Taking Things Slow, What Does That Mean?
So when a guy says that, what does he really mean? Let’s say you are seeing someone you really like (having sex) right after he ended a marriage or relationship. He doesn’t want the pressure of deciding his future and you don’t want to lose him. Just curious, what do you think happens after the “slow” part ends?
Here is my take: when a man has just ended a relationship whether it was a marriage or something serious, rarely is he really ready to enter into something serious right away. So let’s say you meet someone and you both believe you have this amazing chemistry and you begin seeing each other including being intimate and then he says he would prefer to take it slow.
That usually means you are not the one for him and he wants to have his out already planned using the trauma of the ended relationship as his out for ending a relationship with you.
If he really wants to take it slow to get to know you as a person, then the sex need not be a part of the getting to know you. In addition, if he really wants a relationship with anybody, the last thing a man does is take things slow, in fact usually the opposite. There is one type of man who usually enters a committed relationship with the first person he meets after a divorce and that is the co dependent man (generally speaking).
If you are ok with that personality then by all means stick it out. Just remember, taking it slow is usually code for I want my cake and eat it too. IMHO
That usually means you are not the one for him and he wants to have his out already planned using the trauma of the ended relationship as his out for ending a relationship with you
Why go through all that?
Jonathon Aslay says
Carmela, Why would a woman go through that, is that your question? Why do you think?
I definitely concur. Although I’ve not often (actually never now that I come to think of it ) heard a man say he wanted to take it slow. The most difficult part was more to keep them at bay and try to calm them down a bit. LOL
Yet it has always looked obvious to me that a recent divorcee was the not the best catch of all, exactly for all the reasons you mention.
I met one once who obviously sought to get married again ASAP and at all cost. Of course, I dumped him right away. Like a month or so after that, he emailed me proudly boasting “I’m a married man again !”. As if all that could define him was his marital status ! I guess it says it all… :/
Well I have been with a couple of men who wanted to “take it slow”. The first wanted his cake and to eat it too! ( Just SEX!) I got rid of him a couple months later, ( GRRRR he still calls and texts me, and I do NOT respond). The second one we both agreed together “to take things slow” as there was a 3 hour drive in between us. It worked out for almost a year.
Hey what about when a women says to a man “I move real slow”? ….which is code that means we do everything else together but have sex. How long does it take on average for a woman to feel comfortable enough to go to the next level? (I’ve been divorced two years now and just getting back into a new relationship with awoman I adore) I don’t want to be an ahole and push for sex too soon… but how soon is too soon to have sex? What are the new rules out there or even the old ones? I know this blog is about understanding men but throw a brother some feedback ladies and help me understand you! THX (Oh and if Jonathan wants to comment I guess he can too seeing how this is his blog!)
Jonathon Aslay says
Hey Dave, you have your own blog go comment there….. just kidn buddy. When a woman wants to take it slow it can be for a variety of reasons and IMO when sex is taken off the table the real intent of either gender shows up. I think there are three types of people: the ones who do not want a relationship, the ones who think they do and the ones who are certain they do. When you are certain you want a relationship then having a real discussion of your desires goals dreams and understanding what is compatible for you should be discussed before the romantic involvement begins. Does that make any sense?
I like your place 🙂
@ Dave : I can’t speak for others but, as for me, if I want them to take it slow it is because I want to make sure they’re interested in me, who I am etc… and not just in putting me in their bed. A guy who wants you mainly for sex won’t stick around very long if he sees he won’t get what he seeks any time soon…
So many men lost all their chances with me because they were too pushy about that ! Which, BTW, shows they’re not as great lovers as they may think and show a complete misknowledge of women and that sex is much better and rewarding when you’ve got to know the other person well enough first (and I think it is true for men too, BTW). Like Clémenceau said “The best time in love is when you walk up the stairs” 😀 So keep that happy time lasting as much as possible and walk slowly upstairs. 😉 Plus isn’t it much more romantic ? 🙂
As for the rest, commitment, marriage etc… I am not in a hurry to go for it myself. I’m pretty happy as a single.
Should the case arise though, I would want my next relationship to be my last, So take it easy, take your time, test it on the long enough run, under many sets of circumstances… If it is meant to be, then it will, so why rush ?
If the guy can’t understand and respect that, well, his loss. He was not the right one for me anyway for he didn’t care enough about me and the relationship, and a bit too much about himself… 🙂
Jonathan, I guess you’re right. I should’ve just stayed on my own blog, thanks for nothing! 😉 (Kidding of course) Yes it makes sense…
@Dave, Good for you for posing the question for us ladies to answer. It is a different game out there! I agree with Dot, I like to go slowly … at this stage in my life (49, divorced for 2 years) I want a relationship, not casual sex. I want a man to get to know ME and apprecite me first, then the sex is much more delicious (and adore me! Good word use there). But, having said that, I also want to know fairly soon that he is INTERESTED in having sex with me! I want to know that he’s attracted to me. So, my advice to you would be, TALK to your new gal and let her know you are interested, but don’t want to push it, and find out where she’s at! To me, communication is key to a mature relationship.
@ Laura : dear, honestly, can’t you tell when a guy is interested in having sex with you ???!!!
I agree though that communication is the key. Yet there are several forms of communication and a big part of it is non verbal and quite as important (if not more) as talks and words, IMO.
If sex is involved, I would definitely think that the guy just wants his cake and eat it too. If he says it right when you meet I may think he really means it since he doesn’t know you yet and doesn’t want to get hurt. If he’s just out of a relationship, I wouldn’t even go there anyway. I wouldn’t trust it even if he didn’t say he wanted to go slow. And if he says it after you’ve gotten to know each other a bit sex or no sex, he’s just not that into you and it’s time to move on.
I’m thinking in general that women understand what it means when a man says this more than a man knows what it means when the girl says it.
And I agree with @Laura…definitely want to know he wants sex but also willing to wait for it and really get to know you and allow you to get to know him. But it’s reasonable also for the guy to want to be sure that she wants him too. And I really learn a lot about a guy by how he responds and reacts to my boundaries.
Actually I agree with all of the above! I was married more many tears and that divorced for even more years, dated and had relationships. Somewhere along the line I became that, which I hated, meaning I became like all those man that wanted to take the ‘space’ or take it ‘slow’ or just disappear…It was a difficult lesson to learn, I became way more empathic and understanding towards the ‘other’…I also learned to take what ppl say, ‘AS IS’ too much interpretation is just imposing noise to my own mind and I am the only one suffering…
If one says ‘I want to take it slowly’ they may not be up to sped with you…you may change the speed, you may proceed at your own speed, you may hold the space for that person in your life but don’t hold your breath…I know, I know, easier said than done!
As everyone said, ‘communication’ is the KEY, and I feel that communication with YOURSELF, is most important, when you are very clear on what you want, it’s much easier to see what you DO NOT want.
If I may add, BTW, to say things clearly and quietly and having the other person answer “yes, it’s understood and okay” no way is an insurance that it is. I’ve experienced it many times. That’s why I believe to rely on talks and words only as a mean of communication is far from enough and even tricky. Watch closely, listen carefully and also learn to read between the lines or you may well be very surprised to see what you thought you had set very clear has been forgotten as soon as it has been heard.
“When you are certain you want a relationship then having a real discussion of your desires goals dreams and understanding what is compatible for you should be discussed before the romantic involvement begins. Does that make any sense?”
It does, from a logical viewpoint. Unfortunately and, unless you’re driven by your intellect only and as cold as a snake, romantic relationships don’t work this way, I’m afraid. By the time you discuss those things (and right, they have to be discussed), you can find yourself more sentimentally involved than you would have thought or liked. Feelings, IMO, can’t be run as easily as a business. :/ On the other hand, that’s the beauty of it ! 🙂
@Dot, yes, I can tell when a man wants to have sex with me 🙂 But I don’t appreciate a man not saying so. I don’t like to rely on assumptions on something I think is very important. And, as I was giving advice to a man, my advice was to be sure she knows he wants sex, that it is not left up to assumptions!
@ Dave, I agree with Dot. I have been single for a little over 3 years. In that time I have had 1 man who just used me for sex. I will take things slow from here on out. BTW I am 47.
Laura : OK. Sorry I misunderstood you. We’re on the same page. 😉
Men ALWAYS want sex, that’s a given–and they want it pretty much all the time. That is biological, they can’t help it!
Dave, this is a tricky situation isn’t it? Women are nervous about being used; it sounds like she’s saying she’s going to take her time to know she is not being used for sex. Anything you can do to make her feel like she’s not being used will probably be in your best interest. For us that have done a lot of learning :), we know that men show their affection by their actions. That definitely counts, but sometimes women lose sight of all that action and prefer to hear words of affection as well.
Speaking from my point of view, I like a man who is gentlemanly, but manly as well. I like to feel like the man lusts after me, it boosts my feeling of femininity, my passion for myself and my passion for him. My point in pointing that out also has to do with what her personality is like, how much she flirts, does she tease and talk about sex at all. In my opinion, if she’s doing those things, she’s open to more of a physical connection.
I think there’s a lot of angst by women agonizing over when to have sex or when to wait. They don’t want to ruin the relationship one way or another. However, I believe that it really doesn’t matter in the whole scheme of things–although men want sex all the time, that’s not ALL they want. If she’s observant and expects to be treated in a certain way, and is realistic about what’s going on, then she’s not going to be disappointed ’cause she’ll know the deal. But if she’s in her head, focusing on the man and ‘convincing’ him that she’s the one for him, she’s going to be disappointed/hurt much of the time.
DOT, I agree with you in regard to relationships not going like business negotiations :).
So, in your opinion (or anyone else!), how might the conversation go if there’s a desire from the man to have sex (because he’s wanted sex from the beginning, but he’s trying to be respectful and wait until she’s ready-good sign already! :)? What does the woman say? I’m concerned this type of conversation puts a lot of pressure on a man for more than he’s ready or willing, or frankly what’s appropriate, to give–just so he can have sex, doesn’t feel very win/win for both.
Sounds like the Meatloaf song, Paradise by the Dashboard Light!
I very well could be missing something though, so I’m interested in hearing how this frank conversation would go.
Thanks to all of you for your replies to my question. I have no problem waiting, especially for this woman, I feel a truly deep connection. Honestly, if I were only in it for sex well frankly there’s plenty of women who will give it up easily enough. But I desire so much more than a quick trip to the bedroom. I am in it for the long term. We’re communicating well, we’ve discussed things like our sex drives, what we like, what turns us on, etc. We’ve even talked and checked in that besides the heart connection we both feel, there’s a mutual desire for the physical too!…so after reading all you post I believe we’re headed in the right direction! The one thing I am still seeking an answer too is what does “slow” really mean, six weeks, three months, six months…how long would you make a man wait for you till you were sure? What’s the longest you’ve held a man off on sex to be sure he was into you?
Not sure there’s a precise time Dave…each person is different in regard to what they think is ‘slow’. Since you two have what sounds like a good relationship built on strong communication skills, why not ask her what ‘slow’ means to her? I know that might feel like it’s pressuring her, but it is a valid question and if she’s a mature woman (like she sounds like), then this will just be another step forward in your relationship and understanding what each person is thinking/feeling/meaning.
Let me turn the tables a little here, you don’t say how long this new relationship has been going on. If she had sex with you tonight, would you have different feelings for her? Would you think her of being ‘easy’ and/or losing respect for her?
I agree with Denise. there is no “rule”. Depends on the woman, the man and the whole situation. So it can vary a lot IMO.
The question is : when do I feel comfortable and safe and trusting and respected and appreciated enough to go for it ? It can be almost immediate or it can take weeks or even months… What is clear though is the bigger the pressure, the less the desire.
Actually I’m probably a bit apart here, since there are chancesI’m the only one not to be American. With French men things are very clear : any date implies sex on the very first night, unless you don’t appeal to them at all. That’s a given and they take it for granted. That’s why I don’t want to date them any longer. Of course, you can always keep them at bay, it is always unpleasant and heavy though. From my experience, US men would certainly like the same, they can show more respect though and would at least wait for a green light from you.
PS : and here, if you overly talk about sex, what turns you on, what doesn’t, etc… etc… , they interpret it as “She’s an easy girl, let’s go for it right away !”. When I’ve discussed the same topics the same way (and I have no issue being very open about it) with US men and they didn’t (all) immediatly jumped to the hasty conclusion I wanted them in my bed on that very night, which didn’t prevent them from being somewhat insistant though, but in a much more respectful manner. Maybe I’ve just been lucky with Americans, I don’t know. 🙂
Plus, if you’re not in such a hurry, is it the first topic you would bring to the table when you meet somebody, honestly ? :/ Is there nothing else you would like to know first about the other person ? OMG !!! It makes it sound the only thing you’re interested in about them is that. And this is NEVER a good approach, IMO. I don’t know many women who would want to be liked for their body only and the more good-looking she is, the more cautious you should be about that, IMO.
It’s like, for instance, very wealthy people. They would want to make sure they’re loved for themselves and not only their money and what it can bring before they can trust you and bring you into their closer circle, right ?
That’s why I also insisted on non-verbal communication. What you can say is not always what will be heard. Men, learn to decipher the green lights, and for lack of any, please abstain. It means she’s not ready. Period. And you will score a lot of points if you can understand that.
Hey Dot, Tell me more about French men, the expectation of sex is almost implied by them on the first date? Just curious, what is the divorce rate in France?
Dot, really interesting about French men…knowing that would make me want to keep him waiting ‘just because’! 🙂
It sounds like Dave has a nice thing going with this woman, and things will get to where he wants. He’s respectful of her and they have had frank conversations. I gather he just wants to know how long he has to wait and/or when is good to ‘go for it’ so he doesn’t alienate her.
Haha, maybe this is one of the advantages of just having sex right away, if the woman can handle it emotionally. Gets that off the table, each person knows what the other is like intimately and if there is a good sign of compatability and each person can relax.
@ Jonathon : it is not “almost” implied”, it clearly is, as soon as you’ve accepted to date him.
Actually the concept of “dating” as you would understand it in the USA, doesn’t really exist here. To accept to meet a man and go out with him, unless he is a happily married long time friend and very in love with his wife or your brother, implicitely means you will end in the same bed at the end of the evening 90% of the time, particularly if the guy paid the check, but not only. It is an unwritten rule, yet we all know it and it doesn’t make things easy for us, women, to “date” men just to get to know them.
Of course, the woman can always say “no”, but she will then be considered a teaser (right word ?) and this is not a compliment. In the best of cases, the guy will just leave her there (wherever it is is. The concept of “driving or walking you home” doesn”t exist here either, unless sex can be expected), in the worst of cases, it can end rather badly… I mean, it can become dangerous for the girl to say “no”.
Of course, there are always exceptions but, honestly, 10% is a generous guess… :/
So 90% of the time, those “dates” make you feel like a special kind of hooker, no more. 🙁 Not saying there may be no feelings involved ever, thank God ! But feelings or no feelings, reciprocated or not, he took you out, he expects his “reward”.
The divorce rate in France can vary. It is a bit higher in Paris than anywhere else in the country, but the average is 50%.
@ Denise : Like I said, when women think the time is right, they give you “green lights”. Learn to decipher and recognize them and you’ll know when the time is right, IMO I know it is a touchy subject though for a wrong initiative can ruin a beginning relationship and the fear of rejection is often there.
LOL Denise. I like the way you see it ! 😀 It could be a could idea if only you could expect to find “the one” soon enough. Because, should it not be the case, better become a prostitute until you can play a remake of “Pretty woman”. 😀 At least, you will not have lost it all ! :b
No, seriously, it could be a way, I agree. The matter is not so much sex or not sex on the first night, it is the implicit (and sometimes very explicit) pressure to have it, feeling like it or not. For instance, from my experience, if a French man tries to kiss you and you step back, he’ll insist and try again even more (probably his macho male ego can’t figure out you may not yearn to kiss him ?), when an American will most probably stop it and even apologize. Right or wrong ?
I’m talking of course of “normal classical” men, not sex maniacs. 😀
So Dot, Not to sound stupid but are men in France just players? Maybe you can shed some light on what relationships look like and what type of men want commitment there?
I’m just putting the finishing touches on my next ebook called:
Understanding Men in Relationships, What makes a him commit and what does he choose.
This is obviously based on my experiences from talking to so many American women; however, it sounds to me men in France do not settle down, is that true?
No, they are no more players than Americans, I guess. It doesn’t mean because they’ve slept with you, there done with you and will systematically leave on the next morning (particularly if they consider you a good lover LOL), nor that all are just looking for a good time or one night stands.
It means that sex here is considered part of the date, like it or not, unless he doesn’t find you physically attractive at all (then he wouldn’t ask you out, first place, but let’s suppose we’re talking of a blind date, for instance).
I can’t see any major difference as to how often men would really commit, I think French can commit no more, no less than Americans and there are players, romantic, sincere etc… men in both countries. I’m not even sure the %age would be that different actually… Just my personal feeling here…
On both sides of the Atlantic I’ve dated the same type of men, I mean educated, with degrees, supposedly good-mannered, similar social level, between 40 something and 55… Just to say I compare comparable people.
Yet there are undeniable cultural differences.
I’ve found US men in general to be more considerate and thoughtful, more respectful, more protective, more appreciative than the French. They know how to make you feel like a queen and a partner all at the same time.
And I’m not the only French woman to think so ! I remember, just a small example, how pleasantly surprised a friend of mine was that the US friend (just friend) she attended a party with in NYC would bother to get her an orange juice when there was only booze available, and would drive her and no way let her go back home alone late at night. Don’t expect that from a French, unless he wants to sleep with you !
Very few French know how to do that. They would want you to both work and make money AND do all the housekeeping, look after the kids, etc… and, of course, they would take it for granted. I bet this happens in the USA too, but, here, among people of our generation, this is the rule. You can go against it, of course, and I often did. You have to be very strong-willed though and this is not at all the type of relationship I’m looking for, so…
I think a US man who’s really into you will more often propose you than a French. I’ve dated a bunch of Americans, though certainly less than I have Frenchies, of course. Well, about half of the Americans asked me to marry them when only two French ones did. Now that’s statistics ! LOL
I guess it is not just by chance that all of my French girlfriends married foreigners. I myself married an Egyptian and he was better and less macho than any French I’ve met. So you can imagine…
To be honest, I must admit that part seems to slightly improve with the new generation, yet marriage is seldom part of the picture and many girls remain frustrated on the matter.
Although sex remains expected on the first date, most guys have strong issues with commitment, even more “official” commitment.
To build a family is the least of their concern. They may want children, it doesn’t mean they will then feel more committed to the mother though, They generally won’t try to work on the relationship, but would rather give up and leave. Counseling is not very well admitted here. Women would go for it, men would consider it a shame and a weakness. So when issues arise, you’re left on your own to deal with them. :/
Remember though that my opinion may be biased, since Us men may consider me differently because I’m French, thus doesn’t behave like most US women. Cultural stuff here again… US men often confirmed it to me, so let’s be cautious here too… 🙂
Just a little story about “what makes him commit and what does he choose ?”
Wanna know why my ex-husband asked me to marry him ? He knew I was quite broke at the time, since I was still a student. For some reason I have forgotten he also knew how much I had left in my wallet and that very little. On our very first morning, after our first night together, I woke up first, went out and bought him cressants for breakfast. The choice was a no brainer to me, though he knew this meant I could then buy no cigarettes for myself. He said nothing right away but, on the day after, he asked me to marry him. 🙂
I’ve learned much later that what decided him was that I chose his pleasure over mine without any hesitation.
So, beware, you never know where being nice can lead… Ah ah !
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Im in that kind of situation right now….we both have just been through divorce resently, mine is just about complete, and his is alittle more resent. We have communicated what we both want. I told him I dont want to marry again, and he doesnt either. But I did tell him that i do want a BIG FAT diamond & a commitment that is just with me…..Yes we are having sex, but we both think its the best ever!! Sorry…. But true! He always tells me….you never know what life will bring you, you live it one day at a time, enjoy the adventures that you have and if things are ment to be then they will!! I think thats exactly what does happen in life……you have to live it to know if thats what you want. Right? You never know…..tomorrow I might not want this anymore, and ready for a new adventure….as might he. So im going to go with that & see what happens……so far we really dig each other, and are having fun together…..the only question I have is….can he really keep up with me???? Im not sure….TIME WILL TELL~
Good Luck everyone in your lifes Adventures~~wink wink!
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Mz. Liz says
Jason – I just listened to your interview with Rori. It was great and very helpful – but now I’m confused.
Does knowing a man as a friend for 30 years, who was never “my type”, then having sex on the third “date” and discovering what we had been missing all those years count as taking it slow? 😉 I am actually comfortable enough with this man to be myself and, for the most part, be able to take each date one at a time. I have, however, caught myself looking toward the outcome, but then do what I can to stop those thoughts.
I know his mother, his ex-wife, and his heart toward his children.
I am full of fear. Doesn’t a man know pretty quickly when a woman is THE woman for him?
What does “getting to know him” look like? What does him getting to know me look like? How does a woman know when she’s on a string? What’s the best way to find out for sure? Then, if I AM on a string, what’s the best way to address this so as not to lose the friendship?
Ok, if you both are interested in waiting based on your christian faith…doesn’t that matter to anyone? It is definitely still hard to wait, but if he says he wants the same thing and continues to make plans with you…doesn’t it mean exactly what both have said? That they want to wait for sex until…marriage?