12 effective ways to slow down a relationship without breaking up

New relationships move quickly.

They’re exciting and thrilling and you can’t get enough of your new love interest.

But sometimes, our relationships can move so quickly that it leaves us a little bit breathless and anxious.

Before you know it, you are ready to move in together, plan a future, merge your families and commit. Perhaps it’s time to slow things down a little?

You don’t need to break up with this person or give them ultimatums. You just need to take things from fast forward to second gear.

Here are 12 ways to slow down a relationship without breaking up. Let’s jump right in.

1) Communicate your needs and expectations

slow 12 effective ways to slow down a relationship without breaking up

The best way to ensure that a relationship is going at a comfortable pace is to communicate your needs and expectations.

Remember to be mindful of your partner’s needs and expectations as well. Relationships involve two people, and it’s hard to know what your partner needs if you don’t check-in.

If you have been in a relationship where you had to compromise or rush certain things, it might be worth the effort to see if you can avoid those traps with your new partner.

Before diving headfirst into a new relationship, take some time to think about what you want and what you need.

What do you need to feel comfortable at this stage of your life?

What do you need to feel confident in this new relationship?

Make sure to take some time to lightly communicate where you are at. These don’t have to be serious conversations but can be fun and something to get excited about.

2) Set flexible boundaries

If you’re feeling pressured to move faster than you’re comfortable with, set some boundaries, and don’t be afraid to use them.

Remember that these boundaries are for learning and can be adjusted.

If you don’t feel ready to meet your partner’s parents, then don’t feel bad about it. The timing might not feel right.

If you don’t feel ready to pick a serious relationship, then don’t feel bad about that, either.

If you’re not ready to start seeing each other every day and sleeping over, then don’t feel bad about that, either.

Give yourself a break and let your partner know what your boundaries are.

Let them know that you are willing to grow and adapt to them in time also.

Your partner may even appreciate it. Boundaries are a sign that you’re confident, that you are driven and self-aware, and that you respect yourself.

But it’s important to adapt with your partner. If you go in too rigid, it doesn’t give you space to learn and grow. So it’s important to also be flexible.

3) Only commit to small things

slow1 12 effective ways to slow down a relationship without breaking up

One way to slow down a relationship without breaking up is to commit to small things at the beginning of your relationship and see how it goes.

Maybe commit to going on a weekly date, keeping communication open, or to only seeing each other a few times a week during the first few months of dating.

Maybe committing to only seeing each other twice a week would feel more comfortable or appropriate.

Maybe committing to telling each other the truth even if it’s uncomfortable would be appropriate.

Small commitments at the beginning of a relationship are enough to show that you’re serious, but not so serious that you’re in a full-blown relationship.

While the suggestions in this article will help you slow down the pace and intensity of your relationship, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

Relationship Hero has experienced coaches who can effortlessly help you to set the tone of your relationship, and keep it enjoyable and light.

We all get excited when we first start a relationship with someone. And it’s easy to jump in quickly. An experienced coach can help you to find practical ways to slow down the pace of your relationship without having to compromise the whole thing.

To be honest, after going through difficulties in my own love life, I reached out to them. I was feeling frustrated with my decisions. They gave me a unique insight into how I approach my relationships and helped me to set a pace that I was more comfortable with.

If you also want tailored advice specific to your relationship, I can’t help but recommend them.

Click here to get started.

4) Establish new habits

If you want to pace your relationship, instead of jumping into your regular dating routine, try out different activities and create new habits.

Your well-being needs to keep learning new things and it brings more into your relationship. The more you do for yourself, the more you have to share.

Keep yourself busy with a diverse range of interests.

Also, it’s a great idea to try new things together. This can help to keep the relationship fresh and vibrant.

If you’ve been dating for a long time and are looking for a way to slow down the relationship without breaking up, try out something new.

Start a new hobby or take up a new sport.

Create a new tradition with your partner or at least a time each week that you keep for one another to explore new realms and try to stick with it.

If you’re an introvert or if you’ve been in a long-term relationship and are looking for a way to slow down a relationship without breaking up, try out some new activities and this will keep you out and about and learning new things.

It’s all too easy to retreat into an isolated introverted shell in our relationships.

5) Celebrate the good stuff

slow2 12 effective ways to slow down a relationship without breaking up

Celebrate the small things in your relationship and don’t worry so much about the big milestones.

This will help to keep your relationship light and easy and help to slow down the pace when it feels like it is getting too serious.

In any relationship, it can be easy to start taking each other for granted. So it’s important to have fun with it.

While dating someone new, remember to celebrate the good stuff and show appreciation for each other in ways that are fun and exciting.

You don’t have to get caught up in milestone anniversaries or waiting for a proposal, but just celebrate a great week at work or a project that finally got completed.

Focus on the little things and spend time together well.

Don’t worry about committing to a long-term relationship or having all the answers.

Instead, focus on enjoying the present moment and appreciating what you have with your partner.

6) Take a break

Sometimes when you’re feeling overwhelmed in your relationship, it can feel like everything is happening too quickly. You might feel a desperate need to slow down your relationship and put on the brakes.

Before you hit the point of panic, it’s important to give yourself some time. Be patient.

Permit yourself to take a mental break from it.

It’s ok to turn the phone off, go for a long walk out, or hide away during a weekend.

If you feel like things are going too fast in your relationship, take some time and space to think about what’s going on and how to slow things down before you head back into the dating pool and start to disrupt your new relationship.

It’s perfectly fine to take time for yourself and your other dating relationships if this one gets to mean too much to you.

7) Set sub-goals

If you feel like your partner is pressuring you to commit too much too fast, set some sub-goals for your relationship so that you can slow it down.

Sub-goals are a great way to get the rush of feeling like you’re accomplishing something without making it all or nothing.

Instead of committing to moving in together, set a sub-goal for finding an apartment together in the same neighborhood. You can learn to spend more time together and get used to one another while maintaining your independence.

It helps to take the pressure off if you keep a place of your own.

With a new relationship, it can be easy to want to make everything happen quickly. But in the long-term, it’s important to know that you have a place you can always return to if you need it.

8) Stay connected

slow3 12 effective ways to slow down a relationship without breaking up

If you feel like your partner is pressuring you to commit too much too fast, make sure that you have a strong group of friends who will support and encourage you in your relationship.

This is a great way to help to slow down your relationship when you feel like it’s moving too fast.

Friends are a great way to keep yourself balanced and well-rounded in your life. They help to fill your time with meaningful encounters and will be with you along the way.

They can be a great source of advice when you’re feeling nervous or unsure about what’s going on in your relationship or how it’s progressing.

9) Be respectful

Everyone has different goals and expectations for their relationships at different stages of life.

If you feel like your partner is pressuring you to commit too much too fast, make sure that you respect what they want from their relationship and show them that you’re open-minded.

It may be okay to respectfully decline their advances or to let them know what you’re thinking and feeling without backing down or arguing.

Make sure to let them know how you are feeling and what you are thinking so that you don’t hold yourself back or shut down and then explode into a difficult array of emotions later on.

It’s important to communicate openly and honestly with them. There are many surprising ways to communicate better with your partner.

10) Stay in sync

To keep your relationship from moving too fast, it’s important to stay in sync with your partner and that you don’t push from your end.

This means that you both have to be working towards the same goals and that you’re both on the same page about how big or small the next step should be.

If you both decide to take it slow, then don’t worry about meeting each other’s families or taking each other to big events or vacations. Keep it light and easy.

If you feel like your partner wants more, then make sure you ask what that means to them.

Are they looking to get married?

What do they think about children?

What about shared expenses and income?

Make sure you understand what getting in sync means before you commit to something that you might not be aligned with.

11) Keep it balanced

slow4 12 effective ways to slow down a relationship without breaking up

When you’re dating someone new, it may be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the relationship and forget about all the things that are important outside of the relationship.

So taking a moment to slow it down is perfectly fine. This might mean that you only date once a week for the first three months.

This also gives you a chance to see the person for a longer period and understand how they are in different situations.

Make sure that you remain aware of your self-care needs and that you don’t lose yourself in the new relationship.

Be sure to keep your existing friendships strong, too. And that you take on new commitments outside of the relationship. Otherwise, it can feel like you are getting pulled into a vortex of a new relationship.

12) Be present

If you are feeling like you need to slow down your relationship, it’s a great moment to tune into what is happening in front of you.

Are you too focused on the future?

Are you fully present in the moment at hand?

You can learn a lot about someone in a few minutes. This is especially true during the early stages of dating someone new.

If you feel like your partner is pressuring you to commit too much too fast, this can mean that they are uncomfortable with being open and vulnerable and that they might have some issues holding intimacy in their relationship.

Love yourself first

The beginning of a relationship is the best time to be cautious. But it’s normal to jump into them and get carried away by the passion and excitement.

There are so many things you want to do with this person and explore with your new partner.

But in the long run, you know that some things take time and trust takes a great deal of effort to build.

While dating someone new, it’s just fine to put your foot on the brake now and then and give yourself some space.

We all need it.

Slowing down a relationship without breaking up could help your partnership grow stronger in the long run.

The way I see it is you have two options.

You can keep trying to figure out how to adjust your external relationships.

Or you can work on the internal relationship you have with yourself.

If you’re dealing with feeling afraid that you will lose your relationship because you want to take it slower, have you considered getting to the root of the issue?

How confident do you feel with your decisions and choices?

Are you ok with letting this relationship go? Or are you clinging to it even though it feels wrong?

Most of our shortcomings in love stem from our complicated relationships with ourselves.

We battle with feelings of knowing that something isn’t good for us but we want it regardless. And it can cause a great deal of pain and suffering.

Dealing with the internal first, or setting it as a priority as you work through your other relationships, is an important lesson that the shaman Rudá Iandê shares. He details it in his insightful video on Love and Intimacy. It’s free and worth the watch.

If you want to dive right into the heart of why you easily feel overwhelmed and overshadowed by your relationships, it’s a great place to start.

Check out the free video here.

The more you can work on yourself, the better you will feel and the more that will feed into your relationships.

So I hope you can see this moment as an opportunity to dive into the root of the issue that is provoking you. It’s a great time to explore it.


Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.