I definitely don’t think it’s a bad idea for couples to date for a longer period of time prior to deciding to marry. I personally believe that a decision regarding marriage is the second most import decision a person will ever make.
However, depending on a couple’s ages and life experiences, as well as some other factors, I also do not think eight months is too short of a period of time to make that decision.
Prior to meeting my DH (much later in life than I ever anticipated), I had several longer-term (i.e. those lasting two years or more) relationships (one in high school, one while in college, and one years after college), and, although I thought I loved each of those guys, none turned out to be the right one for me.
I met my DH online, and we communicated in writing and by phone for a couple of months before meeting in person. However, we became engaged just five months after our first date, and, because we lived three hours away from each other ahd both had very busy schedules, we only saw each other for a short time just two or, occasionally, three times a month, before and after becoming engaged.
What absolutely intrigues me is that I personally believe God had my DH and me on a fast track for marriage for many reasons, not the least of which is that, if I HAD known some of what I would end up facing in my new life as a pastor’s wife and stepmother and as a result of my having to relocate to a very small town in a rural area of another state, I may NOT have decided to marry.
However, this does NOT mean that I regret my decision; rather, it means that I’m glad I didn’t know in advance some of the difficulties, stresses, and challenges I would face, because, if I had known, given my highly analytical nature, I very likely may have talked myself out of taking the plunge. And, if I had, I would have missed out on some tremendous personal and spiritual growth in my own life as well as many wonderful blessings.