Why We Tend to Fall Too Fast
Have you ever fallen head over heels for a new flame and wondered if it was all happening a little too rapidly?
To state the obvious, falling in love is an incredible feeling. And when you’re in the initial honeymoon phase of a new relationship, you get that confident buzz about you, and all of the hope, joy, and excitement you’re experiencing seems to bubble over and envelop even the most mundane aspects of your everyday life.
But getting too emotionally attached too soon in a new relationship can be problematic.
Not only can diving in and emotionally investing too much too quickly sometimes blind you to red flags that might exist, but it can also render you vulnerable and increase your likelihood of getting hurt. In some instances, it may even set a relationship up for failure.
Are you prone to falling in love a little too fast?
If you’re unsure, take a moment to reflect on how you tend to act in the first few months of a new relationship, then ask yourself the following questions:
Do you often find yourself thinking that your new partner might be “the one” after just a handful of dates?
Have you ever felt drawn to fill the void/hole that you feel in your life from an ex-partner/past relationship with a new one?
Have you ever been hesitant to share with your family or friends how serious things have gotten early-on in a new relationship out of embarrassment or fear of judgment?
Do you tend to fully jump into a new relationship while ignoring the red flags (or have you ever done so in the past)?
Have you found yourself obsessing over a new flame, to the extent that you’re unable to focus, be productive, or honor the goals that are important to you?
Have you made excuses or justifications for how quickly you and your new partner have become deeply attached? (such as, “we’ve already spent more time together than the average couple does over the course of X months, so it makes sense/is okay that we’re as attached as we are”)
Do you know that you have some destructive patterns when it comes to dating that ultimately damage or take a toll on your relationships?
If so, and particularly if you consistently find yourself getting emotionally attached a little too soon when in a new relationship, it’s probably wise to take a deeper look at what might be going on.
As a starting point, it may be helpful to consider the following 5 reasons why we sometimes latch on a little too closely too soon:
1. We get distracted by the “bright and shiny object” qualities of a new partner
What unique and appealing features drew you to this new person in the first place? Their physical attractiveness? Their level of fitness? Their intelligence? Their passion or impressive work ethic? Their sense of humor? Their disarming smile?
Humans are neophiles. We are innately attracted to new and interesting things. And when a different partner enters the picture, their novelty can intrigue and seduce us.
But it’s important to recognize that many of the characteristics that you might initially admire in someone new (their striking physical attributes, for instance) can fade with time. And even if they don’t fade, sometimes those very traits that first attracted us to a given person can end up embittering us toward them over the long-term.
By way of example, have you ever began dating someone who was really active or hyper ambitious - characteristics you viewed positively - but who ultimately didn’t have (or make) enough time for you or the relationship because of those very traits? Or have you ever been drawn to someone’s incredible charm, only to later feel threatened by it when they proved to be exceedingly flirtatious with others?
Regardless of circumstance, the thing that attracts you to someone in the first place is unlikely to be something that makes your relationship better in the long run.
Try to beware of your early attraction to these shiny-object attributes. Take a step back, acknowledge them for what they are, and try not to value those qualities too highly.
2. We’ve dealt with abandonment in our past
You may have experienced abandonment in one form or another during your childhood - a parent who wasn’t there for you when you needed them, for instance. Or perhaps you went through a traumatic event that made you feel like you were suddenly alone in the world.
If you’ve dealt with abandonment in your past, you’ll typically have more of a tendency to pull people toward you and be fearful of letting them go. You may also find yourself constantly seeking your partner’s approval, feeding off of it and becoming dependent on them.
If this describes you, it’s important to realize that you aren’t helpless. Just because certain things happened to you in the past doesn’t mean they’ll happen to you again in the future.
Make an effort to open your heart to people who want to be with you. And during those first few months of being in a new relationship, make sure that you give your partner some distance while also creating some space for yourself. Don’t simply dive in out of fear of losing that person.
3. We don’t believe that we can be genuinely happy when we’re single
I’ve historically fallen victim to this false belief myself. (Any other serial monogamists out there??) We often feel a societal pressure to couple-up, even if it’s with someone who isn’t right for us or doesn’t truly make us happy. We feel like we need to share our life experiences with someone else in order to fully enjoy them.
We’re constantly (and often subconsciously) receiving the message that the “ideal” we should be striving for is to be in a relationship. And thus, if we’re single, we shouldn’t be happy or content. Because we’re incomplete.
So we succumb to self-pity or download dating apps and join the masses in relentlessly seeking our other half.
Well, guess what? You’re enough on your own.
You can be whole and happy without anyone else (and I’d encourage you to get to a place where you really feel that to be true before jumping into your next relationship).
4. We tend to make our dating decisions with our emotions instead of our logic
Too often when dating, we react emotionally to something that happens and let those reactive feelings drive our actions without even realizing we are doing so.
Let’s say your new partner doesn’t text you back, starts pulling away, or begins acting weird. How do you respond? Do you become a prisoner to your emotions, getting sad, mad, or reacting in an emotionally-driven way?
Or let’s say you’re feeling lonely - what do you do? Do you allow that emotional state to drive you to text your new partner or reach out to an ex? Or do you go take care of yourself and do something that will make you feel centered, happy, and whole again?
If you’re experiencing feelings of jealousy with respect to another person your partner is interacting with, do you attempt to seek out validation from your partner, or do you find it internally instead?
In order to have a healthy relationship, you need to avoid looking to your significant other to meet all of your emotional needs. Being completely dependent on one person in that way will not serve you.
Rather, try to work on managing your own emotions. You are the only one who has control over how you feel, and you need to learn how to harness and flex that control.
If you find that you’re constantly reacting to things based on the emotions you’re experiencing in a given moment, pause and take a few deep breaths. Consider cultivating a meditation practice or learning how to calm yourself down before acting reactively based on the emotions you’re feeling.
5. We sometimes give away responsibility for our happiness
If you aren’t good at taking care of yourself emotionally, you may be at risk of looking to someone else to do it for you.
Particularly when we’re in a new relationship, we find ourselves experiencing more joy than usual. And, as a result, we can sometimes fall into the trap of starting to seek all of our happiness from that other person - a habit that isn’t healthy or sustainable. Engaging in this pattern will ultimately lead you to become emotionally dependent on your partner.
Don’t allow yourself to become reliant on anyone else for your happiness.
Do what you need to do in order to maintain some healthy perspective. Take some space from your relationship and spend time with friends. Don’t lose sight of your goals and whatever lights you up in life.
Look internally and embrace whatever it is that makes you happy, regardless of anyone else.
Have you ever succumbed to any of these common reasons why we tend to fall for a new partner too fast? If so, which one(s) do you struggle with the most? Are there any other reasons you feel you’ve grown emotionally attached too quickly, not included in the list above?
I’d love to create a discussion around this topic. Let me know if this article resonates with you by commenting below.
And if you commonly find yourself falling for a new partner and worrying that it might be happening a bit too fast, above all, try to take note of that tendency. Because unless and until you can gain awareness of the patterns that characterize your love life, you’ll be doomed to repeat them.