How Long To Date Before Marriage? Does It Make A Difference?

Sometimes, how much you know each other matters more than how long you know.

Written by Ratika Pai
Last Updated on

Are you wondering – how long to date before marriage? If you are lucky and find a loving partner, marriage may seem like the most natural progression. However, if you don’t know this person for long, you may feel hesitant. You become anxious and start wondering if you have spent enough time to be ready for tying the knot. Your intellect warns you to wait, but your heart asks you to move on.

Well, there may not be any certain answers for this problem. It depends on the personal preference of a person. However, you can still delve into the situation and evaluate it from all angles before deciding finally. Read this post to learn how to assess this situation.

How Long Should You Date Your Partner Before Marriage?

The purpose of dating someone is to understand them to determine whether you want to commit to them. Dating helps check your compatibility, confirm your feelings, and test your partner’s love for you.  And when you feel your life and personality are in sync with your partner, you are set for marriage.

But you never know how long it will take to understand your compatibility level, determine how you feel, and understand whether you truly love your partner.

According to a study of more than 3,000 couples by researchers at Emory University, couples dating more than a year or two before marriage had a 20% less chance of divorce than couples who married within a year of dating. Similarly, couples who have been dating for more than three years have 50%fewer chances of divorce. (1)

In short, research backs the idea that dating your partner for at least a year is essential to determine if you should marry your partner.

Does The Duration Of Courtship Make A Difference?

No two couples are the same, so each couple’s ideal date before marriage will differ. Besides, you can never guarantee specific results. This means that even after dating for years, a couple sometimes hardly knows each other, and for some couples, a few months is enough to know almost everything about each other.

However, a more extended dating period can help the couple with the following aspects.

  • It helps determine whether each other’s feelings are genuine. Witnessing the ups and downs of a relationship and if feelings for each other remain unchanged, then it is genuine. This means you are genuinely in love with each other.
  • After the initial “honeymoon period” fades out, the couple will be in a better place to judge each other’s shortcomings and strengths. In times of conflict, the couple will see different aspects of their personalities. They learn how their partner deals with stress and tension situations. It makes them question whether they are willing to accept their partner as they are.
  • Cohabitation during courtship further reveals their real personalities and enables them to understand how compatible they are and whether marriage is their future choice. It prepares the couple for the real deal.

How To Know If You Are Ready To Marry Someone?

Marriage affects not only your life but your partner’s. Therefore, the decision should be mutual rather than unilateral. Here are some indicators that show that your decision to marry is the right decision for you and your partner.

  1. Want to marry out of choice: As a couple, the final decision to tie the knot should be mutual agreement and not under external pressure. Don’t let age, family, friends, society, etc., influence your decision to marry. Follow your heart, and only do what you think is appropriate.
  1. Looking for marriage instead of wedding: The idea of ​​having family and friends attend and enjoy a beautiful wedding often tempts people to take the plunge quickly. However, both of you need to ask yourself the motivation for deciding to get married. Do you want to host a fantastic wedding party, or is it a personal choice to spend a lifetime with your partner? Be loyal to yourself, and you will find an answer.
  1. Consider the good and bad in the relationship: There will always be good and bad phases. Remember, there will be fights and disagreements. Do you think your bond is strong enough to withstand any adversity? If so, go ahead with the wedding.
  1. Accepted each other wholeheartedly: Are you happy with the partner the way they are? Or do you think you can help them make some changes to make them more suitable for you? If your answer to the first question is “yes,” then marriage is for you. If your answer to the second question is “yes,” you may need to reevaluate your decision. When you truly love someone, you will love them completely. Wanting to change them in any way indicates a lack of true love in your relationship.
  1. Made long-term plans for each other: You should make plans keeping your partner’s interests in mind. Setting long-term goals in line with your partner will sustain the relationship in the long run. Be flexible and respectful of your partner’s plans.
  1. Support each other through tough times: Each couple goes through various phases that test their love bond. It can be external problems such as financial difficulties or internal matters such as misunderstandings. As a couple, if you have faced challenging times and sailed through them together, then marriage may be the next step in your relationship
  1. Get along with respective families: Families play an essential role in the success of the couple’s married life. If your partner is not acceptable to your family and vice-versa, then matters can get tricky. Families’ interference can affect your relationship, leading to conflicts, resentment, and frustration. Therefore, before deciding to get married, it is best to ensure that both families agree to the alliance.
  1. Trust each other blindly: Where there is trust, there is love. You cannot sustain a lifetime commitment without trust. To trust your partner, you should understand their past and respect them for who they are. Marriage means you trust each other. Therefore, marry your partner if you trust him/her blindly.
  1. Sharing is easy: The ideal relationship is when you are not afraid to be yourself or speak your mind. If you and your partner are comfortable with each other, then your marriage plans will not face any hindrance.
  1. There is no doubt: You should not harbor doubts over the choice of your partner. If both of you are serious about each other, then it is time to ring the wedding bells.

Marriage is a decision that cannot be based on others’ opinions or experiences. Although such factors may give you a better understanding and point you in the right direction, the ultimate decision solely depends on you and your partner. If you are confused about how long to date before marriage, you need to understand that there may not be a definite answer. Some people dating for a longer period may have more time to understand and observe each other. At the same time, others with shorter dating periods may also have a similar understanding. The bottom line is that there must be trust, love, and understanding for a marriage to work. So use your dating time wisely while enjoying each other’s company and cherishing every moment to make the right choice.

Key Pointers

  • Dating before marriage allows you to know each other better and helps establish strong bond.
  • An extended dating period helps both the partners figure out whether their feelings are genuine and understand their relationship.
  • Accepting each other wholeheartedly and getting along with your partner’s families are some of signs that you are ready for marriage.


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