What To Expect In A 6-Month Relationship - How Close Will You And Your Partner Be?

By: Sarah Fader

Updated December 21, 2020

Many of us yearn for a long-term, committed relationship. You may not know what milestones to expect as a relationship progresses naturally over time. Here's what usually happens after a couple has been together for six months.

After Six Months - What To Expect

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After six months together, you and your partner will have a solid number of memories together. You’ve watched movies together, have had meals together both out and inside of your homes many times, and likely, you’ve met at least part of each other’s families or friend groups. Maybe, you’ve gone camping together, have been on a road trip or two, or have been on other adventures with one another. You’re growing more comfortable with your partner by the day, and you’re starting to see the little quirks that you might not have seen before. 

At the six-month point, you have overcome many hurdles. Even in the healthiest relationships, there are challenges. People don't always agree, and if they do, there are underlying issues. You have learned your strengths and weaknesses in the relationship. You see how you click, and what gets on the other person's nerves. Some people choose to celebrate the six-month mark of their partnership in addition to their one-year anniversary, whereas others don’t. Either way, it’s okay. What matters is how your relationship functions on a day to day basis and how both of you feel in the partnership. At the six-month mark, you can take a look at your partnership, and evaluate if any factors can be improved.

Relationship Rebounds

You've probably heard the term "rebound," which is a relationship where one or more of the partners is recovering from an ex. The longer the previous relationship lasted, the more there is to get over. If the past partner was abusive, there's likely residual trauma. That can take some time to work through, and one thing that can help is talking about the trauma in therapy. It's essential to address your traumatic past in individual counseling rather than in couples counseling. The reason for that is you want to focus on healing yourself. Your partner isn't responsible for soothing your pain from previous relationships. It can be tempting to ask them to help you heal, but ultimately the emotional work is up to you. Rebound relationships are tricky. Sometimes you are ready to move on, and there are other instances where it's too soon, and you're still emotionally invested in the ex-partner. 

If you have lingering feelings for an ex-partner despite being in a new relationship for six months, it’s most certainly something to work through. You want to make sure that you don’t hurt your current partner, and you want to make sure that you’re able to give this relationship your all.

Issues That Come Up In Six Months

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Rebound relationships aside, there are a number of issues that could emerge on your radar at the six-month mark of a romantic partnership. These are some things to take inventory of:

Whether Or Not You’ve Met Their Friends and Family 

One thing to take inventory of at the six-month mark of a relationship is if you’ve met your partners family and friends or not. If your partner is hiding you from their friends and family, that's not a good sign. They should want to show you off. They should want to introduce you to people who are significant in their life. If you haven't met your partner's family, that's a red flag. Don't squint your eyes and pretend that the flag is purple; see it for what it is and confront the issue. Of course, there are nuances to this. Maybe, your partner has cut ties with the majority of their family. If so, they should’ve explained that to you by the six-month mark, and you should have met their friends. 

Additionally, pay attention to how your partner introduces you. Again, they should be proud to show you off and call you their significant other. If there are any signs that your partner is trying to pass you off as “just a friend” or keep the relationship concealed, confront them.

If You’re Truly Compatible 

Is there a lingering feeling that you and your partner aren’t truly compatible? If so, it’s crucial to explore why that is and if it’s something that can be resolved. Compatibility doesn’t mean that everything about you is the same; it means that your major goals fit together and that you have a healthy connection, whatever that means for you. Disparities between you and your partner when it comes to the big things you want in life, such as having children and raising a family, are something that you likely want to crack down on at the six-month mark in a relationship. For example, if it bothers you that you’ve always wanted kids and your partner is adamant that they don’t, it’s time to have a conversation. It doesn’t mean that either one of you needs convincing or changing; it’s okay that you want to have kids, and it’s okay that your partner doesn’t. It’s just something to keep in mind if you’re in it for the long haul. If you have a dealbreaker and that dealbreaker comes up, it’s something to consider and start a conversation about at the very least.

When You Know That It's Working

You get along with your partner. You look forward to seeing them when they get home from work so that you can reconnect with them. You have an ongoing intimate relationship with them in the bedroom. You love to embrace them or communicate in the love language of their choice. Whether that's words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, gifts, or some quality time, you both deserve to feel loved. When you plan your future together, it's a sign that you're getting along, and you want to spend your life with your partner.

When You Disagree

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All couples disagree from time to time. That’s unavoidable. You’re different people, and as a result, you’ll have different opinions. By no means is this a bad thing. In fact, it’s great! As long as you love each other and work together well, you don’t have to be the same. Studies show that arguing can actually be a sign of a good partnership. What it comes down to is how you argue and how you resolve those disagreements. Do you both feel heard after a disagreement is over? Can you talk it through in a levelheaded manner and take a breather if you need to? Are you able to compromise? Do both of you feel respected?

If you find that you can't work through your problems healthily, or if you feel misunderstood and frequent arguments are causing you stress, one option is to go to couples' therapy. You may be thinking, "is it too early to go to therapy with your partner at the six-month mark?" The short answer is "no." When you want to invest in a strong, fulfilling relationship with your partner, there's no such thing as "too early to go to therapy." Unless you've been on one or two dates with them - that may be a bit premature. Otherwise, you can absolutely go to counseling or therapy.

Couples Therapy After ASix-Month Relationship

You may be in individual therapy, and find that it's helping you address your problems. But online couples counseling can help you figure out what's working and not working in a relationship. When you see an online couples' counselor, you can talk candidly about what's happening in your relationship that's not working. You and your partner can work on making the relationship last, and go beyond that six-month mark. Your counselor is invested in helping you figure out whether your partnership is working or not. You may not be sure if you want to proceed in a solid future with your partner. You may want to get married, but you're not entirely certain. Therapy is a place to explore these issues.

Figuring Out If The Relationship Is For The Long Term

After six months, you know your partner fairly well. You may be confident with the progress you are making in your relationship. Many signs indicate that a relationship is going to last, but you need to sit down and think to yourself. Have some alone time without your partner, and consider how you like your life right now. Your partner isn't responsible for your happiness; you are. Your partner can add to that joy. A healthy relationship happens with two people come together and share time. If you find that these issues of codependency are coming up, you can discuss them with your therapist, or in couples counseling.

Long Distance Relationships

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If you are dating someone who lives in a different state or even another country, the milestones in the timeline of your relationship can change. You could be dating for six months, and find that you're still getting to know each other. The honeymoon period could last longer than usual. The reason is that your moments together are spread out, and when you are with each other, you see the best sides of one another. When you see someone every day, the novelty of the connection wanes. In a long-distance relationship, you and your partner have to trust each other for it to work. If either of you is jealous of the other, it will inevitably cause friction in the relationship. If you don't trust your partner, you might as well abandon the relationship.

That may sound harsh, but if the trust is gone, the hope of a future is as well. Another aspect of a long-distance relationship is that you can argue with your partner online or on the phone, and you two may go to bed angry. There is a lack of complete resolution to the arguments you have and is no make-up sex. There is also a lot of pressure to have a good time when you see each other because you don't live close together. The six-month milestone looks quite different in a long-distance relationship than an in-person one. Keep that in mind if you are interested in pursuing a relationship with someone who lives far from you.

How Couples Counseling Helps Your Relationship Last Longer Than Six Months

One of the most important things in a relationship is the foundation. You need to like spending time with the other person and genuinely enjoy doing things together. Of course, you're going to have conflicts with one another, and that's where couples counseling comes into the picture. If you find that you're consistently disagreeing and you can't come to a resolution, and an online couples' counselor can help you navigate through your problems. Whether your relationship is primarily in person or long-distance couples, counseling is an excellent way to preserve the connection with your partner. In therapy, you can discuss any problematic concerns that are affecting the relationship.

Goals in Couples Counseling

The goal of counseling, whether it's online or in-person, is to mitigate issues that are causing contention between the two or you. If there are trust issues, this is the place to discuss them and work through these problems. There are instances in which a relationship naturally comes to an end. In that case, a couples' counselor can help you and your partner peacefully separate. However, don't lose hope just yet. You don't know if there is a way to fix things or not until you try. Whether you're in a six-month relationship or one that’s been alive for much longer, a couples' therapist can help you understand how to communicate best with your partner. They can combat the problematic issues, connect with both of you, and can serve as a mediator. You may be hesitant to try couples counseling, but once you try it, you have the chance to see if your relationship will last. At ReGain, the online counselors are dedicated to helping you figure out what works and what doesn't in a relationship. They can help you navigate through complex issues that you and your partner struggle to work through on your own. Search the network of online therapists at ReGain, and find the one who works for you and your partner. You can make your relationship last far beyond those six months!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is 6 months in a relationship a big deal?

The six month anniversary of a relationship can be a big deal for some couples. It is a six month milestone that typically indicates that you are in a long term relationship. Dating sites often say that if you make it to six months as a dating couple, then you are past the new relationship phase. Couples who are having a great time together and make it to the six month mark usually know a lot of personal information about each other and begin to establish trust.

What is the 6 month rule in a relationship?

Every relationship is different and looks at the six month rule as a defining moment in how well you have gotten to know someone. Dating sites typically use the six month milestone as a way to say, “you are in a long term relationship,” and you should celebrate your six month milestone by affirming that you are exclusive to one another. You don’t have to make it a magnificent occasion, but it is nice to acknowledge that you have made it to the six months of dating mark. 

What is the 6 month anniversary called?

The six month anniversary is sometimes called the semiannual, biannual, or bianniversary; however, the latter two can sometimes get confused with the two year anniversary. It is a great time to celebrate that you have made it through the “getting to know you” phase and are entering a committed relationship. If at this point, you are still not exclusive, you might want to talk to your partner and see if this is a bad sign. It may be possible that you enjoy hanging out, but one or both of you are not ready for a monogamous relationship.

Is six months too soon to move in together?

Every relationship moves at its own pace. Some people decide to get married before the six month mark and stay together for life. Others are ready to take to leap and move in together. Yet other folks feel that 6 month milestone is still a fairly new relationship, and they are not ready to share a living space with someone they are still getting to know.

How long is a 6 month relationship?

The 6 month anniversary is a six month milestone in the relationship. Dating advice from experts agree that the six month mark of a relationship is a good time to delete any online dating apps or to stop visiting dating sites and agree to commit to one person. While not everyone agrees with this advice dating requires communication. So the six month mark is a good time to evaluate your relationship and see where you both think it is going. 

Should he love me after 6 months?

By the six month milestone, you should have some confidence that you either are in love with the person and they love you, or that the relationship has reached its life expectancy and end things. The six month mark, while fluid, is a good place to stop and think about where you want your relationship to go. 

How long until the relationship is serious?

Some relationships are serious from the first time you lock eyes. Others take a while. Everyone has had different life experiences, and some leave you jaded. It takes time to build trust, and what one person may see as a serious relationship, another may see as the “still getting to know each other” phase. While the six month mark is typically a good point to access your relationship, dating advice experts feel that this “evaluation” should take place regularly throughout a relationship. This does not mean that you should be questioning your relationship all the time, but rather that you should be doing a “check in” with yourself to ensure that you are happy with how things are progressing. 

What month is the hardest in a relationship?

The one and two month milestone are seemingly the hardest. While you can look at all the dating advice out there, getting to know someone can be hard. Some people have trust issues, and getting past the first few months milestone can feel a little like give and take. You share something personal, and then they share something personal. Eventually, you start to get to know each other and build trust in the relationship. While the six month milestone seems to be a good place to stop and assess how things are progressing, it does not have to be an end all. Take all the advice on dating and all the given advice dating can be really easy or really hard. How compatible you are together will dictate the results. 

What should I get my boyfriend for our 6 months?

If you are looking to get your boyfriend a gift for your six month milestone anniversary, it may be a good idea to give him something that reminds you both of your first month or so together. Maybe you saved the tickets to the movie that you saw for your first date. You can put in a cute frame so that you always remember the day and time you first went out. Another six month milestone gift may be an engraved pen with your first date on it. Depending on the type of person you are dating, what type of work they do, and what you do together should help you to find a gift that is just right for your six month anniversary. 

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