1. You become comfortable around them. At some point, you stop trying to impress each other. You stop trying to fill silences. You stop telling little white lies in order to seem smarter or cooler. You let your guard down and let them see your true self. You don’t keep anything hidden. You reveal every piece of yourself.
2. You become best friends. Most of your time is spent around each other so you have developed inside jokes, you have traded secrets, you have talked about every topic under the sun. Somewhere along the line, you turned into best friends without even trying. It just happened naturally as your relationship grew.
3. Your families merge. You spend holidays together. You have birthday dinners together. You take vacations together. You feel like their family is part of your family and their friends are your friends. There isn’t a separation anymore. They feel like your loved ones as much as their loved ones.
4. You become teammates. After years together, you consider yourselves a team. You would never dream of committing to a move across the country or agreeing to host a holiday dinner without consulting your person beforehand. You talk to them about everything. Even though you are both individuals with your own minds, you make your biggest decisions together.
5. You develop a routine. You have assigned sides of the bed. You have unspoken agreements about who eats the leftovers and what shows you can only watch together. Over time, you develop a routine. You become used to the way the other person lives.
6. You stop following ‘modern dating rules.’ You text four or five times in a row without worrying about looking clingy. You say I love you without stressing about whether you will hear it back. You stop caring about coming on too strong because you are confident you both feel the same way.
7. You become less self-conscious. Eventually, you let them see you without makeup. You let them see you with wet hair. You let them see you in old pajamas. You let them see you without taking an hour in the bathroom to prep beforehand because they like what you look like naturally.
8. You learn their background. You learn more than their favorite band and movie. You learn the names of their cousins. You learn their childhood trauma. You learn their family history. You get snippets of their past here and there that help you realize how they were shaped into who they are today.
9. You become comfortable around them. You become comfortable crying in front of them. You become comfortable sleeping with them. You become comfortable talking to them about difficult topics. You become comfortable opening up to them about everything and anything.
10. You commit to forever. Whenever something goes wrong in the relationship, you have faith it can be fixed. Breaking up is never an option that runs through your head. At some point, they changed from a possibility to permanent. You are going to be spending forever together and you both know it.