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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. 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. Does it really matter at all how long you date before you get married?
The purpose of dating is to get to know someone as fully as possible before tying the knot—ultimately with the goal of having a successful marriage that lasts.
I did some digging and reached out to relationship therapists and psychologists to get their thoughts.
Here's what the professionals have to say about the ideal length of time to date.
In a Penn State University study called the PAIR Project, Professor Ted L.
Huston followed 168 newlywed couples over fourteen years and charted each couple's relationship satisfaction throughout.
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.
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.
Another more recent study published by researchers from Emory University following three thousand couples found that those who dated three or more years were 39 percent less likely to get divorced than those who dated less than a year.
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.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating