Is it just us, or does it seem like suddenly everyone is getting engaged at lightning speed? Nick Jonas popped the question to Priyanka Chopra after just two months of dating; Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, same (after rekindling their romance); and Pete Davidson put a ring on Ariana Grande’s left hand after four weeks – but we all know how that ended.
While fast-track relationships are not new, what makes them so surprising is that they’re at odds with the leisurely way most young people date today. The typical drill: you hang out as friends before gradually becoming exclusive. ‘Singles want to explore their dating options and make sure they’re picking the right person,’ says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, who calls this the slow-love movement. ‘They get to know everything about a partner before they commit,’ she says. And a study out of Emory University shows that couples who date for at least three years before locking things down are almost 40% less likely to split than those who commit seriously within a year.
Playing the slow game isn’t without its issues, though. In fact, the non-committal grey area it creates may explain the sudden shift towards zero-to-one-hundred courtships. ‘Fast love is a reaction to hook-up culture and all the sloppy, vague “situation-ships” where people aren’t making decisions,’ says Susan Winter, a relationship expert.
When it comes to your dating life, you have to move at a pace that feels right to you, says Carol Bruess, coauthor of What Happy Couples Do.
But know this: your past dating experiences and personality definitely play a role.
Use this flowchart to find out which speed you gravitate towards. Then heed our experts’ advice to better assess your feelings for someone and make sure you’re moving at the perrrfect pace.
You Take It Fast
You’re able to decide on a partner swiftly if they meet your criteria, which means you can capitalise on the butterly feelings of new infatuation (fuelled by bonding hormones such as oxytocin). But something to consider: as time goes by in any relationship, the passionate ireworks tend to die down a bit in order for you to deal with long-term, practical needs. If you rush through early love milestones (such as your irst ight and make-up session), you risk skipping moments that allow you to get real with each other. The end result? Your connection may not be strong enough to last for the long haul.
You’re In Between
When you’re faced with a small predicament, such as whether or not to say yes to a irst date, you choose fast. But you also like to take your time with bigger things, such as becoming exclusive. That’s okay! Just remember, it’s helpful to look at why you’re advancing at a clip or seriously dragging ass with a new boo. To get an accurate read on your feels, ask yourself: am I experiencing an intense connection to this person, or am I afraid to lose them? Am I not positive they’re The One, or am I cool with having fun dating?
You Go Slow
You like to test out all your options before making a move. This can be a good approach in relationships because you’re giving yourself time to get past the lovey-dovey hormones that spike early on. And it allows space for small moments (such as supporting bae when they’ve had a crappy day at work) that help rebuild a solid relationship. Just make sure you’re not moving at a glacial pace because you’re worried about missing out on someone better or you’re avoiding crucial commitment convos. ■