Serious Relationships: What is the Rush?


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In my last post, we briefly observed how rushing into relationships and taking them too quickly blurs our vision of reality and can lead to poor decision making and broken hearts.

When we rush into relationships, we do not follow the “Pathway of Love,” but the pathway of emotions. Emotions don’t build love, they build excitement, and those fade away in time. Love must be built on something more stable and permanent. 

Everyone has a story about a great friend who began dating a significant other and just like that ::POOF:: they disappeared. They don’t call or hang out anymore; they just droped off the face of the earth. Eventually the friend goes through a breakup and that very same day he calls you out of the blue to hang out again. Really? Is that our friendship?

One of the easiest and most obvious signs of an unhealthy relationship is when one invests her whole self too quickly.

It is always a warning sign when you lose your friends, family, and God and dump the interests and hobbies that you once loved. Inevitably, you lose yourself in the process.

Going too quickly in a relationship clouds our judgment. This is one reason we shouldn’t dismiss concerns from friends and family. We may think, “Everyone else is wrong; they just don’t know him like I do.” Only later, do we find out that we were wrong, and they were all correct.

A healthy and mature relationship will always keep you close to your friends, your family, and to God, and will let your individual self remain along with your own hobbies and interests. 

To navigate the “Pathway of Love successfully, it is incredibly important to take your time in dating—especially in the beginning. We should not be calling or texting our boyfriend/girlfriend everyday, hanging out with them all the time, or thinking about them every waking moment.

While it is a natural desire to do so, it doesn’t mean we should. Why? Because we have our own life, and it is important not to dump everything we love just to be with someone constantly. We must live a balanced life. We can continue doing the things we like and also have a relationship on the side. 

It is necessary to take things slowly in order to foster a deep friendship. This friendship must be based on common values, mutual respect, good communication, selfless love and deep trust. It is a good friendship that helps make a good marriage.

Another reason to take your time is because love inevitably brings up all of your baggage. Everyone has it, and we all try to hide it, but at some point the baggage rears its ugly head and must be dealt with.

Unfortunately, in traveling full speed ahead down the pathway, you can miss crucial warning signs, overlook them, or tend to justify them for the sake of “love.”

Doesn’t everyone put their best foot forward? It’s important to know who a person really is (not who we want them to be) before entering into a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

As a person who counsels many people, I can tell you from experience that virtually every person who takes things too fast regrets it. They found out too late that their significant other had major issues, that they fight all the time as a couple, or just realized they weren’t really compatible once the feelings faded or kids come onto the scene.

Significant issues should be worked out before getting engaged and married. Remember: dating should be time that is carefree—complete with low stress dates and relishing the time you spend with the other person.

So, slow down, be at peace, and enjoy the unfolding of the beauty that is a relationship. 






25 Comments

  1. Joan-461057 June 11, 2013 Reply

    I disagree that dating should be a time that’s carefree. Dating should be a time of exporation; comparing values, morals, goals, expectations, plans for the future. Dating should be when issues that need to be worked out get worked out, or the discovery is made that they are not going to be successfully worked out – before a lifelong committment is made. There should be enough time for all the issues to arise that are going to arise so that the couple can test the strengh of the bond before its too late. Dating should not be all fun and frivolity. It should be a time for doing some real work.

    • Teresa-915596 June 11, 2013 Reply

      Amen!

    • Robert-937382 June 12, 2013 Reply

      I’m with you on this!

    • Bryan M. June 12, 2013 Reply

      Joan, I agree with absolutely everything you said above and thought it was all very well put. However, perhaps I was a little unclear as to the carefree phrase, but it had a particular context it was supposed to be read in. Thus, I expounded upon it a little below, and hopefully it will clear up any confusion for readers. Thanks for your comment.

    • Kristen-965501 June 13, 2013 Reply

      I agree

  2. Rodney H. June 11, 2013 Reply

    How about long distance relationships? They allow for a lot of time to take things slow, however they also require the two to communicate in some way everyday. Balance is key in everything!

    • Sa J. June 11, 2013 Reply

      Agreed!

  3. Tom-925515 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Anyone that wants to dispute this advice just contact me and I’ll tell you a tale that will set your hair on fire!After 6 years of dating not seriously a new neighbor moved in across the road and fire stared two days later.Needless
    to say 2 years later I find out the hard way that she has issues to spare,and yes all my friends and family saw it almost instantly

  4. Katrina C. June 11, 2013 Reply

    I completely agree that people should not lose themselves. And spending all your time with that person, disregarding family and friends and personal interests, is a very bad thing. At the same time, when you are married, you will wake up to the person, go to bed with them, share half your stuff and space with them. So you need to know that you can enjoy that person’s company that much.

  5. Carlisle-52425 June 11, 2013 Reply

    Yeah, this article is poor of philosophy. It seems the author forgets that this is a Carholic site. He handles the topic as if his audience consists of a bunch of secular teenagers. Being Catholic changes “what you can know” about someone, in a particular amount of time, quite a bit.

  6. Theresa D. June 11, 2013 Reply

    I feel dating should be a time to get to know each other and be friends first before committing to a serious relationship.

  7. Pedyne-248823 June 12, 2013 Reply

    I think the main question is how slow is slow? And I’m not sure if the writer is suggesting that a couple should just spend time together only persuing “fon” activities and never really get to know each other…

  8. Robert-937382 June 12, 2013 Reply

    Except for the one sentence regarding dating being a carefree time, I think Mr. Mercier nailed it! Good job.

  9. Laurie-974652 June 12, 2013 Reply

    June 11,2013 at 10:06 p.m.
    I really liked the article. I have definitely jumped in too fast and lived to regret it. The part about dating being “carefree” is debatable. I mean, we have to ask some hard or awkward questions if we don’t want to waste our time dating someone who isn’t right for us.

  10. Brenda-652089 June 12, 2013 Reply

    He made a lot of good points. Yes dating should be a carefree time, but serious stuff is important too. How else will we find out what kind of person we are with, How slow is slow enough. That decision should be left up to the comfort level of the people involved. There isn’t one “right” way to do things. Find what’s right for you.

  11. Bryan M. June 12, 2013 Reply

    Some people misunderstood my “carefree” line and what I meant by it, so I would like to clarify. Please remember that this statement must be read in the context of the whole article. Taking it out of context will make it mean something it was not intended to. I certainly do not believe that the whole dating relationship should be carefree and fun – not remotely. That would be a high school dating mentality which we would never promote. Rather, in the proper context, this line was addressed especially to people who lose themselves in relationships, who treat dating like marriage, who get overly intense too quickly, and who have a high anxiety over finding the right person – all at the beginning of the relationship. Toward the beginning, couples should take their time, get to know each other, and ‘enjoy’ doing so. Too many Catholics stress out that they miss the other person and the relationship. Things will get deeper and progress over time, and that is the way it should be. Of course dating should be a time of “exploration; comparing values, morals, goals, expectations, plans for the future, etc., but it’s not an either/or, but a both/and situation. There is always a gradual increase in that process as the relationship progresses. What we want to avoid is an obsessive need to figure everything out right away. We need to take our relationships slowly and prudently, praying and discerning, and not forgetting to enjoy the relationship along the way.

    • Roselle-937050 June 13, 2013 Reply

      I agree that dating should be fun in the sense that you should include activities when dating that one enjoys. And by taking turns on exposing the other on those activites. You are able to know your chances in compatability for a deeper relationship.

  12. Doug-974859 June 15, 2013 Reply

    Carefree is fun. Reckless is not. I believe I know. With best wishes.

  13. Denise-714975 June 24, 2013 Reply

    I was dating a man off from Catholic Match and I thought we took our time and he told me that he loved me. When I was going though a rough time he told me that he was no longer in love with me and I was a huge mistake and I was just physical to him. When he told me that I feel so abused by him and I was so hurt that in return I said some awful things, too. which I regret saying. My question is: What is consider to be too fast?

  14. Denise-714975 June 24, 2013 Reply

    Also, having a disagreement once a month is consider as having too many or a way to know eachothers dislikes or how they would expect their partner want to be treated?

  15. Michael-925646 June 29, 2013 Reply

    I have to say I was once in a relationship where the girlfriend was calling 5+ times per day every day! Let me tell you I had no time for family or friends or any other interest! She had a lot of good qualities but smothered me to death. If she couldn’t reach me she would get upset. When I went to be with my family gatherings she didn’t want to go but expected me to call her! To say the least after 2 years I couldn’t take it any more. To much communication can ruin a great thing.

    • Ann-1080387 September 5, 2014 Reply

      You say there was “too much communication” but did you try clearly communicating to her-early on before it became unbearable-telling her explicitely that you disliked her calling, and explaining why you disliked it?

  16. Tom-995241 December 3, 2013 Reply

    Taking a lot of time is fine if your young, tell that to some one who’s like 70 years old.

  17. Beth-823615 December 29, 2013 Reply

    I agree it should be slow enough to contemplate the others interests and future goals. If they don’t quite fit, then you have time to get out of the relationship without anyy hurt feelin gs. The real issue is not how long the relationship is taking but hkow soon they are having sex. This is always the debate and issue for many so called Catholic mena re reallynot acting like Catholics at all. I admit I am still trying to find a good tru Catholic man who when he says he believes in all of the tenets of the faith, he really means it. This is something that has to be dealt with right away but most men don
    t want to hear thiis. How can one get around this without losing one’s ground and faith in thiss matter? I’m praying for the right man and because I was hurt, will definitely take it slow and get to know the person before jumping into another relationship to quickly. Yes, even at my age of 61 as of yesterday. Yippee!

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