How Long Should You Date Before Getting Married

The dating landscape has considerably changed in the last three or four decades.  A large number of couples are willing to wait and are indeed waiting for a much longer period before tying the knot. There are many reasons as to why dating couples postpone marriage for as long as they can and go for extended courtships.  There used to be a time when sex before marriage was considered a taboo, and keeping one’s virginity intact till the D-day was held as sacrosanct.

But with the passage of time, the nature of relationship between a young man and a woman has undergone a sea-change as the parameters that delineated such associations also changed. The inhibitions and stigma attached with making love before the relationship is solemnized are slowly but surely being shed as sexual issues are being openly discussed in newspapers, TV channels, social networking sites, and online chat forums.

Nowadays, parents are also more willing to listen and talk about sex with their kids.  So, it is clear that sex does not play an overarching role anymore in prompting people to get married soon after they’ve started dating. Young people tend to be very careerist nowadays and are exclusively preoccupied with making their mark in life.

For most dating couples’s marriage is not the be-all and end-all of a relationship.  For them marriage is just an event in their association and they want to know each other in a better manner before taking the steps to the altar. They want to ensure that they’re marrying the right person and whether the individual with whom they’ll be taking the nuptial vows will stick with them through thick and then.

There used to be a time when people used to shudder at the idea of cohabiting before marriage but now it’s a reality as more and more couples are involved in live-in relationships to test their compatibility with each other in the long term. Many dating couples these days are extra cautious about formalizing their relationships given the fact that divorces are taking place on the flimsiest of pretexts.

They’ve grown up watching their parents bickering with each other over the pettiest of issues and therefore, are apprehensive of history being repeated if they marry early on. Moreover, young women in the present times are more enthusiastic to stand on their own feet and become financially independent.

Towards this end, they’re willing to put wedding plans on the backburner. They start mulling over marriage only after they’ve secured their careers because they’re not willing to put up with the ignominy of pleading for alimony if and when there is a break-up. So that’s another reason why many couples who’ve been in a long or short term relationship are taking their own time for wedlock. But can wooing or romancing each other for a long time guarantee a long term marital relationship? Or is dating someone long enough a sure-fire insurance or indemnity against break-up in the long run?

That brings us to the crux or central idea of this article-How Long Should You Date before Getting Married? As you’d expect, there is no unanimous answer to this question for the plain reason that there simply can’t be any straightforward answer.

How can the period or duration of your courtship with your man or woman ensure that you’ll never break up? If you want to set a timeline or rather a deadline to your betrothal period (before he proposes to you) based on trends and patterns of dating durations before marriage, then you can’t look forward to much information.

There’s not much research on the subject of courtship spans before marriage. Whatever studies have been conducted seem to portray that couples who have dated each other for close to two and a half years before tying the knot were less likely to end up getting separated than couples who were engaged and married within a year of their courtships. Not only have romantic relationships evolved considerably in the last thirty to forty years but the social mores relating to marriage have also undergone a radical change.

But do dating timelines or timeframes have any relevance for you in case you’re still anxiously waiting for your boyfriend to propose to you?

before getting married

(image credit – austindara)       

The Pros and Cons of Short-Term and Long Term Courtships Prior to Matrimony

It goes without saying that the success of any marriage depends on the individuals involved in the association. Matters of trust, adjustments, and sharing have always remained elementary to matrimony irrespective of the duration of the dating phase before getting engaged.

Marrying within six to nine months of wooing is very much like taking a crash course in a major subject when examinations are knocking at the door. You might somehow pass the exam but maybe not with flying colours. Similarly, if your wedding ensues after a limited period of dating chances are that your association might last for several years but there is also a high probability that those years are going to be anything but turbulent. ‘Marry in haste and repent at leisure’ is the maxim that best encapsulates marriages with short-lived betrothals.

Such marriages also enable both the spouses to pick up housekeeping skills effectively and that too within a short period of time. Couples marrying post a short-run courtship are able to set their long run goals for remaining together as a couple and also work towards achieving them.

Conversely, dating for an extended period would signify that both the partners took their own time to know more about each other and discussed short and long-run marriage aims for the sake of an enduring relationship. In romances that are transitional, you’re more concerned with showing your best face unlike in an elongated courtship where your true self emerges sooner or later.

Dating for a long time gives you the opportunity to decide if your man is the Mr. Right for you. A longer dating phase lets you gauge in advance whether your partner has the resilience to face the adversities in life without leaving you in the lurch. The only drawback perhaps, is that you can never be too sure about the future state of your relationship.

What Aspect to Consider While Carrying On With Your Dating?

Accepting the Status Quo without any Expectations of Settling Down

Are you going to settle down just because your near and dear ones or the society at large won’t approve of your cohabitation status? Many women even in this 21st century put a premium on registering their marriages not only to get the societal endorsement stamp but also for the sake of financial security. On the other hand, many couples are living in blissful harmony by opting to live-in without legal sanctioning their association.

So it all boils down to a matter of one’s individual choice or preference. You can a long and fulfilling relationship even if you live together for two or three years before marrying or troubles might surface in the very first year itself. The same holds for marriages that result after short term betrothals.

Are You Mentally Prepared to Take a Position if Status Quo is not acceptable?

Putting the above question in a more straightforward manner, are you mentally prepared to break your bond with your long time partner if you have a feeling he is not going to propose anytime soon? You might be required to come to a decision if you’re keen on settling down while your partner is in no mood to make a proposition.

Although pressuring your partner for marriage might make lead to tension and fracas but it is better to face the heat early on rather than putting up with regular conflicts after marriage that may ultimately lead to a split-up. It’s much better to be all by yourself rather than being trapped in a miserable marriage.

Address the Issues that’s Keeping Him from Popping the Question?

There could be innumerable aspects as to why your partner is dillydallying. It could be because he feels that he is not stable enough (which in most circumstances is financial) or it could be because he has more pressing and urgent responsibilities to fulfil. You’d have to take the initiative of broaching the issue of marriage and to find out the real reasons behind his dithering but certainly you can’t go beyond a point. Sooner or later you’ll have to draw the line because after all it’s your life.

No matter whatever decision you take, you should always bear in mind that getting engaged and married is not a big deal at all. What matters is keeping the marriage intact. Sometimes, in your impulsiveness to get betrothed, you may the fail to see the attendant irrationality of marrying in haste. Talking with your partner on the future course of your social engagement is the best alternative.

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