In every relationship, there comes a time when the initial honeymoon phase ends. When this happens, certain markers, though seemingly insignificant, can help determine whether you’re truly in it for the long haul. Your significant other knows you’re not a fair-weather partner, and now that the honeymoon’s over, it’s time to put your relationship to the test.
From running everyday errands to surviving major life events, a couple who makes it through the mundane and the monumental alike are bound for success. If you and your partner have survived these 11 major milestones, there’s no need to worry about your status as a couple. Your chances of long-term love are looking pretty good.
1. The mere thought of your partner no longer distracts you
So, here we have an example of a more mundane milestone. You might be thinking, “Isn’t it a good thing to have my partner on my mind all day?” But in reality, that tends to be more characteristic of the honeymoon phase. While it’s natural to miss your significant other when they’re not around, that sense of constant distraction will eventually change. You’re able to concentrate again, while still getting excited to see your special someone at the end of the day.
2. You’ve traveled together
Whether it’s sitting in the car for 12 hours straight or city-hopping on another continent, you can learn a lot about your partner by traveling with them. Being stuck together 24/7 is bound to show a different perspective of how the two of you really operate as a team. And if you’ve survived the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs, the curve balls and road bumps, it’s a good sign.
3. You’ve defined the relationship
You’re probably thinking this one is an obvious necessity. After all, if you’re in a relationship, you’ve probably already had the talk. Still, we’d be remiss not to mention it here.
In today’s world, the rules of courting someone and proper dating etiquette are no longer all that clear. And that means one thing: Having the DTR talk isn’t necessarily a given, at least not for some time. You and your partner could see one another for months before actually saying boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or significant other. So yes, this is a big one.
4. You realize your partner’s not perfect, but still want to be with them
Everything seems perfect in the beginning of a relationship. You’re both trying to impress one another, showing your best sides, and making a huge effort to ensure everything is just right. But that won’t last forever. Eventually, you come to the realization that your partner isn’t perfect, nor is your relationship.
“Initially, you have dreams and fantasies about the other person fulfilling all of your needs,” Gal Szekely, marriage and family therapist, told The Huffington Post. “Eventually, you realize that your partner is not perfect. Learning to be in relationship with the real person and settling for reality rather than a fantasy is an important milestone in any relationship.” And that’s a good thing, because nothing will ever be truly perfect.
5. You think nothing of peeing with the door open
Keeping the romance alive is important, so we’re not suggesting you go overboard here. There is, however, something to be said about the first time you went to the bathroom with the door open since you probably avoided it at all costs when your partner first started spending time at your place. So, if you get up from your favorite Netflix show to run to the bathroom and leave the door open with your partner one room away on the couch, consider it a relationship milestone.
6. You love lounging on the couch in sweats
Speaking of watching Netflix with your partner, if you do so in sweats while wearing your dirty slippers, it’s yet another sign of a lasting relationship. As with any couple in a happy, healthy relationship, comfort is key, which is why showing your true self is an important milestone. And when your partner looks at you lovingly, despite the fact you’re in this less-than-fashionable state, Women’s Health says it’s the real deal.
7. You’ve survived a trip to Ikea
Google Ikea along with anything relating to relationships, and you’ll see you’re in good company. You see, shopping at the furniture mega-store is kind of like being stuck on a never-ending ride at Disney World. It’s exciting at first, with all the blinding lights and false promises of a magical experience, but all that stimuli becomes far too overwhelming after a while.
You’d rather run out of there sans Swedish meatballs than spend one more second in the soul-sucking maze of home goods and decor. And it doesn’t just stop there. As The Cut mentions, the daunting task of having to assemble the furniture once you get home is also a test. If you can relate and have survived a trip, your relationship is looking golden.
8. You have met, or will be meeting, your partner’s parents
Meeting the parents usually does seem like a big deal, but if your partner is super close with them as it is, it might feel like less of a big deal, given their relationship. But don’t let this fool you; no matter how close your partner is with his or her parents, the decision to introduce you is still meaningful.
It’s not a decision they’d take lightly, even if you have noticed their all-too-close relationship entails telling each other everything. In fact, it may be a much bigger deal than you think. Because your partner is so close with his or her parents, it means they truly value their opinions. So, don’t brush an invite to meet the parents as a non-event.
9. You no longer over-analyze their text messages
In the beginning of a relationship, it’s easy to pick apart every word of a text message. What does it mean? Do they really want to hang out? How do I know if their intentions are sincere? But at a certain point, all of this subsides. As BuzzFeed mentions, gone are the days of freaking out when they don’t respond with the perfect answer within five minutes. You and your partner both say what you want to say, and there’s no gray area of not knowing whether you like each other. It’s easy, and that’s certainly a good thing.
10. You share streaming accounts
Giving your partner access to your personal accounts, from Spotify to Netflix to Amazon, says a lot about how much you trust them, not to mention how long you think they’ll be around. These kinds of accounts are important and are not to be shared lightly. So, when the day you create a Netflix profile for your partner does arrive, it’s a big one. Furthermore, you wouldn’t even think about watching your favorite show without them because you know how much you both love watching it together.
11. You’ve started sounding alike
We’re not talking about voice tones, here. Rather, you and your partner start using the same kinds of phrases and have developed your own dialect. According to Thought Catalog, your relationship is headed in the right direction if you find yourselves saying “the exact same thing out loud at the exact same time because you’ve been spending THAT much time together.”
*Article originally published on Cheat Sheet.