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I have been dating my boyfriend Zach for one year and eight months, and I am ready to get married. At least, I think I am. You see, I've always had this two year rule in my mind for how long I want to date someone before we get married. Two years seems like a natural progression. After twenty-four months together, you usually know whether your partner is someone you could really commit to-forever. But a lot of my friends have been getting married with fewer than this magical two years under their belts, and it's making me second-guess my rule.

The women who got married before age 20 reported an average annual income of a little over $30, while those who married at 30 or later earned around $50, In a survey of nearly 13, brides and grooms who married in , the average length of engagement in the United States was 14 months, according to XO Group, Inc., creator of the wedding website The Knot. Feb 09,   As we mentioned, the average dating time before engagement is years - but does this figure fluctuate by region? Data via Weddington Way survey. Though by a relatively small margin, couples in the South spend the least time dating prior to engagement. At an average of years, Southerners date about 5 months less than the average American.

Here's what the professionals have to say about the ideal length of time to date. Huston followed newlywed couples over fourteen years and charted each couple's relationship satisfaction throughout.

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Results showed that couples that had dated an average of twenty-five months before marriage were most happily married at the conclusion of the study. The study also looked at couples who were quicker to get married.

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These couples dated an average of eighteen months and were engaged for half that time. Of those who were quicker to marry, the study found that the marriages survived to the seven-year mark, but many divorced after that. Couples that dated for two years were 20 percent less likely to split.

If we can draw any conclusions from these studies, it would be that the couples who tended to hold off longer to marry ended up being the most satisfied in their marriages in the long-term and less likely to divorce.

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Even with these studies telling us that staying the course in dating does seem to pay off in marriage, there are always exceptions to the rule. We all know or have heard of that unicorn couple who fell in love instantly and have sustained a happy marriage ever since. So what do counselors think about an "ideal age?

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Almost all of the experts I spoke to recommended a year as a healthy amount of time to date before marriage. In that time, they should be exploring things like, "what they can tolerate; if there is a sufficient physical attraction; and if future goals seem aligned.

It might work out okay if they are exceptionally well-matched and mature.

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A lot of that readiness seems to be dependent on your dating past and whether you've learned from your dating history. While Betchen suggests at least a year, he also explains that self knowledge and learning from past dating mistakes can speed up the dating process. Still, "Because there are other variables to consider such as family or origin dynamics, values, etc.

According to Madeleine A. As Jane Austen writes, 'It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy: it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others. Lisa Firestone, Ph.

50 MUST-ASK Questions Before Marriage

If a couple has been married for fifty years, but they have been miserable and treating each other badly during those years, is it really a good marriage? The question is: Do you really love this person? If you're seriously considering marriage, you should focus on discerning whether or not you are truly ready for marriage, despite the amount of time you have been dating.

Have you talked about what you both want from marriage?

"We dated long distance for 11 months before getting engaged. The thing that factored most was waiting for my head to catch up with my heart. We knew that we fit . The duration of your engagement is ultimately up to you, but many couples are waiting at least a year before exchanging vows. According to our Real Weddings Study, the average engagement length for U.S. couples was fireemblemheroestips.com course, it's important to keep in mind that this number is a national average and takes into account a variety of responses. "There is no magic time frame when a couple should date before the engagement, but the rule for any happy and successful marriage is to realize this-all couples go through a 'romantic love' phase. This lasts anywhere from 2 days to 26 months, and then the couple will enter into the power struggle or the conflict phase of their relationship.

What you envision married life to be like? Do you want children?

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How do you want to raise your children? How do you handle conflict? I was ready to propose after three years. However, I lost my job around the time I wanted to propose and spent my free time finishing school.

As it turns out, there isn't a lot of recent research on the courtship length prior to marriage. Decades ago the statistics ranged from six to fourteen months. Ted Huston, a leading researcher on transitions in relationships, marriage and parenthood, . May 18,   I have been dating my boyfriend Zach for one year and eight months, and I am ready to get married. At least, I think I am. You see, I've always had this two year rule in my mind for how long I want to date someone before we get married. Two years seems like a . May 30,   Inner Song Photography. Whether you've been together for several months or years, you might be considering the big question: How long should you date before getting engaged?Unfortunately, there's no gold standard in regards to time spent in the pre-engagement phase. Every relationship is different, as is every couple.

After graduating, it took me nearly a year-and-a-half to find another job. If I had to do it over again, I may have used a less expensive ring and extended the engagement. In retrospect, it is possible we were overly cautious in getting engaged in our pursuit of perfect timing.

If I could go back I think we would probably have waited a shorter amount of time. Both of us valued our relationship, but wanted to accomplish other goals before making getting married a priority.

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Once we both graduated from college and got started in our careers, my husband proposed. I believe that you shouldn't get engaged until you are truly serious about getting married.

Normal length of dating before engagement

To me, you date to get to know each other and then you get engaged to plan your marriage. The age thing really factored into my waiting forever. Looking back, this was foolish on my part. Sure, [my wife] is older than I am, but she is so deeply grounded and down to earth. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to marry her after we took a wonderful vacation on Kauai when we were first dating.

How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged?

We were madly in love after Kauai, but I was scared. I wish I had been a smarter cat and married my girl earlier.

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Have You Found the One? Love Stories. Jillian Kramer.

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Jillian Kramer is an award-winning freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of experience in print and digital media. She has a Bachelor's in journalism from Kent State University.

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