wait until later dates to engage in kissing or other physical contact. This helps me avoid using physical contact as a crutch for comfort and control. Instead, I'm allowing myself to discover who the person truly is through natural progression.
7. Taking Baby Steps Helps Keep My PTSD In Check
As a trauma survivor who has experienced sexual assault, physical intimacy before getting to know someone triggers a panic response in me, even if I initiated it. To avoid this, I take my time with the physical aspects of a relationship and don't engage in sexual activity until I know and trust the person. Although waiting may be uncomfortable for me, it's worth it to feel safe and avoid any triggering situations.
8. I Know The Right Person Won't Be Scared Off By Going Slow
If someone is put off by my desire to take things slow, then they're not the right fit for me. I'm not interested in rushing into physical intimacy just to please someone else. The right person for me will respect my choices and be happy to go at a pace that works for both of us. Anyone who isn't willing to do so is simply weeding themselves out of my life.
9. The Couples I Deeply Respect Took It Slow
What I desire in my relationships is not what everyone else seems to want. There are only two couples I look up to, and they share one thing in common: they took things slow at the start. These women were cautious about physical intimacy, likely due to their past traumatic experiences. I aim to follow their example by taking things slowly in my own dating life.
10. Walking Through Fear Can Often Mean Something Beautiful On The Other Side
It's challenging for me to break away from my old patterns, which is why I discuss my history so frequently. The thought of slowing down and being patient terrifies me, even though I understand the benefits. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that it's worthwhile to confront my fears and establish new habits. I believe that something beautiful awaits me on the other side.