How Long Should You Be Dating Before You Get Married

How Long Should You Be Dating Before You Get Married
When you are dating, is there any fixed time frame that you should keep in mind, before you decide to tie the knot? Well, it depends on the situation that you are in. Here are a few pointers to help you decide...
LoveBondings Staff
Last Updated: Dec 9, 2017
There are a lot of reasons why one would want to get married. They are ready. Everybody around them is getting married. Parents are getting impatient and starting to pressurize. Their biological clock is ticking (this is for women). They want to get settled. They have been dating for a long time and don't want to wait anymore. They have found 'the one'. The reasons may vary from person to person. So, how to decide when to marry? How long should you date the person before thinking seriously about marriage?

To figure that out, you first need to find out the reason why you want to get married. Is it because you don't want to be single? Or because you want financial support? Are you marrying for love? Or is your main aim to have kids? Is it because you are a relationship kind of person and need someone? Or is it because the person you want to marry makes your life better in many ways? You have to decide whether you need to marry, have to marry, or want to marry. Once you figure that out, the rest is not very difficult.
Why are you Dating?
Couple having dinner
The above questions out-of-the-way, there are two possible answers for this all important question:
  • Because you love the person and want to share your life with them
  • Because the time is right and you want to find a partner and settle down
Let's deal with both these scenarios one by one.
» Because you love the person and want to share your life with them...
Couple dating in cafe
If this is the case, then it depends on how long you have been dating. Some people find their soulmates when they are kids, and they date through high school, graduation and for the first few months of their jobs, till they settle into them, and then get married. Some others find their partners just before they get out of college, so in spite of having steady jobs, they do not mind waiting for another year or two to get married. It all depends on the couple's personal choice and their comfort level. But if you have found your sweetheart sometime ago and have been dating for a considerable time, and you are wondering how long to wait before marrying, here are a few concerns that should be addressed:
How Long Have You Have Been Dating?
If the two of you are childhood sweethearts, then in many cases the couple does not want to wait any longer, and marry as soon as they get out of college and land jobs. They have been dating for years, they know almost everything there is to know about their partner, and so they see no point in wasting any more time 'courting'. On the other hand, if you have met your partner right before getting out of college, then it makes sense that you wait for a year or two and get to know each other better, while settling down financially, before you marry.
Are You Financially Stable?
Financial stability is very important for marriage. If you have been dating for quite a few years through school, then it's pretty clear that you would want to marry your sweetheart as soon as one/ both of you'll get a job. But an important thing to remember is that, sustaining a marriage requires money, so if you have just got a temporary job, or one with a low salary, wait till you are better off and more secure financially. If you have waited all these years, then a year or two more is only going to make your relationship stronger. You'll thank yourselves later on. Decide a time frame if you want, and aim and work to be financially settled in that much time.
Do You Think 'We' Instead of 'I'?
You have to make sure that you are ready to think for two, and as a couple, to make a marriage successful. If you are capable of putting the other person before you, their needs, comfort, and happiness before your own, then you are ready for marriage. If not, you need some more time. When you start making future plans which include your partner, then it shows that you want to make it work, and are mature enough to think for the both of you instead of only yourself. When you choose to do something for the both of you, while having the option of doing something only for yourself, then it is a pretty good indication that you are ready for marriage.
Are You Ready for Commitment and Responsibility?
Depending on how long you have been dating, you should make sure that you are mature enough to handle the commitment and responsibility that comes with marriage. You may be in love, but you are still individuals, and you have to live your own lives and accomplish things for yourself before you start living as a couple. If you don't have anything going on for yourself outside your relationship, it may make life extremely boring and unbearable for you in the long run, which will eventually take a toll on your relationship. You have to remember to live for yourself just a little, while living a lot for your relationship. And remember, this does not mean that you are selfish! So, only after you have accomplished the main goals in your life, or are well on your way to achieve them, should you think of getting married. If marriage is getting in the way of your goals, wait for a while.
» Because the time is right and you want to find a partner and settle down...
Couple in the city
If you have already taken care of the above aspects, and are thinking about settling down soon, then what you are mainly looking for, more than love, is compatibility and companionship. Somebody who has similar values and beliefs and has some interests in common with you, based on which you can form a solid and lasting friendship. Love can't be far behind when you are spending day and night with your partner, year after year. In this case, you are going to enter the dating game with the hope of finding a companion as soon as possible. So you can date for about a year before you get engaged and then tie the knot a year later. This would be the perfect time. Or you can date for 8 - 10 months, and then be engaged for another 8 - 10 months.
All that said, what needs to be kept in mind is that, there is no fixed rule as to how long you should date before getting married. It varies from couple to couple. Some couples who have been dating since childhood, somehow end up divorcing a few years after getting married, while others who have dated for just 6 or 8 months have lasting and happy marriages. Only you can decide when the time is right for you to take the plunge into matrimony. It is your life, and your marriage. Think for yourself, and do not let external factors influence you. The key to a happy marriage is not time. A happy marriage is build on the foundation of a great friendship, a whole lot of love and understanding, and some compromises and adjustments.