How long should you date before getting engaged? With Dr. Dave Currie of Doing Family Right
7 Aug I knew I was being paranoid. I understood that marriage between two loving and committed people was a beautiful thing. I had plenty of married friends who were perfectly happy, even the ones who'd gotten hitched at 19, or eloped after dating for less than year. My parents were still married. So were. We've been together very long, but started dating young (19) and had lots of obstacles in our way, which have made me okay for the most part with not being married until I hit my 30s, so I guess while I'd have been happy to have a super simple wedding in my early 20s and have been married all these years, I haven't been. But as a baseline, Ian Kerner, PhD, LMFT, licensed psychotherapist, couple's therapist and author of She Comes First, suggests that one to two years is often a good amount of time to date before getting engaged. "I've worked with a lot of couples who have strong relationships, and they met and fell in love quickly and really.
On our nine-year anniversary, Nathan and I went out to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant. After our wine had been poured but before the appetizers arrived, he slid a card across the table. I tried to skim the inscription, but my eyes were drawn immediately to the question scrawled at the bottom of the page.
As I realized what was happening, my heart started to pound and I felt my face begin to flush. He was temporarily homeless, living in a tent in the woods while waiting for a bed to open up in the dorms.
I was a studying poetry and fiction, a wannabe-hippie with a wardrobe that consisted mostly of brown corduroy.
From your bank account to your friends, here are a few points to consider before popping the question. Everything came down to him thinking he needed to be at a certain point in his career before he proposed. When it comes to finding the "right time" to marry your partner, people often go off of instinct and romance. Not then, and maybe not ever. For us, there were family…difficulties at the beginning from my end.
After our first conversation, Nathan proved to be smart, adventurous, and unpredictable. He was also good-looking, with blond hair, blue eyes, and forearms sculpted from weekends spent rock climbing. On one of our first dates we went rappelling in the Natural Sciences building -- an activity that was slightly dangerous and probably illegal -- and as I lowered myself down the stairwell, attached to a rope, wearing a harness, and inexplicably trusting a boy a barely knew, I realized Nathan was the perfect balance to my bookish personality.
There was just one problem -- we were only 20 years old. On the contrary, it encouraged it. But as the years ticked by, there was no talk of a wedding, no talk of a ring. On the rare occasions Nathan was questioned, mostly by his parents who were itching to welcome their first grandchild, he said the Dating For 10 Years Before Getting Married. You see, even though we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, we had no desire to get married. Not then, and maybe not ever.
Study: How long you should wait before you get married - BI
Marriage was just a piece of paper, rampant divorce had rendered it moot, gay marriage was illegal and that was ridiculous, it had been used as a tool to oppress women for centuries.
I was a ton of fun at bridal showers, let me tell you.
How Long Should You Date Before Getting Married?
And while my reasons were logical, founded on evidence and hearsay, there was something else at work. I knew I was being paranoid. I understood that marriage between two loving and committed people was a beautiful thing. My parents were still married.
We were so young and had so much growing up to do -- what if we grew apart, or in different directions? What if being in a long-term relationship somehow stunted us?
Perhaps if you two [calmly] talk, you can also figure out what the hang-up is. I understood that marriage between two loving and committed people was a beautiful thing. Marriage was just a piece of paper, rampant divorce had rendered it moot, gay marriage was illegal and that was ridiculous, it had been used as a tool to oppress women for centuries.
Nathan and I loved each other as we were in that moment -- what if the fear of losing that love made us stagnant, unwilling to take risks or embrace change? The way I saw it, a relationship was fluid, held together by a thread that was relatively easy to cut. A marriage, on the other hand, connected two people with a noose. Too much wriggling, worrying, or wandering, and you were a goner.
WE'RE ENGAGED AFTER 10 YEARS OF DATING!!!
It seemed safer to stay the course, and so we did. We adopted a second dog. We moved from Texas to North Carolina.
We got a KitchenAid mixer, which seemed to me the height of adulthood. We weathered hurricanes -- some literal, others figurative. And through it all, we continued to love one another. Somewhere around year six, while daydreaming about the future, we discussed how we should celebrate our 10th anniversary. A decade was a long time, we agreed, and it deserved something big. A trip to Europe? A bicycle ride across the United States?
Any of those would be fun, we decided, and we talked about the various options on and off for the next few years. But as our ninth anniversary approached, we stopped talking about year ten, about Europe and bicycles and weddings. A decade was suddenly too soon. The options were laid out clearly for me, waiting patiently for a circle.
The brown corduroy was long gone, and Nathan only slept in a tent when we were camping. In fact, each time I was afraid to take a chance or worried about a risk, Nathan had been the harness around my waist, keeping me safe while I jumped.
In that moment, I was still afraid of marriage. But it was only our ninth anniversary. I had a whole year to get used to the idea. When the server came around to refill our glasses, I asked to borrow his pen. Skip to main content.