Good Length of Time to Date Before Marriage?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms. I, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    :)We have a couple dating threads out there these days, it's made me think of this question to you all. What's a good length of time to date before getting married? (You don't have to necessarily say what you did, but what you honestly think.)

    I'm NOT married yet & I think dating a good 2 yrs is enough that one should know their mate. After several months, the true colors & personality comes out, so it's good to get to the nitty gritty about important things that someone may have been on their best behavior about at the beginnging. Things like:

    - How quickly & how anygry one gets about things
    - How one handles money
    - Nuisances & quirks that may have been adorable/tolerable at first, but no longer
    - How much he/she really loves, treats, & respects you
    - What kind of childhood they had

    There's more to list, but I'll stop here.
     
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  3. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    I think it depends. Before I was married, I probably would have said at least a year, but when my husband and I met, something just clicked and we knew we were meant for each other. We met and then dated for 5 months before we moved in together, then 5 months later we were engaged, and a year later we got married. We just celebrated our five year anniversary. But like I said before, I think it depends.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My husband and I dated about 10 months before moving in together and we were together 2 years before getting engaged. We got married 2 months shy of our 3rd anniversary. This August we will celebrate 9 years of being married and in Oct we celebrated our 11th year being together. I definitely knew what I was getting into when I married my husband after that length of time; however, we have both changed and evolved because of being together so long (all for the good of course!).
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We met Feb 1st and married Oct 1. Our next anniversary will be #28, so it worked for us. We waited until marriage to move in together or sleep together because those were the moral values that we wanted to instill in our children. Those decisions were right for us, but I think if a couple is younger than 25, they may want to date a while. I do think there is a ton of maturity that happens in the young 20's.
     
  6. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I think it depends on how old you are or how much life you've lived. Generally, I think a 30 year old is going to better know what they want and need in a partner versus a 20 year old. That being said I met my husband when we were 19. Three years later we married. We waited until after I graduated. Last August we celebrated our 22nd anniversary.
    Things I think you need to consider:
    views on parenting
    views on bill paying
    views on parenting
    views on domestic roles
    views on parenting
    views on money and saving/spending
    how they relate to their families (esp parents)
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that there isn't a set length of time that a couple should date before getting married. There are other factors that are more important, at least in my opinion, such as the age of the couple and their expectations of marriage.

    A person doesn't necessarily know enough about himself/herself at a young age, like 18-20. Without fully knowing about yourself and your own needs, it's hard to make sure that you're looking for the right things in a spouse. When I was 18, I felt mature for my age and was pretty sure I know what I wanted in life. When I look back on that time in my life, I'm so grateful that I didn't make any big, permanent decisions, because I think those decisions might have turned out to be wrong for me.

    As for me and my husband, we dated for a year, then moved in together and lived together for two years, then got engaged and continued cohabitating for a year, then got married. We've been married for five and a half years, together for almost ten.

    I think that living together prepared us well for marriage. While I understand people's personal objections to that, I do think that it is a good idea for many couples. When you live with a person, there is no hiding anything. The other person gets to see you for who you really are, which is what they need to see before they decide to spend their life with you, and vice versa. I think that people need to go into marriage with their eyes open, without idealizing it and thinking about it as just a "happily ever after" thing without being mindful of all the work that needs to go into it to make it strong and successful.

    Finally, I think that both people need to be on the same page as far as the big stuff. Do you both want children? What would you say if five years from now he changed his mind and didn't want kids after all? Is that a deal breaker? How do you both handle money? Are your religious views compatible? Who is going to take care of household things like bills, cleaning, cooking, yardwork? People have to know that the answers to those questions are important and that they can't count on changing their spouse's mind. I'm sure that we all know people who have gotten divorced and said something like, Well he said he didn't want kids but I didn't think he meant it!
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I think it depends on the individual couple and their ages. I got engaged after a yr of dating a guy. I was 22. We planned the wedding for a yr later. We were to young and immature to get married. I met my husband at 25. I think for us we knew we would get married after two yrs of dating. But it took me 8 yrs or so to ask me.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think it depends. My parents got married after only knowing each other for 2.5 months (not dating...knowing). They'll celebrate 47 years in March. I dated my ex for 2 years and we were engaged for a year before we got married. That lasted 5 years before it ended in divorce. I can cite so many examples that it would take a novel to describe them all. In general though I think it's wise to date a wee bit longer than my parents did :lol:
     
  10. TeacherApr

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    I found out the answers to all these questions after 8 mos of dating my last boyfriend. We were ready to spend the rest of our lives together after 3 months.

    Exactly right. When you are in your 30's the average person knows exactly what they want or do not want. That was the attitude my exbf and I had.
     
  11. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    I agree with others that age and experience are key factors. I've seen people who married very young and are still together, and couples who dated weeks before getting engaged who are still happily married (30+ years later). I think a year of dating is a good solid number, but if I thought I'd found the one, I would get married sooner.
    When I was 18 I started a serious relationship. We dated for four years before we broke up. I TRULY believed he was the one, but looking back I think my age made me naive, and I can see the problems we had from the beginning.
    BUT, my sister got married at sixteen and will celebrate her 21st anniversary this next summer!
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yes, I agree that it depends on the age the couple is when they meet as well. (You can meet at 14, that doesn't mean you're ready to marry at 17.)

    Also, I'm sure we all know at least one couple who knew each other at 16 or were the HS sweethearts & have been married 30+ yrs. Sure, there's always those couples, but it's not the majority.
     
  13. lnm130

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    I've only known my boyfriend since Halloween. I think he's it. Obviously not going to rush into things, but his lease is up in August and I planned on moving out this summer, so it kind of works. He is a two years older than I am, but being in my mid-twenties I know more of what I want than I did a few years ago.

    His parents met and married within 6 months. His grandparents were even faster.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

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    My parents met and married in three months. She was 19. He was 28. They were married over 40 years. Several of my friends also had quick marriages, ranging from 3-9 months from meeting until marrying. Mine was pretty fast, too. We were engaged 5 months after we started dating regularly, and we married 10 months later.

    We made sure to discuss all kinds of things before we got engaged . . . careers, location, children, finances. We even discussed things like aging parents because we're both only children. Of course, things always change, and no matter what you discussed there still needs to be room for adjustments.

    I was the "old maid" of my group of friends. I was 30. :lol:
     
  15. AMK

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    We knew after 3 months we were going to get married. We were engaged a year and half later. We had a nine month engagement.
     
  16. lnm130

    lnm130 Companion

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    These stories make me feel much better about my current situation. Some of my friends think I'm nuts for my premonitions.
     
  17. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    I met my husband last June. We were engaged at the end of January. We got married in August.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    DH told me that he knew he was going to marry me the first time he saw me. (He sat behind me at church.)
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    My DH and I only dated about 6 mos. before we married. Just like that old cliche, we just knew. We have been married for 10 years now (we were 20 when we married). It just really depends. I don't think there's no right amount of time to date before marrying because it just depends on the couple and their circumstances. One size does not fit all. I also know a couple who have been together since they were 14 (I don't know at what age they actually married) and they are in their mid 30s or older by now.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    As others have said, it varies depending upon a number of factors. For young adults, I think a couple of years is often sufficient...but again, every relationship is different.

    Here's what I don't suggest: marrying a person on the twelfth day of knowing they exist on this planet. My dad went that route with my former stepmother...met her and married her in less than two weeks. Note, she is my former stepmother. Things didn't pan out. Imagine.

    My husband I have been together since I was eighteen and I am now twenty-eight. We became very close very fast because his mother's illness brought us together...and we were "young and in love", and love young seems to be a whirlwind of an experience. Although we were serious from the beginning, we didn't marry for five or so years simply because we wanted to be more financially sound. So glad we made that decision.

    I've learned that as much as you discuss those major issues prior to marrying to someone, people change. And they can change a lot. I am quite different from that eighteen year old my husband fell in love with, and even from the twenty-something year old he married. And I don't mean in that I've matured or anything along those lines...it's beyond that. Of course, those major issues still need to be discussed, but if you don't have true love at the core of it all to accept the changes to come, it doesn't mean much... And, honestly, I don't think even true love can tolerate all changes.
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree with this. My husband and I both are different people than when we first married. We have had great times and horrible times together. There was a time when I didn't even think we would last. But somehow, our roads came together again and we are even stronger and better than ever before in our marriage. And I also agree, marrying on the 12th day probably isn't the best idea.
     
  22. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I'll date someone until I'm sure. I don't think you can really put a timeline on things... when it happens, it happens.
     
  23. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    We started discussing and preparing for marriage 10 weeks after we met. We moved in together, and married the next year. So when we got married we had only known each other for 14 months.

    I can't even say we seriously "dated." We just went straight into the engagement phase.
     
  24. MsMar

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    I was 22 when I met my husband. We dated a year (moved in together after maybe 6 months), were engaged for a year and have now been married for 14 years.
     
  25. MissWull

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    I don't think there needs to be a set length of time. As long as you feel you know the other person well enough to live a life together forever, then that should be enough.

    My husband and I were engaged after 2 years of dating. But we didn't wed for 4 years...just to save up and take it slow. But not everyone does that...different things work for different couples! :)
     
  26. Ranchwife

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    I grew up with my husband, so we didn't have a "get to know each other" phase. We dated seriously for three years. I was ready to be married shortly after we started dating, but he was hesitant. He owns a large cattle and hay ranch 20 miles from anywhere. The ranch isn't a 9-5, Monday-Friday job. It requires odd hours, and there are times he simply can't leave the ranch (like during calving and haying season). His biggest concern was once we got married, would I like living on the ranch. Could I handle being a rancher's wife? He didn't want to get married and then have me hate the ranch and force him to sell off and move. So, we dated for 3 years (we didn't live together) and he exposed me to as much of ranch life as possible. I, of course, once adjusting to the hours and demands, fell in love with the ranch.

    The ranch quickly became my haven, an escape from work and teaching. I'm glad we waited three years to marry because I learned a lot about ranching before I was immersed in it completely. I'm also glad we didn't live together before we got married because it left things for us to learn about each other and discover as a married couple, how we are going to run our household.

    I heard a very wise saying from a man that was married 60 years. He said the key to a long and successful marriage is to follow the California Earthquake Code - when you find a fault, don't dwell on it.
     
  27. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I dated my fiance for 18 months before we got engaged. We will be together 3.5 years at the time of our wedding.
     
  28. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    That's funny because I think we are the opposite. I think we will skip the engagement phase. We are practically planning the wedding already but aren't engaged. Or, I haven't been proposed to and don't have the hardware yet, anyway. I guess in every other sense of the word, we are engaged. lol.
     
  29. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We totally skipped the engaged thing and decided to get married, then a week later, we were. It worked for us. We owned property together at that point, so a marriage certificate really was a piece of paper and a tax break for us.
     
  30. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    My first wife and I were on a 666 plan
    6 months dating, 6 months engaged, 6 years Married (divorced)
    We were roommates for a month before we got married she worked nights and I worked two jobs, so we hot berthed for that month.
    Most of my dating was about 6 to 9 months and the engagements were about 6 to 8 months
     
  31. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    My husband and I courted for 8 months, were engaged for 6 months, and have been married 9 1/2 years. :0D We both went into the "dating" aspect knowing that we were searching for our lifelong helpmeets. :0) I am very blessed. This thread made me happy. Thanks :0)
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    We dated a year and a half, then were engaged a year and a half. We paid for our own wedding, and that took some saving. Plus, we got engaged in March, and as 2 teachers, we wanted a summer wedding.

    We celebrated our 21st anniversary in July.
     
  33. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    We were high school sweethearts and married the winter after graduation.
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I agree with everyone that it depends on the couple. I dated my husband for about 3 years before we got married. We were friends for probably 5 years before that. I wanted to wait until I finished my Masters and we were really in no rush. I don't think there is timetable that is good for everyone to follow as long as they know what they are getting into and don't rush into things.
     
  35. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    37 and a 1/2 minutes or never. That's what my funny bone tells me to say. However, I believe it takes a significant amount of time to get to know someone well enough for matrimonial decisions. I think 6 - 18 months might work for some, shorter or longer for others. Personally, I tried 13 years only to find out that things just weren't going to work out.
     
  36. Ms.H

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    I think age and life situation has a lot to do with it. When I met my fiance, we were in our early-ish twenties. He had some growing up/ life planning to do, so even though I believed in him, it took time to see how he would pursue his goals. While we didn't "just know" we would marry each other, something told me that it would be worth it to give him some time, and it was! We dated for over three years before getting engaged (haven't/ won't live together), and we'll have been dating for over four years when we get married next fall.
    In our case, I'm glad we took a while, becuase we got to see one another go through many different life experiences and see how we responded. We have seen how the other deals with challenges, grief, success, business, boredom, frustration, and more because these things have all come up in the last few years. I'm a pretty slow and deliberate decision maker, so the "evidence" of our compatibility that I was able to see during our years of dating was really helpful to me in feeling confident about our choice to get married.
    It doesn't sound quite as romantic as some of the other experience, but considering our personablities, it has been good for us.
     
  37. MissFroggy

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    I always would have said 2-3 years when I was younger. Now I am in my 30's and my SO in her 40's. We moved in together after 5 months, and have been together 9. We are NOT engaged, but have discussed marriage a lot. We have definitely moved faster than some couples, but so far, things just feel right.

    terptoteacher said to look at these big picture ideas:

    views on parenting
    views on bill paying
    views on parenting
    views on domestic roles
    views on parenting
    views on money and saving/spending
    how they relate to their families (esp parents)

    I definitely agree!

    I think we're on the same page with all of those things... parenting is something we talk about a lot. We also talk $ a lot and both spend and save the same way, pay our bills, etc.

    If we were to get engaged, I would know that even though it hasn't been long, it would work.

    I think being OLDER puts a different perspective on it than when you are young.
     
  38. Chrissteeena

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    Dec 16, 2010

    I think it depends on the couple.

    My boyfriend and I will be dating for 7 years in March.

    After 2 1/2 years of being in a long distance relationship w/ him, I moved to FL in 2006. We went to the same University and were in the same dorm building. We realized even though we had been dating for a while already we were really.. just starting. We had never interacted on a daily basis before. For the 1st year I was in FL, we lived in different dorm buildings across the road from each other. The 2nd year, we lived in the same dorm building 1 floor apart. We graduated in 2008 and moved in together.

    We know we're going to be getting married, we're just not in that big of a hurry. All that's really going to change for us with getting married is we will have a piece of paperwork saying so and his health insurance cost will go up. :p
     

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