It definitely warrants a party (and a celebratory deleting of dating apps)

“He asked me last night!” my flatmate wrote in our house Whatsapp group.

Cue excited squeals, celebration emojis, Champagne-popping gifs and a stream of “OMG!”s.

“Congratulations!” I wrote back. “This is so exciting! I’m so happy for you.”

It was the moment many of us dream of - not getting engaged, but becoming “official.”

If you don’t know what I mean, you’re probably not millennial. 

Many of us have had to try and explain the concept of “seeing someone” to our parents.

“But if you’re going on dates, you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, right?” your mum will ask.

Wrong. Sorry, Mother. We’re just, you know, hanging out and seeing what happens, whilst keeping our options open.

We refuse to commit to anyone and simply date people - sometimes more than one at once - for weeks or maybe months at a time.

So if one of these set-ups does, miraculously, turn into an actual exclusive relationship, it is a HUGE deal. And definitely should be greeted with excitable gifs. 

The journey to becoming official often comes in two stages: first, you have to have the awkward chat about whether either of you are seeing anyone else and agree to be dating each other exclusively.

And once you’ve hit that milestone, you can move to the next level: becoming actual boyfriend and girlfriend (or boyfriend and boyfriend or girlfriend and girlfriend).

It’s arguably a bigger deal than getting engaged because often you genuinely have no idea what the other person’s response will be.

But once you’ve had the chat, if the person is right, you should be able to relax in the knowledge that you are in an actual comfortable relationship. (If this prospect in fact makes you freak out you should probably end it, soz).

People don’t tend to get engaged these days without having discussed it first, so although it’s nerve-wracking to propose, people only tend to do it when they’re pretty damn certain the person will say yes.

When it comes to asking someone to be official though, you probably won’t have laid out your feelings yet so you still may have no idea how they feel and what they want.

Being the person to bring it up can make you feel really vulnerable.

So often we don’t even make it to this stage because everyone’s trying to play it cool and is terrified of putting labels on anything.

Sure, people don’t yet celebrate becoming official like they do getting engaged, but quite frankly it warrants cards, presents and a party.

I might throw one for my flatmate.