Sometimes the best relationship advice you can get is the acknowledgment that relationships are always changing. The big signs that the bond between you and your partner is getting serious—you leave stuff at his house, she plans a weekend away for the two of you—still hold true. But what about the little in-between moments, when you’re not sure whether something means nothing or everything? Decades ago, you’d give a girl your pin or letterman jacket, or add them to your speed dial. But nowadays we’re left relying on more subtle cues. These 13 actions and behaviors are pretty good, very modern signs that your relationship might be moving to the next level.
1. You’re saved in each other’s phones.
I’m the kind of person who saves every single number forever. It’s why my contacts list is a trash heap full of the parents of kids I used to babysit and I will text the wrong Emily on the first try nine times out of 10. But for a lot of people, putting a name to a number is a big step. It’s the first step toward commitment.
2. You give them your Netflix/HBO password.
This is intimate AF. Anyone with your password could give it to anyone else or, even worse, f-ck with your to-watch list.
3. You wait to watch a show with them, and vice versa.
Deciding to wait on watching the latest episode of Westworld because you’d rather spend time with a new partner is one thing. Deciding to wait until you can watch it with said partner is a whole other. You’re changing your viewing schedule—truly a commitment. The most important thing when you’ve reached this stage is to make sure it’s a two-way street. If you’re dutifully waiting to watch the latest OITNB until your girlfriend’s caught up but then she spoils the latest This Is Us for you, hell to the no.
4. Your love is on Instagram.
5. You watch porn together.
Ain’t nothing like the real thing, but if you and your partner are into porn, showing them what kind of random/freaky/hilarious/personal shit turns you on is actually super vulnerable and shows a real level of comfort between the two of you.
6. You’re dead serious about personality quizzes.
It’s not going to work out if, based on your Netflix/pizza topping/lipstick color preferences, one of you is destined to live in Fiji and the other in Belarus. Take it again. No, take it again and this time don’t say you want just plain cheese pizza, what is wrong with you? Oh my. This got serious.
7. Deleting dating apps.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found The One, but if you’ve stopped searching, it definitely means something. If you’re not in an exclusive relationship, there’s no reason not to keep Tinder-ing to your heart’s desire (or your crotch’s desire, whatever you want). But ask yourself: If you like the person you’ve been seeing, why are you sitting on your couch staring at your phone instead of sitting on your couch staring at them? And if you found out they were doing the same thing, lookin’ around for some stranger, how would you feel? And then swipe right. Adventure awaits.
8. Texting during the day.
If it’s not about when you’re meeting up next and just about your random thoughts, your relationship is fully A Thing.
9. Adding their family on social media.
First come the photo tags, then the inside jokes on the feed, and then suddenly you’re getting friend and message requests from her mom. Tread carefully. If you accept, her whole family’s going to be scrolling through your profile pictures. But if you decline, you might stop a good thing before it starts. Best to give it at least 24 hours between request and response to think it over, no matter the platform…though I guess there’s not much you can do if your Twitter or Insta aren’t locked. It happens!
10. You exchange phone passcodes.
My mom doesn’t even know my passcode, but mostly because I’m sure she’d accidentally delete all of my apps. When you give someone your passcode, it’s basically carte blanche to snoop. They say they won’t. But they might, and they probably will. And you trust them anyway!
11. It’s Facebook official.
Obviously, this is a big one. It might not seem like a milestone, per se, since it’s just about making the relationship public. But in a healthy relationship, going public means that you’re on really solid ground in private. Once it’s on Facebook, there’s no going back; randos from middle school will know about your relationship, and they might even notice when/if it ends. You’ll get comments and even questions about how you met, how long you’ve been together, etc. Y’all better be on the same page.
12. Making the other person your lock screen.
I read somewhere (OK, it was Tumblr) that the lock screen pictures of today are like the locket pictures of old: a way to keep a little reminder of a loved one with you at all times, for your eyes only yet prominently displayed, easily accessible, and always on hand. How friggin’ cute is that?
13. Sendin’ nudes.