Saudade, "going at the pace of the one struggling the most" is not really referring to people who meet and agree to become involved. It's more to do with existing relationships that experience issues along the way. I totally agree that to meet, suggest a merge ( for want of a better term this late at night) and then working towards that is what happens generally, but the idea of pacing is to do with anyone that comes along with that merge. That is where it is suggested that the pace be slowed to allow for the change to morph and grow into something sustainable. The problem arises when someone doesn't care about sustainability or thinks it's someone else's problem and is unwilling to allow communication or hasn't slowed down enough to consider the wake they cause by doing/acting/saying whatever it is that is causing the issue...
RP: It's actually my policy not to move at the pace of the slowest person even in an 'existing relationship with an issue' situation, wherein the 'issue' is the involvement of a third person. The rule of thumb I go by instead is: what's reasonable in this situation for the parties directly involved?
For example: one of my partners, Z, has had trouble adjusting to me taking on a friend with benefits. There are parts of my having a friend with benefits in which Z is an involved party: who I sleep with at night; how much time this friend spends with both of us (he's actually friends with the whole constellation, not just me); who I sit next to when they both are in the living room; PDAs in front of Z; the degree to which a new love brings everyone an STD risk; etc. In those issues, Z is directly affected, and how he's doing with the thought of sharing me with this friend in this particular way is a major part of any decision on the topic. However,
there are other parts of my relationship with this friend that have nothing to do with Z (like whether we talk online, what we do sexually --once we've agreed on STD issues--, and how we celebrate his birthday), and so we're not going to move at Z's pace on those issues, even if he's the one struggling the most in our constellation with the whole thing.
Does that clarify things?
Further context-- there's at least a dozen people in our constellation these days, so it'd be difficult to decide whose pace to move at in a lot of circumstances! Also, Z and I are working hard on keeping the relationship open through his moments of discomfort, and so we've agreed to this system together. It's also worth noting that Z and I are checking in about all of this constantly (it seems like a few times a day; it might actually be every two days), to make sure that everything keeps functioning.