If you are dating someone, which day do you use for your anniversary?
December 6, 2008 5:11 PM   Subscribe

If you are in a relationship (not married, just dating), how do you determine your anniversary date? Do you go with the day that you first met? The day of your first date? The day you became exclusive?
posted by stilly to Human Relations (53 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The day we became exclusive.
posted by muddgirl at 5:17 PM on December 6, 2008

But we were just friends before that, there was no period where we dated without being exclusive.
posted by muddgirl at 5:18 PM on December 6, 2008

Whatever date your girlfriend picks? That's the one.
posted by Lokheed at 5:20 PM on December 6, 2008 [28 favorites]

We just arbitrarily picked a day the fell within the hazy period when we first started hooking up.
posted by prozach1576 at 5:21 PM on December 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

we used the day we met for the first year, but then there was our first real date, and mr. micawber felt strongly about using that as our anniversary date, despite its unfortunate proximity to another big holiday.

so it's not just the girlfriends who have opinions on this.

what date feels important to YOU?
posted by micawber at 5:29 PM on December 6, 2008

Have a casual conversation about it to clear up the confusion. "Hey sweetie was it the 6th or the 7th of last year that we started dating? I know it was at around 11:00pm when we had 'the talk', but I was on the east coast and you were on the west coast. So pick a date." Clearly this is a bit over the top, but I've always found that having a silly chat about the day we started dating clears out any confusion. And if anything it shows her, or him, that you pay attention to detail and really care about the relationship.
posted by aloneinvietnam at 5:32 PM on December 6, 2008

We've been together 10 years and never really celebrated any kind of anniversary...we picked the date we moved in together for the official celebration date for #10.
posted by cabingirl at 5:33 PM on December 6, 2008

Either the First Date or the First Kiss :)
posted by lungtaworld at 5:35 PM on December 6, 2008

The day we agreed to attempt a relationship.
posted by batmonkey at 5:42 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Last relationship I was in, same as prozach. We picked the first of the relevant month since that was easier for us to remember.

You might as well ask, but of course this depends on you and your relationship; I'd find a guy a bit odd if he wanted to be more precise than "sometime those couple of weeksish". On the other hand, if you're trying to pick this in order to surprise your s.o. and thus can't ask, I doubt it matters which date you pick.
posted by nat at 5:42 PM on December 6, 2008

"Our anniversary" means "our wedding anniversary." (That is, if you say to someone "we just celebrated our third anniversary," they will assume you are married.) If you want to measure anniversaries of some other occasion, then you must say what occasion that is, and it will be obvious what date to use.
posted by kindall at 5:42 PM on December 6, 2008

It's sort of a pick'em. In my relationships it's been the day of our first date.
posted by sanka at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2008

The girl can pick whatever date she prefers. The guy doesn't care.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:50 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

First date if applicable; if not, pick something arbitrary but meaningful. First kiss? First I Love You? First make-up sex after a big fight? First time meeting another's family?
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:53 PM on December 6, 2008

We can't remember when we became a couple officially, so we've chosen the day we met, July 4th. Its a date easily remembered, so win-win.
posted by Asherah at 5:58 PM on December 6, 2008

We celebrate our wedding anniversary AND the anniversary of our first date (although to a much lesser degree of course).

But the best answer is Lokheed's "Whatever she says"
posted by Ponderance at 5:59 PM on December 6, 2008

I say it's our wedding anniversary. My wife says it's our first date. Whatever, we have sex on both.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:03 PM on December 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

Even though we're married, we celebrate the day we met, rather than the wedding anniversary. We started dating immediately, so the day we met seemed like the most significant day to be glad for, even though we didn't become exclusive for several months.
posted by xo at 6:13 PM on December 6, 2008

The date you became exclusive is your anniversary...

Your wedding anniversary is the date you became exclusive for life so after that this date supercedes the previous one.
posted by The1andonly at 6:15 PM on December 6, 2008

I think I'm with the "let the girl pick" crowd. I wouldn't say that it doesn't matter to me (as the guy), but I've found that different girls have different positions on this. As a guy, if it's important to my SO that it's a particular date - our first date, our first kiss, the day we have The Talk, etc - then that will be the day we use.

If it were truly a choice in the matter, I'd probably go with the day you decided to be exclusive. Before that, you're just dating. You can date lots of people without anything significant.

Particpate in the conversation and let her decide. Cosign to her decision emphatically and you're good to go.
posted by littlelebowskiurbanachiever at 6:17 PM on December 6, 2008

The day she stuck her hand in my pants.
posted by spinturtle at 6:17 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Before we got married, we celebrated the day we met, which was also the day we started our relationship and the date of our first kiss. We still mark that date in a small way, privately.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:24 PM on December 6, 2008

I considered the day my boyfriend asked me to be his girlfriend as our anniversary, until I found out he considered it to be the day of our first date, which I thought was really sweet. It also "made" our relationship longer by about three weeks.

He's since tried to creep it up to the day he asked me out, but that doesn't fly because that's also my birthday and I don't want the two lumped together!

Really though, I will always remember my birthday fondly since it was the best gift I received that day. :)

I think whatever works for the couple in question is most important.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:48 PM on December 6, 2008

Just use Valentine's Day. Then you only have to come up with one romantic gift a year. I am the female in my heterosexual relationship, and I approve this message.
posted by crinklebat at 6:58 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

As the girl in the relationship, I picked our first date. I feel like *exclusivity* is kind of nebulous. Is it just not having sex with other people? Is it the first I love you and want to be with you for the indeterminate future? I feel like in most relationships these things kinda evolves over time and aren't a one moment happening. Like my current bf and I had been dating for 4 months before we both felt really committed to each other. I had had a terrible previous relationship so it took me a long time to be sure. Neither of us were having sex with other people during that time, but the option was certainly out there. However we had been building up intimacy during that time too, which made me feel that I could trust him. I feel like that should be honored as part of the length of the relationship. Among people I know, the only time I've heard of someone picking a date later than the first one, is when there was some falling out during the early period of a relationship, and then those people re-got together later. So as a way of airing out bad feelings, they peg the relationship as beginning later. Or if one/both people were sleeping with multiple partners during the early part of the relationship and they kinda want to forget about that fact.
posted by amileighs at 6:59 PM on December 6, 2008

We use the day of our first date. But I chose that, and I'm the girl. :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 PM on December 6, 2008

First date.
posted by ORthey at 7:05 PM on December 6, 2008

Our wedding, our first hook-up, and the day we first moved in together all occurred in February. (Different years.) Since Valentine's day is also in February, we've declared the whole thing "Love Month."

What this means for us is that, every year, we have a look at our February calendars and pick a date or two on which to celebrate the Valensversarythingies. It's awesome. There's never drama when my exams or Mr. Palmcorder's product launches and/or gaming sessions fall on inopportune days. And since Valentine's Day is whenever we say it is, we never have to fight other love-struck couples for dinner reservations.

If you don't have a hard-and-fast date for this already, why set one? Celebrating your annual milestones as a couple with a moveable feast that changes its date according to your needs and whims can be pretty darned convenient.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:25 PM on December 6, 2008 [3 favorites]

First date... first kiss...

...or perhaps that night on the eve of your birthday when you both went to the bar, had a few drinks, ran into some friends, then stayed at the bar after the friends left, on into your birthday proper, then started making out at the bar, then started falling down drunk at the bar (at which point your date was told to get you out of there), then stumbled toward your apartment (with the help of your date and a mutual friend you ran into on the street), then had trouble when your date couldn't manage to convince you that you had, in fact, arrived at your building and that you didn't, in fact, live one building over, then slept (actually slept) in the same bed, then woke up in the morning sick and hungover, at which point the whole night that you'd blacked out of your memory was retold to you by your date, then went to work and somehow ended up leaving early at approximately the same time as your date did, getting his call just as you were about home and thus went to his apartment (across the street from yours) instead, then curled up together on the date's couch until you both felt well enough to venture out, at which point you went to dinner that you both felt too sick to eat much of at a restaurant a block from your apartments, then went back to the date's apartment...

That paragraph there's probably the one I'd count. But that's probably just me.
posted by limeonaire at 7:35 PM on December 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

The day we met. It would have been the day of our first kiss, ten days later, but we met on Friday the 13th and that date is just too awesome to pass up.

I'm determined to eventually marry on 9/13 so that our anniversary won't change.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:42 PM on December 6, 2008

It's nice to have a date to celebrate every year, but it really doesn't matter what event you choose to celebrate, so long as you both agree on it. For some people, it's obvious when the first date was, but others might have trouble nailing it down to a particular day (and sometimes it's not clear exactly what's a "date"). If you made a big point about being exclusive (when I was a teenager, this was huge), or about being able to call her/him your girl/boyfriend, then they might make candidates. I imagine for most people, that won't be the case. First kiss is a fine choice, provided it was a big deal (some people will kiss anyone when they're drunk). Ultimately, you should just find something that is distinctive enough that you both feel fondly about it.

With me and my girlfriend, we celebrate the anniversary of our first date. We had to do some hard thinking to remember when this exactly was, and the margin of error is +/-2 days. But we agreed upon a day to celebrate it as nothing else seemed right. First kiss would've been fine, but that was New Year's Eve, and keeping our anniversary separate of other holidays was important to me. (Why decrease the number of times you get to celebrate in a year?) Not much else had a definite date. I'd always made it a point of dating people exclusively, and even if I hadn't, the fact that it usually took me months to get up the courage to ask someone out would have enforced it for me.

I probably would have agreed to any date that my girlfriend had suggested, but after we'd been together long enough that it was obvious even to us that we'd eventually be married, I did make one stipulation: that I would not be required to remember the anniversary of our first date after we had a proper wedding anniversary to celebrate.
posted by ErWenn at 7:52 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

We met sometime in January and neither of us knows quite when, and went through a couple of weeks of hanging out without ever really discussing whether it was 'dating' before getting more serious about clearly crossing that line. We picked an arbitrary date in late January and celebrate that. If we think of it, which some years neither of us does. Clearly we are not the most romantic folks in the world, but it works well enough for us.
posted by Stacey at 8:12 PM on December 6, 2008

We just picked a date sometime around when we started hooking up as more than friends with benefits...we went with January 14th, because its exactly one month before Valentine's Day and thus easier to remember!
posted by wuzandfuzz at 8:33 PM on December 6, 2008

It's not just dating folk who face this problem. MrTaff and I met and married reasonably quickly (~ 6ish weeks) in India. Aaaaah, young lurve...

Problem being, that in India, you have two court appearances. The first one where you turn up and sign paperwork and they ask you about your fathers and their addresses/permissions... (bringing with you two Indian and one Tibetan lawyer and a shiteload of baksheesh, of course).... your fiance goes off in to the courthouse leaving you outside in a cafe with some friends... and pops out occasionally to ask for more information and your passport.

If he hasn't, in fact, sold you for three goats by this time and it all seems legit... you come back one month later and sign more paperwork in front of a long-haired bohemian skivvy wearing magistrate... you sign a certificate to state that neither of you are an "idiot or a lunatic" and that you have been living as man and wife for the last month. (By the way, don't tell anyone in India that MrTaff and I lied to the court.... he's an idiot, and I'm a lunatic or they may dissolve our marriage)

So our problem is that we don't know which courtdate, signing ceremony to celebrate... the one where we signed originally... and I sat in the cafe drinking chai... or the one where we signed to say that we'd been living as man and wife for a month.

Being the "girl" in the relationship... I chose to ignore them both and try to remember the month. When registering ToddlerTaff's birth on her birth certificate, we put her birthday as the date of marriage because it was close enough and we thought we could remember that in the future. Thank god Australian law doesn't make you state that you're not an idiot or a lunatic when you have kids, or we'd have been forcibly sterilised some time ago...
posted by taff at 9:07 PM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's gotta be a talk-about-it thing. Last girlfriend & I went round about this: I picked our first date; she picked the date when we agreed to be exclusive. Ya gotta agree, and get the decision out of the way.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:27 PM on December 6, 2008

The "what the girl says omglol!1!1!" idea is great- unless you're gay, or straight but not a walking-cliche couple straight from the Macbook of an ABC sitcom hack.

In either of those cases, I say pick a pick a day that means something to both of you. Or, if neither of you cares very much, just don't bother with formal anniversaries.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:33 PM on December 6, 2008 [2 favorites]

Yeah, talk about it. With us there was the day he first officially declared his intentions (though it'd been fairly obvious before), then our first official date, and somewhere in between was a group outing with friends who still thought we needed to be "pushed together" and decided to "ditch" us halfway through to make it a "date", teehee.

So we went with that, because it was amusing.
posted by Phire at 9:42 PM on December 6, 2008

We chose first date. And that felt right - we met online, so this was our first "in person" meeting. YMMV.
posted by twiki at 9:57 PM on December 6, 2008

My husband and I picked the day that he asked me to be his girlfriend. We hung out but didn't officially "date" before that day, and we were never not exclusive since he officially asked me to be his girlfriend.

But then when it came time to get married, he was way too worried with the date imo. He didn't want to have to remember two different dates, even though I told him I don't even care to remember the day we got married and would rather just keep using our same anniversary date. We dated for six years and that's the one pounded into our heads, after all. He was sort of tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing, but seeing as how it gave some direction in eliminating arbitrary dates, I went with it.

Well, we decided to just get married on our anniversary date. That ended up not entirely working out. We just wanted to go to the courthouse, no real ceremony or anything, but this year our anniversary fell on a Saturday and the judge charges an extra $200 to officiate on weekends, which was completely understandable. We decided to just get married on Friday instead. Technically it's still two dates, but it's close enough that my husband doesn't seem to care, lol. The whole thing was kind of silly to me, but no big deal.

The moral of the story is, seriously, whatever date you pick doesn't matter. Pick a ballpark date if things are hazy. Once you're used to it, you're used to it.
posted by Nattie at 10:51 PM on December 6, 2008

There were so many possibilities that in the end, we basically picked a day out of a hat: we realized that in such-and-such month, nothing else happened that was worth celebrating and we wanted something to celebrate. We picked a day with consecutive numbers (eg, 7/8) so it would be easy to remember. In other words, I don't think you have to take this picking-a-day thing seriously unless one of you does.
posted by salvia at 11:11 PM on December 6, 2008

We celebrate the day we met because it was new year's eve (and pretty epic), and also first kiss/starting dating. We celebrate a few other anniversaries, too, but our lifestyle is fairly spartan, so we like to have reasons to do special things together.
posted by itesser at 11:15 PM on December 6, 2008

My gf decided that our anniversary would be the day she decided to stop avoiding me...since this date is debatable, we decided the date would be Labor Day....
posted by schyler523 at 12:12 AM on December 7, 2008

I think my boyfriend and I just have a few weeks span time... ie, late August/early September. Neither one of us, committed as we are, seem to be able to remember exact milestones.
posted by liverbisque at 3:29 AM on December 7, 2008

It's always been First Date or First Kiss for me, whichever comes first. Even if our intentions had been vague at that point (merely drunken hooking up? short term casual? long term committed? green card scam?), the way I figure it is, the only reason we'd be looking for an anniversary date is if we ended up being reasonably serious.
posted by lizzicide at 6:44 AM on December 7, 2008

One day prior to conception.
posted by Manhasset at 7:14 AM on December 7, 2008

We celebrate the first kiss, which was a pretty easy landmark since it was the first kiss for both of us. It's a few days before valentine's, so we generally end up combining them. We're still dating, though; I don't know what we'll do when we get married.
posted by lilac girl at 8:03 AM on December 7, 2008

By the time we got around to thinking about such a thing as an anniversary, my girlfriend and I couldn't remember the exact dates of any of our significant moments (first date/kiss etc). We both agreed that dating began in April. So we decided that April would be our anniversary month, and that one or both of us would just arrange something fun to do as a surprise for the other sometime in April. Seems like that could go wrong (I assume she is going to set something up so I don't do anything and vice versa) but it's worked well for years now. It's nice because it gives a lot of flexibility in what and where we can celebrate, rather than, "oh crap, here comes that anniversary on the xth, time to call the florist."
posted by otolith at 8:18 AM on December 7, 2008

We've been going with sometime around the date that we decided to be exclusive. Neither of us is exactly sure when that date was, but we have a general idea, so we just picked a date, deciding that that would be our anniversary.

I don't think I remember what that date was.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:05 AM on December 7, 2008

I'm a girl. My partner is a boy. We don't really celebrate an anniversary on a particular date, though we agree that the first time we spent the weekend together (rather than just the night) is when we started thinking of ourselves as a couple, rather than a hookup. We use this as our "how long have you two been together" answer. Six years as of Dec 1ish.
posted by desuetude at 8:04 PM on December 7, 2008

All these people saying only the girl cares and so only the girl ultimately decides aren't necessarily right. My fiance was all gung-ho about celebrating our anniversary, which was the last thing I expected from him. He made a big deal the first time around and I was not at all prepared for it (wasn't even thinking about anniversary dates period at the time). I also personally disagreed with how he determined it--he went the, um, crass route and assumed it was the night we got together physically. In my mind, if someone forced me to pin it down to a day I'd choose the day we had The Talk about, yes, attempting an exclusive relationship (aka the "Um, you know I like you, right? I mean like, really like you"), which was a while before the date he uses. Since I don't really care much about such things, his date is the one we use. So. Yeah. It's not always strictly gendered the way people are saying it is here. And we're not super non-conformist about our personal gender presentation either (though I admit I tend to think of my mind/personality as rather androgynous). He's certainly not a femmy guy, anyway...
posted by ifjuly at 8:22 PM on December 7, 2008

The day we made contact on Nerve.com personals. It's on record.
posted by monospace at 10:54 AM on December 8, 2008

The first day we didn't want to leave each other at the end of the day.
posted by Billegible at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

er, physically remove ourselves from the presence of. Not, the first day we didn't want to break up.
posted by Billegible at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2009

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