Onto the next: The swift stages of dating today #GetRealAboutLove
5 February 2019 LIFESTYLE
By: Natasha Archary
How does one keep track of the stages in a relationship these days? It feels like there’s a new milestone that needs to be included daily or would that be status by hourly status? It’s a frenetic quest for the next step in relationship territory it seems and if you’re baffled by the stage you’re in, we’ve got you covered. Anything to help you figure out whether you’re receiving roses this Valentine’s Day or not.
Keeping track of your relationship timeline
Before you whip out the celebratory bottle of bubbly, there are a few stages to reach before things are, “official”.
We’ve bypassed the grey area completely. That indecisive phase where you’ve been on a few dates but neither of you have discussed your relationship status. Are you or aren’t you a couple? Let’s break down the modern day relationship timeline without stereotyping too much. You’ll then be able to figure out where you stand in this grand scheme of lovers.
From zero to the three month mark in sixty seconds
If Tinder is anything to go by, it’s more a first meeting than a date. Either over coffee or drinks, it’s the first impression that this is centered around. You want to know if there’s dating potential before actually calling it a date.
If things go well on the first meeting, one of you may suggest a second meeting or if you would an official date. Depending on your beliefs around sex, this is generally when the both of you discuss your views on physical intimacy. Hooking up is not uncommon on the second date. But this does not guarantee a commitment.
In this day and age, the third date calls for major celebratory drinks. Whether we care to admit it or not, it’s rare to be asked out consistently. You two must have incredible chemistry and something solid in common.
You’ve been together for a month. This is a huge deal. Now before you start picking out wedding venues ladies and gents, this is when you have the “talk”. Question the status of this vibe. Are you dating exclusively? Is it an arrangement of sorts? Like a friends with benefits situation or are you in an open relationship? Establishing the status of your newly joint venture can save you a lot of time and trouble later.
Well, well this is looking promising isn’t it? This is a good sign. Usually the three month mark means you’ve dealt with all the “weeds” and the garden is well maintained and watered regularly. In other words, it’s a smooth and committed relationship. There are the odd couple who still battle with communication issues and the like around here so I wouldn’t get too comfortable if I were you.
The halfway mark to the first anniversary
This is when you meet their friends and family. Spending this much time together calls for it. How else will you get to know the person you’re with, unless you’re taking the time to get to know them from the eyes and hearts of the people who love him/her?
It’s safe to plan trips together or make plans for events and family functions that are planned for later in the year. You two are headed towards “Insta-couple” worthy status.
The novelty of the relationship wears off to a degree around the one-year mark. You both stop making as much of an effort because there’s a level of comfort now and you don’t NEED to try that hard. People tend to look for options either way so don’t think it’s something you can fix or change if cheating or lack of interest starts rearing its ugly head. There are couples who make it through the first year and come out stronger, so there’s hope yet.
It’s safe to say that if you’re in the first three months, don’t expect more than some cheap chocolate and flowers. You’re not in a relationship yet, there’s hope and possibly some potential but not enough to warrant jewelry or something super extravagant.
To those who have made it past the first three months, this doesn’t mean smooth sailing is all that awaits you. Relationships are tough. All the communicating and actively making an effort to keep this other person happy, that’s A LOT of admin.
Tread carefully and as long as you’re both putting in equal effort, time, prioritizing the intimacy and keeping it consistent with trust and loyalty you could go the distance. From six months onwards gifts could be a little more sentimental in value than price. Framed photos, an album, a weekend away. Must be nice!