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How Long To Date Before Marriage

How Long To Date Before Marriage: Facts And Statistics To Be Aware Of

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Paul Sanders
Chief editor

You don't even have to refer to statistics to understand that modern couples marry much later today than years ago. The period of dating and living together has also become longer. Now it takes much more time to make a decision about marriage. So, what's the average dating time before engagement? Find out in the article.

Some statistics on length of dating before marriage

‌So, how long to date before marriage? Your classmates who started dating 10 years ago are still not married? But your friend met his girl 6 months ago and they're planning to wed next summer? Yes, indeed, there are couples who know they've found the one the moment they meet each other. It doesn't take them years to understand whether it's a good idea to get married. On the contrary, there are people who date for years and still don't really know whether marriage is what they need.


‌You might get even more confused when hearing all those mail order bride success stories. Can the same happen to you? What's behind all that? What do people do to create happy families? And how long should you personally date before marriage? Well, the only thing you should understand is that there's no secret and no right way to successful relationships. It all depends. But let's try to go deeper and find out the possible scenarios.

How long should you date before getting engaged

‌Let's first refer to some statistics.

  • A number of married people has fallen in the few last decades in America.
  • A number of unmarried couples moving in has risen.
  • A number of married couples is still bigger than a number of those who prefer to just cohabit.
  • For the majority of young Americans (69%) cohabitation is fully acceptable.
  • Only about 14% of Americans think it's completely unacceptable to live together if you're not married.

‌These are just numbers that simply show general tendencies, but don't mean you have to follow them. Here are some more statistics to understand how people regard marriage and what they feel when cohabiting.

  • Almost 70% of couples, who lived together before marriage, regarded it as just a step before the official wedding. It's kind of a milestone.
  • Almost 50% of not married couples believe they have more chances for more successful further relationships if they live together for a while.
  • Almost 60% of married couples trust each other more than the ones who cohabit.
  • Almost 70% of Americans support letting unmarried couples hold the same juridical rights as wedded ones.

‌So, how long should you wait to propose? Experts believe the average dating time before marriage its 1 to 3 years. However, they also claim each couple is unique and it's absolutely fine when it takes a few months or a decade to get married. Moreover, relationship specialists agree there are other, even more important, things to take into account when planning the engagement except for the number of dating years.

  • Love and companionship. These are the main reasons why couples choose to unite and create families.
  • Children. Another factor the survey participants find significant is the desire to have kids one day.
  • Financial sense and convenience. Some couples find it much more convenient to live together and have common financial goals.

Things to consider before marriage

‌Before you make up your mind about mail order marriage, think about the following.

Common interests and values

You, of course, don't have to share all the interests with your partner. On the contrary, it's totally fine to be different, spend time apart from each other, have something you both disagree on. But having more similarities is significant. It concerns many things. For example, such essential elements as family and life values, and more trivial ones like movie genres or hobbies.


When you can't find a common language on many big and small things, lots of arguments and misunderstandings occur. For instance, you want but she doesn't want to have kids yet. You want to go to the movies to watch horror, but she prefers a theater. That might be problematic in the long term.

Mature conflict resolution

This one is huge. Yeah, it's impossible to avoid conflicts. Relationships and marriages are complicated, they present couples with lots of challenges and difficulties. So it all comes to the way you both can resolve them. Think how good you and your partner are at it. Are you constant fighters? Are you always looking for something to argue about? Or are you peaceful and patient and know how to listen and accept other opinions?

If you want to save your marriage, you need to learn how to set boundaries, brainstorm solutions, and negotiate. It might be time-consuming and take lots of effort to learn how to resolve conflict within a couple. But the skill can help you strengthen marriage and bind you closer together.

Shared life purposes

Marriages get destroyed the moment people understand they want different things. She wants to move to another country, and you love your hometown and can't leave your family. Or you regard work as one of the priorities, but she wants you to spend more time at home. You're saving for a car, but she wants a house and doesn't want to rent it. These are just a few examples of how people can't agree on important life aspects.

It's crucial to reach an understanding before going into marriage together. You both have to be honest with each other and openly talk about things you want or don't want in life.


You're a party goer and she sticks indoors all the time? Are you both morning/night people? She is all into a healthy lifestyle, but you just want to have your beer late in the evening? Compatibility is as significant as your mutual feelings. You love each other, but in years you might start irritating each other because you expect things another person just can't give you.

It also concerns your financial goals and how you spend money. Can you save? Will you do it to satisfy your dear best half? Can she handle bills? Who'll be responsible for it? Are you going to have a common family budget? Think about it all thoroughly.

‌Average time to date before proposing is usually about 1-3 years. But the keyword is “average” here. Average length of a relationship before marriage doesn't say anything about your personal life. This is all individual, and it's important you don't follow any standards or tendencies. Consider how compatible you are. Think if you're both ready to commit. And only after that, make up your mind about marriage. Agree?