Taking things slow, as simple as it sounds, can mean different things in dating. Coming from a guy, it might be him asking you to take a chill pill and slow your roll. Your partner may also feel that he’s falling faster than is comfortable for him, and that’s why he wants to take things a bit slower.
Some people can’t have anything meaningful with you unless they establish a friendship first. Others would want to get to know you when the relationship has kick-started already because it makes things more fun. These and more are likely reasons why a man might want to take it slow with you, although you can’t be sure which is which unless he tells you.
In many cases, this harmless, seemingly straightforward statement leaves you even more confused than you were about the kind of relationship this guy wants. If you’ve never had someone you were seeing tell you to slow down before, it would even be harder adjusting to this statement.
Is it a good thing that he wants to pump the brakes, or should you be concerned you’re losing your touch? I may not be able to give you the specific answer you seek, but you should be able to reconcile one or more of the following points with your situation.
- 1 What Does Taking It Slow Mean To A Guy?
- 1.1 1. He likes you
- 1.2 2. Your partner is afraid of getting hurt
- 1.3 3. He just got out of a draining relationship
- 1.4 4. He wants a lasting relationship with you
- 1.5 5. Your partner is uncomfortable with your pace
- 1.6 6. It’s not that deep for your partner
- 1.7 7. He’s hoping someone better comes along
- 1.8 8. He has a wife somewhere
- 1.9 9. Your partner is trying to end things with someone else first
- 1.10 10. He’s too busy for relationships
- 1.11 11. He’s a non-committal kind of partner
- 1.12 12. He’s got what he wanted from you
- 1.13 13. Your partner is unsure of his feelings for you
- 1.14 14. Wrong timing
- 1.15 15. Your partner wants to eat his cake and have it
- 1.16 16. He just wants sex
- 1.17 17. He’s not ready to have sex yet
- 1.18 18. Your partner is still figuring out what he wants
- 1.19 19. He enjoys making girls who like him anxious
- 1.20 20. What you currently have works for him and he doesn’t want to ruin it
- 1.21 21. He wants you to make the exit decision
- 2 FAQs
- 3 In Conclusion
What Does Taking It Slow Mean To A Guy?
1. He likes you
Dating speech might be universal, but in reality, it is as subjective as most things in a relationship. For instance, the first meaning I thought of was that he probably likes you because I have found that to be the case for many others from experience. Whereas another person may hold a different sentiment based on theirs.
What he said, how he said it, and how the guy has been acting after you had the speed-altering conversation, of course, all play a part. If he hasn’t changed at all, still wants to spend time with you, and hasn’t slowed down on getting to know you, he probably likes you. Otherwise, why ask you to slow down when he can just avoid you altogether?
2. Your partner is afraid of getting hurt
Now to the more common reason, he is probably protecting his heart. (Yes, guys do that too.) Perhaps he has been through some emotionally dark stuff in the past and is somehow convinced that if you two keep going the way you are, he’s on track to get back there soon.
Past experiences could be one of the major reasons this guy is insisting the relationship hits the brakes for now. He probably doesn’t want to put himself in a vulnerable situation or give someone the chance to break his heart again.
You might be wondering how this could be if you two are essentially strangers who have sex, but he could have caught feelings you never know. Or maybe he thinks you’re too good to be true, and the consequent insecurity is why he’s proactively trying to slow down the pace.
3. He just got out of a draining relationship
Protecting his feelings may or may not have anything to do with a messy past love affair. It’s possible he just took a huge step out of a faulty relationship and would like to take it easy when dating someone else. When we think of exes and past relationships, we often associate them with heartbreaks and betrayals, and why not? A lot of couples cheat.
However, sometimes the reason you don’t want to get into another relationship right away is not that you’re hurt or bitter or hung up on an ex, but that you’re tired. When men are just drained with no will to latch on to another person, they’ll make sure the relationship progresses on their terms. If that makes sense to you, then it could be one of your reasons.
4. He wants a lasting relationship with you
Maybe he’s rushed into things before, and it ended in tears for him. Most people have a pace that works for them, and sometimes we like to try something new when we meet a different person. He might be trying to feel things out by getting to know the real you.
The truth is, if his desire overcame him in the previous relationship and he rushed the connection, he’d try to think with his head this time. He’d ask the necessary questions, give the right answers and get to know all he needs to know before taking another serious step.
As opposed to what you might be thinking, he’s probably head over heels in love with you but has all the right reasons to ensure the connection is right and lasts this time. If this is true, then it’s probably for the best that he wants to take things slow so you can use that time to evaluate your new relationship before getting serious.
5. Your partner is uncomfortable with your pace
Then again, he might not be nurturing thoughts of a relationship with you or is afraid of catching feelings. He may simply have brought it up because you’re just too fast for him. He probably gets the sense you’re rushing somewhere and that he has somehow hopped along for the ride with you, but he has no idea why.
It’s not getting to some destination too soon that motivates him in this case, it’s that there’s no destination in his mind in the first place. So why endure this uncomfortable speed ride you’re dragging him along on?
6. It’s not that deep for your partner
Another possible meaning is that what you have is probably a casual relationship with your guy. You’re not friends with benefits if you haven’t both decided to be that, but you're probably not dating committedly either. So because he just wants to enjoy the experience, he needs to get some ideas out of your head without being too mean about it.
7. He’s hoping someone better comes along
It could also be that your guy likes you and everything, but his eyes are still on the many other beautiful women outside. His head is in the game, but his heart still longs for a certain mystery girl he hopes will look his day soon.
He probably thinks it’s easier to take it down a notch now than later, these are the signature thoughts of people who like to keep their options open.
8. He has a wife somewhere
Don’t be surprised if you find out later that the reason he wants to take things slow is that he’s planning his wedding. Or something crazier like he’s been married for years and is only slowing down because with you becoming a fixture in his life, his duties are starting to clash.
Or maybe there’s no wife, and he has a commitment elsewhere that you’re starting to get in the way of. The point is, his reason might be something you do not know, something only he is privy to, and that’s why he wants to slow the pace.
9. Your partner is trying to end things with someone else first
Notwithstanding, the above can be true and still be good news. (Assuming you actually want a relationship with this person.) Maybe he has a secret life, and it’s complicated, so he can’t just up and leave. But he’s considering it and trying to make it happen.
Juggling, putting an end to a commitment, and going full throttle into another relationship doesn’t sound like an easy task. There’s a lot of back and forth between couples who have been together for a while, and that’s why he needs you to be ‘patient’.
Therefore, his motivation for asking to pump the brakes might be so he can continue with you on a better footing. It’s also likely that he is not currently with anyone else but is working through some unresolved feelings.
10. He’s too busy for relationships
You know how you have ideas of what your ideal relationship would be like? The intentionality, making plans, when and when you should be hitting milestones?
Perhaps your partner thinks about that too and knows his schedule for the foreseeable future wouldn’t allow him the luxury of as much free time as he’d like.
That could be the drive behind his decision to take things slow because why rush into something you know within yourself you’re not available for yet?
11. He’s a non-committal kind of partner
For a non-committal, taking it slow can mean that you’re going too fast or that he’s trying to get out in front of it, so you know not to. Thankfully, you can probably guess this from spending time with a guy like that. This evasive behavior wouldn’t just manifest in his love life/relationship, it would reflect in other areas as well.
He gets restless if he holds the same job or stays with one person for a while, he’s never clear about his opinions or intentions on anything, etc. He basically avoids situations that feel like he’s getting tied down. Luckily, people like that make it known one way or another; maybe this is how he’s chosen to tell you.
12. He’s got what he wanted from you
Perhaps you met and clicked right away because you were both looking for the same thing at the time. It was like a match made in heaven because you felt like partners in a lot of ways. Then you began dating, and it looks like you’ve still got that connection until the slowing down talk comes up.
Maybe that thrill of clicking with you was what he needed at the time, or the sex, or the brief companionship. And now that the longing has been satisfied, he’s not really interested in going at that pace anymore.
13. Your partner is unsure of his feelings for you
Have you ever liked someone so much that you fear they may not be real feelings but infatuation or lust? Affairs of the heart aren’t always as straightforward as a physical attraction where your body’s reactions confirm to the other person you’re ready to get down.
This is even more likely if you two haven’t had sex yet, but you clearly have the hots for each other. He may want to take things slow if he’s confused about his feelings for you and what that would mean for the relationship. I don’t know about you, but that kind of thing might make me want to press pause to avoid unnecessary complications.
14. Wrong timing
Not everyone is at that point in their life where they have everything figured out. So as much as he may want to get to know you, once something else comes up, he’ll probably feel the need to back things up. Wrong timing can drive one to such decisions. Maybe he’s unsettled at work, just suffered a personal tragedy, or some other unexpected thing happened. It can be anything.
Many guys want to take their time when getting to know someone, but when reality hits, that would probably be the founder or reason for this, ‘let’s take it slow’ talk. Personally, I think it’s only right that he tells you what his motivations are in a situation like this.
15. Your partner wants to eat his cake and have it
Another possible reason might be greed. He wants the benefits of commitment without actually asking for it. Unlike the non-committal, this one may not necessarily be upfront with the fact that he doesn’t want a serious relationship. He will let you run with the idea of being together for as long as he can manage without having to say it.
In this case, this request to take it slow might be a preemptive move against the “what are we conversation” if you have been showing signs of initiating one. It can also come shortly after.
16. He just wants sex
You met, you had sex, it was great, so you made it a thing, there were no questions of what would be, just pure intimacy and desire. Sex is a huge part of relationships, but when both sides are not on the same page on whether you’re dating or just hooking up, hitches come up.
When you know someone romantically, it doesn’t mean they’re open to relationships. Therefore, your partner could be considering taking things slow with you because you’ve given him cause to believe you want more than he does. Perhaps you’ve been asking him questions about relationships and commitments that he doesn’t want to answer.
17. He’s not ready to have sex yet
On the other hand, your male partner can also ask to take it slow if he doesn’t want things to get sexual between you just yet. People have different views of intimacy; where others want to act on their urges right away when they like someone, some prefer to take their time and build a solid relationship first.
But at the end of the day, we are all humans, and continued exposure to you could be making it harder for your partner to keep up with that discipline. For this man, taking it slow might mean seeing less of each other in secluded places, less flirting, or whatever else helps keep his mind off the deed.
18. Your partner is still figuring out what he wants
I envy people who can tell right away that this is how they feel or what they want. It doesn’t readily occur to some of us, and being put on the spot while we’re still trying to figure it out certainly does not help.
It could be that your partner has more to consider than just his feelings or physical pleasure. Maybe he’s learned from his and other people’s past relationships and experiences that basing a relationship solely on desire isn’t the best way to go. In which case, taking things slow might actually be best for all parties involved.
19. He enjoys making girls who like him anxious
That back and forth from being unsure of where you stand that makes you twice as careful with everything? Maybe he likes that. The time when you can tell cupid is working by how busy both your hearts get when you interact, some people live for those moments. Maybe there’s a better way to put it or a professional word I can’t think of right now, but it’s totally a thing.
He might be getting some validation from knowing he can make you fall in love (or like) with him and just want to savor that for as long as he possibly can. When you think about how fast things get stale when rushed into a new relationship, it doesn’t feel like such a crazy idea that this guy would want to take things slow.
20. What you currently have works for him and he doesn’t want to ruin it
I don’t know what it is about relationships that make us want to rush to the endpoint and live happily ever after once we fall in love. One minute you’re flirting with each other, the next, you’re going out before you know it, you’re already discussing exclusivity and stuff. Everything just feels rushed in the dating scene.
Your partner can ask to take things slow if he wants to break away from the invisible relationship ‘time frame’ everyone follows. They want to live in the moment and enjoy this connection you have instead of missing out on the present at every step in pursuit of the future.
21. He wants you to make the exit decision
Finally, asking to take it slow can be your partner’s way of suggesting that you step up and be the one to call it. This would make more sense if you two have been dating on and off for a while. He might bring it up at a point where the relationship should be showing some form of progress and not moving backward.
Then he makes it feel like the ball is in your court, forcing you to make the hard decision while he hides behind the “I’m fine with whatever you decide,” statement.
Someone who is taking it slow continues to show that they care even if it wouldn’t be quite as intense as if they were going full speed. On the other hand, someone with truly no interest wouldn’t be concerned about nurturing your connection.
A girl might want to take things slow if she sees the possibility of a serious relationship and is trying to take her time. It could be she’s trying to sort out her feelings or isn’t ready for intense relationships at the moment. And for others, it might merely mean she’s not ready to have sex yet.
Taking things slow is the best way to approach a new relationship, as we tend to overlook things in those early stages. The more time you give it, the fewer surprises you’re likely to discover along the line. You may not be able to grow your connection, be yourselves, or address red flags as well when you rush things.
Reduced communication can indicate a loss of interest on your partner’s part or that his attention is being focused elsewhere at the moment. He may have other professional relationships or priorities to attend to. It may also mean he’s secure enough in your relationship and doesn’t think he needs to text as much any longer.
If your partner tends to be heavy on the charm yet has a history of never starting a relationship with the girls he goes out with, he’s probably a player. You may find that he keeps interactions purely physical and on the surface while implying that he wouldn’t be opposed to more to keep you around.
If you have the chance to get to know your guy before the whole space thing comes up, you can probably guess which of the above is likely to be his meaning. Still, I’d like to reiterate that the only way to make sure is if you heard it from the horse’s mouth. If the truth is what you’re fishing for, a conversation with your partner should be in order. So, did you find the article helpful? If yes, kindly leave a comment and share it with someone.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.