Relationship red letter days

By Jane Hoskyn How long should you wait before saying “I love you”? One week, two months, a year? And is it OK to make your lover wait three years before letting them meet your embarrassing parents? Allow us to guide you through the red letter days of your relationship…

First Date Day
In the days before online dating, people met, and then got to know each other. Now, we’re all getting to know each other before we meet.
Meet quickly if you think there’s a chance of a relationship, because you can only judge chemistry in person. If there’s no spark, cut your losses and move on.
Perfect timing: One week after you started emailing.

Post-Date Call Day
If you had a great first date (swapped numbers, snogs and texts on the way home), call them the next day.
But catch your breath. Don’t call on your way home, next morning or even next lunchtime. You want them to think you have a life, not an obsession.
Perfect timing: 18 hours after saying goodnight.

First Sex Day
After your first date, you feel friskier than a box of rabbits in springtime. But you know that sex too soon will spoil everything. Wham, bam, ‘byee ma’am.
It can’t hurt to wait until you know that the relationship has legs, not just humps. Strike while the lust is hot, but let a couple of dates crank up the anticipation.
Perfect timing: Date two or three.

The L-Word Day
A premature “I love you” is an awful point of no return that can kill your relationship at birth. In those early weeks, you’re better off embracing the other L-word: lust.
If you wait until four or five months before saying it, your lover knows that you’ve given it a lot of thought and that you really mean it.
Perfect timing: Four to five months.

Meet the Parents Day
Meeting the parents is terrifying. They will judge you, and they may serve you sprouts that smell of death. But it shows that your lover considers you part of their life.
Don’t be bulldozed into meeting the parents too soon. Rushing into cosy coupledom is never wise or sexy.
Perfect timing: Three to nine months.

Moving-In Day
When you first meet, living together seems like heaven, not to mention good value for money.
But leave it several months. It’s a huge commitment, and it will kill your romantic illusions about one another. Don’t knock those illusions – they’re fun for the first few months.
Perfect timing: Nine to 12 months.

Marry Me? Day
Call us immoral, but marriage proposals are best saved for when you’ve lived with each other’s snoring for a while.
On the other hand, don’t wait years. Marriage does not fix a failing relationship. Reality will bite back as soon as the corks are popped.
Perfect timing: Nine months to two years.