The beginning of a relationship can be a little rocky but the first few months break down into some pretty clear stages.

1) The first meeting

You meet someone. Your eyes lock, your hands shake, and you awkwardly speak. They seem perfect, gorgeous eyes, amazing teeth, the whole nine yards. You exchange numbers, turn around and think:

2) Two weeks later

You two have been talking for a couple weeks now and you've learned their favorite color, food, how many siblings they have, and what their goals are. Two weeks of texting and no future face-to-face interaction has been planned. You begin to wonder if they're actually not interested at all. One night, they text you asking you to "hang" tomorrow...

3) The first "date"

Your first "date" together consists of quite literally hanging out, watching a movie on the couch and eating heaping amounts of popcorn. But, this doesn't bother you because laughter outweighs formality. You think you'll probably have abs by the time this date is done because of the laughing and the tickle fights. Your mind starts weighing the possibility that this is all too good to be true

4) Four dates and many hours spent later..

It's easy-going, it's fun, it's perfect. It's three months later and you have inside jokes and lovely memories. You two go to a super nice restaurant and talk about those good times. You know the four words that are going to come out of his mouth before he even says it

Essentially... "I love you"

5) The first cry

Together for six months, you decide to tell your SO about the fight that you just had with your best friend. This sharing of feelings turns into a plethora of unsteady emotions, hysterics, and tears. You knew it would happen eventually, that you would look like a raccoon that tried to swim in a highly chlorinated pool. You rise above the water with bloodshot eyes, running mascara and shaking hands that need to be held. You look at your SO and jump into their arms. While your SO loves and cares for you, the first thought that pops into their mind is:

6) All in all, life's good

A year later, some days you may want to throw your SO out a window but you know that you are stronger together than you are apart. That's all that matters at the end of the day. You are each other's support no matter how crazy the times may get. You are a team.