In a relationship, there is a need for emotional security and bonding.
1. He introduces you as his girlfriend
If you have been going around for some time and he, one day, just introduces you very comfortably to his friends saying, “Meet my girlfriend,” it’s a milestone. It means he has accepted you as an integral part of his life. Malini Shah, counselor and psychologist, explains, “Men normally do not want to give instant commitment so when he introduces you as ‘his girlfriend’ means he is comfortable about his friends knowing your importance in his life. They consider their friends’ opinion important. This shows a sense of acceptance for you and a commitment to let the relationship move ahead.”
2. You have a big fight… and make up
Familiarity leads to fights and all couples have fights — nasty ones with abuses and allegations. There is something to be learnt about your relationship after the fight. When a couple makes up after a fight, it shows that the partners want to resolve issues and continue. Clinical psychologist Saloni Sawnani says, “What makes these relationships strong for a lifetime is that no matter how major the argument there is always resolution and compromise. When the same happens in your relationship a sense of permanency sets in. Then you can be quite certain it is for keeps.”
3. You show your disapproval for something
You hate cricket but pretend to follow it just for your boyfriend. If this has been going on for months, and one fine day you lose it and scream, “I just hate this game!” Be ready for the guy to scream back that he doesn’t like your chicken biryani (though he loved it last week). Consider this a turning point. Shah explains, “The first phase of the relationship is rosy. The real test is when you start speaking up frankly and that is the phase of acceptance. In this phase, you want the other person to accept you as well as be your own self in different situations. The Reiss Wheel Theory of Love states that the second phase is when the worst in people shows up. Things such as their limitations and how the other person takes it calls whether you want to continue or give up.”
4. You attend a wedding together
If a guy agrees to accompany you to a friend’s wedding, he is showing another ‘first’. Watching your friend taking her wedding vows brings you closer as a couple as it sets the man thinking. Shah says, “Attending social functions together signifies making a relationship public. It also builds dreams of staying together and how you want to go about it. Attending any serious function together means the relationship is actually moving from being carefree to committed.”
5. You realise he is very important
As a couple, you may be with each other for a year or three years and when you look back, your best memories are of you both together. The realisation that you have had some of the best times together is a great one. Sawnani says, “It’s a very strange and nice feeling when you realise that even though the quantum of time spent with someone maybe lesser than the time spent with family or others, the contentment is a lot more. We all know that sometimes an hour feels like a minute and sometimes like a whole day… It is when the togetherness moments start becoming important that you take the relationship to the next level.” 6 You visit his house, meet the family When the guy invites you over to his place, it’s a huge milestone. He could also agree to come to your place to meet your family. Inviting you over means he wants to let you into his world and meet his folks. Shah explains, “Meeting your family shows he is serious about you. When he invites you over, he wants his family to see you and expects you to bond with his family. He is making you aware of his home life, traditions, culture, family environment and habits. In short, he is giving you a microscopic view of his own life, his beliefs of family structures and wants to know what you feel about it.”
7. You face tragedy together
Being together means facing situations together, and this could include a tragedy. Death, financial difficulties, job issues, problems with family are the things a couple face. When the guy just wants to be with you in a difficult time, he is ready to commit. Shah says, “In a relationship, there is a need for emotional security and bonding. This can be shown by either partner by being there — just standing with them or holding hands. This stage conveys a deeper level of relating to each other and also the security someone is there with them. It shows that the relationship has reached an emotional maturity by handling the strong emotions of each other in a balanced healthy way. This cements the relationship.”
Read this article in Times of India
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