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?

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