Don't get me wrong, I love my girlfriend and can't wait to propose to her at some point this year. But, after we just celebrated our first official year together, I must say, the ups and downs and constant emotions back-and-forth sure take a toll on a guy.
While her and I have spent 365 days together, there are millions of you out there who have plenty of more time with your significant others—and each relationship all seems to experience the same ebbs and flows, which is why we just had to point them all out.
We're all guilty of it, and, frankly, there's no way to deny it, because the honeymoon phase is when both of you are just getting to know one another, finding out the big and small things about each other and don't seem to have a worry in the world. Quick to forgive and forget, this phase typically lasts for about three months.
Yep, after about 90 days, all that happiness and patience with one another is about to go out the window, as you'll know enough about each other after three months to really get on the other's nerves. She'll push your buttons by busting out that cute little voice she knows you can't say no to, and you'll counter by going out with the friends you know she can't stand. This phase isn't supposed to be evil, but it's apparent that maintaining "individuality" is the goal here.
OK, so you've successfully handled the annoyance phase and haven't yet called it quits, congrats! That said, things aren't quite out of murky waters yet, as the two of you seem to still be arguing about the same, petty things at least once a week. That's normal, though, as the annoying things you previously did have now turned into real concerns, leaving you wondering if she's the right one or not? You both seem to speak out about the tiny things and stress about small details during the opinionated phase, but there are calmer waters ahead if you can make it through here.
While you've both maintained loyalty, respect, love and happiness for the most part, it's just about at the 10-to-11-month mark when you're really starting to get serious and realize that you have more in common than not. This means you understand one another's likes, dislikes, weaknesses and exactly what to make for dinner when it's rainy and cold outside. Rather than go out and get drunk on weekends, you two actually enjoy just putting on sweats and watching a good movie, getting to know one another even more.
You now know each other so well that there's nothing that makes you doubt this is the right woman for you. Instead of getting texts nonstop about little things, you're more comfortable with each other and trustworthy, leaving small talk conversations a thing of the past. With that trust comes lots of sexual chemistry, so much so that you may start talking dirty through texts, sending nudes and trying different positions during sex. This is a fun stage, for obvious reasons.
She's passed all of your tests, and you've passed hers, not it's time to contemplate the next steps. Is there an engagement coming, or just an understanding that you're both happy and things are simply comfortable, but not yet ready for that big of step? As long as you're both on the same page—even after dating for years—and there's still solid chemistry, trust, respect and love, then staying faithful with just her should be simple. You don't need to put a ring on it to be committed, guys.