A lot of us tend to over-think when, how, and why we should start having sex with someone we’re dating, as if this decision will determine the entire course of the relationship. The good news is, it doesn’t. Moreover, the “first” fun doesn’t suddenly stop after initial penetration. Below are 12 rewarding relationship firsts every new couple can look forward to after that introductory sex session, and before the obvious new joys down the line, like marriage, and having a child.
1. First major weather situation.
Bad weather doesn’t get enough credit for fostering awesomely memorable, sexy situations. When you get stuck in the rain with someone for the first time without an umbrella, it’s bound to make you both smile as you realize, together, how little you can do to stop Mother Nature, but how glad you are to have each other. It can also be fun to lose power for a while during a big storm. Forced to entertain yourselves without electronics, you’re sure to get creative (strip scrabble, anyone?). Alternatively, you might decide to bundle up and brave a blizzard rather than sit in the comfort of your home sipping hot chocolate.
2. First TV/movie marathon.
When you agree to seclude yourselves from the outside world so you can waste an entire day lying in bed together, watching television and movies, you reach a whole new level of closeness through decadence and emotional swings contingent upon your choices in genre.
3. First cry.
The first time either party in a relationship cries—whatever the cause of tears—is a milestone. Tears represent vulnerability. And while we rarely feel our most attractive while crying, it’s touching to see tiny droplets stream down the cheeks of the person you’re falling for.
4. First fart.
Many of us are groomed not to fart or burp in front of others, at least not at the dinner table. But we all expel gas from our butts and mouths every day. The first time you give into the pressure, literally, to toot in front of your girlfriend or boyfriend, you’re bound to induce a laugh, which is both embarrassing and amazing all at once. To quote Louis C.K., “You don’t have to be smart to laugh at farts, but you have to be stupid not to.”
5. First Fart during sex.
The first instance of mid-sex flatulence tends to occur later than the first fart, but it’s equally hilarious and enjoyable. It’s also a good lesson in the reality that sex doesn’t always have to be so serious. Laughter can make the whole thing better.
6. First vacation.
Taking a vacation with someone is a great test of whether or not you can stand each other for a prolonged period of time. It’s also an excellent way to learn about each other. The first time you go away for a weekend or an entire week will tell you a lot about your partner beyond their packing style. It’s fascinating to see how someone acts in an unfamiliar setting, whether it’s an airport security checkpoint or a bungalow in Tulum, Mexico. This is the stuff memories are made from.
7. First gift.
We can’t be certain how someone will respond to something we buy (or create, if you’re the DIY kind) with them in mind, so it’s easy to feel vulnerable while awaiting a person’s reaction to your carefully chosen present. As a gift recipient, it can be equally unnerving to unwrap a mysterious box while fretting over your ability to express sincere enthusiasm, whether or not you like what you discover. All of these feelings make for a wonderfully intimate emotional stew.
8. First joint purchase.
Your first purchase as a couple doesn’t have to be a kitten or a puppy to be meaningful. When you buy a knickknack together on a road trip as a memento, or choose a decorative accent for either person’s home that you can both enjoy, you imbue an object with significance. Whatever it is becomes part of your story together, and this is incredibly gratifying.
9. First fight.
Fighting isn’t something we generally look forward to, but it’s inevitable. And while it’s not exactly pleasant to get angry with someone you care about, the process of reaching a resolution can be marvelous, whether or not it leads to makeup sex.
10. First joint workout.
The get-to-know-you phase of dating is often marked by over-indulgence in food and drink. Once you’re officially acquainted and things start to calm down, however, the itch to lead a healthier life returns. Whether you go for a run with your new boo, try a spinning class, or hit the gym at the same time, it’s fun to see your partner in this new environment. It doesn’t have to be couples’ naked yoga to be exhilarating—but it can be!
11. First sweaty sex session.
At some point after you start working out together, you’re bound to end up orchestrating your first sweaty romp. Who doesn’t love a salty nipple?
12. First crisis.
When someone gets fired, loses a parent, or becomes the victim of identity theft, the other party is challenged to rise to the occasion. Some people handle stress better than others, and some are more adept at unraveling messy bureaucratic situations. Whatever the case, when things go awry, we get to truly lean on our partner for the first time and the feeling of being supported—whether their contribution is purely emotional or more practical in nature—is beautifully reassuring.