From the first time you see each other, your first date and first kiss, to meeting each other’s families and an engagement ring… Every healthy relationship goes through some phases and we call it a relationship timeline. Your new relationship started off as a first date but your relationship timeline might be complete and your love story could end with you two getting married. Or is that just the beginning?
We are going to talk about a typical relationship timeline but just because you and your significant other may have done things differently doesn’t mean you did them in the wrong way. However, let me tell you something from my own personal experience. I was definitely doing things the wrong way in my love life; it’s because I never really considered a healthy relationship timeline. The only person with whom I did things right is the person I ended up marrying.
There are a lot of versions of a relationship timeline, but everyone has their own. However, you can see the big picture by reading about a typical and healthy relationship timeline. You’ll get to know how things are supposed to go and a healthy relationship timeline is there for a reason. I have learned that from my own experience.
My husband and I met on social media, but on our first date, we realized that it wasn’t the first time we had seen each other. I had actually been to his 16th birthday as a friend of a friend. And we were going out to the same places that whole time, we just hadn’t really noticed each other. So, he walked me home, and we had our first kiss.
On our third date, we talked about sex but waited longer to have it. After about two months, we said the L word for the first time, and in less than a year, started living together. After two and a half years, I got my engagement ring, and after three and a half years, we got married. We did everything right, and I couldn’t be happier.
However, all love stories are unique, and you will have your own relationship milestones at your own pace. However, if you want to make sure that you end up in an ideal relationship, you should read about a normal relationship timeline and consider the average relationship milestones. And even though it can’t be said that a relationship timeline can be done the wrong way… make sure that you are ready for each big step before you make it.
So if you are in a new relationship and want to make sure that your love life blossoms… it’s time to read about a relationship timeline and remember that the ideal relationship is your goal in the first place. Let our typical relationship timeline help you create your own relationship timeline.
Relationship timeline: From saying yes to a date to simply saying yes
1. How I Met Your Mother
Every relationship timeline starts with a beautiful and unique story about how you met your significant other in the first place. Whether you met through mutual friends, in a bar, at work, on social media or by swiping left and right on a dating app, you certainly have a great story about how your new relationship began.
If you were swiping right and found your soulmate, be proud of it. A lot of times, couples who meet by using a dating app don’t like telling the story of how they met but there is no reason to hide it since 16 percent of couples meet this way. In fact, you should tell people about it so they could also try that option when they are searching for their soulmate.
2. First date
It’s time for that special day where you get to know each other a little better. Carefully choose the restaurant or other place you will go to because it could be the place where you will celebrate your anniversaries in the future. This is where you will decide if there will be a relationship so you should be guiding the conversation to find out their interests and goals.
You have to get to know each other a little better and see if there is any chemistry between you. But don’t freak out if there are some awkward silences because that happens a lot of the time on the first few dates. This is actually the first part of a typical relationship timeline… because how you met is just a cute intro to your relationship.
3. Sealed with a kiss
This is the part of a normal relationship timeline where you are supposed to make it official by sealing your love with a kiss. Of course, this can only happen if your date went well, so it’s at the same time proof that your date was successful. However, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t if it doesn’t end with a kiss.
This is because some people like to hold off on intimacy for a while after meeting somebody new. How it usually goes is that he walks you home and kisses you on your doorstep but don’t invite him in just yet, even if you are tempted because it’s best to wait at least until the third date, if not longer, to have sex.
4. Second date
The second date is an important part of a normal relationship timeline because in this phase, you get to talk about your sexual history. You should talk about your sexual history because you need to get a sense of your experience, chemistry, and how you will be together.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to tell him your ‘number’ because it’s okay to keep something private. He just needs to know the big picture, the details are your little secret.
5. The famous three-date rule
Even though having sex is definitely a significant part of a relationship phases timeline, you don’t have to have it on your third date; it’s just not recommended that you do it before then.
The thing is, people have different views on sex and while some need to get to know the person better to have sex… others think that this kind of intimacy is important to really feel like you are in a relationship. But in any case, you shouldn’t be waiting too long either.
It’s important that you two see how you get along in the bedroom before you become serious about each other. After all, a satisfying sex life is one of the key factors of a healthy relationship. How long it takes you to get there is up to you but know that the third date rule was made a rule for a reason, and that reason isn’t just to make guys happy.
After three to five dates, you get to have your first sleepover in the relationship phases timeline. Think of it as investing in your relationship. It’s all about starting to trust each other and becoming vulnerable. But you can’t really feel like you are in a relationship until you fall asleep on his shoulder and wake up next to him, can you?
Enjoy this precious time together, and have breakfast together in the morning. Don’t hurry to go home, but talk a little to see how your mornings with this person would look.
7. Seeing each other’s homes
An important part of an average relationship timeline is seeing each other’s homes. You can learn a lot about someone’s tastes, personality, and habits from the way they live. Our homes actually say a lot about who we really are as people.
Are you neat or messy? Do you have bongs or books? You both will learn a lot more about each other by seeing each other’s homes but don’t give up on someone just because they live differently because after a while in a relationship, you will combine your two homes into one and make the best of each. In fact, I was messy, and my husband was neat but he didn’t have any books while I had a small library. Now we live in a neat home with lots of books.
Don’t wait for more than a month to see each other’s homes.
8. Meeting each other’s friends
In an average relationship timeline, you meet each other’s friends after a month; you can learn a lot about a person by meeting their closest friends. They will show who and what your boyfriend values in the world. But you don’t want to be influenced by the opinions of your friends so don’t do this earlier. One month is the perfect amount of time it takes to meet each other’s friends.
It’s good to see how well you will fit in with each other’s group of friends butdon’t be scared if your friends aren’t interested in being friends with him… or his friends aren’t interested in being friends with you. It takes time until you can all become mutual friends, so that can’t happen overnight. And some friends will stay just yours or just his; this is because you have to have some separate time with other people.
9. Realizing that you are in a committed relationship
Right about now is the part of an average relationship timeline where you two need to realize what you want out of a relationship. This is where you will decide that you are exclusive and in a committed relationship with each other.
The next part of the relationship stages timeline is, after all, meeting each other’s parents and you wouldn’t introduce to your parents someone who you are not serious with. You also don’t want the, “I didn’t think we were exclusive,” scandal to happen so it’s best to talk about where you stand and decide whether you are ready to continue with the relationship stages timeline.
10. Meeting each other’s families
So how long does it take till you meet his family and introduce him to yours? This is the part of a relationship stages timeline that usually happens after three months and it is a big step since it indicates that the relationship really is serious. But if your partner is really close to his parents, he might introduce you to them early on in the relationship. He will be needing the approval of his parents for dating you, so you have to understand that this means a lot to him.
Let me tell you a funny story about how I met my future in-laws. I made a banana cake for them and I was surprised that they didn’t ask a lot of questions, but I wasn’t nervous… until suddenly, I was surrounded by more than ten people, all looking at me. A lot of his family had come along to meet me too, and I wasn’t expecting it. So my future husband saw that I was uncomfortable and asked if I wanted to go to the other room to smoke. I nervously said, “We’ll talk about it.”
11. The L word
Even though there is a relationship timeline, there isn’t a rule for when you should say those three little words. Most of the time, couples who have been together for a few months find a romantic moment that would be perfect for saying, “I love you,” for the first time and from then on, a relationship is really ready to blossom.
Even though you could say this at any moment after a while of dating… you should take your time to make sure that the other person is ready to say it as well because there’s nothing worse than saying, “I love you,” and having the other person just say, “Thank you.”
The first time I told my husband that I loved him was when he let me dye his hair green so we could be Joker and Harley Quinn for Halloween. Trust me, when you find a man who will let you put make-up on him, he’s a keeper because he wouldn’t do it if he didn’t love you.
12. Traveling together
Traveling together is a part of a relationship timeline that usually takes place after six months. Even though a lot of people feel comfortable traveling together after a short period of dating, it’s best to wait because traveling can make or break a relationship and this is because even though it’s fun and exciting, it can be stressful.
However, it could be a fantasy that will help you learn so much more about your boyfriend. This is also a part of a relationship timeline in which you spend holidays together and when you start spending holidays with each other’s families, it will be clear that your dating timeline is probably going to be complete.
13. Moving in together
One of the most important parts of a relationship timeline has finally happened – moving in together! However, in some cases, couples don’t want to live together until they are married or at least engaged, and that is perfectly fine. I myself am a big supporter of testing the waters before he puts a ring on your finger. It’s one thing to date, but living together is a whole other thing.
When you live together, you really get to know each other and see every little flaw the other person has. I had no idea if I would be able to cook and clean like I was supposed to when I wasn’t living with my parents but it all worked out for the best in my case, though I am still glad that we tried living together before getting married.
14. Getting engaged
If your relationship has gotten this far… this is the part where the engagement ring comes into play in your dating timeline. There isn’t a right amount of time after which you should get married but if you have been living together for more than a year, maybe you have figured out already where your relationship is going to go from there.
But if you like simply living together and don’t need a ring to prove your love, that is also perfectly fine. The average time for getting engaged is around one and a half to two years after meeting.
15. Happily ever after
A happy ending usually happens after six months or a year of being engaged. So this is the part of the dating timeline you have been waiting for and you finally know that this is the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. Congratulations! But your relationship timeline doesn’t have to end here. The next logical phase of your relationship timeline may include having kids… and reaching your retirement years together.
Nevertheless, what your relationship timeline is going to look like is up to you. Still, we all have the common goal of being in a successful relationship and having a long timeline for our relationship… Take things step by step like I suggested. It worked for me, so why wouldn’t it work for you? However, do things at your own pace and don’t force yourself into something you don’t think you are ready for. So maybe your relationship timeline will be different from mine, but I honestly wish that it ends the same way – happily ever after. Good luck!