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How Long Do People Usually Date Before They Get Married?

by Marianna Tabares

The length of time that people date before they get married can vary. Because different situations affect the length of time people wait before they wed, a few examples are discussed.

Short-Term Dating Before Marriage

Man proposing to young woman

You may have heard this discussed on the radio or on television: some people get married rather quickly after they begin dating. Some couples have shared that, after a mere two dates, they got married. Sometimes this leads to successful marriages, while others don't last more than a year. Some couples will date anywhere between a week to six months before they marry. In that time, they have decided that they are in love, and marriage feels like a natural and appropriate choice. Not everyone agrees that getting married after dating for such a short period of time is a wise decision, but these situations are often unique. For example, a widowed man might wait a year or two before dating again and then marry almost immediately when finally dating a new woman. Some widowers spend more time waiting, but the majority don't and remarry rather quickly. According to IDoTakeTwo.com, anyone who has been married already comes with memories of a previous relationship. This can prompt the widow or widower to be fearless in moving very quickly into marriage after dating for a short period of time.

Long-Term Dating Before Marriage

Man proposing to woman

For many other couples, it can take between one and three years of dating before they are sure that they want to get married. They might weigh things out over the months and years and get to know each other on as many levels of intimacy as they can. They want to have enough time to know each others' quirks and habits and any potential annoyances that they might not like to deal with in marriage. During this dating process, couples might decide to move in together before they are sure that they want to get married. In this case, it can take about a year or two of dating before a couple that is in love will finally get married. Depending on the amount of time required to plan a wedding, another year may be added before marriage.

Rates of Success

Happy couple

The success of any of these marriages relies on the people involved in the relationship. Basic elements remain fundamental to marriage regardless of the length of time spent dating prior to that union. For example, both people in the relationship must feel that they can trust each other and that they have also become great friends. Marriage that follows dating for only a short time can last for many years, though they may not necessarily be very easy years. It's easier to get married than it is to stay married under healthy terms. Marrying after short-term dating means learning on the spot how to run the household efficiently and with a great amount of cooperation. It also means taking the time to learn about what goals both people want to achieve during their lives and to work toward making them happen. Marriage that follows long-term dating means that both people took more time to discuss their plans and work toward a lasting relationship. They have used their time during dating to get to know things about each other that one doesn't usually learn while trying to impress the other person during short-term dating.

Positive and Negative Outcomes

Couple having a disagreement

Long-term dating has its benefits when deciding if that other person is someone you want to marry. For example, the longer you date, the more likely you are to experience troublesome moments. These will test whether the other person has the strength to get through those moments with you. Sometimes trying times bring you closer together and make you more sure about wanting to be with that person for a life-long commitment. The only downside is that you cannot truly know what the future holds, and a very drastic event could still break the bonds of marriage. In short-term dating, the benefit of marrying immediately is that it is possible that you will both try very hard to make the marriage successful. You go into it with a lot of passion and romance. The downside is making sure that those feelings can be lasting and can withstand the trials and tribulations that come with life and affect both people in the relationship.

Bottom Line

Couple getting married

The length of time people date before they get married varies so much between couples because each relationship has its own dynamic. If you are in tune with your significant other, you should be able to tell if that person is marriage-minded and whether you will work together for the commitment that comes with it. Marriage is far different than cohabitation, and it can work out well for people who are serious about staying together and going through life's experiences with a strong companion. The bottom line is that only you and your significant other decide how long you date before you know that you want to be married to each other. You have to gauge, on your own, the intensity of your dating situation and whether your romantic feelings are mutual.

References

About the Author

I have worked as a writer for approximately two years creating original articles, proofreading, and editing copy used for websites and informational texts. I hold a BA in English Literature. I worked as an English teacher in grades 6-12. I work with Attraction Marketing Formula, LLC as their in-house writer.

Photo Credits

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