If you’re wondering what your 4 month relationship should look like, know that there’s no one right answer. There are, however, some things all relationships at this stage have in common.
It’s all relative, folks.
Don’t get hung up on comparing as if there’s an image of what a perfect relationship might look like. That could be the opposite of what you want out of a relationship. Yes, your friend might have moved in with her boyfriend straight out of college and got married, but do you really know what their relationship is like? Do you know what their boundaries are like or if that’s healthy? It suits them, but that doesn’t mean it needs to suit you. Go at your own speed and when in doubt, start slow. There’s always time to build intimacy. It’s unrealistic to expect it to come overnight, and you’re not a worse person for taking a little longer to commit at a 4-month stage.
The queer caveat.
We all have friends on the LGBTQ+ spectrum so we all know that there a very different relationship timelines and expectations in place. For queer women, for example, there is a very well-known (and pretty notorious) standard of U-Hauling seriously early in the relationship. Like, we’re talking speeds of matching on Tinder and booking a moving van within a week, people. But that’s what makes sense for queer women and what’s common culturally. Emotional connections are not generated in the same way or with the same sense of community as straight relationships. It’s not better or worse, it’s just very different. That’s another reason not to compare with your friends at the four-month stage. It might seem like you’re at the same stage – chronologically – but you aren’t subject to the same standards or expectations. Queer women move faster than straight relationships, so don’t get distracted by that.
Gay men are the opposite.
Just for reference and to show you the full range of relationship speeds, let’s talk about gay men. The 4 month stage generally means nothing to them in terms of being a reason to amplify the intimacy or commitment in the relationship. I know gay men who wouldn’t bat an eye at hooking up with someone for years before settling down. It’s just a different culture, with different dating apps and concepts to reflect that. Four months look very different to different groups of people.
Straight couples: have the Talk.
You know the Talk I mean. The four-month stage should be accompanied by the ‘what are we’ discussion. I know it’s awkward. I know that no one wants to be the person to initiate it, but it needs doing. You’ll feel so much better after because you’ll know where the other person is. It’s much better to know than to stress yourself out speculating. The four-month stage should mean that you’ve spent enough time with your partner to know where you want things to go. You might need more time to know for sure, of course, but your gut will be telling you something. That’s the time to listen to it.
More about the 4 month mark of your relationship
You’ve planned or gone on a trip.
It doesn’t have to be a trip that breaks that bank or an all-inclusive villa with the in-laws. Nothing like that, but hey, it’s fun to plan nice activities or mini-breaks with someone you’re getting to know. It demonstrates a shared future and a level of commitment of money and time to another person. Plus, when you’re getting used to the routine of each other’s daily lives it’s nice to incorporate extra fun as a treat. Plus, you can see how compatible you are in terms of your general interests and future ambitions.
You’ve mentioned them to the parents.
I’m not saying you have to have introduced them to all your relatives and extended family, but hey, why not mention that you’re seeing someone to your parents. If you haven’t already, that is. I know lots of people have different relationships with their parents or parental figures, so it’s totally your prerogative. There are lots of reasons it’s nice to keep relationships close to your heart without shouting about it, but when you feel you’re ready, you’ll know. Around the 4-month stage, you should be asking yourself these questions.
You’ve met each other’s friends.
This is a nice stage. It’s much easier than meeting the in-laws. A much less high pressured situation. You will always have something in common with the people you’re meeting, plus, because they like your partner, you will have enough common interests or funny stories to pass the time effortlessly. Worlds collide – in the best way.
Focus on what you’re comfortable with
. This is the stage when you can start to redefine the relationship. You can reevaluate all the things you’ve both been doing – maybe on autopilot, or because you thought they liked it. This is the time to stop and reflect and say – hey, I’d like it if you texted me more, or made more date night suggestions. Or, you can say – hey, shall we dial things down for a week just so I can focus on work. These are really natural and normal steps for relationships, but it prepares it for future challenges by having these channels of healthy communication in place.
Don’t rush into things.
You can always dial back. But building up intimacy and love takes time. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you don’t know by 4 months whether you want to marry this person. That’s not how a successful relationship works!
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