We Need to Slow Down. (I'm Feeling a Little Crowded!)

Dr. Mel Luthy, Chief Editor

Sample Letter #1

I got your letter and wanted to write back to tell you how I feel before things go any further. Besides, I probably couldn't say what I need to in person looking into those big brown eyes of yours!

First of all, I want you to know I've been having a great time with you and I've really enjoyed every date we've been on. I'm a little worried, though, that we might be getting a little too serious too quickly. I know you wrote that you were losing interest in going out with anyone else but I still would like to see other guys now and then. I'm in my last semester, and I need to focus on my Linguistics M.A., and not get involved in a long-term relationship just yet. And you I think you better keep your mind on your statistics courses and your Computer Science degree. I'm learning how much brain power that requires, just with the one stats course I took and trying now to validate my thesis by running complicated statistical tests.

The semester before last I made the mistake of getting too deeply involved with someone and my grades started to slip. Remember, with a B.A. we could get an A, a C, or anything in between and still graduate, but with an M.A. we've got to make the high grades or we'll have to repeat the semester. They don't accept C's anymore where we are, so we need to stay focused. There'll be plenty of time for serious romance later on. And another thing, those goodnight kisses are getting a little too intense for me and I'm starting to worry we could get carried away and do something we'll both regret later.

I think the best thing for both of us right now is to date each other less often and still be free to go out with other people if we want to. That way we can keep things under control emotionally as well as not lose sight of what our educational priorities should be at this point in our lives. Please, don't take this the wrong way. I think you're a great guy and I'm not suggesting I don't want to see you anymore, but just less often--maybe twice a month, okay?

I've been having a lot of fun going out with you--I just can't afford to have that much fun right now! I need to be more serious about my education, and so do you. Speaking of which, I need to go hit the books because I've got a long day tomorrow outlining the statistics chapter of my thesis, as well as teaching my afternoon class. Why don't you call me in a couple of weeks and we'll plan on getting together again.

I hope to see you soon (just not too soon).

Sample Letter #2

I hope you know that I care a great deal about you, too. I will always remember the fun times that we have had together. But I'm worried that we're going too far, too fast. We really haven't known each other very long, and I'm just not ready to make too strong a commitment yet. We still have a lot to learn about each other; you might yet discover that my halo wobbles now and then!

We haven't really talked a whole lot about previous relationships, but I've learned from experience that it is best to take these things slowly. I've made mistakes, and I've been hurt badly in the past by people that I never should have let myself care about as much as I did. I don't know--maybe you have too? I don't want that to happen again. Your friendship means a lot to me, and I don't want to ruin that by letting our emotions (and our hormones!) rule our heads.

I still want to spend time with you, I still look forward to spending time with you, but I've got to take things more slowly (at least for a while). Why don't we try toning things down a little--maybe try only going out about once a week? Then we can have time to see other people if we want to, and we can allow our friendship to continue to develop without getting quickly in way over our heads.

I hope you won't stop writing altogether. I love reading your letters! Take care of yourself.

Sample Letter #3

Oh, how can I say this without you taking it the wrong way? We've been seeing a lot of each other lately, and you've been so sweet to me. Each time you look at me with those big, blue eyes, I want to melt. Please don't misunderstand--I've enjoyed the time we have spent together. You are funny, smart, and generous. But when I received your recent letter, I realized that our relationship is becoming too serious, too quickly for me. I need to date at a slower pace right now.

You need to know that I have made a commitment to myself and to my parents that nothing would get in the way of my graduation. Until then, I want to enjoy dating several guys on a casual basis, but not get tied down to anyone yet. I've really had to adopt this mindset of no long-term relationships for the moment or I will never be able to complete my degree. Last year I failed in my resolve and entered into a serious relationship--only to have it and my grades crash. The readjustment process was too painful to repeat. I hope you can appreciate that. I'm just not ready; it's the wrong season of my life.

I hope you'll respect my request that we see each other less often and feel free to enter into other relationships yourself. That will give our emotions time to settle down and me time to graduate. That said, I want to say that I think you're a great guy. Do I want to see you again? Yes, but just not quite so often--maybe twice a month--and without the expectation of immediate commitment. I've had a lot of fun with you. But I have to maintain tunnel vision until graduation, and so I close this letter now and make my way to the books. I'm really sorry if this hurts you. If you still want to see me, why don't you could call me in a couple of weeks and we could plan something. Until then, let's give it a breather.

Thanks for understanding.

Sample Letter #4

Although I realize I cannot expect feelings of constant bliss, I am beginning to worry that we might be getting too serious, too quickly.

Until we decide otherwise, letís not commit ourselves exclusively to this relationship. Instead, letís remain free to date others. Other aspects of our lives need our attention, too, so letís take some time to focus on our jobs and our studies.

Iím sure you will agree that we probably shouldnít try rushing our feelings. Letís make sure we are comfortable together first, and letís also take time to think about our relationship.

Maybe we can see each other less often, at least until we know which direction to pursue.

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