Single to Married: A Timeline There are so many milestones that we go through when we enter into a relationship. They dictate whether or not you and your partner are on the same page and if your feelings are progressing at the same pace. How we handle each milestone determines whether or not we’ll make it to the next one so it’s important that we understand what each and every one is. We’re going to set you up with a timeline that shows what it’s like to go from single to married. As a single person the best way to look for love is to STOP looking at all. Keep your heart open and take some chances, but don’t force a relationship that isn’t truly there. Forcing it with someone you aren’t meant to be with will only lead to more issues down the road so it’s best to cut the chords early on if you can’t see it lasting. The first step is finding someone that you care for, and that cares for you, naturally. Once you’ve established that you truly care for each other the next step would be to define what you are. Make sure that both partners are clear about the terms of the relationship. That you each know whether or not you’re exclusive and discuss the “title” aspect because as trivial as it may seem, titles can cause a lot of unnecessary arguments in relationships. Now that you’re settling into your new relationship it’s time to start branching out from your honeymoon phase and start getting to know each other outside of the scope that is Friday night dates and hang outs. Start thinking about introducing each other to your friend groups and plan a few day time group activities to try. It’s time for the more difficult questions to come out and to even try talking about your ex’s. The “ex talk” can scare a lot of people, however it’s one of the most important conversations because it didn’t work out with that person for a reason and if you understand why you and them fizzled out it can help you make your current relationship even better. We’ve met the friends and now it’s time to move onto the most important people in your partner’s life: their family. The family talk can be extremely nerve wracking, but reassure yourself that your partner is with you for a reason. So, take a deep breath and remember to just be yourself! The last few milestones to marriage are some of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. You’ll be deciding when to move in together, whether or not to actually get married, and then beginning a life together. Each and every one will hold its own set of problems to work out and get past, but don’t be discouraged at the first signs of conflict. Too many relationships nowadays end simply because people don’t want to put the work in. Spend time really communicating with your partner and always be upfront and honest about your feelings and goals within the relationship. As long as you are both providing a loving, honest support system for each other, you’ll make it to the alter in no time!