Ask Nicci: Slow your roll or risk losing ‘the one’

By Nicci Sprouse
From the October 4, 2012 edition

I have gone out with a guy three times and I really like him. I feel like we have really connected, like maybe he is ‘the one’. We have talked for hours sharing so many personal stories, plus we have a lot in common. My problem is that I get the feeling he may be dating around still. What should I do?

Hailey - 24

I like that you’re putting yourself out there; ready and willing to find Mr. Right. What I don’t like is the perception of desperation I get from you. It’s only been three dates – you need to slow down before you scare this guy away!

First of all, I definitely believe in love at first sight. It happens and it is powerful. But you certainly need to pace yourself for a healthy relationship to grow. Building life-long bonds with someone should not be rushed for more reasons than the time I have to list. The bottom line is that trying to push too much too soon will rarely give you the result you expected.

Keep in mind that everyone has different personalities and expectations about dating. Your ‘one’ may tend to move slower than you through the dating stages or he may only be interested in casual dating. Regardless, you have to keep the ‘que sera sera’ mindset and enjoy this exciting beginning of your relationship.

Whether you are the serial hyper-romantic or this guy has just swept you off your feet, I suggest backing off a bit. He will find a way to grow the relationship if he is truly interested. For now keep your dream wedding plans to yourself.

I have been seeing this girl who is in the midst of breaking up with her live-in boyfriend. We have a great relationship and it is becoming serious. The problem is that she has been with her ex 5 years (still lives with him) and it is taking her a while to break up with him because of all the intertwined complications. Is there anything I can do or should I just continue to be supportive? – Anonymous

Big. Red. Flag. She still lives with him? My instinct tells me you need to open your eyes to the reality of this situation right now. I’m sorry to be harsh but this should not be complicated – you need to leave now and quickly. But since you asked, let me help you communicate to her correctly and transition out quickly.

Finances, kids, pets, etc. etc. all require careful consideration to untangle at the end of a long relationship. Many times these carry forward into next relationships and you will have to be ready to encounter these things with anyone else in the future. However, new relationships will not work with unfinished feelings for the ex.

The red flag and lesson for you is she hasn’t really left him yet which is THE indicator that she still is dealing with feelings for him. She is not ready for you. Let her know that you need to relax your relationship until she is moved out and she has put some time between her old relationship and a new one.

Be her friend, support her, but do not let yourself get further emotionally invested in her until she is ready.

∙ Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Send your questions about love and relationships to infoasknicci@gmail.com. Or get in touch through her website, asknicci.com.