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As you move through different stages in your relationship, there are bound to be milestones along the way. These moments represent important progress or achievements made in your relationship and often come with a sense of excitement and happiness. Here are some of the most common relationship milestones couples experience.
Understanding relationships is the key to having successful ones. Read our in-depth guide to learn all about the different types of relationships, attachment styles, and how you can make them work for you.
What are relationship milestones?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell what makes a moment in your relationship stand out. However, there are many little moments that can be recognized as milestones when looked back upon later.
For example, the first time you went on an official date with your partner is likely to be remembered after all these years of being together. Or perhaps the moment when you knew you were ready to take the next step in your relationship, like moving in together or getting engaged. These are all common relationship milestones that couples look forward to and remember for years to come.
Relationship milestones give couples something to look forward to as they spend more time together. Whether looking back upon the beginning stages of your relationship or reminiscing on a recent step you’ve taken together, these moments make great memories that you will cherish for years to come.
“Little” relationship milestones worth celebrating
The milestones in your relationship start out small at the beginning, with lots of time spent in the “honeymoon stage.” But as time goes on, they start to become more serious and involve bigger steps like meeting each other’s families or moving in together.
Let’s start by taking a look at the smaller but equally important milestones as a couple.
1. The first time you met
The first time you meet your partner is definitely a milestone. It’s important to remember this moment and celebrate it as the beginning of something big.
2. The first date
The first date is where all of the best romantic movies start! It’s important to remember the first time you went on an official date with your partner. This step forward in your relationship will lead you to many more memories and milestones.
3. The first time you showed physical affection in public
It might be strange to admit, but not everyone is comfortable kissing their partner in front of other people. Even if it seems like they are fine with public displays of affection, there is always that fear of being judged. However, when you both feel more confident in your relationship, this becomes a fun milestone to experience together.
4. Making love for the first time
The first time you make love with your partner is likely to be a special milestone in your relationship that you’ll never forget - either because it was super awkward or super great.
5. The first “I love you”
When it happens, saying those three words for the first time can feel like a huge milestone. This is the moment where your love becomes official to you both. It’s definitely a special moment worth preserving.
6. The first time meeting their friends
This is a milestone for you both because it means your relationship is growing. Meeting their friends shows that they are sharing more of themselves with you, making this time significant to both of your lives.
7. The first time passing gas in front of your partner
Well, if that’s not the most important milestone of all time, then I don’t know what is. But in all seriousness, I think the first time you are comfortable enough with your partner to fart in front of them can be a sign of major comfort between the two of you.
8. Talking about your ex-partners
Talking about your exes with your current romantic partner shows that you are open and honest with each other, which is vital to any healthy relationship moving forward.
Of course, you should avoid oversharing or talking too much about your ex, but having a mutual understanding of your past experiences is an important milestone to cross.
9. The first time you cried in front of your partner
Crying in front of your partner shows a level of trust and comfort that can be difficult to find. Once you feel like crying in front of them won’t make them uncomfortable, it’s an important milestone sure to bring you closer together.
10. The first argument
You might dread the first argument you have with your partner, but it is actually a really important milestone. This usually signifies that you are ready to voice your opinions and interact as a couple in a more meaningful way.
The best part about having an argument with your partner is that you will get to work through it and come out stronger. Arguments are a natural part of any healthy relationship.
11. The first time you had a conversation about the future
This is actually a quite huge milestone. As your relationship moves forward, it’s important to get on the same page about where you see things going in the not-so-distant future. It might be scary talking about marriage, children, or even what you want for your life after college, but it’s also exciting to think about all the possibilities you have together.
The biggest relationship milestones
Now that we’ve covered some of the smaller milestones in a relationship let’s take a look at the bigger ones that require even more time and energy.
These critical relationship milestones usually require a bigger commitment from both of you or a big change in your life as a couple.
1. Meeting each other’s family
When another person becomes a part of your life, it is natural for them to want to be involved with the people closest to you. When you become serious enough with your partner that you decide to meet their family, it’s like you’re officially making them a part of yours too. This can be scary at first, but keep in mind that this is another step forward in getting closer to the person you love.
2. Moving in together
When you decide to move in together, it can definitely feel like a big step. You are both taking your relationship to the next level and learning how to live together as if you were roommates. But before long, it will seem like the most natural thing.
3. The first holiday together
Holidays are pretty important to people, so it can be a big deal to share them with your partner. The first time you spent the holiday season together might still stick out in your mind as a perfect day or week filled with fun and joy.
4. Adopting a pet together
After you have been in a relationship for a while, it can be nice to add a pet into the mix. When you both decide to take on pet-parenting responsibilities together, it can be a beautiful new milestone to share with your partner.
The special bond you create with an animal can truly be irreplaceable. When the person you love is involved in this playful relationship too, it can be an even more special moment.
5. The proposal
That’s right, that special moment when you get down on one knee and ask the love of your life to spend their life with you is definitely a major milestone. After all, all this time together has been leading up to this moment.
6. The wedding day
Many couples describe their wedding day as the most beautiful day of their life. You get to spend a day celebrating your love and sharing it with all the people you care about most in this world. Of course, this day will be one you remember and cherish forever.
7. The birth of your first child
Having a child together is a blissful experience and is one of the biggest life changers. It can be one of the strongest and most powerful relationships you will ever know. It’s definitely a special moment worth preserving.
Celebrating milestones in a relationship
Celebrating milestones is about letting you and your partner know how much you love and appreciate them every step of the way. You should celebrate milestones as often as you want!
There is no rule that says you must wait until a certain number of years has gone by. It’s not like relationships are only worth celebrating after a long time together.
The bottom line is that it’s your life, and you deserve to live it how you want. Whether or not you choose to celebrate milestones with your partner, the most important thing is that both of you are happy. And if celebrating together makes either one of you happier? That’s fantastic too! It all comes down to what feels right for each individual person; there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution here. Now go enjoy every moment with your significant other!
The best relationship books to help you survive and thrive
Whether single or in a relationship, it can be tough to navigate the waters of love. These books offer advice and guidance from experts and real-life couples alike, giving you the tools you need to make your relationship work. These books will surely provide some valuable insights if you are looking for a way to spice up your love life or simply learn how to better communicate with your partner.
- Love: The Psychology of Attraction: A Practical Guide to Successful Dating and a Happy Relationship
- Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age
- The Power of Four Bases for Relationships: Can You Hit a Home Run in a Relationship?
- Communication and Relationship: A Guide to Deeper Connection, Trust and Intimacy to Improve Communication and Strengthen Your Bond as a Couple
- Couple's Bucket List: 101 Fun, Engaging Dating Ideas