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Are we too quick to marry?

What is an acceptable amount of time to date before you should get engaged? I ask because a lot of the couples that I meet tell me that they met, dated, and got engaged in the span of 2 years. It’s rare that I see a couple with a long courtship or engagement. Do you think we are getting married too soon?

Perhaps part of the reason is that a lot of us are waiting until we get older to marry? Does a longer courtship or engagement mean you give your marriage a better chance of survival?

If you are married or was married before, how long did you date before getting engaged? How long before you tied the not?

What are the pros and cons of short courtships?

How long would you wait for an engagement to happen?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

194 comments Add your comment

Optimus Prime

November 10th, 2011
8:40 am

In my first marriage, we dated a year and then were engaged for 6 mos and it ended in divorce after 7 years. In my second year, we dated five years, engaged for 6 mos. and got divorced after 6 years. There is no magic number that can quell that people change over time and many times the changes affect the union drastically. I am including myself in that catagory as well. But I have decided that if the change is so severe from either side, you can work on it, give it your all and exhaust all of the options. But if there is no other alternative and you just can’t live together, it’s best to pull the trigger and not drag it out over years. If you have children, it’s best they grow up in a home where they can learn from two people that actually cherish each other than two cold individuals that are just tolerating each other and living under the same roof with no visible displays of affectionor caring. They will take those lessons into their own relationships.

Optimus Prime

November 10th, 2011
8:40 am

Oops…I meant “In my second marriage….”

Kimmy

November 10th, 2011
8:51 am

There is no formula. I know a couple married after 3 months married for 15 years and a couple marrying after 8 years divorced in 2. It all depends on the people. I do think that once you pop the question that you should be ready to walk down the aisle that day because you are commiting to that person so the engagement period does not matter at all to me. I think the real question is do people understand what marriage really means and really know the person they are marrying.

David

November 10th, 2011
9:00 am

I had an uncle tell me before my marriage “Don’t get married until you are ready to RUN down that aisle.” That didn’t work either….

Many times people (women especially) are in love with the EVENT of a wedding, instead of the life AFTER the wedding. My younger cousin just got engaged after dating for 4 years and he has confided in me with “She has just gone crazy suddenly bossing me around, telling me what to do and not to do and getting mad at everything. What have I done?”

I have news for him. The best part of the relationship is in his rear view mirror.

Antionette

November 10th, 2011
9:04 am

My husband and I dated for approximately 2 and a half months and have been married for going on 13 years. Who knows..

OUCH ! i bumped my head

November 10th, 2011
9:24 am

Dated 1 year and 9 mos got married been together for 24 years but I do admit once we got married it was like “Ok now what do we do?” I havent changed much she has but we are still together Men marry women thinking they will never change as women marry men thinking I will change him

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 10th, 2011
9:25 am

I have to agree with all of the posters so far…there is no magical number. Marriage is completely different from dating, and whether people want to admit it or not, is different from cohabitating. It is Forrest Gump’s “box of chocolates”, you never know what you are going to find until you bite into it.

I know for me, one of the reasons why several serious relationships ended was becaue we were on different timetables…they were ready before I was (usually) or I was ready before they were (maybe they weren’t ‘feeling it’ like I was). i would suggest that it is smart to try to really get to know that person in multiples situations and environments before tying that know with your mouth that both hands and both feet will have a hard time untying….better for some to rent rather than buy.

MsMarriedUp

November 10th, 2011
9:27 am

Long engagements or courtships are fine… I courted for a few years before marriage, on both marriages, and one lasted almost 10yrs, the other 20 and still going strong.

However, and especially for the older courters, I wouldn’t shy away from short courtships either. The entire marriage to be one big courtship!!!

One thing I do think is the biggest taboo for marriage…and that’s having a large wedding.

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 10th, 2011
9:27 am

my typing sux today (as usual) meant tying that KNOT

i'm swiss™

November 10th, 2011
9:28 am

Maybe it’s just me, but 2 years seems like plenty of time.

just me

November 10th, 2011
9:29 am

@ OUCH ! i bumped my head

I bet your wife says the exact same thing: I haven’t changed much, but he has.

jake's mom

November 10th, 2011
9:31 am

At my age, it it takes 2 years to decide I’m going to “just say no!”

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 10th, 2011
9:32 am

@ I’m swiss…I would suggest that two years is enough time to get past the commitment phobia. My ex-wife and I dated/were engaged for about two and a half years (but that was waiting to finish college).

The problem lies in what “OUCH” said above. Men hope women will never change, women hope men will change…they are both wrong. Might as well prepare for it.

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 10th, 2011
9:35 am

@ Just Me…nope, the men don’t change…they just get worse (according to the women). it is more like, “he was a slob when I met him, and he is a bigger slob now if that is possible, I swear it”

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 10th, 2011
9:35 am

@ Just Me…nope, the men don’t change…they just get worse (according to the women). it is more like, “he was a slob when I met him, and he is a bigger slob now if that is possible, I swear it”

D Dub of the ATL (happy to be away from that Minnesota snow...)

November 10th, 2011
9:35 am

9 months dating… 9 months engaged… married 492 days. I have to absolutely agree there is no magic formula out there.

If I get married again, she will have to be interested more in our life together than how to spend $15k in one afternoon… your vows say for better or for worse – not “if I feel like it” or “if I am happy”…

A marriage is not made in the microwave… it is planted, sowed, marinated, chopped, stirred, steamed, and baked over time and it’s up to the individuals in that mix to determine how each step is done… know that you will get out of your marriage exactly what you put into it…

MsMarriedUp

November 10th, 2011
9:40 am

D Dub, that was great! …and I like the lyric of men hoping women stay the same, while women hoping men change. Not that I agree with it, (or that that was my flow) but I like it…and it does have a very true ring… what makes D Dub’s post so nice.

thewindwhistler

November 10th, 2011
9:43 am

that is a great question. i really like it. I started dating my girl friend in 1978. Now I know that seems a bit long for a courtship. However, she was the sole provider for her dear momma. Sooooo, her mom was around 70 at that time. I thought her mom was near the end. Then some 25 years later she was still going strong. Finally, I started losing my youthful exuberance
, during that time my friend was building quite a prtfolio of stocks and bonds and decided that she might do better without me, so here I am lonely and looney.

Lady~

November 10th, 2011
9:43 am

I have to absolutely agree there is no magic formula out there. <——–Love It!!!!!

Ally

November 10th, 2011
9:45 am

Definitely no magic number. When I was dating, I knew after 9 months (not sure why that time period was always about the same for most relationships for me) whether things were going to work or not. Granted, I think that I have a VERY accurate read on people, so I think once the initial puppy love settled down, I was able to see the true picture.

Having said that, I got engaged to my husband after 1 1/2 months, got married 10 months later, and we are still married 12 years later. Granted, I didn’t know every single thing about him when we got engaged, but the important things were there (kindness, intelligence, work ethic, personality, etc). Sure, we had some rough times, but the bottom line for us is: It’s a marriage and it requires work and compromise, both of which is done because of love.

The thing that I think kills a marriage more than any other criteria is the fact that people are so damned self-absorbed and they think that when they get married that the other person should now changed to be exactly like them. Even if you marry your Siamese twin, your spouse is a different person and you need to work through issues if you want to continue to be with this person. You have to decide what issues are critical to you and work through those issues, and let everything else go. Sheesh. While marriage may be painful sometimes, it sure isn’t hard!

Miss A

November 10th, 2011
9:47 am

I am dating a wonderful man right now and we have briefly discussed marriage. I have known him for over a year, but we have only dated a few months. I have never been married, but I feel like I want to be in his life forever. Someone said it right that women sometimes focus too much on the event….frankly, I told him I would rather get married at the Justice of the Peace or on the beach because the event is not what’s important to me (he wants a big wedding even though he’s been married before). I would rather have a small intimate setting, then have huge celebrations for all the years we stay married!! : )

Leggs

November 10th, 2011
9:53 am

Dated 18 months, married 12.5 years then divorced.

How long would you wait for an engagement to happen? 1.5 years seems good to me.

@D Dub ~ love your last paragraph

Excellent post, Ally, esp last sentence!

Marriage is a scary institution. It’s weird how it changes people after they’ve dated all those years and even lived together. It’s like some type of intangible spirit hoovers….

czBrat

November 10th, 2011
9:55 am

the whole blog agrees there is no magic number. that was easy.

they think that when they get married that the other person should now changed to be exactly like them.
s/o likes to tell me certain behaviors will change after we’re married. i say that when i can accept everything about ‘us’ exactly as-is, expecting no change, then i’ll know i’m ready to say “i do”.

“Don’t get married until you are ready to RUN down that aisle.” <—— LUV THAT!!!

HiYas!

corgi girl

November 10th, 2011
9:59 am

I was 16 and my husband was 24.We dated 3 months then ran away and got married.It was love at first sight.We had to move away from both sets of family to make it work though.Now 45 years later we love each other more than ever.We have been very lucky and worked hard on our marrage because there is only one person that is perfect and we are not Him.

Leggs

November 10th, 2011
10:00 am

I’m one of the women who wasn’t too focused on the event. Didn’t want anything extravagant because I don’t believe in spending all that money for a day of festivities to entertain other people.

Lady~

November 10th, 2011
10:01 am

It’s weird how it changes people after they’ve dated all those years and even lived together. It’s like some type of intangible spirit hoovers…. <—————-indeed! ~It happens to the best of us~

OUCH ! i bumped my head

November 10th, 2011
10:01 am

@Just me Oh no she states I havent changed and she has She looks at me like a “Long Term Project” that taking a even longer time to complete

Prince Charles' Girl

November 10th, 2011
10:04 am

I can’t wait to be my his wife…no wedding needed.

SexyCool

November 10th, 2011
10:04 am

It’s not about the right number of days or months. It is about how well you know each other and whether or not you have the same beliefs about relationships/marriage and whether or not you both have the same level of commitment to making it work.

Kym

November 10th, 2011
10:05 am

Mornin..

I agree with everyone else..no magic number on when to get married..or when to call it quits. I mean Al and Tipper Gore..have called it splitsville after forever together so no one can say they have it all figured out.

Pinky

November 10th, 2011
10:07 am

Didn’t Al Bundy always said over and over to Never Marry???

JJ in Texas

November 10th, 2011
10:11 am

My wife and I dated for approximately 10 months and have been
married for 50 years. I think you should understand what marriage
really means and you should try to make it a lifetime commitment.

czBrat

November 10th, 2011
10:18 am

how well you know each other …. √
whether or not you have the same beliefs about relationships/marriage …. √
whether or not you both have the same level of commitment to making it work. ….. :neutral:

congrats, JJ!

SexyCool

November 10th, 2011
10:18 am

“I feel like I want to be in his life forever.”

Don’t make lifelong decisions based on what you feel. Make those kinds of decisions based on what you know.

Feelings change.

i'm swiss™

November 10th, 2011
10:18 am

I don’t know… 69 is a pretty magical number…

Gajim

November 10th, 2011
10:19 am

I met my future wife on Feb 2nd, got married on July 20th and only saw her on weekends in between. We’ve been married 37 years and are still going strong. The length of time is not the issue. Love, commitment and sacrifice are needed on both sides to make a marriage work. Marriage as a life partnership isn’t easy, or ever certain, it is just the hardest and most rewarding job one can ever have.

Lady~

November 10th, 2011
10:22 am

Worth Repeating!!! I value this statement after a failed marriage for all the wrong reasons!!!!!

**** Love, commitment and sacrifice are needed on both sides to make a marriage work. Marriage as a life partnership isn’t easy, or ever certain, it is just the hardest and most rewarding job one can ever have.****

Kym

November 10th, 2011
10:26 am

But couldn’t you have all that love, commitment and sacrifice without getting married?

lmwilker

November 10th, 2011
10:28 am

“If you have children, it’s best they grow up in a home where they can learn from two people that actually cherish each other than two cold individuals that are just tolerating each other and living under the same roof with no visible displays of affectionor caring. They will take those lessons into their own relationships.”

I hear this a lot and call BS on it. AFfer a parent divorces they most often will become self-centered and selfish. They are now single people and a child-centered family is no longer possible as the parent begins dating. You have had two relatively brief marriages which I am pretty sure you didn’t go into thinnking ‘Gee, I’ll be married for a few years and then re-visit the issue,” or at least I hope you didn’t, so what makes you think you would “cherish” a third for more than 5-6-7 years? My late mother remarried three times after she divorced my Dad. Once was to a brutal sadist and child molestor. The next was a drug smuggling baker. The third to a man who is currently serving time in a Federal prison on a child pornography charge. My Dad remarried and is still married almost 40 years later. They have a son together but my brother and I were totally excluded from their family life and people he worked for decades with had no idea he had older children from a previous marriage. He always paid child support on time and got us regularly for visitation but we became like cordial acqaintances with no real emotiional closeness so we couldn’t go to him when we were being beaten like dogs or stepfathers were sneaking into our beds or we were being left home alone for days on end without food in the house. After the divorce we had to switch schools and quit going to Church. It was a nightmare and absolutely the worst thing that ever happened in my life. I really wish they had worked harder to overcome their problems and had stayed together. I hear about divorced people who claim they are “best friends” or whatever after their divorce but I think if that’s really the case they should have worked harder at staying together as well. People don’t take marriage seriously because it is so easy to up and leave. No fault divorce has been bad for children and bad for society. Running away from challenges is not what you want children to learn about relationships. Maybe it would be better for children, absent physical abuse, to learn from adults who stay together and work out their differences than to learn from the cowards who take the easy way out and throw in the towel because they have “grown apart” or some such new-age nonsense.

The example my parents set encourages me to work hard to maintain my own marriage. I have been married to my husband for 29 years which is 10 years longer than I’ve ever not been married to him. We dated a few weeks before my mother threw me out of the house on my 18th birthday and then lived together for a year before deciding on a Friday to get married and actually getting married the following Wednesday after waiting the required three days after getting our license.

Leggs

November 10th, 2011
10:28 am

The hardest and most rewarding job is that of being a parent with marriage coming second (IMO).

Congrats JJ
Congrats corgi girl.

Marriage is definitely hard work and commend those that have weathered the storm. Rather, I commend those that haven’t experienced issues that warrant them thinking about divorcing.

@czB ~ so you know what needs working on (lol).

Lady~

November 10th, 2011
10:28 am

I feel the marriage solidifies it for me! making it whole and worth while while have legal measures on your side……

Leggs

November 10th, 2011
10:32 am

“AFfer a parent divorces they most often will become self-centered and selfish. They are now single people and a child-centered family is no longer possible as the parent begins dating.”

That statement in itself is BS. No doubt it happens in some cases, but not “most often.” Many divorced parents put the child(ren) first. Not all start dating right away. Some don’t want to date. A real parent doesn’t become “self-centered” because they are now divorced.

I know a few right here in Blogsville who aren’t selfish or self-centered, myself included.

czBrat

November 10th, 2011
10:33 am

@Kym, yes.

@ Leggs, your first statement at 10:28 took the words right out of my mouth, but perhaps our ex-hubs would frown on that. LOL!

and i dare say even those who have weathered the storm have probably thought about divorcing, once or twice.

i am soooooo aware of what needs more work, on both our behalves. :wink:

kimmie

November 10th, 2011
10:34 am

Morning Peeps!

2 years sounds fine to me too, swiss. I’ve observed that it really does not take that long for most couples to know if they want to marry. In fact, most of the ones that seem to drag it out beyond 4 or 5 years or more seem to get divorced the quickest. It’s like at least one of the 2 took that long to CONVINCE themselves they wanted to marry this person. I can understand if you met in high school and wait until after college to marry.

In the end, though, time is really not the issue, like many here have said. It’s like SCool said, how well you have gotten to know each other and are committed to building a life with each other and making it work.

I am SO TIRED of hearing some dudes talk women being more into the wedding than the actual marriage!! Unless she’s 18 or Kim Kardashian, it’s a bit of an insult to a grown A woman!! Sure, a lot are excited about the wedding! There is nothing wrong with that! But if all she’s concerned about is the SHOW, surely she has displayed this superficiality and lack of maturity in other ways during your courtship. Why are you marrying her then? You know what you’re getting into!!

SexyCool

November 10th, 2011
10:35 am

lmwilker – Hugs for your past. Kudos for your present. Prayers for your future.

Celisea

November 10th, 2011
10:38 am

Morning folks,

I don’t know how long…from my window I’m with Swiss, 2 years seems like ample time. My uncle would always say don’t go past 2 years.

It’s funny though…there’s a common theme going on. It also seems most are on their 2nd or 3rd marriages.

SexyCool

November 10th, 2011
10:39 am

Congrats, corgi girl.

disco

November 10th, 2011
10:42 am

good morning guys. I was delaying joining since I figured my unmarried – never married input matters little. what I will say I find somewhat irksome (I live in NC) is the fact that it takes folks a year to get divorced. I figure by the time someone says they are ready to divorce they probably mean it. I’m sure they’ve thought on it, prayed on it and worked on it but the law says they’ve got to give it a year. go figure. not necessarily saying folks should wait a year to get married but waiting a year to get married makes more sense to me than waiting a year to get divorced. if folks want out, let them out. when I first moved here I wasn’t aware of the law. just kept running into “separated” men. I was starting to think separated was a catchphrase or something.

Leggs

November 10th, 2011
10:44 am

@czB ~ no doubt couples may think about divorce throughout the marriage. What I was trying to say was I commend those that haven’t encountered a bump in their marriage that causes ground for them to do more than think about it. They’re still together, fighting together to work things out.

Exiled!

November 10th, 2011
10:44 am

Good morn!

@Imwilker!

I feel your post,Absolutely!

Marriage is Not Easy.it’s sweet some days,bad on others But keep doing it.

The Key to stay in it is to have two people who believe in that philosophy of trying trying trying No matter the odds.

That’s the difficult and very Elusive(sometimes) Ingredient!

Happy Friday! :lol:

(sorry for y’all other suckers not so lucky)