Does Rushing Relationships End in Disaster?

By Kayla Hoyet

Domestic violence can affect anyone from any walk of life. This is because abusers can come from any walk of life. They appear to be normal people to the untrained eye, but what many people don’t realize–except, perhaps, for those who have survived domestic violence–is that there are signs that you can look out to try to recognize a potential abuser before the abuse actually occurs.

One of the biggest signs to look out for can also be one of the most difficult to tackle. Love is something that we all hope to find one day. Admit it: Somewhere, even if you’ve tucked it away into one of the darkest corners of your mind, you’ve fantasized about how lovely it would be for Prince Charming to come along, sweep you off of your feet, and ride you off into the sunset on his white horse. It is that desire for love and companionship that leads some of us to overlook one of the most paramount red-flag symptoms of a potential problem: rushing the relationship.

What some don’t realize when they’re dreaming about that fairy tale romance and wistfully sighing at the beauty of Romeo and Juliet is that most of these relationships weren’t really relationships at all. Romeo and Juliet knew each other for three days. Most of the princes who star in our white horse fantasy knew their princess for a short time, if they knew her at all. And while Disney likes to give these shotgun-wedding couples a happy ending, the truth of the matter is that statistics show us that in the real world, rushing a relationship generally leads to heartache, or worse.

A good rule-of-thumb to follow is this: If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your gut. If, after knowing you for three days, your new beau is blowing your phone up and dropping L-bombs like there’s no tomorrow, something is wrong. As flattering as it can be–especially to those of us who haven’t exactly been treated well in the past–this sort of obsessive behavior is a good indicator that there might be trouble down the line. If you find yourself rushed into saying the L-word, moving in, or progressing the quickly relationship in any way, ask yourself, “Why is this happening?”

If you feel like you are in a position where  you are being hurried into doing things you don’t want to do, you could be dealing with a potential abuser. It’s hard to imagine when you’re caught in the whirlwind of it all, but domestic violence can be like a step-ladder. Obsessive behavior like this can–and often does–lead to other behaviors. It can be difficult to catch your bearings when someone is trying to sweep you off of your feet like that, but trusting your gut can save you a lot of heartache and pain later.  

Don’t be afraid to establish boundaries with your new partner right away. If they try to push you into something you’re not quite ready for, let them know. Say “I’m not ready for that” or “I’m not comfortable with this.” If they are a healthy partner, they’ll respect your boundaries and wait until you are ready to move to the next phase of the relationship. A potentially abusive partner is the one who would push against your boundaries or try to coerce you into changing your mind.

The bottom line is, if they really loves you, they’ll wait. Rushing a relationship is an indicator of several things: obsession, jealousy, and lack of trust to name a few. These behaviors can lead down a dark path toward isolation and other forms of abuse. Take your time. Trust your gut. Don’t let the prince whisk you off into the sunset too quickly. Instead, find the one that leads the horse with the slower trot–you’ll enjoy the journey a lot more, and those things… Those beautiful, wonderfully intoxicating things like the first ‘L-word’ will mean a lot more when they happen.

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