Six months of dating is a big milestone, but it doesn’t mark a specific point in the relationship timeline. Some couples are married within six months, while others wait years to even move in together. The important thing is for you and your partner to know where you stand. Here are some questions to ask after six months of dating.
Have you met their friends and family?
When you choose to introduce your partner to your family varies widely depending on how far away they live, how close your relationship is with them, and your work schedule, among other things. But if you and your partner are serious about each other, you’ll likely have met at least one family member and many of their close friends. Meeting your partner’s inner circle is part of getting to know them. You can’t fully know who you’re dating until you meet the people they are closest to.
Have you defined the relationship?
After six months of dating, you will probably have some hopes and intentions for your relationship. But if you haven’t talked about them with your partner, you may not be on the same page. You don’t have to be engaged or living together, but having a conversation dedicated to the nature of your relationship will give you the security and unity you both need after six months of dating.
Where do you want to be six months from now?
Just as there is no universal significance in six months of dating, there is no universal significance for 12 months. But the more time you’re together, the more of an investment you’re making, and you both deserve to know what kind of return you can expect. Now is a good time to discuss what you want out of the next six months. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, it may be an indication that your investment isn’t paying off and you should cut your losses now.
Do you talk about the future?
One way to determine where you stand requires no formal conversation. If you talk about the future in collective terms (“where we are going to live,” “that house would be perfect for us,” etc.), you can safely assume that your partner expects to be together for the foreseeable future. If you’re not talking about the future with collective pronouns, you should talk. Six months, no matter how committed you are, is long enough to be clear about what you want from the relationship.
Are your issues getting worse or better?
Every couple has issues. Some of them, such as the growing pains associated with transitioning from single life to coupledom, ease as you grow more comfortable with each other. But other issues can take a long time to materialize. Mental health challenges, past trauma, and struggles with commitment often emerge months into a relationship. If by six months, these obstacles are becoming harder rather than easier to overcome, you’ll need to take a close look at your methods of communication and maybe even consider couples therapy.
Do you feel supported?
Feeling supported by your partner is a non-negotiable part of a relationship. It may take time for your sense of mutual responsibility to develop, but if it isn’t there by six months, you can assume that it never will be. Do both of you prioritize the relationship? Do you respect each other’s needs even if you don’t share them? Do you give each other space to grow? All of these questions should be answered with an easy “yes” after six months.
What do your arguments look like?
Half a year is a trivial amount of time compared to the rest of your lives, but dynamics are established early in a relationship. Being able to argue respectfully and productively is a make-or-break skill for couples, and you should be on the lookout for red flags from the moment you have your first disagreement. Avoiding conflict, refusing to listen to your partner’s side, and ongoing, unresolved issues are all detrimental to your long-term viability as a couple.
Have you said the three magic words?
Studies suggest that on average, men take a little less than three months to say “I love you,” while women take around four-and-a-half months. But there is no science about when a couple should be declaring their love for each other, so even if you are six months in and neither of you has used the “l” word, you shouldn’t panic. The important thing is that your feelings–whatever they may be–are reciprocated. If you’re six months in and ready to say “I love you” but don’t think your partner will say it back, you might need to question their commitment.
Have you traveled together?
Everyone associates vacations with leisure and freedom, but anyone who’s been on a family holiday knows better. Simmering problems tend to surface on vacations, and that is just as true for romantic relationships as it is for family relationships. Going on vacation is a great opportunity for you and your partner to see another side of each other. Spending quality time in an unfamiliar place will test your compatibility and hopefully give you plenty of happy memories. Like introducing each other to family and friends, going on vacation as a couple is an important step in the first year of your relationship.
Are you aware of the other’s financial situation?
Money is not the most romantic aspect of a relationship, but it is incredibly important if you decide to stay together long-term. Financial problems can ruin a perfectly happy relationship and cause a great deal of unexpected stress. Being transparent about debt, spending habits, and income early on will ensure that you don’t have any nasty surprises down the line.
Do You Even Need To Acknowledge Your Six-Month Anniversary?
Deciding whether or not to mark your six-month anniversary has more to do with your personality as a couple than with the strength of your commitment. If you’re the kind of people who like celebrating things, go for it! But don’t take it as a bad sign if your partner isn’t into it. Wedding anniversaries are a big deal. Dating anniversaries, especially the ones that are monthly rather than annual, should not be overblown. That said, here are a few ways you could celebrate.
Go out to dinner.
You can’t go wrong with a date night. It’s low-key enough to make the occasion fun without attaching too much weight to it. It won’t feel like you’re putting pressure on each other to take things to the next level. You can just enjoy the evening together.
Make cards for each other.
If you want to be extra sweet and convey your feelings, write each other cards. Tell your partner how much you enjoy having them in your life. You don’t have to go overboard, but a little note of appreciation goes a long way.
Recreate your first date.
It might sound cheesy, but revisiting your past might be the perfect way to mark this milestone. It will show you how far you’ve come and bring up a lot of thoughts about the future. This is an ideal option if you had a great first date in a place you both love.
Let it go.
There is no obligation to celebrate a six-month anniversary. It’s perfectly reasonable to ignore this one and save your balloons and flowers for your wedding. A lot of people don’t keep track of their dating calendar carefully enough to even know when their one-year anniversary is, let alone the six-month one. Do whatever feels right to you.
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