I don't think I'm alone in this. I can think of so many friends who have confided in me about feeling "behind" in life. About not having a degree by the age they thought they would, about working a menial job at an older age than seems right, about not being married by 30, about not having kids within a couple years of marriage, about not owning a home sometime in that same region, etc.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to meet self or culturally imposed deadlines. And we should stop.
When something is big and hard to decide, I think the last thing anyone needs is a heaping dose of guilt that you're taking too long to decide it. I say, tell THAT voice not to let the door hit it in the tush on the way out.
I wrote these words to a dear friend recently as she was struggling with the beginnings of a new relationship, and it's what inspired this post:
Girl. GIRL. That part that you said about being afraid of crushing him ....I GET THAT. It is REALLY hard for me to let someone else be vulnerable in my hands. And, I get all the other feelings. There is nothing wrong with giving it a solid go. Sometimes it helps me to set goals like... "I am committed for a month." And then I see how the month goes. And then if things are going well, I tell myself another month. It is easier to decide on a month than to decide on eternity. And then if I have a weird week I don't feel compelled to make a decision based on that...because the month isn't up yet. You have all the time in the universe. I always feel like I need to decide quickly and not waste anyone's time or miss out on other opps myself. This is false. Time is eternal! Other opportunities will always be there. Giving a month or three or six or twelve to one relationship, even if it doesn't end in marriage...so what? There is infinite time. I have to remind myself of this often. There are no deadlines in life. I can take all the time I need. Culture tells you there are deadlines...not Heavenly Father....and that about sums up my thoughts. Voicing them to my friend made me realize how much I needed to hear them myself. I'm kind of against setting expectations for myself that I "should" know anything for sure after a specific amount of time, especially when it comes to dating. One month? Three months? Six months? Whatever. You'll move forward when you want to -- so focus on building a solid relationship and just take the timing issue off the table. I kind of guarantee your stress level will minimize.
So, slow down. Stop rushing yourself. Keep a good end goal in mind, and then...bask in the journey. Be patient with yourself and others. If you're going to feel in a hurry to do anything, be in a hurry to forgive, love and serve. Everything else can take its sweet time.