It’s the day and age of instant hook-up and instant break-ups. 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 recognise and celebrate relationship milestones.
In the good old days, a boy and girl would meet each other, circumstances would lead them to get closer, they would date, marry, have children and live happily (mostly) ever after. Even if there were problems, there would at least be an effort to save the relationship.
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Not anymore. 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.
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?
Every journey in life is made up of moments and something as important as a relationship is no different. That is the reason why events – however big or small – should be noted down and celebrated.
Relationship milestones – meaning, moments that lead a couple towards a new direction and encourages them to take it to the next level – are important.
Noting them down, being aware of them and making it a point to raise a toast to these moments are what separate a nice, solid and healthy relationship from the flaky ones. Basically, relationship milestones are a series of ‘firsts’ in your journey together.
Of course, anything and everything can be relationship milestones and are all moments that mark the normal progression of a healthy relationship.
From traditional milestones – the first time he 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 he texted you for the first time or you made him breakfast, anything can qualify.
The idea is to strengthen your togetherness and deepen the bonds so that you can signal your intentions towards the relationship. More importantly, if there is trouble in paradise, these memories can always help to soften the blow and perhaps motivate for reconciliation.
13 Relationship Milestones That Call For A Celebration
Now, here’s the thing. Every relationship has got its own journey and therefore, its own timeline. Several self-help books and love gurus might list out moments to watch out or warn you on 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.
Don’t follow them. There should no definition of relationship milestones and when they should happen – it’s a completely personal thing that should not get affected by movies or pop culture or your best friend’s love life. Let them happen when they happen. The important thing is to celebrate them and be aware of them.
So what are the relationship milestones worth popping the bubbly? We have compiled a fun list – see if they resonate with yours.
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1. The first date
The first time he or you go on a date is something you can’t forget, there is certain amount of magic there. Especially if the first date leads to several others and goes on to becoming the foundation for a budding relationship.
It’s the date where you are checking each other out, putting on your best behaviour and mentally making plans for the future course. If you and he realise there is sizzling chemistry, chances are you will remember everything about the date – what you wore, where you went, what you ate so on and so forth.
2. Your first kiss and the first time you make love
Does this need any elaboration? If you kiss on the first date (the general rule is that you should not but well, you never know!), then good for you! But if you like to take things slow, then the first real kiss is likely to be very special.
It’s the time you realise you have something inexplicable going on with this person and one thing may lead to another. The first time sex with a special person is an important relationship milestone, something you definitely want to cherish for a long time.
3. Making it Social Media official
What is the point of seeing someone if you can’t announce it on social media? So your dates are going on well and you decide to officially ‘see’ each other, great! It is time to announce your intentions to the rest of the world.
This can be done through a lovey-dovey Instagram post with a heart emoji or better still, changing your status on Facebook from single to committed. It sends the message to the world that you are ‘taken’ – an important step in the normal progression of a healthy relationship.
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4. Your first holiday
We would say this is the one of the most important relationship milestones before marriage or even living in. 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 comfort level. They say, to get to know a person well, you need to travel with him or her.
Before moving in together, a holiday is a chance to strengthen what you already have. And then there are those fantastic envy worthy holiday pics of the two of you cootchie-cooing to post. When you travel with someone you have just fallen in love with, the destination seems extra special which you may even want to revisit later to celebrate it.
5. The six month cycle
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 spending lots of time are relationship milestones worth celebrating.
There are those who publicly acknowledge three month period too but we suggest wait for six months to get over before you spread the confetti.
Six months are a good enough time to know your partner – his habits, personalities and quirks. This is of course, assuming that you have invested enough energy in getting to know your new love better. Once the six month barrier is crossed, it is easy to move into a year smoothly that calls for a far bigger party!
6. The first ‘I Love You’
It might be three words but they actually mean a lot. Now, there are couples who go on dating or seeing each other without ever having to confess their love. Then there are others who actually make a big deal out of it.
When you say ‘I love you’ with a lot of meaning and genuine affection, with the intention of further exploring your attraction, it’s a huge relationship milestone.
You would want to remember those moments – how you felt and what he or she said to you. You can commemorate it repeating the words or relationship vows on special occasions like your birthday.
7. Patching up after your first fight
The attraction is real. The relationship is real. And the fight is also real. When you start dating someone exclusively and begin to spend time together, disagreements will crop up and there would be a fight or two. 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 making up after the fight or getting back again after a short split. Those are relationship milestones worth taking note of. Celebrate your patch up going for a nice dinner or a romantic holiday, secure in the knowledge that you can tide over differences.
8. Celebrating an achievement
Career is important and justifiably so. Until now, perhaps you were celebrating your promotions and special achievements with your family or friends.
But when you have that special someone, career accomplishments feel all the more special because you are making your partner proud of you.
Take the time out to celebrate your bae’s career achievements. These are relationship milestones that show how much you care about things that mean so much to them. It also depicts a shared journey where you are willing to be invested in your partner’s life outside of the relationship.
9. The proposal
Arguably, the next most important milestone after you start officially dating is when either of you decide to pop the question. Howsoever matter-of-fact you may get about the whole ritual (it’s the normal progression of a healthy relationship, it’s a given after months or years of dating etc etc), a proposal is always a special moment you will cherish throughout your life.
It might be a casual one or something very elaborate and romantic that your partner may have spent days planning, but when it arrives, it gives you memories to last a lifetime. It’s a date that deserves to be observed with fondness every year even if you do get married.
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10. Meeting the families
Now that you have decided to make it legal, the next big relationship milestone before marriage is definitely meeting the parents and seeking permission. Now, this might be a bit old fashioned way of doing things but these traditions have their own charm.
The days of bring your boyfriend home, ensuring everyone gets along well and then the awkwardness of announcing their intentions to get married and seeking their permission to do so, are relationship milestones that are special for every couple in love.
11. The grand engagement
The glittering moment finally arrives – when he slips a ring into your finger. An engagement is the final seal of approval and exclusivity. A big fat engagement is not exactly unusual but an intimate ceremony has more value.
The engagement can be a private affair though having your family and some really close friends can make it lots more fun. Especially if you don’t intend to get married immediately, then having a grand engagement party is one of those relationship milestones that give not just plenty of photo-ops but also memories to hold on to.
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12. Getting married
It’s the ultimate – the day you were waiting for. The one that arrives after a relationship has traversed a long journey that may have 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 is something special.
You should celebrate every marriage anniversary, no matter how long your relationship has been – it could be a few years or a decade or more. But 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 him or her – every little gesture will add to the love.
13. Buying something together
Another unforgettable moment is when you make a big joint purchase. It could be a beautiful dream home – something you would talk about during your dating days. Or perhaps it could be a luxury car.
Perhaps it’s a venture you start together. These are all achievements and moments that are relationship milestones which deserve celebrations of their own.
When you come together as a unit and buy something that you both love, it can stand as a testimony to the love you share.
In a nutshell, as you and your partner begin a new life together, there will be several occasions that make your relationship stronger than before. Cherish what you share and celebrate these moments whole-heartedly. As they say, life is lived in its moments and making each one memorable can only make you more grateful for what you have.
There is no particular timeline that needs to be followed as the journey is so personal. But a general timeline is as follows: First date, first kiss, first makeout session, few more dates, making it official, meeting friends and family, the proposal, engagement and wedding.
Six months is a milestone in relationships because six months are enough to make decisions about a 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 a phase though the experiences in each phase might be different from one person to another. You meet someone, get attracted, date him or her for a while, experience different emotions including disappointments when there is a fight, followed by a patch-up, solidifying the relationship, proposing and then taking it to the next level of engagement and marriage.
There are different versions of the five stages of a relationship. But at the very basic level, the five stages are attraction, dating, disappointment, stability and commitment. Most relationship go through the entire gamut before walking up to the altar.