Why Rushing a Relationship Decreases Your Enjoyment

why you shouldn't rush relationshipsJessica is busy. She has a chaotic job, often requiring hours of overtime. She rushes frantically from meeting to meeting, always just barely pulling it off. Somehow, she juggles that with family, outings with friends, daily workouts, and (most recently) …dating.

When friends ask how it’s going with her new guy, she says it’s good. Things are progressing, and she looks forward to where she hopes they’re headed. But what about where things are right now?

This is a relationship, not a project with a deadline. Is Jessica enjoying the present, or just pushing for what the relationship could become? Like a lot of us, Jessica struggles to live in the moment.

When you rush toward the future or dwell on the past, you miss what’s going on in the present.

Psychologists call this concept “mindfulness.” I first learned the benefits of mindfulness from a seminar by a Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who defines it as “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally—as if your life depended on it.”

I’d like to point out two things about that.

First, being “fully in the moment” sounds like a simple concept, but it’s actually tough to pull off. It’s hard because we have all kinds of distractions pulling our mind away from the here and now.

Even when we’re doing something important, we’re usually also thinking about the other things we need to get done. It takes real effort to narrow your focus to what’s happening now and nothing else.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You should, and you should be patient with yourself, too. You’ll slip up a lot at first.

The second thing I want to point out is the payoff.

Imagine a casual evening with the man in your life. Nothing special. Maybe just pizza and a movie.

Now, imagine that evening without any distractions.

You’re not thinking about the tense conversation you had two days ago. You’re not trying to gauge what the future holds, or if/when the two of you will settle down together. You’re only thinking about that night, savoring a simple evening in his company.

Sounds kind of magical, doesn’t it?

That’s what mindfulness is all about. If you can slow down enough to really be in the moment, your time with him will be far more meaningful. And if there’s potential for a deeper long-term relationship, you’re more likely to get there by slowing down and fully experiencing what the two of you share right now.

why you shouldn't rush relationshipsTry practicing mindfulness this week, both in your relationship and in other areas of your life. And remember, being mindful doesn’t mean you never reflect on the past or plan for the future. Rather, it means you live in the present moment and only project your mind elsewhere when using that ability as a tool that you set aside when finished.

Surprisingly, almost everyone experiences greater contentment and happiness when they try to keep their focus in the present moment. That’s despite the fact that almost everyone has problems in their life. As Walt Whitman said, “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”

You deserve happiness and joy. Don’t wait for it. Find it in the present moment.


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14 thoughts on “Why Rushing a Relationship Decreases Your Enjoyment

  1. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    Julie, I absolutely agree with James on this. How can you have a relationship with someone you have never met? There are some VERY strange men on the internet (as I have discovered – but the men I contact, and who contact me, are between, say, 55 and 70 – you don’t say what age you are). A LOT of them (and I mean “A LOT”) do not EVER want to actually meet a woman in person. It is a fantasy for them, and enough in itself, to just be in touch with someone on the internet – sending messages back and forward – really SAD. They are lonely, insecure men who do not have the self-confidence to meet someone in person. Is that the sort of man you want in your life? – even suppose you ever DO get to meet him in person (VERY, VERY unlikely now). Do not waste any more precious time on this person. He is not “normal” by any standards. Contact more people on the internet by all means, but being very careful now that you have the experience to weed out the “time-wasters” – there are so many on there. Get out physically more yourself. Join clubs, get hobbies, whatever, in order to meet REAL people, of both sexes. Spend time socializing, and you will meet lovely people who will fill the void in your life – even if that is not a romantic partner at this stage. You will have far more chance of meeting someone who DOES want a REAL person in their life – not just a fantasy on the keyboard. Believe me, I am right – I know!! Do not settle for less than you are worth. And as James says, be careful where and when you meet people. I made the huge mistake of having someone come to my house, because he talked me into it. I thought I was strong, intelligent and capable of looking after myself. It was all alright, as it happens, but I was VERY silly, looking back on it. He became angry with me when I rejected him and it could have got really nasty, but it didn’t, thank goodness. I have learnt that lesson the hard way. JUST BE VERY CAREFUL. Make this your New Year’s Resolution. Get rid and move on!! Best of luck! Lorna xx

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      PS – forgot to say – he may also be already married or in several online or other relationships at once. Anything is possible. Lorna x

  2. Julie said:

    I wanted to know what keeps a guy from meeting the women hes speaking to . We have been seeing eachother for 1year and 2 months and we still have not met. I do nt know where this is going.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Julie. That certainly is not rushing a relationship. It’s amazing how modern technology allows people to develop strong feelings for a person they have never met.

      I recommend you politely explain that a relationship coach told you it’s not a good idea to continue a relationship with someone who shows no interest in meeting in person. I suggest you tell him you like him very much but you’ve realized it’s time to either move on or find out if the relationship can work in real life by meeting in person. Be careful though, people you meet online are not always as they seem. Take necessary precautions to ensure your safety when you meet for the first time.

  3. Julie said:

    I wanted to know what keeps a guy from meeting the women hes speaking to . We have been seeing eachother for 1year and 2 months and we still have not met. I do nt know where this is going.

  4. Jo said:

    Hi James ..I am discoonected with my mate past 21 days now and we have had a great relationship past 10 yers now

    he is married thou and hv kids and i m divorced ,we had awesomely great understanding , which ofcourse decresed as he moved due to finance crisis with family out of country .. despite that he was always in touch called / msgd we on skype etc .. i became too uneasy where i started missing him bad as we did not meet for 3 years now .. i was too rude with words and he was too involved getting his work and he did ask me and always shared smallest of personal and official matter .. i was so stuck and in secured about he getting closer to his wife and kept bothering him on same .. past 20 days last conversation was he said i was dead for him and dare not to be in touch with him .. can you help to advise if he will call i am patiently waiting as i am equally hurt of the fact that he said i was dead for him ..can you help .. you think he will call me Thanks for your great advise ..

    • Lana said:

      Dear Girl,
      I have read your testimony here, and I just want to give you my advise from the bottom of my heart. Please do not ever, ever, ever mess up with already married men. They do not deserve you, period! Please respect yourself and consider to move on with your life and keep your options opened for a wonderful single guy. There are plenty of good men around, who did not have a chance to meet you, since you were preoccupied with this married fellow. Please give them that chance and love yourself much enough so not to get involved with a married person. This is my biggest and greatest wish a for you, girl!



      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Jo, Lana is absolutely right. You have NEVER had a real relationship with this man. It is all fantasy. Look at the facts, however painful. He is MARRIED to someone else. You have not seen him for 3 years. Believe him when he says you are dead to him. He does not want to be with you, otherwise it would have happened long before now. Sad and painful for you as it is, you need to get out and make a life for yourself and put effort into finding someone else. See my reply to Julie below. Do not live any longer in “cloud cuckoo land”. Do not fool yourself. Face the truth. Be strong – do whatever it takes to get your life back on track and move forward. Make 2017 the time that you do that. A New Year, a new beginnining. I wish you the very best of luck. Be strong. With love, Lorna xx

  5. janet said:

    Hi James I met a man through a friend 1 year 8 months ago through a friend. We have had a long distance relationship and his intentions where clear from the onset that he wanted to marry me. He introduced me to his kids from his previous marriage and some of his family members. About 3 months ago he started being cold and and it’s the period he had said we should think of getting started to talk about marriage arrangements. During these Christmas holidays he didn’t pay much attention to me and I practically had to ask him to spend time with me. When I asked him he said the friends that introduced us have had been putting too much pressure on him to commit to me and he says he had a messy marriage before so he doesn’t want any of that. He had practically become distant. I don’t know how to reach him to open up or make him feel secure. I think he has been cheating on me and has failed to commit when the time has come. I am just not sure what to do……leave him or keep on

    • James Bauer said:

      I will suggest a few questions for you to ponder as you contemplate your choices.

      If your comment here was actually sent to him in the form of a letter, and you asked him what he thinks you should do, what do you think he would he say? Would he say, “I’m just too damaged by my prior relationship and the pressure I felt for us to be together”?

      Or would he say, “Please give me another chance. I want things to work between us”?

      What’s the worst thing that could happen if you asked him directly whether he’s worth waiting for?

      What pressure do you feel in your own life to figure out where things are going in this relationship? What do you have to give up if you continue waiting?

      The answers to these questions may help you decide what to do next. Your next step might be to gather more information rather than trying to make a final choice.


  6. Julie said:

    Hello I dating a guy that’s in the marines. And he got deployed to Iraq. Well it’s been 2 months since he been there. Well on my instagram He came up on my suggestions and I see that he’s not in iraq. What I don’t understand is why he would lie about going out o Iraq. And he message me once a day or once every two days. Why would he even bother with me.? He says helices me and he wants a family with me. He tells me all this stuff and how am I suppose to confront him on this. I really love this guy and I don’t want to lose him but at the same time I would be living a lie. I’m the one that’s looks lime an idiot. Where’s the honesty, trust,and so forth… Can you please help .I do want a future with this guy but need help to get there…

    • James Bauer said:

      Julie. You already know what you need to do.

      Ask him to explain why he feels the need to live a double life. If he is unwilling to admit to the emotional needs driving his odd behavior, tell him it is over until he decides to be brave enough to talk about what he really needs and wants in life.

  7. Yvonne said:

    Thanks so much James, for all of your brilliant insights. They’ve helped me tremendously. Thanks for all the good you do in this world.

  8. Lisa said:

    You have the most common sensical helpful thoughts. Thank you!!!Lisa

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