Romantic relationships are exciting and complicated. Just like every person is unique, every relationship has its own quirks and pacing–basically its own life cycle. Maybe your relationship didn’t move through these stages in order, and that’s okay! Some couples become serious as soon as the first date finishes; some stay in the dating phase for years before making any commitments. Some relationships don’t even make it to a defining stage, but that doesn’t make them any less important! 

It’s also okay if a relationship ends. Even years-long relationships can hit insurmountable obstacles, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean the relationship is unimportant or a failure; sometimes people discover they aren’t compatible as partners, and this can happen at any stage. Be kind to yourself and your partner, even if things don’t work out. Breakups happen, and respect and honesty are just as much a part of a relationship’s end as its beginning!