What is the Average Dating Time Before Marriage? (2023 Updated)

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How long you date before getting married might be a significant consideration when deciding when to get married. There may not be a “correct” amount of time spent dating, but averages and trends might give you a good indication. In this article, we’ll take a look at the average dating time before marriage, as well as the variables that might affect this number. Scroll down this Viva Wedding Photography post to find the clearest answer!

What’s the average dating time before marriage in the US?

Two years or more of dating is the average time before getting married, as reported by The Knot. Almost 70% of the couples confirmed, which suggests that about 30% of the engaged couples had been together for less than two years.

Another internal survey showed that the average engagement time for American couples was 16 months. Although it might be interesting to hear these marriage statistics, you shouldn’t let them affect your decision. Spend as much time as you need with your future spouse to ensure you are both happy and prepared for your future together.

Two years or more is the common time to get married for most couples
Two years is the average relationship length before marriage (Image: Wedding Wire)

To address this, ‘traditional expectations’ from the baby boomer generation and peer pressure are the sources of relationship timelines.

Millennials are breaking the norm (or at least attempting to) by getting serious later, working harder for longer, and multi-dating until the emotional and actual love connection is clear. When it comes to the timing of a wedding day, the truth is that a couple should experience each step of their relationship progress only when the time is appropriate for them. It’s all a matter of time, availability, and preparation.

This explains why the younger generation isn’t as quick to rush into marriage as their parent’s generation was. They take their time considering potential partners. It might be that people are being selected because they are looking for a “better chance,” or it could be because the abundance of dating apps has made it simpler than ever to be “picky” with our romantic partners.

average relationship length before proposal
Don’t rush into marriage until we’re ready (Image: Pop Sugar)

While the experts had different opinions on whether or not it is ever “too soon” to be engaged, they can all agree on one thing: you’ll know you’re ready to get engaged when you know you’ve met the magical “one.”

Romantically speaking, an engagement is only acceptable when you are truly, madly, deeply in love and want to express an outward commitment to the world of how you feel inside.

Hence, although three weeks may be considered “too soon” by others, it may be exactly fine for some.

>>> Recommend reading: 15 Questions To Ask Before Getting Married For A Happy Future

Expert Advice: How long should people date before getting engaged?

This may come as no surprise to some, but there is no set rule as to when one should know about the engagement. Some “love at first sight” couples may believe three days is all it takes to propose, while relationship experts may advise waiting the first three months before getting engaged. No matter how many times you hear, “You’re diving in too fast” or “It took him too long to propose,” you still won’t find a perfect formula.

What’s the average dating time before moving in?

Most couples get engaged and move in together after dating for a year and a half, often after 10 to 16 months.

However, according to relationship expert Ben Edwards, a couple’s timeline should convey what they believe is best for them. He advised getting to know someone as well as possible before making important decisions like getting married or moving in together.

how long to date before moving in
10 months to 16 months is the average time dating before moving in (Image: The Healthy)

Relationships will always have misunderstandings, but how those conflicts are handled and what causes them may reveal much about the other person.

Let your feelings guide you, and trust your intuition while making serious life choices. If you have a good feeling that this is the right person, it probably is.

What does the research tell us?

Two-thirds of married people who lived with their spouse before being married agree that doing so was a step toward marriage, according to a 2019 survey of over 10,000 U.S. adults conducted by the Pew Research Center.

average amount of time dating before marriage
It’s OK to move in together before getting marriage (Image: verilymag)

The answer is “yes” when asked whether engaged couples should share an apartment before tying the knot. Everybody should decide for themselves. If they have been seeing each other over a long distance but are thinking about getting married, it’s a good idea to try living together for a while.

>>> Read more: Engagement Party Etiquette: A Guide For A Joyful Celebration

So what does this mean for you to have a successful marriage?

Some married couples seem meant for each other, but this doesn’t mean you should rush into a wedding ceremony. There is no “ideal” length of time for a current relationship. Be comfortable talking about it with your partner because if you aren’t, you’re not ready!

If you’ve been in a relationship for a few months, you’re obviously not giving one other enough time and are likely engaged quickly. The average period couples date is roughly one to two years. Couples often need two to three years of dating to really get to know a person’s life.

there is no ideal average dating time before marriage
There’s no formula for a wedding (Image: First Things First)

Ben Edwards said, “The world is changing. Men and women of a given age group used to be expected to choose their life mates early on, get married, have children, and remain married until death.”

With more opportunities and fewer restrictions, “norms” in society are being examined. We don’t think there is a “right” amount of time to wait before getting engaged. We’ve seen couples get engaged after just three months of dating while others wait five years.

You might also think about seeing a family therapist or marriage counselor before tying the knot. It might benefit you and your partner to seek professional help, whether individually or together, even if neither of you is experiencing difficulties.

Things to consider before marriage

Due to financial concerns, people are delaying weddings for extended periods of time. The cost of a wedding is usually rather high. Besides, many people feel uncertain about their careers and finances. Therefore they are afraid to pay for expensive weddings with their resources or those of their parents.

According to research conducted in 2017 by the Pew Research Center, almost half of all single persons between the ages of 18 and 29 mention financial insecurity as a major reason they never get married. The average American owes more than $1.64 trillion in student loans, making it a priority for many engaged couples to either eliminate or significantly reduce their debt in this area before saying, “I do.”

average dating time before marriage
Things to consider before weddings (Image: Rccaustin)

Marriage often results in more happiness for a couple than cohabiting does. According to a 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center, 80% of married people report feeling closer to their spouse or partner than to any other adult, but just 55% of those who cohabit report feeling this way.

“When two people decide to be married, it’s a silent commitment that they’re on the same page about the relationship, want the same things, and will be there for each other no matter what. Having this assurance makes both partners feel less threatened by the other’s future disappearance and more secure in their own sense of safety inside the relationship.

8 signs you’re ready to propose:

1. You’ve talked about a happy marriage

Contrary to common belief, proposals should not come as a “surprise.” We advise not making the proposal until both people know exactly what they want from a relationship. Yet the proposal’s when, where, and how could be a nice surprise.

Your partner should have already been thinking about possibly marrying you before you popped the question. When two people are ready to become engaged, they’ve had talks in which they’ve both indicated a wish to get married soon.

2. You think of your future as a unit instead of as an individual

Another sign to detect whether or not a couple is ready to tie the knot is by listening in on their plans. When talking about the future, you stop using “I” and “me” and start using “we,” “us,” and “our” instead.

Even when daydreaming about your honeymoon phase, your spouse is always a part of what happens. The way you talk about your future together (with phrases like “our house” and “our kids”) suggests that you are working toward that goal.

3. You’re on the same page about all the big stuff

Straight Talk: Does The Length of The Relationship Matter Before Marriage?

One should know precisely what their partner is looking for in a spouse before getting engaged. In one example, “Do they want to tie the knot? Is monogamy important to them? Are children something you’re looking forward to as a couple?” To make sure you’re on the same page, it’s essential to ask each other these questions before starting a family.

Before tying the knot, you should ensure you and your partner have the same goal and a similar approach to life. After in-depth discussions, you’re ready to ask when you know how your partner feels and believe in the most important things to both of you.

  • Talk about money, including spending and saving, any financial goals you are working toward, and how you plan to handle shared costs
  • How important religion will be to you and your future offspring
  • Values and politics
  • Where to live
  • How do you plan to handle shared household duties?
  • Personal aspects (For example: On weekends, do you like to go out or relax at home? How often do you drink or try to stay sober? How do you and your partner deal with your well-being and health?)

4. You like how they treat people, not just how they treat you

Before popping the question, you should check one more thing off your list. You’ve taken the time to examine how your significant other interacts with important people outside of your relationships, such as how they treat their friends, family, and even strangers.

average dating time before marriage
See how your partner treats her/ his surroundings (Image: Hack Spirit)

Nevertheless, how does this person treat their surroundings in contrast to only you? The sign they treat you now is probably quite indicative of how they treat most people in their social circles. After a few years, when the highs of early romance have worn off and you’re deep into both the stressful and tedious minutiae of regular living, that will be pretty evident.

5. You’ve experienced making decisions together

Many couples are ready to pop the question once they have gained insight into making big and small choices. You’ve been able to work together, making decisions while still respecting one another’s perspective.

Suppose you and your partner have a tradition of working out your differences amicably, and you’ve seen this happen often. In that case, this is an encouraging indicator that your connection is solid enough to support a happy marriage.

6. Your conflicts rarely get nasty

The way you resolve your problems is extremely important in a successful marriage. If you notice that your arguments tend to become disrespectful and unpleasant, you should pause for a while before getting married. Engaging in conversation won’t improve it.

how often to meet when first dating
You are always nice when it comes to arguments (Image: Buzz Feed)

It’s time to get married if you and your partner have built a record of success in productively working through disagreements. You’ve probably spent a lot of time learning how to remain calm in conflict and avoid the negative behaviors that have harmed you in the past.

7. You’re starting to think about married life

One emotional indicator sign of readiness to get married is when you daydream about life as husband and wife. You’re making progress toward proposing when this happens. You start daydreaming about “how you might propose, what ring types you may consider, what the wedding would look like, and what you might do after you are married.”

8. You’re open to premarital counseling

You may go into your marriage with all the information, relationship skills, and confidence you need if you and your partner go through premarital counseling to get over some of the important problems and topics of contention before the honeymoon stage comes.

average dating time before engagement us
You are both preparing for the wedding (Image: Talkspace)

Before you propose whether your partner is prepared to put your relationship up for success via premarital counseling, by having this discussion, you may learn a lot about each other’s perspectives on personal growth and the value of investing time and energy into your marriage.

>>> Further reading:

The average dating time before marriage differs for every couple. Although there is no definitive guide for how long a couple should date before getting engaged, looking at national averages might give you a good idea. Most importantly, both of you are on the same page and eager to take your relationship to the next level. You can choose your case best if you deeply discuss it with your partner.

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