A woman holding her hand up in a 'stop' gesture

5 situations when it’s OK to say “too soon”

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 13, 2012

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to relationships but there are some general rules of thumb which can help ensure that neither you, or your match, get frightened off by taking things too quickly.

Sometimes when dating things might be going a little too fast for you. Here are five situations when it’s okay to say ‘I’m sorry but this is a little too soon for me’

1. Love

Although most people are looking for love – saying, or hearing, those three little words too soon can stop a developing relationship in its tracks. This is because on a deep level we know that the first flush of feelings we have when we meet someone is not the real deal – it is a combination of lust, excitement and heady brain chemistry.

If someone talks ‘love’ when what they feel is strong physical attraction, we will know. It is OK to tell them it is too soon if that is what you feel. There doesn’t need to be any big discussion of the reasons why, just a polite request that you get to know each other more before you declare your feelings. Saying ‘I think I am falling in love with you’ is far more powerful than ‘I love you’ in the early stages of a relationship – only say it if you genuinely mean it otherwise it will always be too soon.

2. Sex

It is really important to say if you feel a developing relationship is becoming sexual too soon for you. Some people make the mistake of getting involved sexually with someone because they think that if they turn them down they will lose them. It doesn’t matter how long you have been seeing someone, if you are only agreeing to sex because you feel you ‘should’; because they are expecting it or putting pressure on you, it is too soon – even if you have been dating them for six months. It is really important that you only ever get involved sexually with someone when it is what you both really want as mutually consenting adults.

Many people have been hurt in previous relationships and are wary about trusting anyone in this area again so if someone says it is too soon – be patient, let them come to it in their own time without any pressure.

3. Money

This is always a tricky subject in a new relationship – who pays for dinner and what if one of you wants to go to expensive restaurants and the other can’t afford it? Sometimes these issues do need to be discussed openly so that the relationship can move forward without any embarrassment or discomfort on either side but there are situations with regards to money where it is important that you say ‘too soon’. If someone you hardly know borrows money from you for any reason or continually turns up to dates expecting you to pay you really must say something even if you think they are potentially a good match. Remember in the beginning of a relationship we are teaching people how to treat us and having boundaries around money is very important right from the beginning.

4. Planning

Marriage, kids, building a house – everyone who is dating has hopes and aspirations for their future – things they want and hope to be able to achieve with the right person. The trouble is that if these things come up as topics of conversation too soon it can scare potential matches off. It is really important to give new relationships a chance to develop, for you to get to know each other. The other important thing to remember is to be flexible with your plans – if you are sure you want two kids, a farmhouse in Yorkshire and for your husband to work the land – you are going to have a hard time finding someone who has exactly the same vision for their future. Making plans together is exciting but having someone else’s imposed on you isn’t.

The first few dates are about having fun and getting to know each other so it is best to keep talk of the future to a minimum and don’t be afraid to say if you feel you are being steamrollered.

5. Problems

It is really important to say ‘too soon’ if you feel that a date is revealing too much of themselves and it is making you uncomfortable. Some people have a tendency to treat dates like therapy sessions and it can be uncomfortable and unsettling for someone who is, by nature, more private.

It is ok to say if you are uncomfortable with any topic of conversation. If there is to be any future in the relationship you both need to be able to say when conversations are going in directions you are not yet ready to explore. There needs to be a willingness to explore difficult subjects at a later date when the relationship is more firmly established. Too many taboo subjects will mean the other person feels censored and unable to express themselves freely.