Have you been dating someone for more than 6 months? Well, guess what, you have officially crossed a very important milestone in your relationship. We all have our moments of anger, sadness, happiness, panic, etc., and the way you behave in these times is what defines you as a person. But crossing the 6 month relationship mark together means something big. It means that by now, you have certainly gotten a glimpse of all the various sides of your partner.
But let’s delve a little further into the same. What does this 6 month marker mean for your relationship? What is its true significance? Is a 6 month relationship serious, or not? What are the questions to ask after 6 months of dating?
If you’ve been thinking of these questions after having had a 6 month relationship so far, then we’re here to answer them. With the help of Shazia Saleem (Masters in Psychology), who specializes in separation and divorce counseling, let’s take a look at the intricacies of your 6 month relationship.
What Is The Significance Of 6 Months Into Your Relationship?
Your first bi-annual anniversary when you two have been dating for 6 months is very important when it comes to your relationship’s progress. At this point, your honeymoon phase has officially ended and a lot of new things are going to begin coming into the picture.
Up until now, your relationship has been new and intriguing in every sense of these words. Every day there’s been something new to learn or find out about the other person. The constant novelty is what pushes the relationship forward, as you two yearn to find out more about the other person. Whether you uncover things about each other by asking deep relationship questions or just spending lots of quality time together, dating for 6 months can do a lot.
At the end of the first six months, you have learned everything you can about your partner and the initial hormone-fueled passion has also died out. This is why sometimes you enter a 6 month relationship slump at this point. Now as the initial infatuation has decreased, a dip in the romance is very normal and is nothing to be afraid of. It happens to the best of us.
This is the point where you start to understand the relationship dynamic and your own feelings better. It is time to start developing a good foundation for the relationship and after 6 months into a relationship, you are now ready for that.
Shazia sheds light on the significance of your 6 month relationship and what it could mean. “This amount of time is ideal to invest in a relationship and partake in some introspection about it. At this stage, you may have clarity over where you two stand and what you’re looking for. Whether you want to move ahead with it or not, or if you truly have a happy relationship or not. By this point, you can understand each other better, judge if there’s compatibility and if you’d like to spend more time in this relationship, or if you’d like to end it. You can also tell how committed each person is by now.”
Honestly, the fact that you’ve made it to your 6 month relationship anniversary is a big deal and we think that it deserves a celebration. Having been together for so long needs to be commemorated even if you’re going through a mildly rough patch or are confused about what the period after your 6 month relationship entails. Relationship problems will always be there, it makes celebrating these moments even more important. Organize a nice romantic date with your partner and get them a nice romantic gift to commemorate the occasion. Some nice 6 month relationship gifts could be:
- Couple’s jewelry
- A framed photograph of a nice memory
- Something related to an experience you both share
- Tickets to a weekend getaway or a short vacation together (keep it refundable just in case)
Are you having relationship doubts after 6 months? Has your boyfriend changed after 6 months? Or are you not sure about how much your girlfriend is willing to invest into this dynamic? Let’s take a look at all the things you need to consider once you cross this important milestone.
6 Month Relationship – 5 Things To Consider
The 6 month mark of your relationship is the first point of change in your relationship. It is the first time that the flow of your relationship gets disrupted. This is why a lot of doubt and confusion surrounds this point. You think you’ve been casually dating for 6 months so far and enjoying yourselves. But suddenly reality hits when you realize that you two have been that long together!
This is why questions about their feelings and of your own emotions are very normal. This in no way means that your relationship is over or that you even need a break from each other. It just means that you need to discuss a few things together. If this is your first time hitting the 6 month mark then no need to worry, we’re here to walk you through it. 6 month relationship problems are to be expected so here are a few things that you should consider when you reach this point.
Related Reading: Relationship Advice For Couples- 25 Ways To Strengthen Your Bond
1. Dating for 6 months but not official? Think about exclusivity now
Have been dating for 6 months but not official yet? That’s okay. Dating for 6 months is a good buffer period to understand the other person better and see whether you want an actual long-term relationship with this person or not. But once you’ve crossed that mark, think about what’s next.
When you’ve been together for 6 months you need to be sure about exclusivity. After spending months together getting to know each other there always comes a point where you both want more and this mark is a turning point for you to decide whether you want to see things through here or not. Commitment becomes the next step.
Before this point, there’s a chance that you both saw other people, were not committed, or were in an open relationship. Casually dating for 6 months and seeing other people on the side is fair game, but once you actually reach the 6 month mark it’s time to get serious!
The fact that you have gotten this far with your partner is a sign that you like them so all the people who serve as “backup plans” are not needed anymore. You need to commit and get exclusive with the one person that you care about. This not only helps you focus better on developing your relationship but it also shows your partner how important they are to you.
2. After a 6 month relationship, you need to think about compatibility
Dating a girlfriend for 6 months is no walk in the park. By this point, you have probably already had your first fight in your relationship and you’ve also spent a lot of time together and made up for those fights in the cutest, sweetest ways. But use these experiences to introspect and think more clearly. Now is the time for you to look back on your relationship and understand your compatibility.
“After a 6 month relationship, it is very important for you to have that compatibility and understanding with your partner. How do you give each other space? How is the relationship going on for you? Until and unless two people are compatible enough, it’s difficult to take it forward,” says Shazia.
There’s no scale on which compatibility can be measured, but your conversations and how comfortable you are around them can give you an idea of how good you two are as a couple. The first 6 months of a relationship can really help you judge whether you two are good for each other or not. Thinking back perhaps you’ve come to realize that most of your conversations have ended in arguments that went unresolved.
This happened to my friend Susan. She realized that she’s in a dead-end relationship, and taking it forward was pointless since she and her girlfriend could never agree on anything. This is not the only solution of course. You can choose to continue your relationship as well; you need to follow your gut in this case. If you feel that with a little work the relationship will get better then go for it, if not then don’t. The bottom line is that the 6 month mark is an audit time, consider every aspect of your relationship properly.
3. After dating someone for 6 months, consider your stance on physical intimacy with them
Physical intimacy is a tricky thing to deal with and it gets even trickier after you have been dating someone for 6 months. Depending on what you feel and believe in around the whole thing, you may have your own stance on the topic. Whatever you think in general, do know that once you both reach the 6 month mark, physical intimacy is definitely something that you should consider thinking about.
“We’ve been together for 6 months now but I’ve never actually had sex with him,” says Kylie, a fashion designer in Ohio. She adds, “Now that we have been together for a while and do feel closer, I’m considering getting more intimate with him. Intimacy is a big part of a real relationship and I’d like for us to be more compatible in that regard.”
If you’ve ever wondered, “Where should you be 6 months into a relationship?” knowing your stance on physical intimacy with your partner is a must. Even if you decide to wait till the one-year mark or maybe even till marriage, that’s completely okay, we don’t mean to force you here. We are just trying to tell you that you should still be mentally open to the idea and comfortable with the idea of it perhaps happening.
If you’ve already had sex, then that’s good too, but you have your own set of things to consider. How is your sexual compatibility? Most couples struggle the first time with each other as it takes time to understand each other’s rhythms. So, maybe you have to consider this. Either way, the 6 month relationship is the time to think and discuss these things.
Related Reading: Sexual Compatibility – Meaning, Importance And Signs
4. Getting along with each other’s friends
Since time immemorial, the partner’s friends have always played a huge role in relationships, a bigger role than even needed sometimes. Getting along with your partner’s friends is a big deal, so when you’re trying to solve 6 month relationship problems, this is something you need to consider.
Hopefully, by this point, you’ve introduced them to your friends and vice versa. If you haven’t, then that’s the first thing to do for certain after dating for 6 months. When you meet their friends, always go into it with an open mind and don’t try to criticize them at the drop of a hat. Try to understand the types of friends your partner has and why. It will help you understand them better.
Seeing your partner spend time with their friends can bring out a very different side of them, so carefully pay attention to that as well. We all know what happens when frat bros get together, things get pretty crazy! Chances are that you won’t get their friendship right away and that’s alright. Give it some time.
When you’re thinking about “the friends,” there are 3 things to keep in mind. Do carefully think about how their friends are with you. Are they inviting or cold? Further, ponder how your partner behaves with you when their friends are around, and most importantly, pay attention to how your partner treats your own friends. 6 months into a relationship, you should know such things about your partner’s friends.
5. Having tough conversations after dating for 6 months
Communication is the key to any relationship, there is no doubt about that. By this point in your relationship, you have probably had multiple debates on things such as tea vs. coffee, or who’s better, Iron man or Captain America. But how often have you been able to discuss important things, like things that they did when you felt let down?
These tough conversations make up the backbone of your communication in the relationship. Obviously, because you’ve only been together for 6 months you aren’t expected to have perfect communication and be fantastic at expressing yourselves to one another. Know that it will take time. There are always moments when you choose not to express your feelings out of fear of them leaving you, which is natural no matter how unfavorable it may seem.
But here’s what you need to consider: over the past few months has your communication become better? In your 6 month relationship so fat have you two gotten better at making decisions together after discussing options? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when you have a 6 month relationship on your hands.
“The question of whether you should have tough conversations with your partner 6 months into a relationship doesn’t have a yes or no answer. The fact is that it truly depends on the situation. It depends on how close both of you have become, and how comfortable you are talking with each other. Do you have a certain level of rapport? What about trust? Do you think you can start sharing your secrets with your partner now? The answer to all your relationship doubts after 6 months comes from within,” says Shazia.
Related Reading: 51 Serious Questions To Ask Your Boyfriend
7 Things To Expect After Six Months In The Relationship?
Being at the 6 month relationship mark is a big achievement. It shows that you’ve worked with each other and have grown in the relationship. If you have gone through the typical 6 month relationship problems and have still decided that what you have is worth fighting for then, congratulations! We are so happy for you.
But a lot happens after 6 months into a relationship. Think of it this way: you’re about to begin a new chapter in your relationship. There are going to be a lot of new changes in expectations, behavior, and communication. Shazia sheds light on all the things you can expect:
“After the first 6 months of a relationship, you can expect a kind of clarity. You can be truthful to your own self and answer questions like whether you want to continue with what you’ve got going on or if you think you two are not compatible enough. Whatever your experience has been in this 6 month relationship, it needs to be recollected and based on those experiences, you need to decide whether you want to go ahead with it or what you think is best for you.
“Of course, it’s not that generic in every case since each relationship is unique. Yet, in most cases, you need to have a bit of introspection after reaching this milestone.” Let’s take a detailed look at everything that you can expect after this point:
1. Past relationship traumas can be expressed
Now that you’ve become comfortable with each other, a lot of personal secrets might begin to surface. We all know that past traumas can lead to a lot of troubles with trust and intimacy. Abusive relationships or a traumatic childhood can create problems in your relationship moving forward. After dating someone for 6 months, you might actually begin to notice these.
“If any trauma is involved, we cannot specify the time it takes for a person to begin talking about it. As you know, sometimes in those situations people may need more or less time to move past those traumatic experiences. Hence, it’s not appropriate to be so specific with it. With that being said, however, 6 months is the average time it takes to start overcoming past trauma and looking at the brighter side of things.”
“A couple can begin talking about such things and they could be one of the questions to ask after 6 months of dating. Both parties need to be very considerate and respectful and very sensitive in cases of trauma while dealing with each other,” says Shazia. In the case of long-distance relationships, there needs to be open communication about how comfortable a partner is while talking about such a thing, since it may take longer to establish emotional (and especially physical) intimacy in those relationships.
You’ll be moving on to a more intimate stage in your relationship and this will trigger many different issues. You must be patient with your partner if they are facing such a struggle. Some issues may be resolvable with time and support but others might require professional help. Encourage and support them if they need to reach out to a therapist for their problems. There is nothing wrong with counseling, you can always reach out to our Bonobology counselors who are always happy to help.
2. After the first 6 months of a relationship, you might meet the families
After the friends, come the family and that’s a really big one. They are the next circle of important people that you will have to conquer. Keep in mind, however, that the answer to, “Where should you be 6 months into a relationship?” doesn’t necessarily have to be in your partner’s parents’ house. If you are not comfortable with meeting the parents yet, you don’t have to. Unless, of course, your partner just won’t let it go.
Once you’re there, you’ll be put under the microscope and grilled quite thoroughly for your choice. But remember that you and your partner’s family love the same person and want them to be happy. As a family, they’re bound to be protective, so be patient and accepting. Show them that you’re on the same side as them.
If you thought meeting their parents was scary, don’t forget that you’ll have to introduce them to your family too. “Meet the parents” goes both ways. You may have a very caring and supportive family, but when it comes to your partner, even they will turn up the heat. In this case, be sure to have your partner’s back. You’re the only one they know and they will feel confident if they know you’re on their side. Besides, when they see your resolve and surety, even your parents will feel better.
3. The “I love you” struggle
Ahh, the classic struggle dawns upon the two of you. The struggle of should one say “I love you” or not? Honestly, there is no right answer to this question. Those three little words only work when you actually feel them. If you are in a 6 month relationship, but you still haven’t said it, it’s absolutely fine. They might or might not signify relationship doubts after 6 months, but this is the last thing that you want to force yourself to do with another person. It shouldn’t be said out of obligation either. You should say it when you’re ready and feeling it.
Having said this, if you’re in that weird position where you want to say “I love you”, but don’t know if it’s too soon or not? Then the 6 month mark is your cue! If you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment then your 6 month relationship anniversary is actually a pretty good time. You’ve been together long enough now, there’s a good chance that your partner’s already said “I love you” to you. If you’re still not ready to say the magical words, then you might want to think about what’s holding you back.
Are you both on the same page about your relationship? Do you have some history that is stopping you from admitting your feelings? Once you find the answer, tell your partner about it. This is very important because they might be feeling hurt and confused. Don’t let the insecurity fester and talk about it clearly instead.
Related Reading: How Saying ‘I Love You’ Too Soon Can Be A Disaster
4. The setting of a comfortable pace
At the beginning of your relationship, chances are that 60-70% of your time went into your relationship because you’d go out of your way to spend more and more time together. Yes, we call that the exciting honeymoon period. This obviously means that you’re taking time away from other things like friends, family, work, or recreational activities.
Six months in and right about now, your over-active hormones will start to settle down a bit and the honeymoon phase will start to fade. Now that you’ve become comfortable together you need to start balancing your schedule. It’s time to get back to your normal life, so you can pursue other things as well.
“Any couple needs to have healthy boundaries about their comfort level, their intimacy, and their expectations in any relationship. If they have the mutual trust and respect for each other, setting them down should be a breeze. It all fairly depends on how close they have become in their 6 month relationship which will eventually decide their couple goals going forward,” says Shazia.
This doesn’t mean that you stop seeing each other, it just means that you’ll have to balance your relationship time with your other activities. Things will start to become comfortable and slow. This is what the 6 month relationship slump was preparing you for. Just remember that the new schedule of your relationship needs to accommodate both your needs. You can’t decide to go back to staying at work till 10 like you may have used to, neither can you go back to spending every evening with your friends.
Finding the proper work-life balance is important at this point in the relationship. You’ll have to discuss your schedules and then come up with one where you can spend time together without putting things out of balance.
5. Thoughts about moving in together
“So we’ve been together for 6 months now and I’m considering asking her to move in with me! We’ve been exclusively dating all this while and I basically spend all my time at her place anyway. I think we might be ready to move in together soon,” says Joey, an architect from Dubuque, Iowa.
With the decision of commitment comes the next step of moving in together. Now that you’re sure of your partner and the relationship, why shouldn’t you want to be together? Chances are that once you both go back to your daily schedules of work and social obligations the only way, you’ll be able to spend more time together is if you were living together. All the time that you spend going from your place to theirs will be saved.
Now, just because this decision is practical doesn’t mean you’re ready for it. You may not be okay with spending every waking hour with your partner yet. Remember this is a big step forward in the relationship, and if you have doubts then you need to voice them. Just because you’ve reached the 6 month mark doesn’t mean you are totally ready to move in together. It just means that this is a good time to start discussing the idea or bringing it up for that matter.
Talk about the idea and see where you both stand on it. If your partner is hesitant, this doesn’t mean that they don’t like you, it just means they’re scared. Don’t feel offended. PRESSURING them into agreeing with you is a huge NO! Let them decide on their own, all you can do is be patient.
6. Going on a trip together
If you feel like the 6 month relationship slump is getting out of hand, then this is the perfect time to go on a trip together. Even if everything’s going great, a vacation is never a bad idea whether it’s a 6 month relationship or a 6 year relationship. In fact, it’s actually a perfect 6 month relationship gift to share with your partner.
Obviously, your first couple’s trip will be something completely new, but this doesn’t make it bad. You’ll get the chance to do many amazing things depending on where you two plan to go. Trekking, camping, swimming, skiing, adventure sports all these activities will bring you closer together! You’ll also get to see what kind of a travel buddy they are.
You’ll be staying in the same room and having sex will definitely be an option. There’s no need to feel any kind of pressure though. If you’re not ready for that level of closeness then you don’t have to do it. On the other hand, if you’ve been waiting for the right time then your first trip together is the perfect opportunity. You’ll be alone with no added pressure from your normal environment, so there’s nothing to stop you from indulging in sexy time!
Related Reading: Planning First Overnight Trip Together
7. Financial conversations
Money can be a serious bone of contention between couples but it’s time to have this conversation if you have indeed been dating girlfriend for 6 months or over now. If you and your partner don’t have the same philosophies about money then you’re bound to have arguments. This is the reason why you have probably avoided discussing this topic so far, are we right? Simple conversations about who pays for dinner or how to split the money for a gift that you’re giving to a common friend are normal. More serious financial discussions are usually avoided during the first 6 months of a relationship.
Apart from fights, money also leads to stress, and wanting to avoid that negativity in your relationship is understandable. But after spending so much time together you can expect to have more serious discussions about money. This is especially true if you’re moving in together. You’ll be buying things together, not to mention the monthly groceries. The pressure of all this should not be lopsided, that’s why you need to discuss it. Understand your individual salaries and figure out a way that both of you can contribute evenly.
One of you may earn more than the other, so take this into account and create a budget to which you’re both contributing equally. It may seem terrifyingly real or un-emotional, but it is a part of your relationship. Embrace it!
So, there you have it. Everything that you need to know about hitting the big 6 month mark. From understanding relationship doubts after 6 months to worrying about if your boyfriend changed after 6 months, we hope you found what you needed. Think about what we’ve said and try to analyze your relationship. It isn’t going to be a walk in the park, after all, it is a new phase for you. But the key is to understand and communicate. If you can do these two things, no matter how hard things get, your relationship will survive and there’ll be many more anniversaries to celebrate. All the best!
Yes, it is normal for things to slow down, it’s called a 6 month relationship slump. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. You just need to find a way to spice things up again.
No, it isn’t too soon to say “I love you”. If you’ve been ready to say it for a while, but haven’t found the right time, then you should say it now. But this isn’t a rule. If you don’t feel committed enough to say it, then wanting to wait is perfectly normal as well.
Based on popular belief, yes, it is considered serious. But in the end, only you can decide how serious your relationship is. If you and your partner are on the same page about your level of commitment to each other then it doesn’t matter if you’re serious or not. As long as you both have the same expectations from your relationship.