5 Unusual dating milestones people never talk about

Jan 18, 2016 at 1:02 p.m. ET
Image: Caiaimage/Tom Merton/Getty Images

We all know the big relationship milestones — meeting the parents, having sex, moving in together, getting engaged — but how long do people wait to do these things? And what are the "milestones" that are less common? A new survey of people in the UK from Match.com answers all these questions and more.

Dating can be a complicated and exciting process. From the first kiss to the first "I love you," we often spend a lot of time wondering what's "normal" and when certain things should happen. I know when I was dating my husband, we moved at lightning speed. But we had also been friends for decades prior to dating, so when we said "I love you," it was early and it was fast. And people judged us. Especially when we moved in together after five months of dating.

But hey, we knew. And 15 years later, I think we were right.

Here are five other dating milestones and the time in which people hit them, according to Match.com::

1.) Conversations about the long-term:

33 percent of people said they have their first conversation about these things within the first year of dating. Babies? Weddings? Career? These are all things that need to be discussed early to avoid wasting time. Trust me on this. Don't date someone five years and then find out he doesn't want children and you want five. That's just bad news.

2.) Saying ‘I love you: 

Those surveyed, say this one happens on average at five months of dating. That seems long to me. But I tend to work quickly. I believe that when you know, you know and love should come pretty quickly. But hey, people are different. If five months is the average, who am I to argue?

3.) Updating Facebook:

Going from "single" to "in a relationship" is a huge part of the modern relationship. This tends to happen, according to the survey, right around the five month mark. In other words, when those magic words happen, the Facebook status changes.

4.) The first argument:

This is a crucial milestone. The way a person argues informs everything about your future. Does he run and hide? Refuse to communicate? Or does he scream and yell and get it all out in one big, thunderous rage? And if he does the latter, how soon does he recover. All of these things are vitally important in terms of determining long term compatibility. Because there is nothing in the world more guaranteed than fighting in long term relationships and you have to learn to fight well. According to the survey, this baby happens right around six months. I must be the exception. We were fighting long before this. And hey, we are still going strong!

5.) First vacation together:

The way two people travel together informs a lot. This milestone is hit right around 10 months into a relationship and seems about right to me. It's right around the time you might be looking at a serious commitment and is the last piece of the puzzle. If you can travel well together, you can do anything together.

Now, obviously, these are just averages. My relationship is long and strong and I only hit the mark with one of these. So if you don't, don't fret! Still, it's always nice to have a comparison. But there is no one way to do anything. We all need to remember that.

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