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Now that it’s officially winter, no one can deny that we’re in the thick of cuffing season. If you’re single, you might think nothing sounds better than an instant-boyfriend, someone you just click and fall into a pretty immediate relationship with so you can spend all winter not leaving bed except to replenish your food supply. While this seems like the ultimate dream and can sometimes work out, a relationship with an instant-boyfriend can also go terribly awry. An old friend is dealing with this now, and I can totally sympathize.

Sure, there are times when you can fall madly, magically in love with someone and fast-track your journey to coupledom. It sounds very romantic, doesn’t it? To meet a guy you have insane chemistry with, realize you both want the same things out of life and from each other, and then just…be together. But in my experience and that of my friends, when the guy tries to speed up all the regular dating milestones (or just skip over them altogether), it always ends up being a red flag in hindsight. The relationship becomes a sort of runaway train that suddenly screeches to a halt when he realizes he actually isn’t as into it as he thought.

The tricky part with instant-relationships is that whoever is rushing things is often the one who pumps the brakes. When you first start seeing each other, you might question how quickly things are moving. If he reassures you that everything is perfect, what reason do you have not to believe him? If his commitment-phobic ways reveal themselves later and he decides that actually he can’t do this after all, you’ll be left completely baffled. It can really screw with your mind.

That’s not to say you should be cynical about any guy who seems like he’s falling really hard, really fast. Look at yourself—why wouldn’t he? You’re awesome. It’s more a lesson that you should listen to your gut. Do you feel totally comfortable with the amped-up speed of the relationship, or is there a nagging doubt in the back of your mind? Your intuition’s purpose is to guide you in the right direction, so just let it do its job.


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