Has this ever happened to you?

You spot a cutie across the bar (or library or mall or grocery store aisle) and you flash your best, “Hello…I’m available” smile. It works. He comes over and you fall into an easy conversation that feels like you’ve known each other for a while. He gets your jokes. You dig the fact he’s respectfully checking you out, and you exchange numbers hoping he’ll reach out for a real date.

He does (or you say eff it, and call him yourself) and the two of you hang out, and it’s still easy like Sunday morning, which makes you feel even giddier than before.

But, you’re cautiously optimistic.

You realize that butterflies are fleeting, so you remind yourself to not get too geeked up and take it slow. Only he has other plans.

Soon his “have a good day” texts turn into “good morning, babe” and while you’re still smiling—big—on the inside you wonder when you turned the corner. You notice his language is getting very familiar—baby, my girl, sweetie, we, us—and while you enjoy the attention, you think, hmm….things are moving a little too fast.

But when he drops the L-word and gets huffy about your girl’s night out meet-up, you wonder what’s really going on?

While good guys are definitely appreciated, often times some men shoot themselves in the foot because they move just a little too fast. Perhaps they bought into the hype that black women are hopelessly hunting for “the one” and any good brotha will do, or maybe they just don’t know how to let things happen organically, but few things can kill a budding relationship faster than coming on too strong, too quickly.

Recently I met a guy who—by all accounts—is a good catch. He’s smart, handsome, an entrepreneur, you know…great on paper. While we’ve only known each other a few weeks, this fellow has already dropped the L-word and has mentioned talking to his grandmother about me.

*record scratch*

Say what?

While I appreciate his seriousness (lawd knows I’m over the boys), the swiftness with which he’s apparently sorted out his feelings for me is startling, especially since it isn’t mutual. And while I think I’d like to keep seeing him, the fact that he seems dead set on being the one—after just a few weeks–is giving me pause.

Moving too quickly can manifest itself in several ways: awkward, and rushed sexual overtures that feel more creepy than exciting; talking about your life together after the first few dates; and dropping the L-word before you even know each other’s middle names are just a few. But how do you know when you should keep moving forward or pump the brakes and back it up?

Does moving too fast too soon automatically spell the end of a new relationship or can you recover from going from zero to boo’d up in a week flat?

  • Ms. Information

    My best friend’s boyfriend (now husband) told her he loved her the first week he met her….I think that anything is possible.

  • Dreaming

    When I first started community college several years ago, I had a friend, who had a class with a guy who saw me with her and became interested. I had no interest in him, and one day when my friend called me, she put him on three-way but he didn’t know I was there. I initially told her that I did not want him to have my phone number. She told him this and he said something about me not knowing him and giving it a chance. Blah! To make a long story short – We had only known each other for like, a day or two when he asked me if he could put a picture of us up on his Facebook page. I immediately shot down the idea. He called me way too often. The feelings were not mutual between us, as I had no interest in him or was even attracted to him, which is why I initially said no to him having my number. We hung out way too much for my taste; I don’t even know why I went along with it. One night he called me and told me he was outside of my house. Sure enough, I went to the window and there he was on the phone, talking to me. Every time I talked about going somewhere, he wanted to tag along, and since I didn’t have a car, I allowed him to give me the ride. He seemed more interested in dating me before being a friend first. Not once did he ever ask me if I liked him.

    When someone moves too fast with me, it turns me off very quickly. But then again, it could be because I’ve never met anyone where I liked them back. I would never immediately jump into a relationship with someone. We have to be friends first!

  • Humanista

    Hahaha… “Good on paper”. That’s real life. I think men who habitually move too quickly without reason are no more mature than the ones who evade commitment like the plague. Being with someone who is a serial-commiter can be just as unhealthy. I don’t consider these “nice guys”….I consider them crazies!

  • OSHH

    When it feels wrong/weird and the feeling ain’t mutual.

  • OSHH

    I don’t understand serial monogomists like if you know she isn;t the one, really why are you wasting time. I think people don’t include divine direction in dating siutations enough. I will ask the LORD quick what is up with so and so etc and yes you will get an answer.

  • Cassie

    Haha, great article, but I hope this guy doesnt know you write for Clutch… Awk

  • Insight

    I agree. While it doesnt happen for most, its not a complete impossibility. I met this guy (Mark) and in week 1, he asked me out; in week 2, he told me that he thought that he was in love with me; That month I met his entire family and he met mine at Thanksgiving (that’s the only boy I brought home to my parents) and 6 years later we are still going strong and talk about marriage (not now but in the future…. my brother is getting married). And our families love us (which is so important).

    This does not work for EVERY INSTANCE. We took a break for 3 months about a year and a half ago and I started dating around in Boston. I met a guy (Sean) that was WAY too comfortable with me, (calling me sweetie (which makes me vomit in my mouth a little), baby, texting me / calling me multiple times a day, asking me how my day was and we hadnt even Kissed….I felt trapped). I actually ended up just avoiding him (literally– dodging his texts/phone calls.. I know I was a jerk) because I didnt know how to let him down. After dating around I realized that my soul mate was Mark and we got back together the day before he moved to Cali, and I moved six months later in Jan 2011.

    Funny story, when we went back to visit, Mark and I went to a Celtics game and why was Sean (clingly dude) sitting RIGHT BEHIND US (really out of all of the thousands of seats in the garden you had to be right behind me??) I felt like such an jerk at that point (I had to explain to Mark why he couldnt look behind us LOL) , because I was avoiding him until then. I then got a really nasty text, which I will not lie, I deserved (karma). But he was too emotional/touchy to begin with.

    Its funny, because I would say that Mark and I started (really) fast, but it just seemed right with him, and SO Wrong with Sean.

    Just some food for thought.

  • Michelle

    If you agree with the “Law of Attraction” than you accept the theory that we are what we attract.

    Just sayin.

    Men who move too quickly are responding to something inside of us that smells like neediness.

    Time to self study what you are attracting, my dear.

  • Dreaming

    I don’t accept the theory that we are what we attract fully. I get approached a lot by men who are nothing like me. I’ve also been in work environments with guys who were attracted to me, and again, they were nothing like me. I think they were attracted to me ‘good girl’ image.

    Some men move quickly because they want to get to having sex without a condom. Ha!

  • Princess P

    This reminds me of the scene out of “Something New” when Sanaa took Blair to meet her folks and he already had a 6 month game plan for marriage lol

    I think the older I get, I don’t see a problem with people openly expressing their feelings (if it’s mutual).

    I’m not 21 anymore, so sitting around crushing and feeling someone out for 6-8 months before you really bust a move does not work for me anymore. I like to keep it moving within a reasonable time frame.

    Besides, if what you have with a person is real and meant to be, it won’t take forever and a day to figure that out. (No shade, but I’m not about to date someone for 6yrs at this point in my life before we get married).

  • courtneyhilton

    umm whats the l word lol

  • OSHH

    I agree with your entire comment. When you know you know and when it is real and mutual, I say go for it.

    See the problem with the author is that it doesn’t seem to be any of that with ol boy

  • OSHH

    Yes I question this in EVERY case as well.

    I think this rings truer when the attraction is mutual.

  • Mae

    I dated a guy for a while that moved WAAAYYY TOO fast. We had our first date and next thing you know, we were in a committed relationship. He was my first real boyfriend and was incredibly controlling…and later on abusive.

    We’re no longer together. Sometimes a guy moving too fast is indicative of mental/emotional issues that he has. Please proceed with caution.

  • SoulMated

    I would have been on the “move too fast = recipe for ruining a good thing” bandwagon too, but I recently met a man who makes moving too fast feel like the perfect pace, because he and I just click; I’m talking day ONE clicking! I’m talking “Ooooh, so THIS is what it feels like to have and then finally meet your soul mate” clicking! We started professing love to one another as early as a week after we met. We’re both very cautious people, so the suddenness of our impulsive love-professing took us both by surprise. I agree with Princess P: Some things are just meant to be, and when you know you just know so instead of dilly-dallying you carpe diem. And to quote from one of my all-time favorite sappy, romantic movies, “The Bridges of Madison County,”:
    “This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime.”

    So here’s what I’m, basically, saying:

    mutual certainty + moving too fast = moving at the perfect speed, actually.

  • anthony

    I met this girl like 3 1/2 weeks ago and I know am moving too fast. There are some extenuating circumstances as we are both just a step away from being homeless but that’s a story for another day. The point is I know what’s going on and I know why. The problem is I am insecure and kinda desperate for a happy relationship. I don’t want to be alone. I have had plenty of failed relationships mostly because I have a bad gambling problem which h has caused me insane amounts of hellish consequences. I am really trying to change my life around and it was just strange how we met. There have been lots of good times since then and we get along really good. If I could just stifle the I love yous and the future talk like some sycophantic sissy we would be great. The sick thing is I don’t want to even say most of the shit spew

  • tobokke

    I moved too fast, said the L-word 26 days after we first met each other and 3 days after I hold her hand for the first time and she freaked out 2 times before asking for “some time”, which happened 4 days ago (4 weeks after I said the L-word). Well actually I was the one who asked for a time, because I couldn’t stand the thought of someone being with me and not liking me the way I like her.

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