At the start of every relationship, it's all about the butterflies and 'getting to know each other' chit-chat. It's cute. Well, it's actually kind of wonderful. It's the thing that great novels are written about. It's at the heart of every watchable rom-com. While that whole honeymoon period lasts, people are likely the happiest they've ever been thanks to all the hormones rushing around.
But, realistically (and everyone knows this!), that doesn't last forever. Soon enough, the butterflies melt away leaving something much more real... if less exciting. In a relationship that has lasted for what feels like a lifetime, some rather odd things start to happen. They happen slowly yet very soon it's apparent that there are some habits that have cropped up that were definitely not there at the start of the adventure. Partners may wonder when they started acting like an old married couple but it's actually not such a bad place to be in!
15 You have so many 'in jokes' it's unreal!
When you've been together a while, things can get a little weird. Over the years, you'll have shared so many hilarious moments that you just won't know where to begin. The 'in jokes' will be totally endless which means that you will spend around 99.99% of the day giggling your little socks off about one thing or another. When you're with someone that can honestly make you laugh this much, it's kind of the best thing in the world.
Much of the time, you don't even remember when the joke started. You probably can't recall the original story... at least not accurately. What you do know, though, is that this is something the two of you have always laughed about. And, what's more, you will always laugh about it forever. The people around you might think you're weird AF but who on earth cares?
14 You wear their clothes without even asking
There was a time when you had two different wardrobes. There was a time when you'd need to ask them if you wanted to wear their hoodie. But these times were ages ago now. These days, you basically have free reign over anything you want. If you feel like wearing their sweatpants around the house, you don't need to ask. You just go ahead and put them on. Everything they own is basically yours as well. The two of you have an unspoken agreement about this.
Sometimes, you even forget whose clothes are whose. It can be a tad confusing. You might swear that a certain sweater is yours; that you bought it years ago somewhere, but is that really true? Do you really remember where it came from? The chances are neither of you really know.
13 They've seen you at your ugliest
When you first began to date, you tried to look your best at all times. You'd spend ages getting ready for a date with them. You'd shower, pick out a beautiful outfit, and spend ages on your hair. In fact, you just would not leave the house until every single thing about you screamed perfection. You wanted to impress them so very much that looking good was all that really mattered. Back then, you only showed them your best side at all times.
Now that you've been together for an age, things are kind of different. You don't care if they see you when you're hungover AF and haven't washed your hair in three days. This is you. This is how you really are and, if they can't handle you at your ugliest, they don't deserve you at your prettiest.
12 You're so over being jealous when they check people out
There was a time when you'd get mad if your SO so much as looked at another person. You'd freak out and be sure that they were making plans to ditch you for a hotter model. If you were in a bar together and an undeniably hot person walked by, you would watch your partner like a hawk. Any small flinch would be a sign that they were checking them out and you'd pounce on them like a tiger about it. It all seems so damn silly now.
These days, you're a little less worried about nonsense like that. You figure if they were gonna leave you for someone else, they would have done it by now. The fact that they haven't just means that they love you above anyone else. And, honestly, that's the best feeling ever.
11 You no longer have two groups of friends
You're not 100% sure when this happened, but it did. One day, you woke up to find that you no longer had 'their friends' and 'your friends'. Oh no, what was once two very distinct groups had merged into one mass of people. It's not a bad thing. It actually makes both of your lives a whole load easier. Rather than having to plan things with two groups, you can add everyone to a group chat and tell them the plan. Easy.
What's more, you feel more popular than you ever were before. Suddenly, rather than having just a few choice friends who you hang out with, your contact book is endless. Whenever you want to do something, you just know that there will be someone there for you. All you have to do is pick up the phone.
10 You can be 100% honest with one another
You quit sugarcoating things an awful long time ago. Sure, at the start of a relationship, you want to be all sweetness and light. No matter what they say or what silly question they ask you, you have just the answer they need. You know what they want to hear and you're not afraid to tell them it. After all, making the person feel on top of the world is your only goal at this point.
Then, something changes. You reach a point in your relationship when you just don't give a damn about sugar coating. If something is up or if they are acting like a fool, you go ahead and tell them. If they put on the ugliest outfit you've ever seen, you tell them. You're just being a good person.
9 People expect you to come as a pair these days
If you venture out alone, there's one question that you will always end up hearing. "So where's your SO?" people will ask you all the damn time. It's almost as though people think that the two of you are joined at the hip. Wherever you go, your partner should follow as well. It seems kind of a stupid thing to expect but that does not stop people thinking it or asking the same old question. You're tired of having to explain what your SO is doing 24/7.
Sure, you kind of get people's point. You do an awful lot together. Well, why wouldn't you? When you go out with (and maybe even live with) your BFF, it's only natural that you'd hang out too. Still, you can meet people without them being there all the time.
8 But you're more than comfortable being alone
You're so over the clingy period that happens at the start of a relationship. When you first meet your special someone, you want to spend every living second with them. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, you want them to be right there, by your side. It might seem a little intense. It might seem clingy AF. It might seem like a sort of temporary madness. Well, it's all of the above and more. Luckily, this phase doesn't last forever.
After a while together, you end up being totally fine with spending time alone. You both know that this is something you need. That's why you're perfectly okay letting the other person go and do their thing. You have way too many things on your to-do list anyhow.
7 Your family have accepted your SO as one of their own
Make no mistakes, meeting the parents is scary. For most of us, the idea of meeting our SO's family is one of the worst things that we can imagine. Luckily, all that nonsense is way, way behind you. When you've been together for quite some time, you really get to know one another's family. They can see that you're not going anywhere fast, which means that they take the time to get to know you. They treat you as though you're one of their own.
What's more, your family starts to treat your SO as just another member of the group. There's no time for interrogations or any of that rubbish. Oh no, you are all way past that. Instead, you can all hang out together as one big happy family. It's honestly no big deal these days.
6 You know how to get over fights... even the big ones
Fights happen. When you're with someone all the time, you're bound to disagree on things now and then. It's natural. Well, it's just about the most natural thing on the planet when you think about it. All couples argue about things from time to time. When you first start seeing someone, you think that every argument will be the end of the relationship. You're sure that it will ruin everything that's special about your bond!
Still, when you've been with someone for a matter of years, you know that isn't the case at all. In fact, when fights happen, you know just how to handle them. You no longer get stupidly angry about things. Instead, you can have a disagreement without it getting out of hand. After all, you know that in your heart of hearts you love one another.
5 You have your own secret language
Sometimes, you no longer even need words to tell the other person how you're feeling. Over the years, you've gotten to know each other so well that you can basically grunt and they will understand. It's like they know what you're thinking all of the time anyway. All you have to do is give them that all-knowing look and they will nod. They know how you feel about most things anyway, and so they are likely to read your mind in seconds.
This can actually be very useful in group settings. When you don't want to say something aloud, you can use this secret language to tell your partner how you feel. It might just be a quick side glance or a nod that lets them know what you're thinking. In an instant, you'll be on the same page.
4 You quite literally Netflix and chill at night!
When you're in a serious relationship, Netflix will become a big part of your life. Binge-watchings series together will be one of your favorite things to do. Sometimes, you will clear your schedule for the whole weekend just for this reason. You will get all the snacks you could possibly dream of, cuddle up under a blanket, and get started. Who needs to go out when you've got all you need right here in your very own home, eh? This is actually perfect for the long winter months when it's too cold to do anything else.
There's just one issue with this thing, though. Netflix cheating. It's a real thing. If one of you sneakily skips ahead in a series, the fight that follows will be epic. After all, you're meant to be in this binge-watching thing together.
3 People always ask you when you're gonna get married
There's another question that seems to pop up all the time. It doesn't matter if it comes from your mom, your dad, or your friends. You're very tired of hearing this one time and time again. You'll be sitting there, minding your own business, and relaxing, and then it will happen. Someone will turn to you and say, "So, when are you going to get married anyway?"
It's like people just expect the two of you to tie the knot as soon as possible. It's like they've already bought the perfect hat for your wedding and just can't wait to wear it. You get bored of explaining that you're not there yet. It seems like a bit of an effort to say the same thing every other day. But still, people keep on asking you the same question.
2 But you know that it's no big deal really
There was once a time when the whole 'marriage' thing would have freaked both of you out. In the early stages of dating, the last thing you want to think about is that kind of serious commitment. It's enough to make some people run for the hills screaming their heads off. If the subject ever came up, you would both be awkward AF about the whole thing and try to change the subject as fast as possible. Yikes.
These days, it's not such a big deal. You're both pretty sure that you'll stay together for the rest of your lives. That's just an unspoken agreement you have these days. So, there doesn't seem any need to rush yourselves down the aisle just yet. One day, it might happen, but there's plenty of time and you know it.
1 They've become your best friend for life
So, here's the best thing: When you've been with the same person for years on end, something incredible happens. You stop just being a couple who loves one another. That is still there, but something else comes with it. These days, that special someone is also your best friend in the world. You would do almost anything for them and they know it. You're always there no matter what happens. You can both handle each other at your best and at your worst. It's one of the best feelings ever.
Knowing that your SO always has your back is one of the greatest things in the world. You never feel alone and you always have someone to talk to when times get tough. Frankly, it's like having a BFF around you all of the time.