“My grandparents fell in love and were engaged within three months,” we have all heard this story, or one like it, about a happy ever after that had very little build up. The marriage lasted forever, even if their pre-marriage relationship was all but non-existent.
Stories like this are rarely told, now it is more about men who drag their feet when it comes to proposals.
So, who had it right? Was it our grandparents who believed in love at first sight or is it our generation that knows the secret to love? How long should we be in a relationship before getting engaged?
According to a 2014 survey conducted by Emory University couples who date for three years before putting a ring on it have a higher chance of a happy and life-long marriage.
This research is similar to findings from a 2006 study, in which psychologist Scott Randall Hansen interviewed 952 people who had been married for at least three years. He also found that there was a positive correlation between ‘courtship’ and marriage satisfaction.
Three years seems to be a number that pops up all over the place when it comes to the ideal time to wait before getting married. Shauna H Springer, Ph.D. wrote an article for Psychology today, where she also suggested the three year period.
“In some cases, it may be wise to wait three or more years before making a decision, and in other cases, a couple may be able to make a wise decision in less than two years.,” she said.
“I would say, a lengthy courtship would be wise any time three years (or more) have passed but you still know relatively little about each other. ”
Of course, just because you have been together for three years does not mean you should be ring shopping on the weekend! Consider your age, if you met when you were 16 you might not be financially or mentally ready to get married at 19.