By Billy Curtis, Sex Columnist

We all remember the story of the tortoise and the hare, and we all know the outcome. It seems as though the older we get, the faster time goes by. This may simply be because time tends to move quickly in and of itself, or it could also be the sheer fact that as we age, we begin to move more slowly. We are stuck in life as hares. but, unfortunately, age doesn’t allow us to stay that way.

Unlike age, relationships have been moving faster and faster with every passing minute. I know someone who moved in with his boyfriend after dating for only five months, and that’s too early for anyone. Even friends who have dated for over a year haven’t been able to make the before-marriage-move-in work out. That’s not to say that all couples move in too quickly, but just know that for most of you, the odds aren’t very favorable. And that isn’t me being cynical.

Those are facts.

Whether it’s moving in together too quickly, or going in for that first kiss just a little too soon, the fact stands that people are moving too quickly through life. It was only 10 years ago that cell phones popped onto the market, and I can keenly remember my mother’s bulky Zack Morris cell phone from back in the day. Now she has an iPhone like me, and that’s something that scares me more than fast relationships.

Since my last relationship, I managed to get over the mistakes that made the relationship end — on my part and his — and attempted my move back into the dating scene. The first guy I went out with, Matt, ended up wanting a little too much a little too quickly and that was the end of that date.

On our first date, he tried to get me into his bed.

Frankly, I was shocked that he would so easily assume that I would be willing to. Although, having sex with him would have surely been enjoyable, I wasn’t going to give it up that easily. When it comes to relationships, I like to take it slowly. Hell, I don’t even kiss on the first date, especially when I really like the person.

The next guy I dated, David, a graphic designer in D.C., seemed to be normal enough. We went out on a couple of dates, and one night when we were watching a movie, he got really unnerved and started acting weird around me.

While he wasn’t willing to say it, I knew he most likely had just gotten out of what seemed to be a long-term relationship, and clearly wasn’t ready to be dating again. He was yet another example of someone moving too fast, and I had to pay the price for his impatience.

I was extremely happy when my friend Nicolette told me a suprising story regarding her own relationship. Nicolette had been dating her boyfriend for over a year, and not once had they said the words “I love you” to each other.

To them, the word “love” meant something special, and it was certainly something that shouldn’t be thrown around lightly. When she told me this, I was not only surprised that some people knew how to take things slowly, but it proved that the word “love” still does hold significant meaning to some.

With the way this world has been moving, it seems that we will only continue to move faster as we maneuver our way through life. We all need to take a step back, smell the fresh-brewed Starbucks and slow down. If you don’t, you may end up passing up on a person or opportunity that could have been the best thing for you.

We may be able to multitask, check Facebook and Twitter all at the same time on our phones, but we are certainly missing out on our race of life because we are moving too quickly.

Rushing into anything can turn out to be problematic; rushing into sex can give you an STI (or STD as they are more commonly known), and rushing into a relationship . . . well that, that can break your heart. Be the tortoise. Be the tortoise.