When it comes to dating, the fear of rejection is a powerful thing. This fear lords over many men, leading them to take many inefficient actions when it comes to dating. One of them is “taking things slow”. Contrary to popular belief, taking it slow is typically a poor strategy on a date. It’s an especially poor strategy if you actually like her. The reality is that, in most situations (everything in dating is situational), men “take it slow” with women they like because they fear rejection, not because it’s the right decision to make. It’s usually a mistake.
I learned not to take it slow in dating the hard way. As I grew into my “dating prime”, I found that I could successfully attract women, and successfully make them want to date me or be physically intimate with me. However, I wasn’t getting anywhere with the girls I was most excited about. Now, it wasn’t because these women were significantly better looking than the other women I was dating, they were just women that I happened to really like. And, without fail, the more I liked them, the less successful I was at getting more dates.
So, I decided to look back and think about how my behavior was correlating to my interest level. What I found was the more I was interested, the slower I was moving. I was less likely to touch my date. I was less likely to propose continuing the date, either at another location, my place, or wherever. I was also less likely to go for a kiss or other physical escalation at the end of the date.
I quickly realized, that even though I thought I conquered most of my fear of rejection issues, I hadn’t overcome my fear of rejection when it came to women i was really excited about! I was acting the way I was acting not because I thought it was going to be effective, but because I was afraid of rejection, and you can’t get rejected if you never make a move.
It was hard at first, but I took it upon myself to consciously alter my behavior on these future dates to more closely resemble my actions on the more successful dates I’d been on in the past. The results came quickly: I got into a relationship with a woman I was excited about less than 6 months after that moment of self reflection.
Why does taking it slow not work
So, taking it slow is usually a bad strategy. But why? Once you really stop to think about it, the reasons become pretty apparent.
- Women are attracted to confidence–not aggressive/insistent men–but confident ones. Women are highly attuned to indicators of confidence, and taking it slow is not one of them. Women already know that most men who take things too slowly are doing so because the fear rejection–they didn’t have to “figure it out” like I did. And fearing rejection, well, that’s not really a sign of confidence.
- Moving slowly can hide interest. When you’re interested in a girl, you want her to be interested back. Women are no different. If you move too slowly it can be misinterpreted as a lack of interest, which in turn can lower her interest level.
- Moving slowly opens the door to competition. Today, attractive (both physically and in other ways) women have a plethora of dating options. When you start dating someone, there’s a good chance you aren’t the only person she’s seeing. The slower you move, the more likely it is one of the other guys she’s seeing has moved faster, built more attraction, gotten her more comfortable, and potentially also slept with her, which builds a further connection and attachment between them. This competition will make it significantly harder for you to win her heart.
The benefits of taking it slow
All the above is not to say that taking it slow is all bad. Taking it slow does have some benefits.
- Taking it slow gives you more time to get comfortable — there’s an assumption that only women need time to get comfortable before physical and emotional intimacy. But that isn’t always true. Some men also want to be more comfortable before being vulnerable. If that’s you, then taking it slow can help address these concerns.
- Taking it slow is an effective strategy in certain situations, such as with an ex girlfriend (See our how to get your ex back article) or with women in your social circle and especially (though i wouldn’t even start on this route) in the workplace.
Get the benefits, without the negatives
If the benefits above resonate with you, you still don’t have to take things slow. In case (2), it’s probably a good idea to “play the long game”. We explained this in our get your ex back article, and will explain in more detail when we cover dating in your social circle. However, for many men, the desire to take it slow stems from point (1). Point (1) can be accomplished without taking it slow. You CAN get the best of both worlds there.
If you like knowing someone more before being physically and emotionally intimate, you still want to get in a position where that is even an option. That is best done not playing it slow. It’s best done by building attraction and comfort the “right” way but simply pressing on the brakes when it gets to that point of vulnerability.
For example, no one says you have to sleep with a girl because she came to your place after a date. But if she comes to your place after a date there’s a much better shot you’ll see her for a second date than if she refused or you didn’t even try.
Build attraction and comfort as you would with anyone, and slow it down only once you’ve already established significant levels of both. You may potentially delay the natural attachment that occurs after physical intimacy, but you won’t give up appearing secure, confident, and you won’t lose her due to perceived lack of interest.
The bottom line is this: generally speaking, taking things slow should only be reserved for your social circle, reconnecting with an ex, or other situations where rejection has significant social consequences. On new dates, blind dates, online dates, girls you met at the bar, being assertive will show confidence, interest, and lead to more second dates, third dates, and beyond. So stop moving slowly, and start moving.