7 Relationship Milestones That Are Just As Meaningful As Marriage
As the filter of the “honeymoon phase” begins to wane, you’ll definitely start to notice the things that may make you tick, but the real strength of your bond can be found in appreciating the acts of service you provide even when things go wrong.
Maintain your emotional intimacy simply by being honest and finding comfort in the imperfections. As much as we like things to be 50/50, life will throw us the unexpected and only then are we truly tested on our commitments and how reliable we can be to one another.
Reciprocation is everything in a relationship and so is admitting to any wrongdoings. If you’re able to foster positivity and encouragement, your foundation can only grow stronger.
Getting married is a huge milestone in a relationship, but there’s a lot more to love and building a partnership than saying “I do.”
Below, relationship experts share seven overlooked accomplishments that are just as meaningful as marrying your partner.
1. When you recover from your first big disillusionment.
When you’re in the early stages of a relationship, you tend to look at your partner — and the budding relationship itself — through rose-colored glasses. Your bond becomes even stronger the moment you realize and accept that your partner may not live up to your idealized version of them, said Gal Szekely, founder of the Couples Center for therapy in Northern California.
“Initially, you have dreams and fantasies about the other person fulfilling all of your needs. Eventually, you realize that your partner is not perfect,” he said. “Learning to be in relationship with the real person and settling for reality rather than a fantasy is an important milestone in any relationship.”
2. When you survive a crisis together.
You know you’re well matched when you lend each other stability during a rough patch in your lives, said Carin Goldstein, a marriage and family therapist based in Sherman Oaks, California. You may not know how you’re going to get through your big move across the country or your parents’ gray divorce, but you’re glad your partner is at your side.
“It’s a sign of true partnership when a couple can survive their world being turned upside down and thrown into chaos,” Goldstein said. “When you endure a crisis and adjust accordingly, that’s a milestone that makes you so much more connected.”