When To Say “I Love You” — A Chaotic Relationship Milestone Timeline

When To Say "I Love You" — A Chaotic Relationship Milestone Timeline


“There’s no right or wrong answer for when these milestones should be reached, but what matters is that couples align on their priorities and listen to one another when it comes to deciding when they want to take these steps in a relationship,” Benu Lahiry, LMFT, Chief Clinical Officer at Ours, tells Betches.

But as healthy and great as that advice is, are you really looking for healthy and great advice? Or, do you actually prefer the substantially more chaotic but definitely way more fun way of assessing the relationship milestones you and your partner reach?

Sure, everyone is different and each individual relationship should move at its own pace. But if you’re looking to completely ignore the advice of every relationship expert ever, here’s a timeline breakdown of when you should be hitting every important relationship milestone.

When to give each other pet names

Sure, you’ve been referring to them as the “love of your life” since you first started Insta-stalking them, but now that you’re actually dating, you want to wait at least a month before busting out the “baby” or “sugar butt.”

When to steal their hoodie

You don’t even have to be dating them to do this. But if you want to get technical, I say give it a week.

When to borrow their toothbrush

If they don’t know about it, you don’t need to wait to do this.

When to have your first argument

No one wants to argue, but it is inevitable — plus, it’s a good way to know your partner better. So, for the sake of your relationship I advise starting an argument a good two months into the relationship. Make it a big one too.

When to have sex for the first time 

The first hour of your first date seems like an appropriate amount of time to wait.

When to meet the family

Hopefully never. But if you have to, I’d say wait until you’re a few kids in.

When to take your first trip

If they’re paying? One month.

When to fart in front of your partner

Never. Not even when you’ve lived a long happy life together and are passing away beside one another on a nursing home bed Notebook-style.

When to say “I love you” 

People will tell you “it’s about when you feel it!” but if you’re like me, that means this can happen three days in. For good measure, I say give it a week.

When to move in together

In the state of this economy, I’d say it’s acceptable to move in together two months in.