This Is How Long You Should Date Before Getting Married, Study Finds

by Lucy Cheek
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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

So you’ve met the person you want to grow old with—happy days! But whether you’ve been together two months or two years, you might be wondering when the “right” time is to get married. Researchers at Emory University surveyed more than 3000 currently or previously married people and found that dating one to two years significantly dropped the future likelihood of divorce by about 20%. Dating three or more years decreased the likelihood of divorce by about 50%.

However, according to Psychology Today, these time frames can’t possibly apply to everyone. If a couple meets at age 21, that’s different from 31, which provides a different context from 41. Also, some couples meet as strangers, while others have been friends for years. Instead of setting a timer, Psychology Today suggests using the below questions to evaluate whether you’re ready for the next step:

Do you view marriage as a relationship reboot? A magical wedding can’t change an unstable, unhealthy relationship into a stable, healthy one. Your relationship should be rock solid before you even think about putting a rock on your finger.

Do you know many sides of each other? Do you know, for example, how your partner thinks about and values money? How he or she would approach being a parent? It’s crucial to have these conversations before you contemplate marriage.

How happy do you think you’ll be? Recent research suggests that expected future satisfaction translates to current relationship commitment, to doing necessary relationship work, and, ultimately, to a lower risk of divorce.

Head over to Psychology Today for more questions to ask yourself before tying the knot, and share your thoughts on the study below.

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