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Making a Relationship Official: 33 Signs It’s Time & the Best Ways to Do It Right

When you’re making your relationship official, who do you tell first? Do you have to post it on Insta for it to be official? Here’s all you need to know.

make a relationship official

Dating— that delightful stage where every shared dessert feels like an adventure and every look holds a world of possibilities. You’ve reached that exciting crossroads, wanting to shout, “We’re official!” But here’s the hitch: While you might be ready to hire a town crier to announce your updated relationship status, the world’s moved on to subtler methods.

Yep, even if you’re dying to yell, “Hear ye, hear ye, we’re a thing!”, it’s best to know the modern *and less noisy* ways to make it known.

Dive in with us as we explore how to transition from those lingering “So, what are we?” whispers to a proud proclamation of “We’re together!”

[Read: Social media and relationships – 47 rules, etiquette, and where couples go wrong]

The Psychology of “Labels”

When two people dance around the idea of becoming a couple, the heartbeat of their uncertainty often centers on one thing: labels.

Think back to those times you’ve wondered, “Are we exclusive?” or “Do they see this as something serious?” At the core, it’s not just about making a relationship official, it’s about understanding our innate psychological needs. [Read: What are we? The must-know secrets to get your crush to label your status]

Let’s dive into why our brains crave these relationship badges and how the quest for social approval magnifies this need, especially in our digital age.

1. The need for certainty

Ever been unsure about someone’s feelings and felt a constant itch in your mind? That’s the classic tug-of-war set up by cognitive dissonance theory.

Leon Festinger in 1957 proposed that we feel discomfort when our beliefs don’t match our actions. So, if you’re acting like a couple but not acknowledging it, your brain’s like, “Hey, can we get some clarity here?” [Read: Relationship talk – 46 signs and secrets to time it and examples to start the talk]

2. Social validation

Picture this: You’re out with your partner, and someone asks, “Oh, is this your… friend?” That awkward pause can feel like a lifetime. The world we live in now thrives on likes, comments, and relationship status updates.

Making a relationship official and public gives a sense of social validation. It’s like getting a thumbs-up in an endless sea of ambiguous emojis.

The Subtle Signs It’s Time to Make it Official

You’ve had those days, haven’t you? Staring into your morning coffee, asking the universe for a sign, wondering if it’s time to move to the next level with that special someone.

While stargazing and tarot cards might have their place, sometimes the universe is screaming, “Hey, make that relationship official!” through simple everyday moments.

1. You’re each other’s favorite notification

Beyond the fleeting buzz of a message, it’s also about having consistent communication. The excitement of sharing little moments, seeking advice, or just exchanging emojis suggests a connection that’s more than surface level.

It shows mutual interest and a desire to be intertwined in each other’s daily lives. [Read: 39 signs a man is emotionally attached to you and ready to get closer]

2. Conversations shift from “I” to “we”

This subconscious shift in language isn’t mere wordplay. It indicates a transition from individuality to a partnership mindset. You start to visualize decisions, plans, and future endeavors as a duo rather than solo entities. [Read: 50 questions for a new relationship to predict your romantic future]

3. You’ve met the friends

Being introduced to a partner’s inner circle implies trust and a desire to integrate you into different facets of their life. So if you’ve met their friends, take joy in knowing that you’re one step closer to making this relationship official! [Read: 30 secrets to get your boyfriend’s friends to like you and mistakes to avoid]

4. You’ve built a secure attachment

If you’ve never heard of attachment styles, it’s Bowlby’s theory that when we bond and become attached to someone, there are four distinct styles that affect what that attachment looks like.

Understanding and forming a secure attachment is pivotal if you want this relationship to work. Essentially, that’s when both partners feel confident in their bond, can maintain individuality without excessive anxiety about the relationship, and support each other’s growth. [Read: 37 real signs she’s serious about you and wants an exclusive relationship]

5. You’re actually sleeping together

Sharing a bed, experiencing each other’s sleep habits, and still wanting to cuddle by morning? That’s an intimate gesture of vulnerability and comfort, transcending mere physicality.

Also, if you can still stand each other after a night of restless turning and thunderous snoring, you’ve clearly got something strong there!

6. You leave other options hanging

Loyalty begins even before commitments are vocalized. If you find yourself disinterested in other romantic prospects, it shows a deep-rooted preference for the connection you currently have.

Since you’ve already left the world of dating behind mentally, you might as well make this relationship official!

7. You’ve met each other’s parents

Meeting the folks is a big step. It signifies that you’re not a fleeting chapter but an important character in their life story.

This step shows intentionality in the relationship, moving beyond casual dating. [Read: How to not screw up when you meet the parents for the first time]

8. You’ve become their event-date

Being the go-to person for significant events means you’re not just for the good times, but for all times.

If they don’t even have to think about it, that’s an acknowledgment of your importance. Also, it hints that they see a future with you in it!

9. You are BFFs

Romance is beautiful, but a foundation of friendship ensures resilience. If you find solace in each other’s company, share secrets, and laugh at private jokes, you’ve built a bond that’s both deep and wide. [Read: Friend to lovers – why we fall for them, stages, and 30 secrets to progress to love]

How to Bring Up “The Talk”

So, you’ve seen the signs, you feel the vibes, and heck, even the tarot card reader during that weekend fair gave you a wink and said it’s time!

But how do you bring up the conversation to make a relationship official without turning it into an awkward silence festival? Let’s navigate these tricky waters together.

1. Set the right ambiance

The setting can make or break a conversation. Whether it’s your usual brunch spot where you share pancakes or a cozy nook at home, ensure it’s a place where both of you feel at ease.

Music? Low and mellow. Lighting? Soft. The goal is to create an environment that’s conducive to open conversation and free from distractions. [Read: How to tell your crush you like them – 20 low risk ways that work]

2. Honesty, with a side of tact

It’s essential to be genuine about your feelings. Mention specific instances that made you think about the relationship’s direction, but be gentle.

It’s like presenting a gift, it’s not just about what’s inside, but also about the wrapping. [Read: 24 secrets to be patient in a new relationship and avoid risking a new love]

3. Open-ended questions are your friends

These are fantastic tools for fostering meaningful conversation. Instead of pushing for a commitment, open the floor for discussion.

It’s less about seeking validation and more about understanding each other’s perspectives. [Read: 250 fun, deep relationship questions for couples to feel closer and more loved]

4. Reflect on memorable moments

Casually touch upon times that highlighted your compatibility. It could be the rainy day you both chose to ditch an outing and binge-watch documentaries or that hiking trip where you realized your paces matched perfectly.

When you bring up these fond memories, you’ll help your partner realize just how great you two are, making them all the more geared up to make the relationship official *if they even need any more convincing!*.

5. Express your intentions

There’s power in vulnerability. Talk about your hopes for the future, emphasizing mutual growth.

Saying something like, “I value what we have, and I’ve been considering the idea of us as a team. How do you feel about that?” can get the ball rolling. [Read: 48 heartfelt ways to prove you love someone and show them you really care]

6. Make it a two-way street

This isn’t a monologue. Pause, listen, and encourage them to express their feelings.

Showing that you value their opinion can make the difference between a conversation and a declaration. [Read: 19 ways to be a much better listener in a relationship and read their mind]

7. Acknowledge their feelings

If they need time to think or have reservations, be understanding. Remember, it’s a journey for both of you, and every step, even the hesitant ones, is essential.

8. Share your vision

Talk about where you see the relationship going. Not in a “we-must-plan-everything” way, but a casual chat about aspirations, be it traveling together or adopting that cute cat you both liked at the shelter.

9. Celebrate the little things

Regardless of the outcome, cherish the fact that you’ve reached a point of open communication. Whether it’s with a smile, a hug, or just ordering that extra dessert, appreciate the journey. [Read: How long should you casually date someone until it gets serious?]

How to Softly *and Loudly* Make Your Relationship Official

So you’ve had the talk, navigated through the challenges, and now… drumroll… it’s time for the world to know! Whether you want to whisper it to the world or shout it from the rooftops, here’s how to smoothly *and sometimes loudly* make a relationship official:

A. The soft launch on social media

1. The Mysterious Plus One

Post that picture from your fun outing, but maybe just reveal a hand on your shoulder or two sets of feet by the poolside. Keep your followers guessing, and the DMs will flood in with curious emojis.

2. The Joint Adventure

A photo from a day out, just two coffees or paired sneakers. It’s not screaming a date, but those in the know will catch the hint. [Read: 25 signs you’re going from dating to a relationship and steps to do it right]

3. Music and Lyrics

Share a song that feels right and captures the essence of your bond. A cryptic caption like “Current mood” will have friends reading between the lines. [Read: 20 most romantic songs for the one you love]

B. The classic methods

4. Double Date Night

Gather some mutual friends. It’s casual, it’s fun, and by the end, everyone knows you’re a pair. Plus, this way lets you make your relationship official to the most people at once—talk about efficiency! [Read: The best double date ideas and why every couple should double date]

5. Family Introductions

Ah, the ultimate step. Meeting the family is a classic move, proving you’re serious enough to endure those family quirks together.

6. Host a Get-Together

It’s not just a casual hangout. It’s a statement. “We’re a team, and we’re hosting.”

C. The creative and unique announcements

7. Customized Merch

Imagine sporting matching beanies in winter or those adorable couple keychains. This is a way to let the world know you’re serious in a bold way!

8. Themed Photoshoot

A casual photoshoot at a memorable place, maybe where you first met or had your first date, can be a real show-stopping way to break the news of your new relationship. [Read: 25 secrets to take a good selfie and look cute every time you snap a photo]

9. The Relationship Playlist

Some relationship announcements can be short and sweet with not a lot of information shared.

But if you want to tell your close circle all the amazing feelings your partner gives you, sharing a curated list of “our songs” gives friends a peek into the soundtrack of your romance.

D. Non-social media digital announcements

10. Newsletter

For the wordsmiths, narrate your love journey in a heartfelt email describing your partner, your relationship, and the happy state of your future.

11. Video Call Party

A casual call where friends suddenly see you both together, beaming, from a shared screen might just be the perfect relationship-announcement method for you. [Read: 20 ways to show off your girlfriend on social media and hype her up]

E. The not-so-subtle methods *for the brave hearts*

12. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve, Literally

Maybe sport a badge or a pin that hints at your new relationship status.

13. The Modern-Day Town Crier

How about changing your voicemail? “Hello, you’ve reached [Your Name] and [Partner’s Name]. Drop us a message!” It’s quirky, but who said making a relationship official can’t be fun? [Read: 53 proposal ideas and ways to propose to your girl in a way she’ll never forget]

It’s Less About the Announcement and More About the Genuine Connection

In the journey of love and relationships, what truly matters is the bond and understanding between two individuals.

While there’s a thrill in sharing your status and making it known, the decision to make a relationship official is deeply personal. It’s about mutual trust, shared experiences, and the commitment to navigate the future together.

[Read: Relationship stages – the phases couples go through by months and years]

So, while it’s perfectly fine to celebrate and let the world in on your happiness, it’s equally essential to cherish the personal connection that led you both to this moment. In the end, choosing to make a relationship official is less about the announcement and more about the genuine connection between you two.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...