We’ve all heard that song, you know, the one that goes: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.” That little fable is something that sadly never leaves your mind, and is implemented at such a young age. Through reading and watching Disney Fairytales, all while manifesting these dream ideas on what romance looks like, no one ever told us as little girls that real life isn’t full of fairy tales. That doesn’t mean you won’t find your prince charming… it simply means that real life can get in the way of your “timeline.” Also, setting unrealistic expectations (read our post about that here!) of what a relationship should look like can influence your decision on who you end up with.
It’s so easy to compare relationships to those you see around you and on social media. I would be lying if I said I never felt this way too, but I have countless times. Many of my friends introduced their boyfriends to their family’s at what I thought was a “too soon” phase, and I introduced my boyfriend to my family at what my friends thought was a “too late” phase. However, recently when I brought my boyfriend over to meet all eleven of my cousins and their partners after four years of dating… I got many messages from friends who gave me comments like; “wow! After four years?!”
The anxiety of that comment made me feel a bit uneasy. They weren’t wrong, four years and not introducing my boyfriend to my extended family is a pretty weird thing right? For one, I looked at it as they thought he was never ready to introduce himself. That was further from the truth. While I’ve dated guys in the past, I had never brought any of them around my family. For me, bringing someone to my family (especially someone who does not culturally or religiously identify with my family) is a pretty big deal. I remember how I felt bringing him to meet my parents after a year of dating. It felt natural, the perfect moment, and I knew that waiting that long also showed my parents how serious we were to each other.
After I had recently with brought my boyfriend along to an event with all of my cousins, I realized that yet again, it felt like the perfect time to do it, and it could not have gone better either. This made me realize that there is no “too early” or “too late” of a time to do anything in your relationship. This stigma of what’s right and what’s wrong in a relationship is way too cliché and truthfully, unrealistic. Every person has their own definition of what a relationship timeline is… and it’s up to us to be supportive of the choices our friends and family make, and what they think is a perfect timeline.
Here are a few tips on how to focus on yourself and your partner (or future partner) to make sure society’s pressure do not get into your head too much!
1. Realize it’s your time:
if you google “relationship timelines” you will see a ton of articles relating to “perfect” timelines. How many months until your first trip, how many years until you get married… These are things that get into your head! What I mean by your time is whether it be introducing, when to put a label on it, when to get married, etc. is all on how you want it to be. If you and your partner start off fast, then that’s on you! If slow, do what makes you feel comfortable! There is no wrong or right time to do anything.
2. Yet, it takes two to make a relationship:
Going back to timelines, it is also important to realize that you or your partner may not be at the level they are. Find compromises, discuss what makes each other comfortable, and set goals for each other to guarantee happiness for both of you! (read our article “They’re Ready, You’re Not, Now What?” where it goes more into that!)
3. Stop comparing:
This is a huge part of why we sadly can’t be satisfied. By constantly comparing ourselves and our relationships to other’s, we set ourselves up to create unrealistic expectations, which results to having a wedge drawn up in your relationship. No two people are the same, and no two relationships are the same. Trust the universe has a plan for you, and what is meant to be, is meant to be!
I hope this post brings a bit of peace when it comes to your dating life currently or in the future. I wish someone had told me this a long time ago! Remember, timelines are a goal, but can always change at anytime. Remember to love yourself, put yourself first, speak your mind on what you want – and your partner will reciprocate the same.
How do you feel about relationship timelines?