For the last six months, you have been liking his pictures on social media, laughing at his flat jokes, heck! You even have an entire album on your gallery filled with screenshots of his goofy selfies. Then one day, a notification from Facebook Messenger pops up on your screen. You open your inbox and there it is! You rub your eyes, make sure you are seeing correctly: ‘Hey You’ reads the text from your crush.
Paulo Coelho says in his book The Alchemist: “When you truly want something, all of the universe conspires in helping you get it.” You can testify to Coelho’s words because Mark Zuckerberg, Safaricom Home Fibre, creators of Oppo Phone…the entire universe has come together to facilitate that text from your crush. A brief chat ensues as your insides play hula-hoop and because Coelho speaks the truth; he asks you out on a date. Bam!
Fast forward to several dates later, you feel this is it. But then you remember that time when you met Brayo, the dark-skinned guy with pink lips and a beard.
You were 19 and oh-so-in-love. A few months of seeing each other and you realised that Brayo was not all that and a cherry on top. He just happened to be well acquainted with lip gloss, thus the lush lips that drew you to him in the first place.
The deal breaker for you was that he couldn’t spell and took great pride in his detest for books. Your sapiophillic self could not live with that.
It is the memory of Brayo that makes you wonder if you need to take things slow with your new boo. Well, relationship experts, psychologists, spiritual leaders, your girlfriends (the ones who have seen you fall in love a hundred times) and even your mother (obviously), all think that you should take it slow and here’s why:
It gives you time to become good friends.If you proceed with the relationship after being friends for a while you can be assured of a strong foundation. If things don’t head that direction, you will have one more friend in your circle. It is win-win and you will skip that tangled mess where one party feels like they were being taken for a ride. Michael Bolton puts it better when he sings “How can we be lovers if we can't be friends?”
It allows you to objectively evaluate your compatibility. The moment we tie ourselves to someone, we tend to lose some objectivity because we do not want to ruin the relationship.
You may find yourself altering some of your natural behaviour to suit your partner's. This may work for a while, but we all know leopards cannot hide their spots.
You are more likely to be yourself when there is no rush to nail the relationship, and so is he. In this state of being yourselves, you can predict whether this is someone you want to build a relationship with based on their unaltered personality.
It discourages moving in and unplanned marriages. A friend of mine had me doubling over with laughter when he admitted that he had no idea he was married until his “friend” announced that she was seven months pregnant. After receiving the news, he looked around the house and noticed that her clothes and stuff were all over, as if scales fell off his eyes making him see. He says she used to come over often but he didn’t realise that she had actually moved in. They are happily married now, so it did work out after all.
Moving too fast may scare your crush off. You are probably thinking: Good riddance then! If he can run off because I came on a tad too strong, I do not need that negativity in my life right now. I used to think the same a while back until someone shared with me on the importance of tolerance. You see, we are all wired differently.
Some people take the bull by its horn while others turn around and let the bull be. Maybe they fear the horns may injure them because horns are really sharp.
When the interest for a relationship is mutual for both of you but one partner seems a bit hesitant, it will cost the other nothing to take things slow and allow the other partner to gradually grow into the relationship. If my crush proposed to me this evening, I would say yes, no doubts about that. But we cannot all be that spontaneous, the world would topple over!
It can save you from numerous heartbreaks or losing faith in love. Sometimes I look at relationships as a sweet indulgence, like eating an avocado.
If you have a sacksful of avocados and keep cutting up one after the other without waiting for them to ripen, guess what? You will feel so disappointed and if you insist on eating it, it will taste so bad that you will end up hating avocados.
When you keep jumping from one ill-fitting relationship to another, your heart will not only be broken repeatedly, but also, your faith in love and romance might be shaken. Take your time sis, even if he breaks your heart eventually, you will have wonderful memories if you took your time to make them.
Taking things slow helps you focus on yourself. My mother tells me that once I get into a relationship leading to marriage, my time will no longer be all mine. It will be one more person to worry about, to feed and to check in on.
As you are in this stage of casual chats and occasional day time dates, of mild flirting and outdoor activities, take this time to focus on other aspects of your life.
These can be work, school, friends, dreams, what you want in a relationship, where you want to live etc. The “taking it slow” slow window doesn’t last forever you know.