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Ever Wonder If You're Moving Too Fast In A Relationship?

Haste makes waste.

Dating

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

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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

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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

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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 sacred 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

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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)

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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

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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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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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