There's a scary moment in every new relationship is when it gets serious — when you can suddenly feel things going from being fun/easy/casual to "holy crap, this could be something real." The butterflies in your stomach are still there, and you're still super excited about being with your new partner, but things have moved past questioning "will they or won't they text me again" into a whole new phase of your relationship. You know you really like this person, and you you know you're definitely something, but you don't exactly know what that something is. This is also about the time when one zillion questions start bubbling around in your brain about your relationship status:"What are we doing?" "What are they thinking?" "Where is this going?!" It's enough to drive you completely nuts.
There are, of course, the obvious tell-tale signs of when a relationship is getting to the next level. You meet their parents, you say "I love you," you have the actual grown-up version of the defining the relationship conversation. But when a relationship is still starting out, and you aren't quite sure where you stand, there are certain little things that can give you a clue that yes, it's the real thing.
1. You Keep Stuff At Their Place
It starts with a toothbrush (which honestly I think any nice person should have on hand to offer, even at the first sleepover) and eventually turns into a contact lens case, a full beauty regiment and finally, a drawer.
2. You Use Each Other’s Deodorant Freely
Because you have to be very comfortable with someone to be willing to share armpit germs with them.
3. You’re Not Stressed About What You Look Like When You Wake Up
Or about having food in your teeth or hooking up without a bikini wax, because you know they think you’re hot no matter what. And you are — duh.
4. You’re Friends With Each Other’s Friends
Getting to know the person your dating’s friends is a huge part of getting to know them, and forging your own relationships means that, first of all, everyone’s approved and, second of all, you’re becoming more integrated in each other’s lives.
5. You Share A Netflix Password
This level of trust means your S.O. cares enough about you not to be (too) judgmental of the fact that you spent a your Saturday night watching the entire first season of Friday Night Lights.
6. You’re Planning For The Future
Going away for the first time with a new partner is super exciting (because, hello, vacation sex) but also because it means you’re in a place where you know you’ll still be together in a few months time. Being invited as a +1 to an event in the distant future counts, too.
7. You Have A Bedtime Routine
Having designated sides of the bed, sleeping positions and alternating nights of who has to get up and turn off the TV and grab a glass of water for the two of you are all signs that things are getting real. If you’ve decided you prefer sleeping together than apart (always a tough step in a relationship for me, who loves a good “starfish sleep” more than anyone on the planet) you’ve pretty much got it down pat.
8. You Know Their Favorite Food, And How To Make It
Or at least, where the best place is to order it from.
9. You Have Pictures Together On Social Media
“Look, everyone! Here we are looking adorable at a baseball game/rooftop bar/some other romantic activity that we’re doing together as a couple and trying to make you jealous of!” If you’re confident enough in you relationship to put it on display for all 600 of your followers to see (and if they are, too) you know you’ve got something real.
10. Their Address Is the Default In Your Seamless Account
Because what’s better than ordering Pizza on a Sunday night to your S.O.’s house? Just beware of this if you guys breakup— I accidentally once had sushi delivered to my ex’s apartment in the middle of the night, and had a LOT of explaining to do.
11. Their Doorman Lets You Up Without A Second Thought
If you’re spending enough time at your partner’s place for the doorman to recognize you (and to have decided you're not some sort of psycho stalker serial killer), you’re spending enough there enough to consider it serious. Bonus points if you're getting packages delivered to their apartment to avoid the hassle of UPS being turned away from your walkup.
12. You Have Good Sex
Sex with a new person is fun and exciting, but the best sex usually happens with someone who you care about and who knows your body and exactly what you want in bed. If you've gotten to the place where you're not afraid to ask for what you want, and you've come to learn what they want, you're onto something good.
13. Sleepovers Don’t Always Mean Sex
When you first start dating someone, your grownup sleepovers tend to be non-stop sexathons. When you get to the point where you can say "I’m too tired/I ate too much pasta/My period cramps are killing me — can we just go to bed?” and falling asleep spooning is all you want/need, you know you’ve reached a new level.
14. You’ve Had A Huge Fight, And Survived
My mom always used to say “fighting makes a relationship stronger.” The jury’s still out on whether or not I believe her, but I do know that if you’ve gotten through a blow up fight without breaking up, it means you’re both committed to each other for the foreseeable future.
15. You Know Each Other’s “Most Embarrassing Moment” Stories
And not the fake "I tripped down the stairs in front of everybody!" one you tell on first dates (does anyone else do that, or is it just me?), the actual real one that you haven’t been able to talk to anyone else about since it happened because it still makes you cringe.
16. You Get Ready At Their Place
Because giving someone you're dating a glimpse into your morning beauty routine (all 45 minutes of it) indicates trust.
17. You Know Each Other's Schedules
And start to make plans accordingly. Plus, you have a mutual appreciation of "me" time vs. "us" time.
18. You Have Nicknames For Each Other
And a ton of inside jokes that drive your friends nuts.
19. Silences Are No Longer Awkward
You know when you first start dating someone and there are weird pauses between conversations that kind of make you want to jump off a cliff? Yeah, those don't happen anymore.
20. You've Deleted All Your Old Dating Apps
And have stopped regularly stalking your ex, his new girlfriend, and all of their friends on social media — because your new partner is the only one you care about.
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