In a society where people couple up and being single can be a stigma, falling into an instant relationship is tempting and easy. The rush that comes from being in an instant relationship may make you feel flattered. After all, what’s not to like about a guy who seems to want you? But when the rush wears off, you may be left wondering if you moved too fast into something that isn’t quite right for you.
How I found myself in an instant relationship
At 30 years old, I accidentally fell into an instant relationship – accidentally because I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. After being in an on-again, off-again relationship for 7 years, then being let down by a guy I was infatuated with, and having a dry spell with my dating life, I was wanting to be in a relationship.
I met Him while I was living in Kansas City, MO. He recently moved to the area and didn’t know anyone there. When He showed up in my life, we became an instant couple. He moved in with me shortly after and we spent most of our time together.
Because things moved so fast, I didn’t see things for what they were. And since I was flattered by the attention he gave me, I overlooked some big red flags.
9 months later, a job promotion brought me to southern California and he decided to move with me. A few months into our move, I went from being flattered to freaking out inside because the Ooh Ah phase of our relationship had worn off to reveal his dark side (and mine too).
When the “ooh ah” phase wore off, instead of seeing the signs, I kept hoping things would change for the better. I gave his bad moods the benefit of the doubt, thinking the transition was difficult for him since he didn’t know anyone in southern California and was stressed from starting a new business.
My benefit of the doubt and wishful thinking kept me in a 5-year relationship that should have only lasted a year. In hindsight, I should have seen things for what they were and learned these lessons.
What I learned (and you should too) from being in an instant relationship
- Instant relationships can take minutes to get into and years to get out of.
- Instant relationships tend to be more about convenience. Because we’re looking for someone right here and now, they increase the possibility to be with someone who isn’t right for you.
- Instant relationships take us further away from what we truly desire – every moment we spend with the wrong guy keeps the right guys from showing up in our lives.
- Instant relationships are about short-term gratification. They are not the way to a happy and lasting relationship.
- Being in an instant relationship doesn’t let us see things clearly. We miss red flags and critical issues essential to a thriving relationship.
- The undercurrent of desperation is a central theme since we’re in an instant relationship because we don’t like being alone, we’re lonely, miss being in a relationship, etc.
- Because we tend to be more desperate, we do things to try and please the other person at the expense of our own happiness.
- Instant relationships cause us to try and make what’s not working work, when we should be letting go of a relationship that was never meant to be for the long term.
How to avoid being in an instant relationship
Don’t let loneliness, your biological clock, or pressure from friends and family cause you to fall into an instant relationship. Here’s what you can do instead.
- Set the pace by taking the time to learn about each other.
- Don’t spend all of your time together from the start.
- Maintain your own life by doing things you love, meeting up with friends, spending time with family, etc.
- Share yourself slowly and don’t rush into sex.
- Don’t try and control or manipulate things. Let things unfold naturally.
- Check in with how your body feels instead of talking yourself into something that doesn’t feel right.
The next time you find yourself rushing or being rushed into a relationship, take a step back instead of moving forward with full force. If you desire a committed relationship, taking your time isn’t going to stop a real and lasting connection from developing if things are meant to be.
If you tend to find yourself in instant relationships, what have you learned by being in this kind of a relationship?