What are the milestones that really matter?
Is the first kiss really the moment that you remember most from the first months of a relationship? It probably sticks in your mind if it was particularly good or bad, but we’re going to bet that it’s not the moment that defines the relationship in your memory.
Often the truly memorable moments are more mundane and somehow more romantic than the first kiss. Read on for our list of the true milestones in a relationship – and see if you agree.
1. The moment you meet for the first date
In the days before online dating, people met, and then got to know each other. Now, online dating is so popular, we’re all getting to know each other before we meet. The first time you set eyes on the person you’ve been getting to know online is truly a make or break moment, and it’s best to get it over with before you start getting too attached. You can only judge chemistry in person, so meet quickly if you think there’s a chance of a relationship. If there’s no spark, have a brief but friendly drink and move on.
2. Saying goodbye at the end of a first date
The final minute of a first date matters more than every other minute of that evening put together. The way you part will stick in your mind and could decide whether you – or they – want to meet up again. Chances are that this will also be when you share your first kiss. How should you judge whether your date wants to kiss you? If they peck you on the check and sprint off, there’s your answer. But if they’re holding your gaze, smiling a lot and talking very little, they definitely want to kiss you. Relax, breathe… and hope that the kiss is a good one.
3. A text on the way home
If your companion sends you a sweet text within a couple of hours of your first date, you will certainly remember it. It’s a defining moment in your new relationship because it shows that you’re dealing with someone who isn’t afraid to express their feelings and set the pace. Allow them a tingle of expectation, but don’t keep them waiting until morning before texting back. Life’s too short to play hard to get.
4. The first time you talk all night
Whether it’s on the phone or in person, an all-night conversation is the best sign that your new relationship has legs. It’s far more meaningful than a decent first kiss, because it demonstrates a meeting of minds and shows that you’re genuinely keen on each other. Whatever you talk about, and whatever the outcome of the relationship, you will remember this conversation for years to come.
5. The first time you wake up at their place
It’s the moment that says “right… what now?” First nights together often end on a tense note, with neither of you quite knowing what the other one’s thinking. There’s always the fear that they won’t want to see you again. If they make you breakfast, be reassured. If they say “the door’s over there,” cut your losses. Either way, if you want to see them again, don’t outstay your welcome and definitely don’t leave your toothbrush. If they haven’t called you within a day or two, call them.
6. The second time you stay over
The second time is arguably more significant than the first time, because it’s the one that proves that you’re not just a one-night stand. It demonstrates that you might actually like each other whilst not drunk. You now know that the relationship has legs, not just humps.
7. The moment they introduce you as “my girlfriend” or “my boyfriend”
A flirtation only becomes a relationship when it goes public. Arriving together at a party or for drinks with friends may feel like a defining moment, but people won’t really register that you’re together until you introduce each other using couple-speak. It’s a fantastic moment because it makes you feel publicly wanted. It’s your partner’s way of saying “I’m proud to be with you,” and – assuming you feel the same way – it’ll send shivers of pleasure down your spine.
8. Meeting their family
Meeting the parents is terrifying. They will judge you, and they may serve you sprouts that smell of death. But it shows that they consider you to be a part of their life. A word of warning: don’t push a new partner into meeting your family and close friends too soon. Rushing into cosy coupledom is never wise or sexy.
9. Cooking together for the first time
Cooking together is a fantastic bonding experience, and it’s a romantic hint at possible cohabitation further down the line. The first time you cook together may prove to be more memorable than the day that you move in together, if indeed that’s what happens. Moving-in day is often a stressful rollercoaster of removals vans and cramped space, whereas those early experiences of cooking together are relaxed, indulgent and romantic.
10. “I love you”
The timing of your first “I love you” is a good indicator of a relationship’s chances for success. A premature “I love you” is an awful point of no return that can kill a new relationship at birth. In those early weeks, you’re better off embracing the other L-word: lust. If you wait a couple of months before saying it, your partner knows that you’ve given it a lot of thought and that you really mean it.