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What Does Taking It Slow Mean To A Guy (21 Possible Meanings)

February 9, 2024

If your boyfriend wants to take things slowly, you may be worried that he is leading you on.  

Not so fast though, people take relationships at a slower pace for lots of reasons. 

Perhaps, he wants to spend time forming a strong relationship with you before jumping all the way. Or maybe, he’s afraid of getting too close too fast because he has been hurt before. 

Whatever the reason, it’s crucial not to jump to conclusions. Keep reading below to learn 21 possible reasons that your boyfriend may want to take things slow.

21 Possible Reasons Behind ‘Taking It Slow’ in a Relationship

1. They don’t know what their wants and needs are

If your boyfriend wants to take it slow with you, it could be that he doesn’t have a clear idea of his wants and needs yet. Your partner may want to get to know you, hang out, and maybe even date others. Taking things slow is the best way for him to get to know himself and learn more about you as well.

2. He's afraid he can't meet your needs

Most guys desperately want to see their partners happy. They want to satisfy their significant other's needs. Anything that makes them feel incompetent will possibly make them step back and strategize. The reality is if a man is talking about taking things slow, it could be because he fears he can't fulfill your desires at the moment. 

He's afraid that the relationship will meet a sudden halt if he doesn't slow down its pace and figure out how to make you happy. He wants you, as his partner, to be comfortable with him.

3. He wants to build your relationship first

Many guys would prefer to form a reliable connection with a lady before taking things further. If a guy thinks emotional intimacy and emotional connection is a priority, he’d request to take things slowly. He may want to do it if he wants your relationship to be grounded before it gets serious. 

He hopes to guarantee that both of you can handle the tough times when they come. If he feels the relationship isn't strong, there's a likelihood that its span may not be as long as expected. 

He will strive to build a good foundation to ensure you both are solid and that it doesn't end like his past relationships.

4. He's respecting your boundaries

Sometimes, guys can tell when they're overly demanding to a lady. If he thinks he's pushing you out of your comfort zone too much, he will suggest taking things slow. This scenario means that he could recommend taking things slowly as a way to remind himself to be patient with his significant other. 

Couples dating on a bridge

5. He doesn’t want to miss red flags

Your new guy may be aware that moving too quickly means that you both may miss red flags. 

At the start of a relationship, we enter the "honeymoon" phase, and it’s easier to ignore or miss vital red flags. It happens a lot when people don’t take the proper amount of time to get to know each other well.

It is a positive sign that he desires to take it slow because he wants to know the real you. He doesn’t want your relationship to fizzle out as quickly as it started. 

6. He wants to make every date exciting

Some guys may feel they might kill the excitement of a new relationship when they rush experiences. If both parties do activities far too often, they may become routines that they take for granted later on. Therefore, a guy might suggest taking things slow to keep every occasion fresh and exciting.

He would rather plan fantastic date nights every weekend than go out with you every night. This is because he may want to prevent both of you from getting accustomed to the excitement of new outings together. Taking things slow would also mean holding off on some activities while dating to build up the exhilaration.

7. He wants your relationship to turn into something deeper

Rushing a relationship is not usually the best method because you may be missing out on important relationship stepping stones. 

Rushed relationships sometimes feel confusing because you have not taken the time to learn deeply about each other. 

Taking a relationship slowly allows both of you to build the proper trust and connection with each other. It takes time to build real emotional intimacy. 

8. He is protecting himself

He may be taking a relationship slow with you because he is showing self-preservation. Perhaps he rushed a past relationship, and it ended badly. He could be carrying that same fear into his relationship with you.

This can be a good thing because he doesn’t want that same situation to happen between the two of you. Slowing things down means you can get to know each other on an emotional level and gain trust for each other over time.  

9. He wants to be friends first

Being friends first can lead to a strong and solid foundation for a serious relationship. Many people may worry that they have been “friend zoned,” but keep in mind that some of the best relationships are built on friendship first. 

According to a study asking undergraduate students how they preferred to meet their partners, “Almost half of the respondents indicated that starting as a friendship was the best way to meet a romantic partner.” 

10. He doesn't want to ruin a good thing

He may be taking it slow because he’s afraid that dating you might ruin your friendship. Taking it slow means that you can avoid ruining your friendship in pursuit of a romantic relationship. He probably cares deeply about having you in his life, no matter what.  

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Couples relaxing outdoors

11. He doesn’t know how talk about his feelings

Many men struggle to communicate how they are feeling. It might be because he had a challenging upbringing, or perhaps he’s never had a committed relationship before. Many men have been taught to “suppress emotions and deny feelings they have of vulnerability, passivity, or tenderness.” 

You can help him open up by sharing your own feelings and encouraging him to share too. He may truly like you, but he probably needs more support to learn how to communicate his emotions.

12. He’s concerned you won’t like him for who he is

It’s possible he’s taking it slow with you because he doesn’t think he can meet your expectations or desires. Lots of guys shut down when they think their woman won’t accept him for who he is.

He might have low self-esteem and not feel like he is good enough for you. If this is the case, let him know that you truly like him. Over time, you’ll both learn that you can trust each other. 

13. He's trying to avoid previous mistakes

People that had challenges in a past relationship may seek to prevent such problems from reoccurring in a new association. They would want to take things slow to ensure that whatever affected them the last time doesn't stir up again. 

This action is one of the ways to know when someone is really interested in you. If they're trying their best to prevent the relationship from falling apart, it reveals how much they care about you. Thus, choosing to build the connection steadily isn't a call for alarm but guarantees a longer span.

14. He needs space to himself

The thing about some men is that sometimes they need space in a relationship. It's a natural reaction to hold on to their sense of individuality.

It may take your new boyfriend some time to adjust to your new relationship. 

Going from "being single" to "in a relationship" may be a learning curve for him. Not just for him, but for you too. It's okay to take your time and have space to yourself too. 

15. He doesn’t think you are serious about him

One “take it slow meaning” could be that he’s worried that you are not serious about him. This sometimes happens at the beginning of a new relationship because he doesn’t know much about you. So he is waiting for a signal from you to move things forward. 

The good news is that it’s an easy fix! Communicate openly with how you are feeling and encourage him to do the same. It’s likely this will help ease his anxiety

16. He is afraid of commitment

Commitment phobia is a real thing and there’re lots of situations that lead people to become  afraid of commitment.

Below are a few of the reasons to consider:

  • Fear of rejection
  • Relationship anxiety
  • Believes he will mess it up
  • Doesn’t trust women

Fear of commitment is something that your boyfriend can overcome, but it might be difficult to convince him to put in the work to heal from his relationship anxiety.

Man and woman not talking

17. He doesn't want to make contact all the time

When two people begin dating, they are likely to have regular contact to build the connection.

If a person has any reason to limit the amount of communication made, they may request to move things at a slow pace. 

Some of the possible things that could hinder constant involvement include a demanding job or life challenges that need absolute attention.

If they can't call or text you as much as their significant other would love while dating, they would prefer to grow the connection slowly until they have time for the relationship.

18. He wants to measure compatibility

Any guy that wants a serious relationship would do everything to find a partner he matches with, including taking time with every relationship. Thus, if a guy wants to take things slowly, it may be because he's trying to determine whether both of you are compatible. 

He doesn't want to rush the relationship because he knows he's looking for something serious. He would choose to focus on getting to know you as a person than having sex right away.

19. He doesn't want a serious relationship

Perhaps he wants to take it slow because he doesn’t want a long-term or future relationship with you. He may like dating you and having you around, but he has no intention of getting serious with you. 

If this is the case, you should ask yourself if you want to keep playing this game with him. It may be time for you to find someone who can commit to a real relationship with you.

20. He wants to fix some problems in the relationship

Every relationship has challenges and getting to know the cause of the conflict is the first step to solving it. Your partner may want to take things at a slow rate because he wants both of you to work on your differences. Gliding over challenges only causes more rifts in the future, which is why it's always best to settle conflicts as soon as they arise. 

If anything needs to be worked on in the relationship, focusing on those aspects above anything else is important. This is better than neglecting concerns until they become unresolvable.

21. He doesn't want sex to define your relationship

He may be taking it slow with you because he understands how initiating sex too soon may send the impression that he is only in it for sex.  

Having sex too soon can cloud your entire relationship with lust. Slowing down lets you evaluate your relationship from a level-headed perspective and create an emotional connection first.  

Is He Friendzoning Me or Taking It Slow?

If you are wondering if you’ve been “friend zoned,” there are a couple of things you can look for. First, pay attention to how much effort he puts into your relationship.

Does he initiate dates? Is he curious about you? Does he want to know how your day was? If yes, this is a good sign that he is taking things slow with you.

If, on the other hand, he sends you mixed signals by not calling you or spending time with you he may not be interested. If that is the case, remember these words from Belle Aurora, “Sometimes you have to walk away from what you want in order to find what you deserve.”

FAQs

Is my relationship moving too slow?

Everyone is different. It may take two months or it may take a year or more. If it feels like your relationship is moving too slowly, talk to your partner. Let him know that you want to move things to the next level. For example, let him know you want to be exclusive or you want to make out more often. You may be surprised to learn that he wants the same thing. If he doesn’t, he will make that clear as well. 

How do you tell if a guy is taking it slow or not interested?

If a guy is not interested in you he will not make you a priority. He will make last minute plans because he is waiting around to see if “something better” comes up. A man who is simply taking it slow with you will call ahead of time and want to make you feel special. 

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you learn about the multiple reasons why he wants to take things slow in your relationship. 

Don’t assume your boyfriend doesn’t want something serious with you, it could be all kinds of reasons.

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