A lot has changed regarding marriage in the last few decades. Historically, marriage was seen as a partnership and it was mandatory to get married, but now it’s very different. People tend to marry only the one they think it’s their soulmate and marriage itself is very optional. Moreover, the age people get married has changed. The average age of marriage was 20.3 for women and 22.8 for men in the 1950s, while today it’s 27.1 for women and 29.2 for men.
Modern couples are rewriting the rulebook and decide to wait until later in their lives to get married. Nowadays, couples tend to spend more time in a relationship before deciding to tie the knot. So, you might be asking yourself what’s the average time dating before marriage today?
It has been estimated that couples spend 4.9 years (58.7 months) in a relationship on average before getting married. This means that they get to know each other better before tying the knot. Additionally, it was discovered that couples would spend 3.5 years living together before actually getting married and that an average couple would have had two serious relationships before settling down.
The 4.9 years in a relationship before making that commitment was broken down to 17 months dating before moving in together, 22 months living together before getting engaged, and 20 months before getting married. Hence, the average time of living together before marriage is 3.5 years.
Another study, called the PAIR Project, conducted by the Penn State University, followed 168 newlywed couples over 14 years and determined each couple’s relationship satisfaction throughout. The results from this study showed that the happiest couple in marriage were the ones who had dated an average of twenty-five months before marriage.
On the other hand, many couples who dated an average of eighteen months and were engaged for half that time were more likely to get married and survived only 7 years of marriage and many divorced.
This general time frame doesn’t and cannot fit all couples. Instead, it depends on the couples when they’ll feel ready for a bigger commitment and when they feel marriage is appropriate. It also depends on the age and the life stage when people enter into a relationship. Hence, when it’s the right time to get married and how long you should be in a relationship before making that commitment will depend on a number of factors, such as how well you know your significant other, how happy you are in your relationship, what’s your expectation of marriage, and whether you see yourself in a marriage with that person.
So, when you’ll take the plunge depends on you and your particular situation and you shouldn’t be guided by an average time or studies.