Have you ever noticed how some relationships heat up too soon?
Maybe this has happened to you: You go out with someone new, and he or she starts talking about love and marriage and having children -- on the very first date! In Western cultures, at least, that's a taboo. Or maybe this person wants to jump into bed before you're ready. Sometimes it's just the opposite: you're ready and they're not. These unilateral situations aren't fun for anyone.
And then sometimes it's bilateral -- the relationship starts out normally, deepens gradually and mutually, with both partners moving at the same speed, with equal enthusiasm, and then one person abruptly puts on the brakes, and says the other person was moving too fast.
Late one night I overheard two people breaking up. They had been seeing each other for a month. She said she felt trapped. He said this puzzled him, because he had watched her carefully, and had seen only that she was just as eager as him to get more involved. She said he should get some hobbies and stop hanging around her so much. I couldn't tell, just from listening, who if anyone was more at fault: whether she had changed her mind about him and was now shifting the blame onto him, or whether he was just inept at reading the signs and had been blindly charging forward.
(I trust I'm not embarrassing this couple by telling their story here -- these breakups happen to millions of couples every day.)
How are couples supposed to know how to behave?
Is there an ideal timetable for lovers to follow?
Can things be rushed if both partners consent, or is that unwise?
And is it really about keeping a pace and staying in step, or is it about
not getting more involved with someone who has particular flaws,
or who suddenly turns you off?
If more people would share their insights and experiences, we might all learn some important guidelines.
I wrote back with a question, and the respondent gave more details:
> HE WAS CRAZY.He always complained about me spending tim e with him , when he
> lived with me. ... When my
> mother came to visit he whined about not getting any attention, when i
> included him in anything. He would'nt hang out with his friends, I couldn't
> hang out with my friends.
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