1. You can start doing all those major life things you’ve always talked about. Like saving for a house, deciding when you want to have kids, and getting on one health insurance plan.
2. Your parents start CC-ing him on family emails. His family starts inviting you to every birthday party, anniversary dinner, religious holiday, and brunch just because.
3. His friends become your friends and vice versa. You were already friends with them, but now it’s just a given that you’ll be there for dinners, Super Bowl parties, etc. You feel like One Unit more than ever before.
4. You become ten times busier. Because you’ve basically doubled the size of your family and your number of friends. Also – HELLO – wedding planning!
5. Your wedding plans become the first topic anyone discusses with you. How’s it going? Are you stressed? Where are you going on your honeymoon? Do you have your colors? Do you have a dress?
6. You stop caring about who pays for what. It’s all ultimately the same money, even if you haven’t combined any of your money yet. When you treat each other to stuff, it’s now just symbolic (or a sign that the other person was in the bathroom when the check came).
7. You join Pinterest. Even if you’ve never used it before, even if you’re not into Mason jar DIY projects, it becomes the site you visit whenever you have a spare minute. You will inevitably scrutinize so many tablescapes that you will leave the website feeling a little confused.
8. You get more manicures. Because you have a big sparkly thing on your left ring finger that wasn’t there before.
9. You go to twice as many weddings. Once you’re engaged, you can pretty much guarantee you’re both getting invited to every wedding in both of your friend groups.
10. You vow to cook more. You need to save money for that house you’re going to buy one day. (See No. 1.) But also what’s the point of putting a spaghetti strainer on the registry if you’re not going to use it?
11. You also make a lot more waffles/panini/slow-cooked stews. All your new kitchen gadgets are seriously life-changing.
12. Your nieces and nephews add Uncle to his name. Or his start calling you Aunt. Especially if they’re still young.
13. Your parents stop fielding questions about what’s going on with your relationship. You’re going to get married. That’s what’s going on.
14. You pay more attention to music when you put your iTunes on shuffle. You are determined to have the best playlist possible – including old and new favorites – so people dance and have a kickass time at your wedding.
15. You start calling him “my fiance.” It’s hard not to feel weird or self-conscious every time you say it, not only because the word can sound pretentious but also because people you’re meeting for the first time now might start asking you questions about your wedding.
16. Your families start treating each other like family. Your parents call each other rather than making you the go-between.
17. You do all holidays together. You’ve always spent Thanksgiving with your family, but now you have to alternate years or divvy up holidays so you can be together.