According to data from the 2023 US Census, almost 47% of Americans are single. That’s more than 117 million people – truly a vast pool to choose from.

Let’s assume you’ve met someone who might be the One, and you want to take things to the next level.

Relationship milestones are important events that indicate how a relationship is progressing. They can be as simple as a first kiss, but also moving in together or getting married.

From meeting each other’s friends and relatives to going on a special trip together, couples have many opportunities to honor their growth and commitment together. Here are some common milestones and how to communicate that you want your relationship to progress.

Common Relationship Milestones

One milestone all couples share is the first date. After prolonged swiping on dating apps, you’re finally meeting up in real life. The first date is important for checking if you are compatible and seeing if the positive experience from messaging translates to real life.

The First “I Love You.”

This milestone comes sooner than you may realize, especially when people meet online. In 2024, Tinder users are quicker to express their feelings than ever. An unexpected 85% of them say these words within a year of meeting someone, drawing attention to how fast emotional connections develop online.

The First Fight

There is conflict in any healthy relationship. The first fight is a crucial milestone that can help you develop better conflict-resolution skills. Getting through a fight can take your relationship to the next level. Research indicates that couples who argue constructively are ten times likelier to be happy than those who sweep things under the rug.

Talking About Exclusivity

When you start discussing long-term plans, it’s a sign that you both see your relationship as having potential. Becoming exclusive is often a big part of that. Hence, the exclusivity talk – an often dreaded milestone.

How do you broach the subject? Tell them you’re really enjoying getting to know them and you don’t want to see anyone else. You just want to enjoy dating them and seeing where the relationship goes. Then, stop talking. Your partner needs a space to come forward and share their feelings.


Pay close attention to their response. They might say they’re not ready to be exclusive and they only want to date. Or, they will share that they’re happy to be exclusive and that they are enjoying getting to know you, too. They might want to take it slowly and date a while longer. Whatever they say, you will know where you stand on exclusivity. You have an amazing chance to progress in a committed relationship, or you can keep looking for the right person. Perhaps the person you thought was the One is one of the 25% of the “Singles in America” survey by Harris Poll who say they aren’t looking for a relationship.

Communication Isn’t Only Verbal

Beyond being exclusive, you’ll move forward through the milestones faster if you’re more present. This is meant in the sense of being fully engaged with your partner when you’re together. Getting caught up in daily life is easy. Making a conscious effort to be more present will help the relationship progress.


Put away your phone and other distractions, and focus on your partner. This demonstrates your interest in what they have to say and that their presence is valued. If the relationship is still in its early stages, try to learn more about their hobbies and interests, even if they are not shared. It will show them that you care about what they like doing and are curious about their life.

Final Thoughts

When you’re together, make time for quality conversation. It doesn’t have to be serious. You will connect on a deeper level by sharing your thoughts and feelings. The relationship moves forward when couples make a conscious effort to communicate, including about milestones.