1. Choosing a quiet night in together because you agree that it will be way more fun than going out, even if the food is less fancy and the scene is cozier than cool.
2. The first time a friend asks what “you guys” are up to because they understand that you’re officially one half of a duo.
3. Receiving your first phone call from one of your significant other’s parents because they can’t get in touch with their son or daughter and they assume their child is with you, or that you know more about their child’s whereabouts than they do.
4. Being included in a family text sent from any relative on your boyfriend or girlfriend’s side of the relationship.
5. Cooking a meal together from start to finish—from conception to grocery list making to shopping to chopping vegetables and waiting for the timer to sound.
6. Looking forward to eating leftovers so you can relish your culinary accomplishment as a couple once more.
7. Getting sick and not caring one iota that your nose is stuffy and your face is puffy and your vomit reeks and you can’t even muster the energy to apologize for your grossness.
8. Getting to play nurse when your partner falls ill and taking sincere pleasure in nurturing them back to health.
9. Feeling comfortable enough to burp and fart around each other.
10. Shedding your stink-up-the-bathroom fear so you can poop at their place without a shred of embarrassment. Maybe even with the door open.
11. Every time your boyfriend or girlfriend mentions experiencing some future event as a couple.
12. Transitioning from birth names to pet names in everyday conversation.
13. Laughing out loud at some inside joke that no one but you two could possibly comprehend.
14. Then cracking up again as you recall later on just how confused everyone else was when you erupted into laughter simultaneously at a seemingly random time.
15. Deciding on a staycation instead of a proper vacation so you can save money because you genuinely don’t care where you are or what you’re doing as long as you’re together.
16. Furniture shopping for investment pieces like a solid bed frame or a marble dining room table—anything that’s hard to part with and/or tricky to divide because the general sentiment is that you won’t be separating.
17. Buying a pet together (or some kind of high maintenance plant if you’re not animal lovers) and splitting the caretaking duties equally.
18. Figuring out whose responsible for which household chores and taking new joy in mopping floors, folding laundry and wiping down countertops since you’re not just doing it for yourself anymore.
19. Sending out a holiday card together or a group email signed with both your names.
20. The first time one of you offhandedly mentions the possibility of having children and/or surveys the other about a baby name.
21. Opening a joint bank account so you can both put money towards saving up for a home or your hypothetical kid’s college tuition or some other major expense.
22. Getting into an awful, on-the-verge-of-breakup blowout fight and then taking turns apologizing to each other for your idiotic behavior.
23. Laughing out loud together because the makeup sex almost made that ridiculous fight seem totally worthwhile.