Ever Wonder If You're Moving Too Fast In A Relationship?
If there's one thing that you can trust me to do, several times a week, it's bump some 80s and 90s R&B. A particular song that I was vibin' to recently is "(You're Puttin') a Rush on Me" by Stephanie Mills. After listening to her preach about a guy moving too soon, it reminded me to go to one of my favorite Mya songs which is "Best of Me" (the original or the remix both slap). I always like that Mya referred to someone having sex with her as them getting "her best". Anyway, if you listen to both songs, they both speak of how it's a good thing to not move quickly and while they're mostly speaking to moving on the sexual tip, I think it's important to expand that to our head and hearts as well.
You know how the old saying goes—haste makes waste. Unfortunately, in this microwave and cell phone society that we live in where everything is wanted immediately, a lot of people have absolutely no idea when they are moving faster than they probably should in a relationship. If you're curious about what some of those signs are, I've got a few for you today.
1.You Feel Some Level of Anxiety, Right Out the Gate
Even as I'm typing this all out, I've got a friend who has a woman in his life who he really likes. Problem is, even though they've known each other for several months, they've only been on a couple of dates and all she seems to talk about is, "So, where is this heading?" Meanwhile, he's like, "It's been coffee twice and you've watched one movie at my house once. Can we chill a bit?"
There's another woman I know who, last I checked is still married. You know what, though? Her husband has been absolutely miserable for at least half of their relationship. When they were dating, he dug her but because she was so, "I date to marry. I DATE TO MARRY!" with her energy and he didn't want to lose her, he jumped the broom without them really getting to know one another all that well. And her? She was so consumed with "getting a husband" that she didn't even really think about what she was gonna do after landing one.
One of the most popular Scriptures in the Bible is also one that gets ignored—a lot. It starts off by saying, "Be anxious for nothing." (Philippians 4:6-7) Putting yourself through a lot of mental distress or acting all eager typically does more harm than good; especially in dating dynamics. If you're someone who has no clue how to just be in the moment, even just for a little while when it comes to relationships, to me that is a clear sign that you probably have a tendency to move too fast. Way too fast, actually.
2.You’ve Got SUPER FIRM Time Limits on Your Relationship Goals
Every relationship is different. That's because every person is different. That's why, although I definitely do think there is some validity to data that talks about things like how long two people should (seriously) see each other before getting married, I also think that it's unrealistic and unfair to expect that to apply to every couple in America. What I mean by that is, if you've decided in your mind that someone only has a year to be with you before proposing and if they don't get on one knee, you're out, you could find yourself sabotaging a relationship before it even starts.
What if you're in a long-distance relationship? What if there are certain goals that need to be attained, separately first (my mom used to say, "Do everything you can't compromise before getting married.")? What if one or both of you need to get some debt cleared away? Let's be real—what if one or both of you need to get some past relationships fully resolved (you'd be amazed how many married people haven't done that and it has come back to haunt them in real-time)? People who set firm time limits on relationships without factoring in, shoot, life are also ones who tend to force things to happen before they should. Not wanting to date forever is one thing. Putting your relationship in a pressure cooker is something else. Be realistic about where the both of you are, what the both of you need, and go from there.
3.You Haven’t Healed from Your Past Relationships
I'm sure some of y'all have heard the saying that you should take half of the time a relationship took to heal from it once it is over. Chile, I guess. When it comes to some of my exes, it took years and years. You wanna know a part of the reason why? It was because I would go from guy to guy without spending at least a few months TOTALLY alone. Totally means no dating. Totally means no sex. Totally means not being preoccupied with the idea of either of those things too. I've shared before that a saying that really gets under my skin is, "The best way to get over someone is to get underneath someone else." If you look at that from 30,000 feet in the air, what you're really saying is, "I'm scared to be alone with my thoughts to really process what happened so that I can grow from it, not continue the pattern, and choose better next time. I'll just use sex as a distraction instead."
People who don't heal from their past? Not only do they typically repeat it on some level (check out "Are You Dating The Same Guy Over And Over Again? Maybe."), they usually struggle FOR-E-VER to become whole because they never give themselves enough space to become fully OK on their own. And since the pain is hard to bear, they just keep going from person to person, hoping that it will fix something when really, all it does is make the individuals their fix. As someone who is finally at a point in my life where there is no one to get over and have closure with or pine away about—not only are my standards way higher and healthier but because I feel complete within my own being, there is no need to rush the process. God knows what I desire. I'm fine with following his lead on when and how to make it manifest. Until then, I'm chillin'. And it's all good. It really is.
4.You “Lead” with Sex
I'm a fan of sex. Goodness, I write about it on here all of the time. Still, I know there is a spiritual and emotional component to it that goes overlooked, far too much. It's like (some) people are so caught up in the physical benefits of copulating that they act like sex shouldn't serve a far greater purpose. While I haven't ever had a one-night stand, I have had sex with friends which I made the relationship bigger in my mind than it deserved to be. Wanna know why? Because after we came together in that way, I found myself attached. The Bible says that sex makes people one (Genesis 2:24-25 and I Corinthians 6:16-20—Message). The natural hormone oxytocin comes behind it and says that sex makes us feel closer to people (so, even if you aren't a Bible follower, science basically says the same thing).
That's why I think it is a huge no-no to put yourself in the pattern of leading with sex. For one thing, just because a man sleeps with you, that doesn't mean that he's—pardon the pun—into you; you need some time to get to know him as a person so that you can see if he's digging you beneath the surface. Second, great sex is not synonymous with a great person or partner (check out "Don't Mistake A Great Sex Partner For A Great Life Partner") but if you are getting sexual involved too soon or you don't choose to see sex as the icing of a relationship and not the cake, you could find yourself mistaking a happy libido for a healthy heart dynamic.
Again, sex is dope. Still, it's not everything. If you're constantly leading with sex or allowing your relationships to be about sex more than just about anything else, it very well could create a mirage in the sense of you thinking that there is more to someone—and your being with them—than there actually is. Get mentally and emotionally intimate first. You can trust what comes from that so much easier.
5.Your Friends Are Saying It (or At Least, Implying It)
There is one particular guy from my past who, to this day, all of my friends are basically like, "Just say the word, girl." They don't like that dude one bit because it was an extremely painful experience for me. You know what, though? A lot of the journey, I sent my own damn self through it, because I didn't listen to my friends when they said things like, "Shellie, that's not normal" or "Shellie, he sounds emotionally immature as hell."
Listen, that whole "you and me against the world" hot take that so many people have? Experience and observation have taught me that it deserves plenty of side-eye when you're not married (and even after saying "I do", you should still take a bit of heed to what your folks bring to your attention). People who love you want what's best for you. Plus, because they aren't emotionally invested in the way that you are, they can see things that you probably don't even want to look at. If you've got one friend who is rolling their eyes at your situation, who TF cares? But if five or more are like, "Naw sis"—take heed to that. Everybody can't be wrong. Something is up and slowing down to process what "that" is could keep you from having a lot of regrets up the road.
6.“Intense” Is a Word That’s Used to Describe You Often
I'm a Gemini. If you know even a little bit about us, then you know that I know that I've got an intense side. That's how I knew to close out with this point. When you're intense in the bedroom, that's dope. When you're intense when it comes to how passionate you are about being down for someone, that can be a blessing too. However, if you're intense in the sense of being overly earnest or pushing everything to the extreme—that automatically makes you a pretty impatient and pushy individual, and who wants to be involved with that?
Just about all of us have words that are used to describe us. If your family members, friends, co-workers, and exes all use the word "intense" to define you, you might want to ask them to expound a little. Anyone who's extreme is oftentimes imbalanced and when you're imbalanced you tend to do things excessively in a way that overwhelms others while causing you to overthink to the point where you're rushing all of the time.
Everything has its pace and seasons. Relationships are no exception to this fact. Moving too fast usually leads to mistakes that could've been avoided if you just slowed down a bit. If you saw yourself anywhere in this piece, try chilling out a bit. After all, if it's right, there's no need for you to rush it. It'll happen at just the right…speed.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Victoria Monét has had an incredible year. Thanks to the success of the widely popular “On My Mama” that went viral, the singer/ songwriter’s Jaguar II album debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart. She also went on to headline her own sold-out tour. So, when the MTV VMAs happened in September, everyone was surprised to learn that Victoria’s team was told that it was “too early” for the “Smoke” artist to perform at the award show. However, a couple of months later, the mom of one received seven Grammy nominations, including “Best R&B Album” and “Record Of The Year.”
Victoria is currently in London and stopped by The Dotty Show on Apple Music and shared how she feels “validated” after being dismissed by the VMAs.
“It really does feel nice and validating because, in my head, the reason why I wanted to be a performer at the VMAs or award ceremonies like that is because I felt like I am at the place where I should. I would work really hard to put on the best show that I could, and I was excited to do so,” she said.
“And I guess the best way to describe it for me is like when you're like on a sports team, and the coach is like, ‘No, you gotta sit this one out.’ When they finally put you in, and then you score all these points, and it feels like that feeling. You're like, yes, I knew it wasn't tripping, but I knew I worked hard for this, and so it's been super validating to just have these accolades come after a moment like that, and I know the fans feel vindicated for me.
While her fans called the VMAs out on their decision, the “Moment” singer kept it cute and is still open to performing at the iconic award show. “I feel no ill towards them because it's just maybe that's just truly how they felt at the time, but I hope their mind has changed,” she admitted.
Feature image by Amy Sussman/WireImage for Parkwood