Social Question

live_rose's avatar

How long does a couple need to date before they get engaged?

Asked by live_rose (1223 points ) August 20th, 2009

I was watching a show the other night a woman was explaining that her and her husband (now ex husband) got engaged after 4 months if dating. To me that sounds ludicrous so it got me thinking what is the appropriate time a couple should be together before jumping in to that huge decision? What’s your view on the topic?

disclaimer this has nothing to do with my relationship though I’ve been asking a lot of relationship questions recently

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22 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Long enough to know that person well, and know you want to marry them.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I’ve met people who dated for years, got married and lived happily ever after, and I’ve met a few couples who just went and “got hitched” after a very short period of dating and lived just as happily, there’s no real rule. just whenever you feel it’s right.

Facade's avatar

I agree with @eponymoushipster there’s no sure-fire length of time

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I dated my wife for six years, we lived together for about a year, and then we got married. We didn’t get engaged, because we don’t do things that way. Those seven years gave us time to hash out EVERYTHING, and even then, the first seven years of marriage were Hell. But we stuck it out, and we are at a place where we both are still deeply in love with each other, and have made a conscious decision that DIVORCE is NOT an option, no matter what. Next March 31st marks 21 years of marriage.

Life is about choices, your results may vary.

jonsblond's avatar

My husband and I married at 10 months of couplehood. We’ve been together for 18 years now.

If I may steal @evelyns_pet_zebra‘s line…

Life is about choices. Your results may vary.

Sarcasm's avatar

I think 4 months is way too short. If I had to pick a time, I’d say 10–12 months.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@jonsblond that isn’t my line, I stole it from Evelyn. She was the first to use it, so if anyone has a problem with you using that line, it would be her. ;^)

Icky's avatar

however long they both feel like

live_rose's avatar

while watching this show with my mom she told me if at the 4 month mark in my relationship I had turned to her and said I plan to get hitched she’d kill me and I think she was only exaggerated slightly. So even if i loved someone so much i think id wait a bit longer just so people wouldn’t judge

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I think this link pertains to the nature of this thread….

galileogirl's avatar

I’m hardly the one to advise anybody, from the day we were introduced to the day we got married-three weeks

augustlan's avatar

Long enough to know. Even then, it is never a sure bet.

hug_of_war's avatar

For me personally, 4 years. Some may say it’s too long, but I’m not the type to jump into things just because it feels right. Others can feel differently, that’s just what I’m comfortable with.

kyanblue's avatar

1. Long enough to figure out where you both stand on important issues—I’d find it hard to be married to someone with wildly different political views, or is a massive spender.

2. Long enough to introduce each other to the respective in-laws and (hopefully) iron out any major personality clshes.

3. Long enough to know that you both are making a commitment for life and will not regret it, and you both have committed as well to making the marriage work once the honeymoon period is over.

4. Long enough to ensure compatible life goals—career-wise, kid-wise, affluence-wise.

5. Long enough to really know the person and not be unpleasantly surprised two weeks into the marriage by something that will significantly affect the marriage.

6. Long enough to figure out if you both can stand each other throughout your whole lives…and if you can spend retirement together just talking, because it’s just that interesting to talk to each other.

YARNLADY's avatar

If they intend to make it a permanent committment, I suggest they wait longer, about six months to a year. My Hubby (of 35 years) and I didn’t really plan on a “forever” committment at first, and it was only after living together for six months that we came to that conclusion, and got married.

whatthefluther's avatar

I’ve been married three times. Here are the stats:

Current (final): 0 dating / 5 yrs live together / engaged one mo / married two mo. thus far

#2: 4 mo dating / 5 mo live together / engaged less than one day / married 9 months

#1: 3 mo dating / 5 mo live together prior to engagement / engaged 3 mo / married 7 years (exc separation prior to divorce)

Quite a variety. I believe living together is the best way to determine compatibility. An ” engagement” period can be while living together or apart and does not in itself determine compatibility, though wedding planning during this period can certainly open ones eyes to aspects of a spouse-to-be that may never have been seen before. See ya….Gary aka wtf

dee1313's avatar

@kyanblue pretty much has it down. The thing I think is really important is to be able to completely trust each other. A relationship is nothing without trust. It takes a long time to build trust too, and you’ll probably be still building it after you get married.

I got engaged after two years, and married after three (the third year my then-fiancee was away for boot camp, MOS school, and at his duty station. He came home and we were like, fuck this we’re getting married now. Still planning the wedding we’re inviting everyone to). We’ve been married for eight months now.

A thing that I think is big is money. We trust each other, so when we got married, we put each other on our accounts, and the money is now shared. Some people feel like they need an account of their own, and that can end up hurting the relationship. If two people can’t handle money together, it will suck. I’m the saver, and he’s the spender, but it still works. He gets me to live a little by spending (we just got a 2009 car), and I get him to have a more stable bank account.

You both have to be ready to compromise, and not hold anything against each other.

sccrowell's avatar

Geezzz, I was going to say, it took my now husband of two months 5 years, before we became engaged and you know the rest. Take your time and be really really sure that want to spend the rest of your life with her. Accept her as she is and please don’t try and change her to how you want her to be.

filmfann's avatar

My wife and I dated for 9 months, and married 4 months later.
We just (last week) celebrated our 25th anniversary.

CMaz's avatar

Depends on when it is decided that the milk is free so why buy the cow.

Jude's avatar

I agree with Epony on this one.

sapphirebeauty7's avatar

There is no such thing as how long. For everyone it’s different if you and your man both feel strong about eachother being right for eachother and it’s only getting strong “your love” then do what makes you happy even though a few months at least would be good just to find out about him more.
But like in some relationships if one has cheated on there other half…......then i would not even consider marriage but that is where alot of people in those situations wait to see for a while before gettng married.

Good luck!

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