So I have been dating this girl. We agreed on not becoming anything serious, just having fun in the first place so I don’t expect her to have a relationship with me. But then she says she doesn’t like to rush things. What does she mean by that? Also we have gone on two dates (no sex no kissing didn’t even hold her hands) just some coffee and talk and we are planning our third date soon. I’m kinda confused what is she looking for. Maybe just friends? She made it clear that she doesn’t want anything serious right now but also wants to take things slow…. How could those two things go together? And a couple of dates without any physical interaction. Also what does it tell you that I was being kinda boring and awkward on both dates (yes I think I totally I screwed up especially the second one) as I was super nervous but seems like she still wants to see me again?? I wouldn’t go out again if I was her just looking for fun.
What is she looking for??? Please help me!
“I don’t want to rush things” is as vague and nebulous as “we need to talk”. It can mean a lot of things, good or bad, but I think in your case it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, don’t get your hopes up, it’s not necessarily a good thing either.
Here’s when “Let’s not rush things” is definitely a bad sign: When it’s a regression. Let’s say you’re dating someone, you’ve come to a milestone in your relationship, like sex, or three dates, you’ve had a relationship defining talk, you’ve said “I love you”, or you’ve left toothbrushes at each other’s place. If your partner says “I don’t want to rush things” or “I think we need to slow down” after a milestone like any of those, that’s usually a bad sign. If you have sex with someone and they think that now, after you’ve both been intimate, things are moving too fast, that usually portends either a breakup, or a relationship slowdown that leads to a breakup.
In your case though, I think the object of your affections is being preemptively cautious, rather than regressive. I want to be clear and say that I don’t necessarily think that this is a good sign, but it’s not overwhelmingly a bad sign. Why she’s being cautious only she knows, but if I had to guess my first guess would be commitment issues, my second guess would be she’s not that into you but you’re a good guy, so she’s waiting to see if her mind will change. If I take you at your word and assume you’re telling the whole story, you’ve been on two dates, there’s been no physical contact of any kind, and your dates have been fairly casual. If this is truly the case, it doesn’t seem like you’re rushing things so her telling you she doesn’t want to rush seems out-of-place. If you were coming on very strong and she was telling you to slow it down, that’d be one thing, but if you haven’t kissed her yet, or even held her hand after 2 dates, it leads me to believe that her wanting to take things slow isn’t a reaction to your actions. Maybe it’s commitment issues, maybe she’s waiting for feelings to develop, or maybe there’s some other reason that she felt the need to warn you about rushing when you guys have literally just hung out for coffee.
If you’re the naysaying type you might say “nay, in sooth I bethink thou art wrong” and I would say to you…I’m not wrong but whatever, and also it’s weird that you’re speaking like Caliban. In all seriousness though, you might think that the “we’re rushing” discussion is just someone being open and honest about their feelings, and while that’s true, depending on when the conversation occurs changes the meaning of the conversation. If you went on one date with someone and they said “I like to take my time when dating” that’s them saying having a discussion about their dating style. If you’re a few milestones in, them telling you they don’t want to rush things is usually their way of saying they’ve felt rushed and don’t like the feeling. If you haven’t hit a milestone yet and they bring up rushing, they are either afraid that you will rush them, or their concept of being rushed in dating is a bit skewed. In your case, you haven’t hit any major milestones, not even kissing, so the fact that she brought up not rushing your dating is more of a bad sign then not.
So, what do you do now? Well you can either preemptively end it, which would be an extreme option, but pretty valid. I’m going to be honest and say that if I was in your shoes I would end this thing right now. If I go 2 dates without a kiss, that’s a red flag, and if that same person voiced concerns about rushing I’d assume that either she isn’t that interested or she dates at a pace that I do not enjoy. Either way, I’d have lost interest and moved on. Maybe you’re not as extreme as me so you want to stick it out. That’s cool, and if that’s the case you can stick it out and it’d be perfectly okay. I know I gave you two worst case scenarios for why she mentioned rushing in dating, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she just dates R-E-A-L-L-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y and once she gets comfortable things will pick up. I doubt it, but if so far you’ve spent about 20 dollars on two coffee dates, it’s not like you’re risking much in terms of time or money by sticking it out. If you do choose to stick around, I’d suggest asking her to be clear about what she means when she says she doesn’t want to rush. Is she saying that you’ll have to wait 1 year for a closed mouth kiss or is she just saying that she takes a long time to warm up? Don’t make the conversation accusatory, just ask for clarification.
If you’re fine dating at her pace, stick around. If things are moving too slow for you, move on. If you decide to stick it out, I would suggest lowering your expectations or figuring out what her expectations are. Just be conscious that a lot of the time “I don’t want to rush” means “I think we’ve moved too fast, or I’m just not that interested, so I might be ending things soon”.
Good Luck Out There.