What does it mean to "take it slow?"

In the secular sense, “taking it slow” means putting off engaging in physical intimacy and instead focusing on getting to know each other. How exactly do you take it slow in Catholic dating, when premarital sex is already out of the question? In terms of things like kissing (on the cheek or on the lips), holding hands, putting your arm around her, meeting the parents, having the exclusivity talk, saying the L-word, etc., etc., how fast - or slow - should these types of things go?

And yes, I told a girl we’d take things slow without actually knowing what it means. I really like this girl, and don’t want to scare her off. Help a fella out, will ya?

Thank you.

It simply means going at her pace and getting to know her first before jumping the gun with emotions. Men often seem to go at a faster pace then women. My ex professed all kinds of emotions even love and we had just met and he didn’t even really know me. Just take your time and court her the old fashioned way with time and patience. She’ll let you know when she’s ready to move on to more of a commitment.

Thank you for the reply. I’m curious as to how you reacted when your ex professed his love for you when you had just met, if you don’t mind.

OP, it depends upon the people involved, where they are in life, how old they are,etc, etc. Within one year, I had two entirely different reactions to two different guys I was dating when they said the “L” word. Both said it within three weeks of us starting to date. The first guy who said it, scared me to bits and it wasn’t long after that I ended it. The second guy that said the “L” word within such a short time frame of meeting each other and starting to date, I married and we’ve been together over 13 years now. We both knew we had met our future spouse after the first week of dating and we were engaged 5 months after first meeting each other.

There isn’t any rhyme or reason sometimes to “taking it slow”. I disagree with you though that it means people are waiting to become physical with each other. When I used the term when I was single, it meant the relationship had the potential to become more but the mutual trust was still being built due to different styles of communication between me and the person I was dating. With my husband, we clicked from the start, trust was built pretty quickly. We both progressed in deepening our relationship at the same pace because we were communicating at the same level and trusting being vulnerable with each other. We were both older, mid 20s, I think that made a difference as well, both knowing what we wanted for our futures. We both had discerned marriage was each of our individual vocations before we met each other.

I hope that helps.

I think the first response almost hit the mark exactly, but I’d like to add that it isn’t always gender specific. For example, my wife was much faster in wanting to move the relationship along when we were dating than I was. I was not ready! :slight_smile:

I would say that women are the biggest for being too hung up in infatuation and wanting to move faster. My point is how did you know after a week you both were right for each other, i would just like to know by those whom are married is this always the same. Does it just hit you. I always thought you needed at least a year to find out, with my EX we were going with each other 3 year’s and i had finally come to accept it wasn’t meant to be and it is much better this way, if one is not certain after a year does that mean it isn’t right?

It did, it just hit both of us. It just seemed like we moved at the same speed, wanting the same things out of life, we were both Catholic and had the same set of values and morals. I didn’t go into the first date telling myself I’m meeting my future spouse and its all going to go according to a plan. It just happened. I had been in two long term relationships before, and never had the same reaction as I did when I even first met my husband, let alone after the first couple of dates.

I do think it meant all the difference in the world that we were both over the age of 25, both had jobs/career paths, and were done with the whole typical dating scene. We both had gone through our own independent discernment phases and we never played the certain games in dating that younger single people tend to play. I think we were pretty much grown up as individual people. We’ve grown as a couple for sure, and I’m still finding new stuff out about my husband every day, but fundamentally he’s the same person he was the day I met him, and vice versa. His core character is still the same.

Taking it slow also means not rushing into the L word when you barely know each other. It means even holding off on the mild physical touches at least until you get to know the person a bit more. I think many times new couples are in love with the new and thrilling idea of dating each other, and not yet in love with the person, whom they don’t even know yet. When my wife and I were dating, I waited some months to tell her I loved her, because I wanted to get to know her first, and to mean what I said.

This is so helpful. I am constantly suprised by the difference a few years makes. I feel like the last relationship (over 5 years ago) was spent playing a lot of silly, early 20’s emotional games and not really spent on anything grounded. It’s like a breath of fresh air when you finally can see past all of that and appreciate and respect the maturity that comes with being a little older. :thumbsup:

That said, “taking it slow” can mean a bunch off different things and you can definitely go to far in the “slow” direction, I have found, where you put off commitment of any kind for so long that the relationship eventually dwindles. I think in that situation, neither person wants to admit that they have some subconscious reservations about the relationship, so they put up a wall of excuses and reasons for why they can’t move on.

In any event, a certain amount of time seems beneficial, but my guess is that it just is going to vary depending on the age and situation of the people involved. :slight_smile:

This is a great article :slight_smile:

Well I was honest with him from the start I wanted to take things slow but he seemed to ignore that a little. He sent me this text and honestly I didn’t know how to react but it made me uncomfortable. I sent him a polite but unemotional response because I just didn’t know how to react I’d just met him. Turned out he left me just when I was begining to really have feelings for him. Old story but it’s water under the bridge. Some ladies need time to develop feelings for a guy. I’ll tell you why I’m so careful though when I have felt an instant chemistry it’s always been the wrong type of guy. I just feel it’s always best to go slow and get to know someone. Good luck.

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