Don’t Rush into a Relationship, Let it Grow Naturally

rush a relationship

When I was dating, I had commitment issues. As in, I wanted to commit way too early and way too fast. It’s not that I felt desperate, it was that I was overly eager and really wanted to get married. This meant I invested myself emotionally too quickly in my relationships, which led to a lot of heartbreak.

Committing to a relationship is a good thing, but committing too early is not always the best choice. I was always very eager to show I was serious about dating, but I often chose to commit to a woman who, upon further reflection, wasn’t the right person to commit myself to.

I dated this girl in college I thought had all the qualities I hoped for in a wife. It was my first serious relationship, and I remember telling her that I wanted to eventually marry her. As I got to know her more, I found that she was not quite the person I had built her up to be in my mind. As I’ve written previously, our relationship began to degrade, but I worked extremely hard to salvage it because I felt like I had committed to her so early on.

In the end, she broke up with me, and it left me feeling completely destroyed. I couldn’t understand how my relationship with someone I felt so strongly for could have ended so badly. I was angry and hurt that she clearly didn’t care as much for me as I did for her. What I ended up learning was that the commitment was strong on my side, but weak on her side. I had just assumed that we were on the same page all along, but I was wrong.

The truth is that it was my fault for committing myself to her too early. I didn’t give myself a chance to really think things over. Instead, I let my emotions get the better of me.

The best advice I have regarding commitment is simply this: wait. My relationship in college started to go downhill because I emotionally committed before either of us were ready. What I learned from that helped me develop the foundation for the successful relationship I have now.

When I met my wife, I worked hard on developing a friendship with her first before committing to anything serious. We did what new friends typically do when discovering things about each other: talked endlessly, joked, texted each other a lot, talked about favorite books and movies.

The difference between my dates with my future wife and my college girlfriend was that I focused on getting to know my wife before I began expressing any serious emotional attachment. I didn’t do that for my college girlfriend, and our relationship suffered for it.

Prioritizing growing a friendship before “getting serious” led to the commitment that I wanted all along. Jenn and I have been married for almost two years now. I can say with confidence that I married my best friend, because we became deep friends before we became serious.

Philip

Philip lives in Ohio and enjoys his time doing introvert things like reading and going on solitary hikes, but occasionally has bursts of extroversion that exhaust him. He is a part of I Believe in Love because he wants to share his experiences in the hope that someone will find them helpful, and maybe even hopeful.
Philip
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