If you are seriously dating someone, how long should it be before you pop the question?
How much time does it take to determine if he or she is “the one”? I know of people who have gotten married very quickly (like in a matter of days) and are still married decades later—and people who did the same thing and were divorced just as quickly.
Another reader – who was attempting to shoot down my assertion that you should ideally wait 2-3 years before getting engaged – sent me a link to a super-informative article.
“The fact of a couple moving quickly toward marriage is not in and of itself a problem as much as what is driving the speed.
Some couples bury their concerns over such differences; others brood over them. •Anxiety, moodiness, and emotional swings in the wife or the husband do not preordain divorce, but they are related to unhappiness in marriage.
•The birth of a child transforms couples’ lifestyles, but it does not change the feelings husbands or wives have about each other.
•Unhappily married couples had low-key courtships that moved forward slowly because either one or both of the partners lacked much warmth or had difficult personalities.
•Early exiters (what Huston calls “Country Music Romances”) divorced very quickly, within two to seven years of marrying.
I would argue that, say, over 35 years-old, people need less than 2 years pre-proposal because they know themselves better than do the young’uns.
Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I was invited to attend The Porch by a friend.
By the same token, if one party is really delaying marriage (going beyond 4 years), then it’s not a matter of being cautious, it’s a sign that he/she doesn’t really want to get married.
Other useful takeaways: •Happily married couples shared many traits, including courtships that progressed smoothly toward marriage with little drama; their courtships had a quiet, romantic feeling, but as important, they sensed they were marrying someone who could be a good friend.
It’s entirely possible – I might argue, probable – to fall in love with someone who would be a terrible spouse for you.