Despite all the naysayers that said it wouldn’t last – you and your significant other have made it to the one-year point. Considering all that could and often does go wrong…this may be an occasion worth celebrating. Far too often, beyond the teen years, couples forget to mark the milestones in their relationships unless they are married. However, the first year of dating someone is often the most exciting and the most difficult combined, that you owe it to yourselves to celebrate your first year as a couple!
So what should you do? Is there an appropriate one-year together gift that you should be giving or is a simple date at a nice restaurant enough to punctuate the calendar with an exclamation point?
Firstly, remember that there aren’t any rules when it comes to dating. (Except of course dating other people) The reason that you are dating someone in the first place is to add something meaningful to your life. Maybe you are still trying each other out for size making sure that you are compatible in all areas of your existence together. (Or at least in the ones that matter). And making it to the one-year point is truly an amazing feat. You have likely learned a lot about one another in this relatively short period of time, and are finally coming face to face with one another’s faults and weaknesses as well. The honeymoon phase of love may be coming to a screeching halt and you are finding out that there is much more to satisfying relationships than great sex, looking good and having fun together.
Getting past the first year, means you have met one another’s friends and family. You have become accustomed to nagging habits and have definitely laid the groundwork for what chances the two of you have making it as a couple. On a personal level, you may want to sit back and truly think about how the relationship is going. While time doesn’t seem like much of an issue to you now, realize that one year has passed. Is the person you are with someone you want to invest more years into? Too often, couples that are together for several months or more, begin forgetting that the relationship at this point is optional. And in good relationships, some things should come easily. Are you and your one-year partner arguing a lot? Do you find yourself bored with him or her? Are you starting to see their faults beyond their great looks and hefty wallets?
You owe it to yourself to take some time to celebrate this one year as a couple in some reflective thought. This can help you decide whether or not you want to go for year number 2, or if the relationship is definitely worth continuing at all. Make yourself a good old pros and cons list and take a realistic and productive view at where things are. Next up, be honest with yourself about where you want things to go? If you want to get married and your partner doesn’t, are you still convinced you can be the one to change his or her mind? Time is something that you won’t get back!
And if you do want to continue, then what would be the perfect way to celebrate? One idea is to go back to where it all started? One year ago today, on the day or night that you met – where were you? Planning a date that takes you back to the monumental moment of your first meeting can be very romantic. It will also give you a bird’s eye view where you can see exactly how far you have come?
As for gifts, keep it on the non-extravagant side. Giving too much too early in a relationship and making too much of a big deal of this night can literally scare your partner away. You also need to be prepared for the fact that just because you want to celebrate your first year together as a couple in a big way, doesn’t mean that your partner is going to have a clue about what is going on. Instead of dropping hints about the ‘big day’ and making innuendos – share the details of what you see as your ‘anniversary.’ This will avoid hurt feelings should you come bearing gifts and flowers while your partner is blissfully unaware of the significance of the date. Even good men and women, married for a decade or more –forget their anniversary. Plus, you don’t want to spark an argument on what is definitely a special night for the two of you!
While you may feel silly being excited about reaching the coveted one year mark in a relationship, you shouldn’t. Instead, feel proud of your accomplishment. There are plenty of people that don’t make it a year, and who definitely don’t find themselves with something to celebrate after 12 months with the same person. Count your blessings and definitely let your partner know just how special they are to you. Every couple has to start somewhere – and you should not have to wait until marriage to begin counting the years that you spend together. One year of your life is a lot of time to devote to someone and chances that are both of you have changed a lot since you met. Highlight these changes, begin thinking positively about what the future holds, and continue to feel excited about the state of your relationship! While things aren’t always perfect and never will be – celebrating your moments together can be one of the most important things the two of you do as a couple!