Here are 5 common signs that a relationship is moving too fast.
1. If One Person in the Relationship Feels Like Things Are Moving Too Fast, Things Are Probably Moving Too Fast
There are very few restraints in the Bible when it comes to the process of getting married. Romance is not a command in the Bible but it is an option for those who desire to honor the Lord in a Christian marriage one day. Therefore, since romantic relationships are optional and not required, there should be a balanced emphasis on personal preferences.
One person might be ready to move forward into a more serious relationship before the other person is ready. This difference might not be the type of issue where one person is right and the other person is wrong. Rather, they both might just have a different personal standard.
When this happens, however, the couple should defer to the one with the slower timeline. No one should feel rushed or forced into romance. So if one person feels like things are moving too fast, things are moving too fast and the other person should do their best to slow down and respect the feelings of their boyfriend or girlfriend. For as 1 Corinthians 13:4 states, “Love is patient.”
2. If You Are Saying “I Love You” Long Before Marriage Is in Sight, Things Are Moving Too Fast
When should a couple say “I love you” for the first time? Again, the Bible does not give us a concrete answer here. However, when it comes to true love expressed romantically, the key is commitment. Nowhere in the Bible is there a relationship that is commended and held up as an example to be followed that had intimacy without commitment.
When you say “I love you” to someone, it can awaken all kinds of deep desires and emotions in the heart. This is good when this relationship is taking place with the proper commitment levels. But when a couple starts saying “I love you” long before a marriage commitment is even in sight, this is not healthy.
Saying “I love you” without committing to someone is like saying you really like the dinner they cooked while you are simultaneously spitting it out of your mouth and into the trash. If you liked the food, you would keep eating it. And if you really love someone, you will actually commit to that person to show your love in actions and not just words.
3. If You Are Crossing Healthy Sexual or Emotional Boundaries, Things Are Moving Too Fast
Similar to point 2, another sign that things are moving too fast is when you begin to cross healthy boundaries that should be in place to protect your heart in your season of dating. Sexual boundaries are what most people think about when it comes to dating, and rightfully so. This is one of the first lines that are crossed when things are moving too fast.
Since the Bible says that all sexual encounters are only to occur between a husband and a wife, when an unmarried man and woman start doing things that should only be done in marriage, it can be easy to see how they moving too fast. But the differences between marriage and dating go far beyond having sex. There are places in your heart that should only be opened up to your spouse? Why? Because only a married couple has made a commitment to stay together until death. When you open yourself up to someone who you are not actually joined together with, when that person leaves it’s like you will be torn to pieces. God can restore you, but when you move too fast in dating you do great harm to your heart.
4. If You Get Engaged Before Knowing Each Other for at Least 6 Months, Things Are Probably Moving Too Fast
How long should Christians date before getting married? I personally try to avoid giving people strict timelines to follow in dating because the Bible does not do that. So please note that this point is really just my opinion. However, from what I have witnessed through observing healthy and unhealthy dating relationships, I believe a general timeline for healthy dating is somewhere between 6 months and 2 years.
Again, this is completely my opinion so I won’t feel bad if you disagree with me. But in my opinion, a couple that gets engaged before 6 months is usually moving way too fast and a couple who has been dating for more than 2 years is probably falling to sexual temptation and acting married even though they are not.
One exception to this 6 month timeline would be if you had a very strong friendship before dating. If you knew this person very well before dating, I could see the possibility of getting engaged before 6 months.
5. If Your Relationship Is Further Along Than Your Maturity, Things Are Moving Too Fast
Perhaps the best way to summarize a relationship that is moving too fast is to say that your character should be strong enough to handle the relationship you are in. If the people in the relationship lack the maturity to properly handle this relationship, things are moving too fast.
It’s really not about waiting 6 months or 2 years. The real key is to possess the right biblical characteristics so you are mature enough to love the other person. If the relationship is getting too serious and you or the person you are with lacks the maturity to thrive in such a serious relationship at this point in your life, this means things are moving too fast.
When true love is present, you will not feel the need to rush forward. True love takes it’s time and makes sure a firm foundation is being built because the couple will know they are in this for the long-haul. They will be willing to slow down and do things right because their eyes will be looking deep into the future rather than just living in the moment. As 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 explains:
Love is patient and kind . . . It does not insist on its own way . . . Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
When a relationship has this type of enduring, patient love in it, the couple will be willing to slow down so they can make sure they are following God’s timing and not their own.