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The stages every successful relationship will go through

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Couples, slow down!

Sometimes real life gets in the way and makes you take your eye off of the ball. But if you are currently in a long-term relationship then you have already achieved lots – and probably come through some amazing, passionate and unique experiences on the way.

And if not, then you have it all to look forward to.

From those early flutters of butterflies in the stomach to looking forward to spooning at the end of a long day, here are the stages that every long-term relationship goes through.

The crush

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You’ve found someone you like either by clocking their damn fine eyes in a nightclub or by swiping right on Tinder. That rush of euphoria as the first tickles of lust spring up in your stomach (and elsewhere) hits you like a wave. Here you go again on this journey they call love.

The shyness

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There’s a mutual attraction that hasn’t been explicitly acknowledged and the flirting has reached fever pitch without anyone yet making an official move.

Looks like it’s down to you.

The first date

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Sh*t just got serious. This is your chance to really sell yourself. It is probably the most awkward experience of the relationship but it can also be one of the best if it goes well.

Like a job interview with the pressure tripled by ten, if you nail this, then you’re on to a good thing.

The post date games

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Seriously, when do you text to hit the balance between seeming too keen and being an asshole?

The second date

Okay, now you’re a little more comfortable around each other you can actually start the proper bonding. You might even begin what will become a staple of your long term relationship – taking the mick out of each other mercilessly.

The first kiss

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Who’s going to lean in? Do I look too easy? Why did I have garlic at dinner? Who’s going left and who’s going right? Tongues or no tongues? ARGGH!

Oh. That was actually pretty nice. Let’s have another.

Having sex for the first time

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So exciting and yet so terrifying – it doesn’t matter how many first sexes you have had, this never gets easier. Until about 30 seconds in, when the fact that you are totally falling for this person overrides the fact that you’re worried your best move isn’t all that impressive.

Oh, and you could get VERY used to that trick they threw into the mix.

The honeymoon period

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OMG so in love, we’re totally going to feel this intensity forever. It’s a great feeling, if not a little exhausting. You will annoy every person around you because you are never apart and talk about literally nothing else other than bae.

Meeting the family and friends

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Brushed hair, your best ironed Sunday clothes, manners in check, meeting the folks is usually a prospect of terror. You’re hoping you aren’t going to be greeted at the door by Robert de Niro holding a toilet-using cat and wearing a breast pump. At least your surname isn’t Focker.

The year anniversary

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You have officially made it. If you can do a year, you’re in this for the long haul. The only way to celebrate is with a dirty weekend and a boastful Facebook post.

Moving in together

This is going to be so great – you were always at each others’ flats anyway and you won’t have annoying flatmates interrupting your romantic time anymore.

But seriously, you didn’t realise they were THAT messy.

Getting engaged

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Taking out a pay day loan to afford a semi-decent ring aside, this is another exciting milestone. AND you get to change your Facebook relationship status which will win you more likes than you’re usually accustomed to.

Double score.

Wedding planning

Costs are rising, parents are interfering and you are disagreeing over whether to have a chocolate fondue fountain or not. One of you will declare at least once in the heat of the moment that the wedding is off.

The big day

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It just goes so fast, doesn’t it? You will struggle to believe that the months of planning and the debts you’ve accumulated have all been for what has felt like five minutes. But it’s a magical day and you are so glad you decided to consummate between the ceremony and the reception. There’s no way you’ll be in any fit state by the time the last auntie hobbles home.

The pregnancy

We’re not ready…we’re not ready…we’re not ready…

Babies

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…we’re STILL not ready. But wow, the love you feel for this new being has brought you closer together than ever.

Life

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All of these experiences you’ve shared have been with this as your final goal.

Who’d have thought that swiping right on Tinder would have led to this? You’re another one of those couples who have made it.

Divorce

…just kidding!

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