When a Girl Wants to Take it Slow

Let’s set the scene: you’ve met a beautiful woman and gone on a few dates together, and you like her. You would like to continue seeing her and continue to take your relationship to the next level. But how do you know if she is on the same page in progressing your relationship? One of the biggest struggles for many is understanding when a girl wants to take it slow.

Sometimes the signs can be obvious, while other times you may have to read between the lines. Understanding what it means, how to respond, and how you can tell when a girl wants to take it slow are all critical components of successfully navigating the world of dating as we know it today.

go slow

What It Means When A Girl Wants To Take It Slow

First and foremost, it is important that you understand what it means when a girl wants to take it slow. Many people falsely assume that “taking it slow” only refers to intimacy in a relationship, but the phrase can in fact refer to many non-physical steps as well.

From a most simplistic level, “taking it slow” means exactly how it sounds: she wants to progress slowly in the major steps of your relationship. To better understand this, we will look at some milestones in a relationship, and ones where you might be likely to find that a girl prefers to take things slow.

Note that these milestones are in no specific order, and you should progress your relationship the way you both see fit.


Many people often differentiate “going on dates” from “dating.” Understanding this distinction is important, as there can often be gray areas particularly in the early stages of a relationship. “Going on dates” is typically the first step – you connect with a girl and decide to meet up, perhaps at a bar, restaurant, or some other venue. You have not yet established exclusivity or other terms related to your relationship, so you are simply going on dates now.

“Dating” is the next step and often implies that you have both agreed to see each other exclusively on a consistent basis. Some girls do not want to rush into exclusivity, so “taking it slow” in this context means that she probably wants to continue just going on dates, without necessarily committing to seeing each other exclusively.

Physical Intimacy And / Or Sex

Physical intimacy and/or sex are what many people most commonly think of when talking about “taking it slow.” Sex is an important part of relationships and can be a significant step for both of you. While some girls may be comfortable exploring the physical part of your relationship early on, others may be more hesitant.

Thus, “taking it slow” in this context means that she probably wants to give things more time and get to know you better before getting physical. Respecting this boundary and ensuring that you are on the same page when it comes to physical intimacy is incredibly important and should not be taken lightly.

Meeting Each Other’s Friends And / Or Families

Meeting friends and family is another milestone in a relationship, as who we were raised by and spend time with can say a lot about us! Meeting these individuals is a particularly important step in any relationship, as it often reflects a clear level of seriousness.

“Taking it slow” in the context of meeting each other’s friends and family means that she probably wants to keep dating or going on dates and learning more about you before introducing you to the other people in her life.

How To Respond When A Girl Wants To Take It Slow

Now that you understand what exactly “taking it slow” means, the next step is to prepare for how you respond. The key thing to remember above all else is that each of us moves at a different pace throughout experiences in our lives, and the same goes when dating.

Some people tend to move faster, while others tend to move slower. There is no right “pace” when it comes to developing relationships, so if a girl wants to take it slow, you should and must respect that desire fully.

As for how to respond when a girl wants to take it slow, you must first establish that you are comfortable taking things slowly as well. If you prefer that things move faster and are unwilling to budge, then this is not a relationship you should try to pursue. However, assuming that you are comfortable with things moving slower, there are three primary steps you should take.

Step 1: Provide Affirmation

Before anything else, you should provide her with affirmation. Let her know that she should feel totally comfortable with wanting to take things slow, and let her know that this is good with you. Some girls may say this outright or more subtly (see the next section for further explanation on this), but regardless, providing validation is extremely important and respectful.

Step 2: Emphasize Communication

Once you have affirmed her preferences, be sure to emphasize communication. Clear and adequate communication is the cornerstone of all successful relationships, so it is important that you not only appreciate her communicating her preferences, but that you also encourage her to continue to do so in the future.

Ongoing communication is especially important in this context. Taking things slowly establishes an overarching guide on “pace” in the relationship, but you will not necessarily know when she is ready to progress through various milestones in the relationship if there is not clear communication. It is important that you both stay on the same page to ensure things are progressing at the right speed for both of you.

Step 3: Check-In Consistently

This final step goes along with the idea of communication, but it refers to a pointed effort to make sure that the girl is comfortable with how things are going. Checking in with each other periodically ensures that you are both aligned in your relationship. This does not have to be a huge ordeal, but rather just a “hey, how are you doing/feeling about things” type of check-in every few weeks or months, depending on your relationship.

You should also not underestimate the importance of consistent check-ins with yourself. Remember that there are two people in this relationship, and you must also look out for your happiness in addition to hers. Be sure to check in with yourself frequently to make sure you are also comfortable with the speed at which your relationship is progressing.

woman gesturing to stop or slow down

How To Tell When A Girl Wants To Take It Slow

At this point, you are probably asking: how can I ultimately tell when a girl wants to take it slow? Well, of course in an ideal world, she would probably say it outright. This can be more common than you would think, especially if you both are relatively direct or good at communication. However, there are some less subtle signs that you should also look out for that may indicate when a girl wants to take it slow.

Body Language

Pay attention to her body language when you propose certain ideas. This is especially the case if you are dealing with physical intimacy. You should first ask her outright if she is comfortable taking things to the next level, and even if she says yes, you should still pay close attention to her body language as things progress.

Hesitant Responses

If you propose certain ideas like meeting up with each other’s friends and notice hesitant or evasive responses, then this is a pretty good indication that she may not be so keen on the idea.
This will be especially obvious if she makes an excuse to get out of doing this, without proposing another time when you could potentially meet each other’s friends. Of course, this is not to say that she does not want you to meet each other’s friends at all – but just that she may want some more time before doing so.

Generally Abnormal Behavior

Abnormal behavior can be a tricky one, but the key thing here is that if you sense something is up, then ask about it! Often abnormal behavior simply arises due to someone being uncomfortable about a particular situation but hesitant to bring up the issue and discuss it.

For example, maybe you typically like to joke around with one another but suddenly she gets mad at an innocent joke. Or maybe you consistently go to the movies on a certain night but suddenly she does not want to do it for some unsaid reason. In this case, you may want to ask what is up, as it could possibly be related to underlying stress about the pace of how things are moving in your relationship.


Overall, understanding when a girl wants to take it slow can be tricky, but so long as you are equipped with the right information and strategies to handle this type of situation, you should feel confident at your ability to navigate. Remember that taking things slow is normal and healthy. Just be sure that you both are always on the same page with how you want things to progress!

3 thoughts on “When a Girl Wants to Take it Slow”

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