Engagements and weddings are some of the most important milestones a person can have in their life – they are little bright spots of love in a world that’s continuously filled with more and more bad news. And while little things like binge-watching your first show together or giving each other home-made gifts seem trivial compared to something like getting engaged, these tiny moments are the ones that build up one after another to make your relationship strong enough for marriage in the first place. So here are 25 ‘little’ milestones that are much more important to your relationship than you may have initially thought.
1. The moment when you first become comfortable in silence together. When you no longer feel pressured to have a conversation, because you’re so happy and relaxed around one another that you don’t always feel the need to be talking.
2. The moment you realize that you feel intense pain whenever you know that they are in pain.
3. Making it through your first serious fight and noticing that as difficult and uncomfortable as it was, you actually feel better afterwards.
4. The moment when you stop worrying about looking cute when you’re sleeping, and introduce one another to the ugly, drooling messes that you actually are when you’re in the middle of a solid REM cycle.
5. The first time one of you gives the other a gift that was specially made or created on your own, without spending any money. And you realize that often, it becomes your favorite gift you’ve ever received.
6. When you start communicating with each other nonverbally – like how you know when they’re ready to leave a social event, or how they know which coworker is the one you can’t stand after you give them a look at your company party.
7. When you get really good news, and you realize that they’re the first person you want to call and be with in such a happy moment.
8. Or when you get really horrible news, and they’re the first person that pops into your mind and the only person you want to see.
9. Getting to the point where you can complain to them about your family or friends. And knowing that they will still love and respect your loved ones, because they know that sometimes, you just need to vent.
10. Admitting your deepest fears, insecurities, and inadequacies to one another – things you’ve never told any other person in the world. And feeling like a humongous weight has been lifted off of you afterwards, rather than feeling vulnerable and defenseless.
11. When their irritating quirks and habits eventually start presenting themselves, and you notice that even though they drive you up the wall, you have no desire to run in the opposite direction (the way you’ve tended to do in the past).
12. When they call you out on something you need to be called out for – like not going out for a job because you didn’t want to get rejected, or being a bad friend when someone needs you – and knowing that even though it makes you uncomfortable, you’re glad to be with someone who loves you enough to have uncomfortable conversations with you.
13. Singing in the car in front of them, even if (or especially if) you’re really bad.
14. Developing inside jokes that are extremely stupid and absolutely not funny to anybody else besides the two of you.
15. Feeling just as attracted to each other in t-shirts and sweatpants as you do when you’re both all dressed up for a night on the town.
16. Breaking the fart barrier – the milestone that’s even more important than marriage.
17. The first time you feel a little less terrified at the thought of starting a family – if it means you’d be starting it with them.
18. The first time one of you makes a casual remark about some future event with the certainty and confidence that you’ll still be together. Whether it’s an RSVP for a wedding, or talks about applying for a job in another city, you start thinking of every decision in terms of how you can work it around your relationship to one another.
19. When you start doing things that you find boring or uninteresting, but you enjoy doing them because you know it’s what makes your partner happy.
20. The moment you realize that even after multiple months (or years), they’re still capable of sending you a text that pulls an instant smile onto your face.
21. The first show you binge-watch together. Because as stupid as it sounds, it’s the first time you get to enjoy the experience of doing nothing together, and loving every second of it.
22. When you start grabbing a couple of their favorite snacks when you grocery shop, because you love doing little things that you know they’re going to love.
23. The first time they see your ugly crying face and you don’t care.
24. Developing a harmless crush on someone and not caring at all, because you know they’d never make you as happy as the one you’re currently with.
25. The first time you realize that their happiness matters more to you than your own.