If Your Relationship Has Hit These 4 Milestones, A Proposal Could Be Next

How many times have you seen someone, whether in a rom-com or IRL, try to predict their proposal? Maybe their partner makes a dinner reservation at a special spot with nostalgic ties, or they spot some engagement ring research in their Google search history. But what if you could predict it before you had hard evidence? As it turns out, you might be able to. There are certain developments that are particularly meaningful, and if your relationship has hit these milestones, that could point to an impending proposal.

According to relationship and etiquette expert April Masini, relationships have milestones for a very good reason. It takes quite a bit of time to truly get to know someone, and these events allow you to deepen your intimacy and strengthen your bond so that you can then figure out if you actually want to say “I do." While every relationship is obviously different and will play out on its own unique timeline, there are certain significant events that can suggest you’re ready to get engaged.

When you think of relationship milestones, saying those three little words or reaching your one-year anniversary may come to mind. But there are so many other important ones to consider if you're eagerly awaiting an engagement. If you’ve crossed these major milestones with your boo, then don’t be surprised if they pop the question sometime in the somewhat near future.

You spend every “landmark” holiday together.

One factor to evaluate is how you spend your holidays. If it’s pretty much a given that you’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and any other holidays you both participate in together (whether that means Christmas, Hanukkah, Passover, or Easter), Masini says that’s a really solid sign that a proposal isn’t too far off.

“If you and your partner spend landmark holidays together, you’re showing the kind of commitment to that leads to a long-term relationship and indicates a proposal on the horizon,” she tells Elite Daily.

It makes sense when you think about it. Holidays are meant to be spent with the ones you love most. So, if you’re choosing to be with your boo for all of them, that means you’re both making a major investment in your relationship — and that investment indicates that you see long-term potential.

You’re reached guaranteed plus-one status.
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Whether bae has a business dinner or a family party coming up, you know you’ll be right by their side. According to Masini, that’s another sign that a ring may be on the way.

“When your partner always invites you as his or her plus one, it’s because that partner sees you as a part of his or her future,” she explains. “They want others to meet you and see you as part of his or her life.”

In other words, including you in all of these important events is a strong indicator that not only do they see you as a potential life partner, but they want other people in their inner circle to see you that way, too.

You're in with their fam.
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Speaking of their inner circle, if bae’s sister likes your Instagrams, and you text their mom about gluten-free recipes you’ve tried, that’s another good sign that a ring may not be too far off.

“Most people who are serious about dating reserve the parental meeting for serious prospects, only,” says Masini. “In other words, if your partner is serious about you enough to want his or her family’s input on your place in his or her life, a parental meeting will be in the cards.”

Meeting the parents is obviously a big deal in itself. But once you’ve reached that place where you have your own separate relationships with your boo’s family members, that’s a whole new level of closeness. Once you marry someone, you do become a part of their family. So if your SO is already making you feel like a part of the family, that certainly points to a possible proposal.

You've moved in together.

It’s nearly impossible to discuss relationship milestones without mentioning moving in together. It’s a big step — not one that suggests marriage is a definite, of course, but one that definitely signals you both have reached strong levels of commitment and trust, both of which are key to achieve before popping the question. Living together suggests that you’re ready to amp up all forms of intimacy in your relationship and that you can see a future together. It’s also a phenomenal way to get to know each other on even more dimensions before making that life-long commitment.

“It’s a lot easier to get to know each others’ financial issues — many of which can be deal breakers — when you live together and have to deal with who pays for what, how you allocate your money, how you save, and how you spend, together and apart,” Masini tells Elite Daily.

So, if you’re already roomies (or in talks about crossing that milestone), then a proposal could play out in the near future.

All of these milestones can definitely point to the possibility that a proposal is coming. That said, Masini stresses that it’s OK to get engaged without hitting all of them. Every relationship is obviously unique, and the most important thing is that you both feel understood, loved, appreciated, and trusted. Ultimately, having a happy, healthy relationship is far more valuable than checking off a box.

According to Masini, no matter how eager you are to get engaged, it’s crucial to just let these milestones play out on their own rather than forcing them in order to get one step closer to a proposal.

“Relationships take time to unfold, and most people have their own ways of getting to know each other in relationships,” she adds. “When you rush to hit a milestone, you do so at the expense of getting to know each other and naturally hitting the milestones.”

So, there you have it. Once you’re in with the fam, have reached roomie and regular plus one status, and start spending all your holidays together, then it’s safe to say that your boo might be plotting how to pop the question sometime soon. Remember — there’s no milestone that can guarantee a proposal, and it’ll happen when the timing is right for both of you. Still, don’t be surprised if you happen to stumble on a ring they’ve stashed away somewhere. Then it’s time to practice your “surprised” face. (And the award for Best Actress goes to...)