Relationship Milestones

Your first kiss. Your first date. Your first anniversary as a couple. The first dance at your wedding. Official milestones like these celebrate stages of intimacy, bring couples closer and legitimize their bond. But what about those unofficial milestones or private moments that aren’t card-, gift- or champagne-worthy but signal the growing comfort and caring between you? Step off beaten the path for a guided tour of these lesser-known landmarks along the relationship journey. Been there with some-one special? Y’all are boo’d up for real.

1 The third glance. You haven’t met—yet. But the fact that you’ve made eye contact more than once, and that this latest gaze lingers a moment, means someone’s gonna make a move.

2 The first phone call. Ideally, you’ll ring her cell the minute you’ve loaded her number into yours. That way, you know it’s the right number, and now she has your digits.

3 The second coffee. The first cuppa joe you had together came with a paper sleeve and a double shot of skepticism. Twenty minutes of vetting over a venti latte screens out the ditzy chicks, dogs and douchebags. But your second round of coffee arrives in ceramic mugs, along with a single order of red velvet cake and two forks. That means you clicked over dinner. Nobody talked with a full mouth, cursed out the waiter or went on a rant about his or her ex. And you’ve decided to savor a little more warmth and sweetness before the check arrives.

4 The third date. The first one made an impression. The second confirmed it. But the third date is the game changer. It’s where the fun begins.

5 The first kiss hello. A kiss goodbye on the mouth means, “We had a great time doing something.” A kiss hello on the mouth means, “We have something great.”

6 First nickname. Maybe (s)he doesn’t know about it yet. But the fact that you’ve got a little nickname for your new boo means (s)he’s got a special quality you can’t stop thinking about.

7 First time you broke “the two-day rule.” It’s been hours—not days—since you parted. So what? Games are for kids. You text, “When can I see you again?”

8  First PDA that’s in questionable taste. It’s more than a quick squeeze or a fleeting smooch. It is the kind of action that makes onlookers think, ‘Get a room!’ And that means your private time is about to get interesting.

9 First time you make him dinner. Because cooking an amazing meal is the second-most sensual thing you can do for him. And because the bedroom’s down the hall, he’ll go wild thinking about another major first.

10   First get-together with no specific plans. It’s not about the ball game, the blockbuster movie or the best barbecue in town. It’s about you and your new honey. And if that means sweats, frozen pizza and reruns of Scandal, cool.

11 First night out with the girls. No, not her girl-

friends, bruh. A few fum-bles with those hook-and-eye fasteners, and what was once Victoria’s Secret is now breaking news. One look, and you’re officially a happy dude.

12 First time he delivers the package. His ego is marked “fragile,” so handle this sitch with care. Whether modestly sized or large enough to require extra postage, show him he’s got your stamp of approval.

13 First time you see her “O” face. Does she grimace and groan? Wince and weep? Squeeze you and sigh? Ahh, one of life’s most exquisite mysteries solved. That look on her face may be contorted beyond recognition, but you’re the one who put it there, and it’s as sweet as her smile.

14 Third time he hangs in your ’hood. Let’s face it: You live 15 exits (or train stops) from downtown. Your apartment’s tiny, moo shoo pork deliveries take forever and you don’t have premium cable channels. Chalk up his first two visits to chivalry. This one’s for the sheer joy of seeing you.

15  First time you sleep with her—without having sex.

16 Fifth time in a row he calls you “just because.” Checking in has become a habit—and signals that he’s been thinking about you all day.

17   First fart in her presence. You let one rip. She didn’t trip. You’re nearly as relaxed while with her as you are while alone. Next time you serve up a hot, stinky air biscuit, maybe you’ll trap her under the covers with it. She’ll scream at you, but then she’ll laugh. ’Cause she’s cool like that.

18 First time he’s in on your beauty secrets. You took off your wig, your Spanx, your concealer. You put on your head scarf or your padded bra. You forgot to pack your curl moisturizer, so your ’do has gone from Afrolicious to awfully frizzy. And he tells you how pretty you are.

19 First poop at his