Relationships are full of milestones. They come in all shapes in sizes, with some being a joy to experience and others seriously testing the strength of the relationship. But whether or not a milestone is fun to experience or not doesn’t really matter—what does matter is what it means for the relationship.
Anything that progresses the relationship to the next level, brings about positive change, or just lets us know where we stand is a reason to celebrate!
Really, there shouldn’t be a limit on what we celebrate when it comes to being in a relationship. It’s hard to commit to someone and make it work, so we think all achievements, big and small, should be acknowledged! But there are some moments in particular that are often overlooked, and it’s disappointing.
Sometimes, something that seems as lackluster as sharing Netflix accounts can actually signify that a relationship is getting stronger. And periods that are hard to go through, like sickness and grief, can reveal a lot about the state of the relationship while bringing us closer to our partners.
Check out these milestones that have the potential to make or break the relationship plus those that aren’t really a big deal.
20Massive Moment: The First Time They Define The Relationship
It’s a major deal the first time you and your partner define what you are. This totally makes the relationship if you’re both on the same page. It doesn’t have to be a huge discussion—you can even say everything you need to say in a few short words.
But the first time you establish that you’re partners, or however you identify, it’s a very exciting and important moment. It’s almost like the first time you know for sure that you’re both on the same page with regards to how you feel about each other. It’s a sign that your relationship is moving forward in the right direction and is definitely a reason to celebrate!
19Massive Moment: The First Time Their Names Are Joined On A Document
You might not even have thought of this, but it is something to get excited about (even if you contain all your excitement inside!). When you first put your names together on any kind of document, it’s a very clear sign that your relationship is progressing to the next step.
Obviously, some documents are bigger deals than others. When you rent your first apartment together or open your first bank account together, you’re officially in serious territory and this could very well be the relationship that lasts a lifetime. Sometimes it’s just signing up for a joint railway card, but either way, it shows there is some permanency to the relationship!
18Massive Moment: The First Time They Share Streaming Accounts
This may not have been a milestone in past years, but it’s a huge deal in the current day and age. Sharing streaming accounts might not seem like something to celebrate, and it might not be as a big a deal as the traditional milestones like getting engaged or married, but it is an important moment!
Whether you’re sharing Netflix, Spotify, or Amazon, this shows that you’re making decisions as a couple. It also shows that you probably have similar interests, whether it be music or television, which is always a promising sign for a relationship! And if you’re not meant to be, joined streaming accounts will put you to the test!
17Massive Moment: The First Period Of Grief Together
The first time you experience grief together, it’s not an exciting milestone. But it is a milestone, nonetheless. Times of loss are part of life, and it is nice to have someone else there with you while you’re going through it. Experiencing a sad event like a death brings you closer as a couple and reveals details about each of you which will help your relationship to grow.
It might not be an easy period to get through, but it is worth noting that if you are meant to be together, your relationship will probably be stronger when you come out the other side.
16Massive Moment: The First Time He’s Alone With Her Parents
Meeting the family is obviously a big deal, but there’s another milestone relating to families that is often overlooked: the first time that your partner is alone with your parents, or the first time you’re alone with theirs. It’s a lot easier to maintain a conversation and keep the awkwardness at bay when someone’s son or daughter is there to break the ice.
The first time you successfully hang out with their parents, or they successfully hang out with yours, all alone, shows that you’re getting even closer to that happily ever after. And as time goes on, these catch-ups will become less and less daunting for everyone involved. Either that, or you’ll realize that you’re just not cut out to be in each other’s families!
15Massive Moment: The First Wedding They Attend Together
Yes, your wedding is probably going to be your biggest milestone as a couple. You don’t have to wait for that day, though! Weddings, in general, can be important for couples. The first time you attend a wedding together, even if it’s very early on in the relationship, is the first time that you acknowledge the idea of happily ever after in front of each other, whether you’re anywhere near that stage or not.
Weddings normally plant seeds in the minds of couples, so the first wedding together can end up being a very big deal indeed, for better or for worse.
14Massive Moment: The First Approval From Friends
It can take a while to get your partner’s friends to like you. We can’t all make top impressions when we first meet someone! So if that’s the case, a massive moment for you as a couple is when you first gain the approval of their friends. This is especially true if their friends’ opinions are really important to them.
Getting them to like you might be tougher than it looks, so it’s not silly at all to celebrate it when it happens. And the same applies to the reverse situation—be happy when your friends give the tick of approval to your partner!
13Massive Moment: The First Time They Post An Anniversary Picture
Posting pictures together on social media, in general, doesn’t have to be huge. While this was once monumental, today we literally post pictures of everything, from boiled eggs to our cats in their beds, so posting a photo of you and someone else isn’t necessarily special. However, posting a dedicated anniversary picture is.
This shows that you’re both proud of how far you’ve come as a couple, and you have every right to be—sticking it out in relationships is tough! Posting an anniversary pic could give someone with commitment issues a scare, but it could also suggest that you’re even more excited about making the relationship work in the future.
12Massive Moment: The First Tears That Are Shed
It might not be romantic or ideal, but the first time you cry in front of your partner is always a milestone. It signifies the change from trying to be this amazing person and impressing your partner all the time to letting them see the real you.
While it’s fun to have them think of you as flawless, and the first stage of the relationship where no one cries and everyone’s perfect is often fun, it can’t last forever. Sooner or later, they’re going to know that you’re not perfect, and you’re going to have to let your guard down. And we think that’s something to celebrate, not lament!
11Massive Moment: The First Time They’re Considered A Package Deal
This is a small milestone that you might have missed, but it’s definitely a milestone! It’s a big deal when you two know that you’re a couple, and it’s an even bigger deal when other people think of you as an item as well. This usually happens when their name appears next to yours on an invitation, or people assume you’re hanging out with them whenever you’re free.
It will just become a given that you two are a packaged deal—that’s not to say that you lose your identities, but you will be thought of as a real couple. If the relationship has promise, this will bring you closer together.
10Massive Moment: The First Vacation
The first vacation you take together is something you’ll remember forever, for positive or negative reasons. Because traveling with someone else usually requires you to be around them 24/7, this is the best way to get to see who they really are, bad moods and all. The first vacation together is always a milestone moment because it can show you that the person you’re with is cranky in the morning and nervous on planes and impatient in lines, but you want to be with them anyway.
What a feeling! Likewise, it can show you that you actually don’t want to be with this person. Great memories are made on any vacation, but the first vacation as a couple is always extra special.
9Massive Moment: The First Time The Makeup Stays Off
As a relationship progresses, you’ll naturally feel more comfortable about letting the real you come out. You’ll shed things like makeup and poker faces until you’re revealed for who you really are, and that can be a really powerful thing.
The first time you ditch the makeup (if you always wore it around your partner before) is a milestone to celebrate because it shows that you’re feeling more comfortable just being you around them. If they respond positively, it also shows that they’re not just with you because you have a fierce contour or clear skin—they’re sticking around for what’s underneath the makeup.
8Massive Moment: The First Bout Of Sickness
The first time that one of you gets sick is definitely not romantic. It also won’t be fun, or something that makes you smile when you look back on it. But it is a milestone! Sickness is another part of life that can’t be avoided, and the more of these life experiences that you go through together, the stronger your bond will be, and the more comfortable you will be together.
You will be surer of your relationship because if you can withstand being around someone coughing in your ear at 2 a.m., you’re probably in it for the long run!
7Massive Moment: The First Declaration Of Love
Naturally, the first time one of you utters “I love you” is a milestone. Whether it’s completely romantic and like something out of a Hollywood movie, or awkward and uncomfortable, you’ll remember it. Even if it’s low-key, mundane and not exciting at all, you will never forget how it happened because it’s such a big moment for your relationship as a whole.
Now you’re in love with each other. This isn’t just playing around or casual dating for fun—this is serious! Moments like these never go according to plan, so don’t worry if your first “I love you” is a little anticlimactic! What matters is the love is there. If it’s not, then this line can mean the demise of a relationship.
6Massive Moment: The First Time They Entertain Together
Forget engagements and first kisses—one of the real milestones of a relationship is the first time you entertain together. Attending a party together is one thing, but throwing a party together is a whole different kettle of fish that will probably let you know exactly where you stand in a relationship.
If you can survive entertaining together, you’ll know that you’re good at working together. You’ll know that you make a good team and can probably overcome a lot of challenges together in life. Plus, there are bound to be a lot of hilarious memories that will result from your first attempt at hosting!
5No Big Deal: The First Weekend They Spend Apart
It’s not uncommon to freak out the first time you spend the weekend away from your partner. Especially if your relationship is still fairly new and you’re now used to hanging out together 24/7, the first time you spend a weekend apart will feel like a big milestone and a negative one at that.
It might feel like you’re officially leaving the honeymoon stage and are turning into a boring married couple, or if you’re really freaking out, you might feel like it’s the beginning of the end. In most cases, this is so not a big deal! Life happens—you can’t spend every weekend together!
4No Big Deal: The First Time They’re Together On Social Media
Once upon a time, appearing on social media with someone special was a huge deal. Everyone on your friends list would assume you were a couple, and your family would hear about it soon or enough, and you may as well have released a statement letting everyone know that you’re officially a couple.
But as social media has become ingrained in our lives, we tend to use it so commonly that posting a picture of someone or tagging them in something does not necessarily mean you’re in a relationship with them. So if you are with them, you can still interact with them on social media and have it fly under the radar.
3No Big Deal: The First Time The Ex Is Brought Up
Some people consider the first time an ex is brought up in conversation as a milestone for a couple. This does tend to show that you’ve achieved a certain level of comfort and familiarity with each other since common dating advice suggests avoiding bringing up the ex until later in the dating game. But not everyone follows those rules!
Just because someone is finally talking about their ex doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship has progressed. It could mean that, but we wouldn’t automatically assume it does. Some people even share details about their ex on the first date!
2No Big Deal: The First Time They Meet Friends
Many people feel as though meeting the friends for the first time is just as intimidating as meeting the family and that it’s a huge milestone. To be fair, this depends on the individual person and their relationship with their friends. If they never introduce anyone to their friends and really care what their friends think, it fair to call it a milestone when you finally meet them.
But if it’s the second or third time you’re hanging out and they invite you to tag along with their friends, it might not mean anything important. Some people are very relaxed about their friends and who they’re dating, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re establishing permanent space in that person’s life. It could just be a fun way to spend an afternoon!
1No Big Deal: The First Time They Leave Their Belongings At Each Other’s Houses
Traditionally, the first time someone leaves their belongings at their date’s house has been seen as a monumental moment. This signifies that the relationship is getting so strong and so much more consistent that it’s a given that they’re going to spend more time together.
But we don’t think of leaving belongings at the other person’s house as telling about the state of the relationship. This is really a convenience thing more than anything else. It might mean that you’re going back to their house, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’re going back as someone they picture a serious future with.