How long should you date before marriage?

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: How long should you date before marrying?
    1-2 years : (42 votes)
    40 %
    3-4 years : (53 votes)
    51 %
    5+ years : (9 votes)
    9 %
  • Post # 46
    Member
    564 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    It’s really personal obviously. I’m older and it took us 2 years to get engaged (3 to get married), which seemed like forever for me given my age, but he’s convinced we moved really fast. I know people who took almost a decade and people who got married within weeks/months of meeting and have been married for 20 years. 

    Post # 47
    Member
    302 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    We will be dating for 6 years by the time we get married. We met when I was 22 and he was 24, dated for 4.5 years before getting engaged. Then we had a 1.5 year engagement. When we get married this June I will be 28 and him 29. 

    Post # 48
    Member
    53 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    Unless I was young, I think 2 years or more of dating without a ring would be too much and I would probably check out. Again, if I were still in my early or mid 20’s when we met that might be different. I read a study once that says that couples who get married before dating for at least a year have higher divorce rates than those that date longer. But not necessarily the longer the better because couples who are still not married after 3 years of dating also have a higher divorce rate than those that were married after 1 year of dating and before the 3 year mark and the divorce rate goes up again if they have been together 5 years or longer before getting married. I wonder why that might be. 

    Post # 49
    Member
    227 posts
    Helper bee

    churrosandroses :  I always thought it would be a few years for me, but I married my husband eleven months after we started dating. He was in a 7 year relationship before me, and never considered marriage with her. He bought the ring within three months of our first date, since he “just knew”.

    It felt so natural, I couldn’t imagine it taking any longer than what it was. But I realize I may be an exception, most of my friends were engaged within a year and a half, and married by three years.  

    Post # 50
    Member
    318 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I think it works out differently for everyone, I m a big believer that you should live with the person before you re married. Otherwise I wouldn’t say a particular amount of time is necessary for it to be a successful marriage just that you work well together as a couple especially when it comes to communicating and solving any problems between you. 

    We’ll be 22 and 26 when we get married just before our 4th anniversary after 3.5 years of living together, which for us feels right but might not be for others. 

    Post # 51
    Member
    1661 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    Age has a HUGE bearing on this IMO. Fiance and I met at 17 and even though we were madly in love and knew we wanted to be together, I wasn’t going to be teen bride! 100% not ready yet.

    We dated for 8 years before getting engaged but were still ‘young’ by society’s standards – 25.

    BUT if I had met my Fiance even 2 years ago I’d be wanting a ring. I want a couple kids before 30 so that changes timelines a bit. By your mid-20s you’re also more mature, financially secure etc so less excuses not to get married or at least know the direction a relationship is headed in by at least a year or two.

    We’re getting married in just under 3 months and will be 26. 9 years together, a home together, college degrees, careers set up, some travel under our belts. We’re just ready now.

    Post # 52
    Member
    500 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    We got engaged on our 2 year anniversary and got married 10 months later. We were friends for 2-3 years before starting to date so I did know my husband a bit longer. Perfect timing for us! I was 24 and he was 28 when we got engaged. 

    Post # 53
    Member
    677 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    It depends on age and the experiences both adults have had. Fi and I started dating when I was 17, about 6 months after we first met. Had he proposed a year into our relationship, it would have felt too soon. At 18, I still had a lot to learn about myself and about us as a couple. 

    Post # 54
    Member
    1362 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

    churrosandroses :  Regarding the issue of studying and/or financially stable. If you’re married, it limits where you can attend college or graduate school. Say you got into your dream school, but you can’t go because you’re stuck wherever your partner has a job geographically. Or, you might not even ever think about applying to a great school because you’re currently married in Town X in the middle of nowhere and so you might end up getting a sub-par education? A degree which you might be forking down a lot of time and money for, and will probably only happen once in your life.

    Financially stable – getting married is not necessarily a financial issue. But everything associated with marriage (ie house, kids, joint bank accounts, other family, actual furniture, a sense of responsibility for providing, etc.) comes with it.

    Post # 55
    Member
    1362 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

    And now to answer the actual question: I think it’s a spectrum:

    If you live together already, maybe <1 year. If you live nearby <2 years. If you are long distance <3 years.

    Post # 57
    Member
    924 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    As people have said, I think it varies, and what I’ve seen it vary by the most is what stage of life people are in when they meet “the one.”

    For instance, one of my good friends has been with her boyfriend for nearly 8 years, but they started dating in college. They just recently got their own apartment and have started talking about getting engaged. Another friend of mine met her fiancé when she was 23. They got engaged last summer after 4 years of dating. I started dating my fiancé when I was 26 (turning 27), and we got engaged after 5 months. 

    We’re all getting engaged (or seriously talking about it) around the same age and life stage, but because of when we met our guys, we all have very different dating timelines. 

    Post # 58
    Member
    2805 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    I don’t think it needs to matter. Each couple is unique. Darling Husband and I were together for 6 years (and knew each other for 14) before getting married. My parents got engaged within 2 months of meeting (and just celebrated 40 years), and my Brother-In-Law and SIL were married within 6 months of dating. Not everything in life needs rules.

     

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