Important relationship milestones every modern couple needs to celebrate
Beyond your first kiss
Your first date and first kiss are undoubtedly special. But dating in 2018 is full of new-age relationship milestones unrecognisable to everyone except millennials. The first major major landmark is when you delete dating apps like Tinder and Hinge from your phone. Make a mental note of when you feel ready to stop ‘fishing’ and focus your attention on one person. After a few great dates, it’s time to show off your cute new partner on Instagram, right? The first selfie (and cheesy caption) you go public with deserves a spot on your relationship timeline.
Fast forward a little, and you drop text etiquette. Not typing in decent grammar and letting a typo or two slip is practically the new-age equivalent of reaching third base. You then move on to sharing Netflix passwords — you don’t even try to hide the fact that you straight up binge-watched The Desperate Housewives (again).
While these new-age signs are significant, let’s not forget that for a deep, meaningful relationship, you need to go beyond social media and cultivate a bond. You may have hit it off on a dating app and moved to being in a monogamous relationship, but the traditional values of forgiveness, compassion and sacrifice still apply, according to Dr Shaunak Ajinkya, consultant psychiatrist, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani, Mumbai.
“When you begin dating, you tend to wear a mask. Over time, you should be able to be yourself, without judgement. You go from impressing your boyfriend to being comfortable in who you are,” he says. This level of comfort reflects acceptance of each other and is an important milestone because it forms the base of a solid relationship. You should be able to open up about your weaknesses and vulnerabilities without fear of that information being used against you. “Further, instead of criticising the shortcomings, make up for it.” For example, if you are super organised and your SO is as messy as they come, you can consider teaching him a few hacks, or even tidy up his things once in a while.
A crisis — be it personal, familial or monetary — can either lead to a break-up or strengthen your bond. “From a bad day at work to a major financial setback, if you can sit down and talk about it with your partner instead of hitting the neighbourhood bar to drown your sorrows, your relationship has definitely grown. If you can weather a storm together, you know the relationship can be sustained in the long run,” says Dr Shaunak. According to him, this is the most definitive sign of measuring how real your relationship is.
While fights are a part of any relationship, apologies are crucial in determining your equation. “When you’re angry, you may end up saying nasty things. But you should be able to dissolve your ego for your partner and say sorry,” he says. So, celebrate your first date but also celebrate your first apology.
And at the end of the day, remember that relationships are dynamic and there’s no end point to getting to know a person.