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Its been all of three years since we started ‘knowing’ each other. For those protesting that its actually ‘almost six’ not ‘three’, I will not count the years of bike rides, endless movies, long island ice teas, long-distance phone bills, different cities and people, keeping Indigo happy and well-fed by the sudden ‘surprise’ visits. I will not count them because although they ‘count’ (a lot!) you don’t really start ‘knowing’ each other until you discover which one of you is willing to drag themselves out of the snug blanket on a freezing Sunday morning to get the doorbell or which one will be the first to let the issue (and ego) drop. Or simply put, until you have ‘shared responsibility’.

While the first year is a whirlwind of the shiny and the new, the second is a frenzy of emotions ranging from absolute bliss to utter despair – both brought on by the dawning realization that this is it, its a done deal and for keeps. Three is a coming-of-age in many ways, where you find your groove and round off the sharp edges. Especially if both of you happen to be the fiercely independent kinds and were getting a teeny bit worried that you have become more dependent than you originally set out to be, Three is the landmark year where you truly understand that you can be a great ‘us’ without losing the ‘you’ and the ‘me’.

So heres a roundup of what made “Three” significant!

1. An attack of typhoid coinciding with a mother in ICU acting as a baptism by fire for both individuals and the relationship, testing the boundaries of patience and strength of character. Its not for nothing that they say a crisis brings out our true nature, and if we ever needed an affirmation that “its alright” then this was it.

2. A wedding which was missed and one which was wasnt – sacrifices made, noted and filed for future redemption ;)

3. A trip with friends gone slightly wrong that made you realize that you are basically more alike than sometimes you think you are, and that you will support each other not because you are a couple but because the same things disgust you. When it comes to the crunch its good to know who’s on your side.

4. Broken glasses, missing spoons, even a mysteriously disappearing saucepan! You finally see the joke and stop counting…mix ‘n’ match sets for everyday use work just fine. And every broken glass is now a funny story, an incident, a memory of the good times.

5. The fish survive a year! A huge milestone for the people whose first (and only) plant died because they forgot. Thankfully there were people who trusted you enough to gift you another which you are valiantly keeping alive.

6. Certain technicalities force you to revisit your ‘legal’ identity and the verdict is out – changing or ‘adding’ a surname is completely unnecessary and officially sucks. And while before it was something you may have been indifferent to, when it comes down to signing on the dotted line you realize its just not you. And ‘love’ got nothing to do with it.

7. You pull off a long-awaited mega trip and in the process acknowledge each others forte – so he knows he can trust you with the itinerary and planning and you know you can rely on him to get it done, including the details you were happy to ignore in pursuit of the ‘bigger picture’.

8. Stranded in a remote village station in an unknown country in the middle of the night with only a lamp for company, you face actual fear for the first time. When its over, you know you will do what it takes to protect each other (and also that you did get lucky!).

9. The first appearance of a huge rat in the kitchen jolts you out of ‘domestic bliss’ and after getting over the initial horror, you get the poison and he sets the trap. You grit your teeth and do whats necessary. Theres an odd feeling of satisfaction on a job well done. Together.

10. Friends may move away, relationships change irreversibly, and the faces stripped of their masks may be ugly. When the party is over, it strikes you that this is the only relationship (barring immediate family) you can count on. For what seems like good!