It’s the day and age of instant hook-ups and instant breakups. How many times have you heard of old-time romantics sighing over the lack of romance and the death of true love? Do you want to prove them wrong? Then one way to do it is to recognize and celebrate relationship milestones.
Getting into a relationship is as easy as swiping right in an app-obsessed world while getting out of it is as easy as packing your bags and moving out. The answer to ‘what relationship milestones should you celebrate?’ can be hard to come by when romantic connections are this fleeting. However, if you are among those who cherish long-term, meaningful, and loving relationships, then learn to celebrate the small moments and joys that will add love to your life.
What Are Relationship Milestones?
To identify important couple milestones in a relationship that you’d want to celebrate and commemorate with your significant other, you need to first know which incidents or occurrences qualify as milestones. Such events – however big or small – should be noted down and celebrated. Milestone meaning: In relationships, milestones are all the moments that lead a couple toward a new direction and encourage them to take it to the next level. Making it a point to raise a toast to these moments are what separate a solid and healthy relationship from flaky ones.
From traditional milestones – the first time she asked you out, the first time you danced together, the first time you kissed or met each other’s parents – to seemingly trivial things such as the moment they texted you for the first time or you made them breakfast, anything can qualify. Celebrating both small relationship milestones and major relationship milestones is a good thing because it makes both the partners feel appreciated and acknowledged.
The idea is to strengthen your togetherness and deepen the bond so that you can signal your intentions toward the relationship. More importantly, if there is trouble in paradise, these memories can always help to soften the blow and perhaps motivate you for reconciliation.
Related Reading: 60 Ways To Celebrate Spouses Day
15 Relationship Milestones That Call For A Celebration
Now, here’s the thing: every relationship has its own journey and, therefore, its own timeline. Several self-help books and love gurus might list out moments to watch out for or tell you how your relationship should progress. Kiss on the third date, have sex on the fifth, pop the question after six months, so on and so forth. There are also people who believe in celebrating stages of a relationship by month. But your relationship is unique and so are its important moments. So what are the relationship milestones worth celebrating? We have compiled a fun list – see if they resonate with you.
1. The awkward first date is usually the first relationship milestone
This is a major relationship milestone and definitely holds special meaning for most couples. The first meeting, the first time you see each other, and the first time you share a meal together. These are some of the things you never forget once the relationship progresses and goes in the right direction. The other person goes from being a date to ‘having potential’ to being a long-term partner. This series of events is what makes the first date magical.
It’s the date where you are checking each other out, putting on your best behavior, and mentally making plans for the future course. If there are signs of chemistry between you two, chances are you will remember everything about the date – what you wore, where you went, what you ate, so on and so forth. If you’re trying to figure out what relationship milestones should you celebrate to jazz up your love life a bit more, this is a good place to start.
Pro tip: Recreate your first date and celebrate the milestone by remembering the events that took place that night.
2. The day love hormones kicked in
This is another major relationship milestone that you can celebrate with your partner. Do you remember the exact day, time, and moment you fell in love with them? Was it on a rainy night when the two of you went to get some ice cream? Was it the moment you were sick and they came over with the soup you like? Or was it the time you had to travel to another city for work and you realized you can’t spend your life without them?
The day you fell in love with them might have been when you said those three little words to them for the first time. And then they said “I love you too”. This could have been on the same day or a few days after they realized their feelings for you. These are special moments that mark the beginning of a new relationship. That’s why these couple milestones have to be celebrated in a grand way. Falling in love is one of those rare yet significant moments that lives in your heart rent-free for the rest of your life.
You forget about all the troubles you faced in your past relationships. You want to spend all your time with them and have shared experiences. You don’t just want them to be your love interest but you also see them as your life partner.
Pro tip: Describe to them in detail the moment you fell in love with them. Also, describe how you feel about them now.
3. The first kiss of love
If you kiss on the first date (the general rule is that you should not but, well, you never know), then this milestone date overlaps with the first one on this list. If you like to take things slow, your first kiss would be a build-up of anticipation, affection, longing, and trust. You realize you have something beautiful going on with this person and one thing may lead to another. By this time, you have given each other pet names and you have a feeling that this new relationship is going to last.
This is one of the small relationship milestones that have a greater impact on the relationship’s future. A kiss is what decided whether or not the two of you are on the same page. If they kiss you back with the same passion and zest, then congratulations. You have a new love interest. If they pull back and give you a side hug, then perhaps the two of you aren’t on the same page. The first kiss decides your romantic/sexual compatibility with each other, and that’s also a good reason to add this to your relationship milestones list.
Pro tip: Take them to the place you first kissed them and recreate the memory every year.
4. The first time you do the deed
You definitely want to cherish this memory for a long time. The first kiss and the first love-making session are two events that surely qualify as important milestones in a relationship. While these are not the kind of milestones you’d want to celebrate with a dinner with friends, they can be the perfect excuse to plan a romantic date night in an intimate setting and liven up the spark you felt when your lips locked for the first time or when you made love to each other.
This is one of the first relationship milestones that couples remember and celebrate when they are long past their honeymoon phase. Making love for the first time can be nerve-wracking for many. Some think their bodies are unlikeable and some wonder if they are good in bed. But you fought through these negative thoughts and got intimate with that special person. Celebrate such significant moments with your life partner and tell them those three words every now and then.
Pro tip: Tell each other how you felt the first time you made love and talk about experimenting in bed.
5. Making it Instagram official is an important relationship milestone now
Relationships and Instagram go hand in hand once you have transitioned from casual dating to exclusive dating. You know what the cool kids are saying these days: If it’s not on social media, it doesn’t exist. That’s why when your dates are going so well that you decide to officially see each other, it is time to announce your intentions to the rest of the world.
This is an important step as you are letting each other’s friends and family know that you are dating this person. So, take your time before you make it Insta-official. When the two of you feel comfortable going public with your relationship status, you can do it through a lovey-dovey Instagram post and writing each other’s pet names in the caption.
Pro tip: If you are genuinely serious about them, then change your Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’ and let the good wishes pour in.
Related Reading: 20 Ways To Make Your Husband Fall In Love With You Again
6. Your first holiday together
We would say that spending holidays is one of the most important relationship milestones before marriage or even living together. There has to be a certain amount of trust established between a couple for them to take that trip together. Firstly, there is attraction and then, there is the comfort level. They say, to get to know a person well, you need to travel with your partner.
Have your first trip together and add it to your relationship milestones list. Before moving in together, a holiday is a chance to strengthen what you already have. When you travel with someone you have just fallen in love with, the destination seems extra special. And the photos last forever.
Pro tip: Revisit that place in order to celebrate your love. Recreate an old photo from that fun trip and try to do this every year.
7. The six-month mark
You are in the honeymoon phase of the relationship and everything looks rosy to you. It may be sweet to mark every little stage of a relationship by month – marking the dates on a calendar or in your memory. But if you are looking for a solid timeline, six months of dating and still spending lots of time together are relationship milestones worth celebrating.
There are those who publicly acknowledge the three-month period too but we suggest waiting for six months before you throw the confetti. Six months is a good enough time to know your partner – their habits, personality, limitations, triggers, and quirks.
Pro tip: Celebrate this six-month mark by taking them on a picnic or a fancy dinner date.
8. Your first argument
The attraction is real. But as the relationship progresses and the honeymoon phase fades, you will have disagreements and fights over trivial and major things with your partner. Bound to happen when you spend so much time together. How you prevent it from getting uglier is entirely up to you.
Don’t be surprised if, in a fit of anger, you may even want to call the entire thing off. But what’s important is resolving the conflict or getting back again after a short split. Those are relationship milestones worth taking note of. Celebrate your patch-up by going for a nice dinner or a romantic holiday, or cook together, secure in the knowledge that you can tide over your differences.
Pro tip: Have a renewed conversation about how you and your partner feel heard, seen, and validated.
9. The first time you throw off the masks
When you realize you are in a solid relationship, you learn how to trust them. You want them to rely on you for emotional support. When the two of you slowly open up and start sharing vulnerabilities, insecurities, core needs, traumas, worries, and fears, you have to mark them as significant moments in the relationship. Do you know why this needs to be celebrated as a relationship milestone? Because you find out that this person won’t use your vulnerabilities as ammunition against you.
Not just that. You also learn to love them for who they are. You have thrown off your masks and have revealed to one another your true selves. You have found ways to communicate better with your partner and you know how to keep their secrets safe. The fact that you have learned their deepest, darkest secrets and yet you choose to love them is a remarkable thing.
Pro tip: Divulge a new worry or insecurity, or a new relationship need to each other. It will mark the tradition of continuing to be each other’s safe space.
10. The grand proposal
Arguably, the next big step is the grand proposal. This proposal could be any of the following special milestones in a relationship:
- Asking them to move in with you
- Proposing to get a pet together
- Asking if they want to adopt a baby
- Asking them to tie the knot with you
However matter-of-fact you may get about the whole ritual (as it’s the normal progression of a healthy relationship), a proposal is always a special moment you will cherish throughout your life. Tell them you love them and that you are ready to take this big step with them.
It might be a casual question (which animal would you like as your roommate, cat or a dog?) or the most romantic marriage proposal that your partner may have spent days planning, but when it happens, it gives you memories to last a lifetime. It’s a date that deserves to be observed with fondness every year.
Pro tip: Depending on the kind of anniversary it is, spend some beautiful time with your pet, your baby, or just each other.
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11. Meeting the families
Now that you have decided to make it official, the next big relationship milestone is definitely meeting your partner’s parents and seeking permission. Now, this might be an old-fashioned way of doing things but these traditions have their own charm. You have to meet your partner’s family and they have to meet yours. You have to ensure everyone gets along well. Then you must go through the awkwardness of announcing your intentions to get married and seek your parents’ permissions. Such relationship milestones are special for every couple in love.
If you connected on a dating app, then this certainly qualifies as one of the most significant online dating milestones that you must celebrate with your partner and family because not many connections made in the virtual realm make it this far. If yours has, then you two must share a special bond – and that fact must be celebrated every opportunity you get.
Pro tip: When you’re ready to impress your in-laws in the first meeting with them, warn your parents and siblings beforehand to not share any embarrassing stories.
12. The elegant engagement
The glittering moment finally arrives – when your partner slips a ring on your finger. An engagement is the final seal of approval and commitment. A big, fat engagement or an intimate ceremony, it’s your call.
Having your family and some really close friends around can make it a lot of fun. And if you don’t intend to get married immediately, then having a grand engagement party is one of those relationship milestones that gives not just plenty of photo-ops but also memories to hold on to.
Pro tip: Invite your friends over and drink the night away.
13. The big fat wedding
It’s the day you were waiting for. The one that arrives after a relationship has traversed a long journey that has had its ups and downs, good and bad days, and a lot of understanding and misunderstandings. While it is hard to predict the future of any relationship, a wedding and the vows exchanged denote a measure of permanence.
You should celebrate every year with fun wedding anniversary gifts, no matter how long your relationship has been. Anniversaries are relationship milestones that make you appreciate what you have. Go for a holiday, buy your partner some cool gifts, throw a surprise for them – every little romantic gesture will add to the love.
Pro tip: Renew your vows, or create new ones, whether it’s in an intimate ceremony or in the privacy of your room.
14. Buying something together
Another unforgettable moment is when you make a significant joint purchase for the first time. It’s a memorable moment. It could be a beautiful dream home – something you talked about during your dating days. Or perhaps it could be a piece of furniture when you move in together. It could also be something as small as getting a pendant with each other’s pet names written on it.
Perhaps it’s a venture you start together. These are all achievements and moments that are relationship milestones that deserve celebrations of their own. When you come together as a unit and buy something that you both value, it can stand as a testimony to the love you share.
Pro tip: If you love going on road trips together, then buy a car together.
15. The decision to have a child
When you get married to the love of your life, you have dreams with each other. A small house, kids, a pet, and a partner who won’t leave your side no matter what. You look forward to sharing a life with them. When the two of you decide to have your first child, it is one of the biggest relationship milestones that deserves to be acknowledged in a grand way. Deciding to be responsible for a little person can either expose the cracks in a relationship or contribute to your already healthy relationship dynamics.
Pro tip: Have all the necessary conversations regarding the upbringing, like value systems that are important to each of you, finances, religion, schooling, parental influence, etc. when you decide to adopt a baby or give birth to one.
- Relationship milestones are the little and big things that take place from the time you meet your partner until the relationship lasts
- Some relationship milestones include kissing them for the first time, spending your first holiday with them, or buying your first home together
- It is important to celebrate such romantic moments regardless of the longevity of the relationship because it keeps the joy alive and prevents the bond from falling into stagnancy
There you go! These were some of the important relationship milestones you can honor with your partner to keep the relationship alive and harmonious. You can celebrate these milestones by going on a dinner date or by going on a holiday trip. If you don’t want to celebrate them in a grand way, then you can just get your partner some fresh flowers and remind them that they are valued and this relationship is your priority.
This article was updated in February 2023.
There is no particular timeline that needs to be followed as everyone’s journey is so personal. But a general timeline is as follows: first date, first kiss, few more dates, making it official, meeting friends and family, the proposal, engagement, and wedding. Falling in love and living together can be interspersed wherever they fit.
Six months is a milestone in relationships because six months are enough to make decisions about another person – it’s like a first hurdle crossed because it indicates that the relationship has a future, provided both partners are willing to explore it further.
Every relationship goes through similar phases though the experiences and timelines might be different from one person to another. You meet someone, get attracted, date for a while, experience different emotions like love and disappointments, have fights followed by patch-ups, and propose for marriage or living together.
There are different versions of the five stages of a relationship. But at the basic level, the five stages are attraction, dating, disappointment, stability, and commitment. Most people go through the entire gamut before getting married or deciding to live together.