So, you want to take things slowly? You want to be friends first?
Ok...but you do realize those two statements are fundamentally in conflict with each other right? You do realize the above statement is so vague as to be nearly guaranteed to confuse?
Take....things....slowly. What does that mean? For me it would mean recognizing that transitioning from a romance to something more directly committed (living together, getting married, etc..) is something far more complex than romance and needs time and discovery to reveal its possibility or even desireability.
For many women I've encountered it means that getting to the romance phase itself proceeds at an iceburgs pace. Maybe some of you don't realize how insulting that can be (it can be). Maybe some of you don't realize its a cynical tactic to try to get everything on your terms so you can protect yourself from emotional harm (it is a cynical tactic..and it doesn't really work this way).
Do you "take things slowly" when making friends in a scenario where there is no intimate context? I don't see how that is either possible or even particularly friendly. Developing friendships is a skill we are basically born with. A four year old knows how to make a friend, and it is a deliberate thing that doesn't proceed....slowly. Quite the opposite.
When we are young we dive in to romance head first, and as we get older and gain more experience we become more....cautious. We think we've learned so much more about the world and about other people (which we have). But we also overvalue the supposed truth of this. Teenagers had it right all along. What they lack isn't experience. Rather it's simply the stability of adulthood that allows you to cope better with disappointment as well as maximise the value of it. We fail to realize the truth of this.
Relationships are things you *do*. Talk is necessary, but also cheap in this context. And too much caution practically guarantees disappointment. Intimacy is a gift, not a burden.
I have no interest in an intimate relationship with someone I cannot be friends with. But in that context I'm not here for friends. Neither are you.
Just some food for thought... :)