In the olden days (like, oh, the ’90s) you knew you reached the next level in your relationship when you gave a guy his own drawer in your bathroom.
These days, however, just like everything else, small romantic gestures have gone high tech.
“Once, where you would share a key to your home, you now share your password to your Netflix account,” psychotherapist Barbara Neitlich, LCSW, told Mic.com. “Although at first glance it may not appear to be intimate, it is. Sharing your password to your Netflix account is like sharing a part of yourself: your likes, your dislikes, your recent viewing history. All of this allows your partner to get to know you better and feel closer to you.”
So true. I know people who’ve agonized more over when to go “Facebook official” than they have over meeting each other’s parents in real life. But rather than bemoan the state of today’s youth or something, I say we just embrace it. The more tech we have, the more ways we have to say “I love you!”… or at least “I like you three heart-eye emojis’ worth.”
In the spirit of next-level loving, here are seven other modern relationship milestones beyond Netflix-sharing:
1. Sharing an Uber. People have been sharing cabs since the beginning of time (or cabs) but there’s something sweetly personal about saying, “I trust you enough to share a stranger’s car with you and my username/phone number so we can split the fare.” You know it’s true love if they spring for UberBLACK and cover the fare because nothing shows someone cares like worrying about you getting home safely and wanting your butt cheeks to only sit on heated seats.
2. Teaching your significant other how to use your DVR remote. First, since no two remote controls are ever the same (why, universe, why?!), this constitutes a significant investment of your time and something you’d only do for someone you see long-term TV-sharing potential with. Second, if they see your collection of Dance Moms Seasons 1 – 5 and still want to sleep with you, that says more about their level of commitment than any ring.
3. Putting your significant other down as your emergency contact… for your email. You have to provide at least two backup email addresses and phone numbers in case you get locked out or hacked. So basically you’re giving that person the key to your entire personal life. This is the equivalent of giving someone the nuclear bomb codes — to your heart. Aw!
4. Texting someone and letting the typos and weirdo autocorrects ride. You know you understand someone on a truly deep level when you read “Moo goo you win I get Barak?” and automatically get they want Chinese food for dinner. Plus if you can love someone even after realizing they absolutely do not know the difference between “your” and “you’re,” then it’s the real deal.
5. Adding your SO to your cellular family plan. Houses, cars and even kids come and go but cellphone contracts are forever! Adding someone to your plan means, “I’m willing to risk paying your phone bill for the rest of my life even if I discover you’ve been sexting my best friend thanks to said bill.”
6. Following someone on Instagram. Following back on Twitter is for spambots but Insta? That means you’ve noticed them noticing you, even if there were no public displays of hearting. And thanks to Instagram’s newest feature, now you can see who’s following you too — so you can watch them watching you watching them watching you. It’s like stalking but, like, with the Verona filter so way cuter.
7. Sharing a private Pinterest board. Anyone can see your public Pinterest boards dedicated to saving baby seals and winter outfits with white pants. Only someone you truly trust can see your future wedding pinboard and your fangirl One Direction board (and how the two intersect).