There are many relationship milestones, and each is an important step forward in a growing relationship. People are different, relationships are different, and romantic love does not follow a "set in stone" relationship milestone timeline, but making it past each of these milestones deserves celebration.
20 Relationship Milestones to Celebrate
Building a strong relationship is a journey. Relationship milestones mark the start of new chapters in the life of a relationship. Each is a stepping stone that brings the partners closer together and makes the relationship stronger.
1. The First Date
First dates are fun, exciting, and often a bit scary because they are a make-it or break-it kind of experiment. If a first date leads to a second date, you've reached conquered the first significant milestone.
2. Hanging Out Together
You love hanging out together, whether it's dates, shopping, lazy Sundays, or watching TV. When a couple begins to spend a lot of their free time together, it indicates that they may be in it for the long-haul.
3. Feeling Pangs of Jealousy
Of course jealousy can be taken too far, but if partners feel pangs of jealousy when other people are with their partner, it usually means they really like each other and don't want to lose the other.
4. Making Love for the First time
Making love with someone for the first time can be unnerving, exciting, and certainly unforgettable. Making love, not merely having mindless sex, can confirm that you're falling in love.
5. Falling in Love
Falling in love is magical. You only have eyes and time for each other and want to know all you can about your partner. Intimacy and attachment build as you spend time alone together touching, kissing, and talking until the wee hours of the morning.
6. Declaring Your Love
Saying "I love you" is one of the highlights of a romantic relationship. Saying these three little words can be scary because you're taking a chance with your heart. However, declaring your love for one another enhances trust and honesty between partners and sets the relationship on a new path.
7. Stay-Over Dates
When you stay-over at each other's places, it offers insight into how your lover lives day-to-day life, how considerate they are of your needs, and more. Successful stay-over dates can bring a couple closer by allowing each to see their partner in a different light. If successful, these can turn into having 24/7 stay-overs.
8. Accepting Your Partner's Imperfections
Eventually, you begin to see your lover's imperfections. When you both see the other at their worst and still love and accept each other, flaws included, you've passed a significant hurdle.
9. Pulling Through a Nasty Fight
Having a nasty fight and pulling through is a sign of a strong and healthy relationship. These are the times when you realize that great relationships are not easy and are often made the strongest by imperfect moments that teach you forgiveness, understanding, and how to enjoy the benefits of making up after a fight.
10. Committing to Exclusivity
You've been dating, love being with each other, have great sex, have said I love you to one another, and call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. Exclusivity and committing to each other and the relationship is worthy of recognition and celebration.
11. Meeting Friends
Your life as a couple will include gatherings and events that involve the friends of each partner. Introducing your new love to your friends and having them like your new partner and accept that you're a couple is important to a happy, fulfilling social life, and the success of your relationship.
12. Meeting Family
Whether the partners are close to their families or not, introducing a new love to the family can be daunting. Your family wants the best for you, and you want them to think the person you love is as wonderful as you do. Having your family accept and embrace the one you love as a new member of the family is an important step forward.
13. Moving in Together
You're happy together, love each other, get along well, and feel secure enough to share a living space. When you live together, your lives are merged. More trust develops as you begin to share household tasks, expenses, disclose financial information, and generally negotiate and be considerate of one another 24/7.
14. Signing Something Jointly
The first time your signatures are signed side-by-side on paper, such as a rental agreement or even a birthday card, it shows the relationship is growing stronger.
15. Referring to Something as Ours
The first time you say "ours," you might be concerned that you've said it too soon, but it's significant when couples start referring to things as ours.
16. Sharing Secrets
Though it may take time to share embarrassing, painful, or shameful secrets with one another, when this happens, it's a sign of deep trust and intimacy in your relationship.
17. Successfully Sharing a Pet
Getting a shared pet is tantamount to having a child. It's a big commitment that can change a relationship. A pet can add joy to a relationship, but it will also change your daily lives.
18. Talking About Your Future Together
Discussing the future can be terrifying. Managing to speak honestly and freely about what's really important to you both and being willing to compromise when talking about your future together bodes well for a continued relationship.
19. Getting Engaged
Some couples get engaged and walk down the aisle within months, while others wait years, decades, or never do, yet stay together. Still, if a couple is marriage-minded, getting engaged is the first step toward planning an entire life together.
20. Getting Married
For many couples, marriage seals the deal. Marriage is a lifetime commitment to love and to cherish one another, with its own specific milestones.
The Signs of a Strong Relationship
There are many milestones in a growing relationship that make it strong. In the healthiest relationships, couples moving successfully past these milestones learn to trust one another, discuss issues together, compromise, and come up with a plan that puts both at ease. It's also a sign of a strong relationship if the couple can again revisit the "falling in love" and "I love you" milestones to refresh their commitment and love.