Are You & Your New Bae Spending Too Much Time Together?

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
My first relationship went from zero to 60 so fast I barely noticed it happening. One day we decided to be girlfriends and two weeks later she was spending every night in my dorm room. Even during our waking hours, we were totally inseparable. And when we did have to spend a few hours apart (because we were in college and had to go to class), we'd say how much we missed each other when we reunited.
I'm a queer woman, so we call what my first girlfriend and I did "U-Hauling" (based on the joke that lesbians bring a U-Haul on the second date). But straight people certainly aren't immune to the U-Haul. Sometimes, straight people, gay men, or people in any other kind of relationship shack up just as quickly; they just don't have a cute name for it. And no matter your sexual orientation, moving quickly in a relationship can feel scary. You might wonder if you're moving too fast, or if spending too much time with your partner now could cause problems down the road.
While plenty of people will offer an opinion on how dangerous it is to get close to someone too quickly, the truth is that no one knows you and your relationship, says dating coach Diana Mandell. "It's completely normal and frankly advantageous to spend a lot of time with a new partner," she says. "This time allows you to get a really clear sense early on, in terms of your partner's wants, needs, quirks, and habits."
Going out to dinner a couple times a week wouldn't help you get to know your new partner nearly as well as spending a lot of time with them would, and it's great to learn your S.O.'s ticks early on, she says. Still, if you feel that sleeping over every night or spending every weekend together is too much, then listen to your instincts. Chances are, your anxieties are trying to tell you something. "You both need to continue to maintain your independence and have separate lives to go back to," Mandell says. If you're not careful, spending every moment with your partner can make you lose yourself.
It's totally fine to hang out with your partner all the time, as long as you're not sacrificing your personality or your wants and needs, Vera Eck, MFT, a relationship therapist in Los Angeles, previously told Refinery29. Both you and your partner should care about each other equally and both be willing to spend time with the other's friends or doing the things that the other enjoys. Otherwise, your relationship might be entering co-dependent territory.
Other than becoming co-dependent, spending all of your time together can also put a lot of pressure on your relationship. "Once you set a pattern of seeing each other very often, it's tough to put the brakes on that without taking a step back in your relationship," Mandell says. So if you feel the need to slow down, then sooner is better than later. It'll be a lot easier to ask for some time apart from your new boo if you haven't been spending the last month sleeping over every night.
Bottom line: Do what feels natural to you. If your worries about moving too quickly are coming from your own insecurities or anxieties, then slow it down. But if the pressure to stop spending so much time with your new partner comes from family or friends, then don't worry about it. Every relationship has a different timeline, Mandell says. As long as both you and your partner feel happy with how much you're seeing each other, it's all good.

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