(Closed) Ideal amount of time to date before getting engaged?

posted 10 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: What do you think is the ideal amount of time to date before getting engaged?

    If it feels right - immediately!

    Less than 6 months

    6 mos - 1 year

    1 year

    2-3 years

    3-4 years

    4-5 years

    More than 5 years

    It depends on your age (if you start dating young, more time; older, less time)

  • Post # 32
    463 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    i use to think 2-3 years would be ideal, but it really depends on the person and their relationship.   After i met my hubby, i knew probably after a year and a half that he would be the person i’d wanna marry.

    Post # 33
    3942 posts
    Honey bee

    View original reply
    @lezlers:People also tended to look at marriage differently in those times.  Women were far less independent and thus a lot less likely to leave their husbands if they were unhappy. Given all those factors, that particular comparison just isn’t valid anymore.

    Geez, relax. First of all I wasn’t comparing my 80 year old grandparents to couples today. The first thing I stated was that its different for everyone. There are people who get engaged after 2 months or after 20 years. I was just stating a fact.

    Second of all, I agree with you that times were different back then but I don’t agree that people were more mature. I think 20 years old today are able to experience a lot more and also move out on their own a lot sooner. Women back then didn’t “leave the nest” until they were married and then normally stayed home and raised the family. Today, its common for children to move out at 18, live in other parts of the country/world, have multiple jobs, etc.

    And FWIW-my grandmother attended college and worked full time before and after she was married. She was (and still is) an independent lady.

    Post # 34
    32 posts
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I’d say if you meet post-college, then 1-3 years.  If you meet in high school or college, then at least one full year after college graduation, if not two…so much happens and changes in that period, and so many couples come to the realization that they’re headed in different directions.  Most of my friends who met in HS/college dated a lot longer before getting engaged than those who met after the age of, say, 25.  From my own experience (was ready at a year, got engaged after 18 mos), it was a lot easier for me to know whether someone else was right for me when I was older and had a better sense of who I am and what I want.  Some people have that at a younger age than I did, though…I’ve had a looooong extended adolescence here in DC, playground for twenty-somethings.

    Post # 35
    1664 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    While I agree that there is no “right” length of time that applies to everyone, I think as a general rule, it depends on age.  If I had a 30-year-old friend or relative who became engaged after a year of dating, I wouldn’t think much of it.  If this friend or relative were 18 or 20 though, I would be concerned and would want to talk to him/her about it.

    We met when we were 22 and got engaged at 26/27.  We’ll both be 28 when we’re married.

    Post # 37
    2319 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    The older you get, the lesser the time I would suggest. People do – in a way – get wiser as they get older. Especially about who their partner will be.

    — Young and waiting for many years —

    I had a long-ass relationship starting at 15 (H.S.) that lasted me until I was 25! The guy was wishy-washy about marriage and broke up with me. I was not pressuring for marriage. I think I had only mentioned it 2-3 times at most about “our future together, our future family”, etc.

    — Getting older and putting a timeline —

    After that devastation, I met another guy almost immediately. He was a friend of a friend who knew I just came off a bad relationship and immediately courted me. I didn’t want to wait past 27 to be married. This guy turned out be a real a-hole! Abusive and such. Broke up and now I was 26.

    — Getting older and tightening that timeline even MORE due to two main factors —

    During the end of that relationship, I had made a new friend. I had no intentions of dating this guy but we ended up in a relationship just maybe 2-3 weeks after my previous one. Now I had placed an even shorter time limit. Basically in my head, I was getting fed up of dud relationships and also was aware of my biological clock ticking. I wanted to be married by 29. 

    I am past 29 and not married yet, (Got engaged at 28 after 2yrs + 3mths of dating). I knew deep down inside that this relationship was definitely ‘it’ because the guy is amazing.

    We were ready to marry less than a year into it but we waited due to circumstances. But this worked out better since we got to know eachother even more than what we thought we knew. So the answer is ‘get engaged when it feels right.’ Would it have been okay to marry right when we wanted to? Yep. Because we knew enough about each other to cross that bridge and that knowing part is VERY RELATIVE to each person. I didn’t know my previous bfs for years! But this one I knew almost IMMEDIATELY.

    Post # 38
    6890 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    Based on personal experience (duh) and friends’ experiences, I voted 2-3 years. Fiance and I dated 2 years and 9 months. My best friend and her Fiance dated 3 years and 3 months.We were in college for the majority of these relationships, which is why we wanted to date longer. I can say I “knew” after about 6 months and so did he, but we chose to wait several more years before getting to that level. I’m so glad we did.

    I just think that (considering our age = early 20s) that you should date for over 2 years. I have friends that dated a year, got engaged and got married within the next, and are now divorced. I just think the younger you are, the more you should probably date before you get engaged.

    We will have been together about 4 years on our wedding day. Of course, everyone is different. Not saying we are “right” or that getting engaged soon while young is “wrong,” I am just really glad I had that extra year and 9 months past the 1 year mark to get to know Fiance. We’ve also been living together since our 1 year.

    Post # 39
    1986 posts
    Buzzing bee

    “you’d be surprised, we’ve actually had some bees here admit to having a very rocky first year, yet still becoming engaged to their man.  It’s usually the younger bees.  Go figure.”

    Whats wrong with having a rocky year and then still getting married?

    Post # 40
    1893 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    View original reply
    @Bostongrl25: Geez, relax.

    It is possible to disagree with someone without being upset. Rest assured, no relaxation is needed.  As for the rest of your post, the intent was certainly not to offend, I was merely giving an opinion as to that comparison, as I see it quite often on these boards. I feel the same way about the whole “I wouldn’t invite 2 people to my home and make them bring their own beer, therefore, you need to spend 5,000 on an open bar or have no booze available at all at your wedding” argument. It’s simply not logical.

    Post # 41
    184 posts
    Blushing bee

    I think 2 yrs is a good length of time.  I think after 2 years in, you’ve had a chance to really assess the person you are with.  The bf and I have been together for almost 5 years though lol.

    Post # 42
    330 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    A great general rule of thumb is 2 years. The first year, you’re still showing your best. Around the second year is when the “real” you comes out, warts and all. 🙂 That’s when you can really consider if you can deal with that person for the rest of your life.

    Post # 43
    7768 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I chose “other.”  I don’t really see how there can be an ideal amount of time, personally.  Every relationship is unique, and I don’t think every relationship has to/ should lead to marriage.

    Post # 44
    1682 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I’d say anywhere between 1 year and 5 years.

    Post # 45
    442 posts
    Helper bee

    I chose 1 year, but actually think that it depends on the relationship.  Like the OP noted, age has A LOT to do with it.  That being said, there is no hard and fast rule though.

    Post # 46
    1766 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    I don’t want to put a time frame on it.  But the longer you have been dating, the better you know what you are signing up for. Fiance and I have been together for over 6 years, and not all of them were rainbows and unicorns.  We faced some challenging, difficult situations in our relationship, and in life in general.  The fact that we got through this together and are now as happy as can be makes me confident that we have a really good shot at being together ’til death do us part.

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