How Long To Date Before Marriage

Marriage is a commitment, a big step up from dating that comes with its own challenges.

Reviewed by LaTonya MeChelle, Love & Relationship Coach LaTonya MeChelle LaTonya MeChelleLove & Relationship Coach facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA Gracia Odile MA Experience: 3 years
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Are you worried you may be rushing into marriage without taking enough time to explore each other as partners? It is not uncommon for people to wonder how long to date before marriage. Many couples go through this phase of confusion and insecurity. However, you have nothing to worry about as we have got answers to all your queries related to dating, marriage, and more.

Dating is wonderful as it allows us to meet new people. You can not be too old to date; you might be in your twenties or thirties, or you can be in your forties and fifties, too, and still explore new relationship possibilities. You can date until you get a feeling of settling down with someone. People date to know each other well. They meet and talk to understand each other well.

A decision of marriage should always be taken after careful thought and introspection. There is a fair chance that decisions taken in haste may fail. This article discusses everything about dating and marriage and how you should go about it. Continue reading to know more.

How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged?

Dating before marriage helps you know each other better
Image: Shutterstock

Dating itself is complex, and the thought of getting married complicates it further. How do you know that you are ready to get married? Is it a horn blaring in your head? A message delivered in your sleep? Or a premonition that, yes, this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with? Whatever your signal was to prompt your readiness, you are here to find the answers to a question many have asked themselves.

Is it too soon to get married? Am I hurrying into something that might not last? Am I in for heartbreak or a lifetime of happiness? These are just some of the questions that no one can confidently give the right answers to.

It is said that a minimum of 1-2 years of dating reduces the probability of divorce by 20%, and dating for 3 years or more reduces it up to 50%.

This does not mean that you are rushing into things either. Just because some relationships worked better after dating longer does not mean that you are setting yourself up for divorce by getting married within a year of dating. The health of your marriage depends entirely on how much work you put into it and how committed you are to each other.

That being said, dating does differ a bit based on your age. Let’s learn more about this below.

Dating Before Marriage In Your 20s

Age does not matter in dating life before marriage
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Relationships in the twenties usually don’t last as long as when compared to adults. These young adults are still in search of their roles in society and setting up their careers. This does not leave much space for the decisions regarding settling down after dating. Very few people successfully settle down in their 20s.

Dating Before Marriage In Your 30s

By their 30s, most people have set their footing in their careers. Through the many trials and errors in relationships, they have figured out what they desire from their partner and what to look for in a relationship. Here, even a year of dating solidifies the relationship a lot. Couples in their 30s who have dated for at least 2 years are said to have an almost 80% success rate in marriage.

Dating Before Marriage In Your 40s

By your 40s, you usually know yourselves completely. You know what you want in life and what decisions to take to get what you want. But, we are conditioned to think that dating is only reserved for people in their teens, 20s, and 30s. Dating in your 40s might feel like a rebellious act against society, but it is definitely not. Getting married at this age is not about adjusting anymore but finding the person that fits you.

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Make sure you date for at least a year even if you are in your 40s. You do not have to rush through thinking you are getting old.

Dating Before Marriage In Your 50s

Give dating some time before getting married
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There is nothing wrong with dating in your 50s. In fact, most of the relationships built at this age are for companionship, so the marriages borne out of them will most likely survive to the end. Relationships that persevere past the one-year mark at this age tend to survive other hardships that the couple might come across.

While dating is essential before marriage, proposing too soon might not be the best move. Check the following section to learn when you should pop the question for a smooth-sailing relationship journey.

How Soon Is Too Soon To Propose?

Deciding when to propose is a personal call for every couple. While feeling a strong connection early on is great, proposing too soon might strain the relationship by exerting undue pressure on the unsure party. Take the time to let your connection grow and understand each other better. A rushed proposal could lead to skipping over important aspects of a long-term commitment, leading to unexpected challenges. It is good to figure out if you share the same values and ideas of marriage, communicate well, and have similar future goals. Patience helps build a strong foundation for a successful marriage—find the right balance between excitement and being sensible about this definitive step.

The basic needs for a relationship to survive the ups and downs of life are explained below.

Things To Consider Before Marriage

1. You, Me, And Us

Knowing yourselves individually is of utmost importance for the marriage to survive, period. For anything you want to do in your life, you need to know and love yourself first. Otherwise, you will never be happy or satisfied. Know yourself, understand yourself, and then try to understand how you two individual, independent human beings are compatible with each other and how far you are willing to go for each other.

2. Conflict And Communication

Check your compatibility through dating before getting married
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The basic foundation of a relationship depends on the kind of communication the partners have. There is no place for lying, hiding, and secretiveness in a marriage. You need to communicate your needs to your partner and listen to them when they do the same. The only way to resolve conflicts is to communicate.

3. Religion

Religion is one of the most important parts of a person’s life. Compromising, understanding, and accepting each other’s views on religion is necessary when you are considering building a life together.

Deborah, a blogger, shares her personal experience of being in an inter-faith marriage and provides insights about how the couple keeps the journey going. She shares that her dating period was beautiful, which led her to marry a non-church member and not any sort of divine inspiration. She says that her husband has no expectation about what she should belief, so she has had the time to explore her spirituality and adds, “I have also come to value his perspective on hope, intuition, and hero’s journeys — three concepts that influence his sense of spirituality — and learned that, minus the “details,” we have a remarkably similar belief system (i).”

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Before deciding to marry, talk about your religious beliefs and understand your partner’s beliefs. Make sure you both can respect each other’s choices without conflict.

4. Children

Before getting married, it is absolutely essential that you discuss whether you both will be having children. Some people adore kids so much that they want to have them as soon as they get married. Some people even want to get married just to have kids. Then, there are those who want to stay child-free by choice. Can you imagine these two kinds of people having a successful marriage for long? Chances are very low. Therefore, it is important to talk about this before committing to marriage.

5. Shared Interests And Values

As two independent individuals, you probably have different interests, hobbies, and pastimes. Respecting these differences is as necessary as finding things that you both can do together to bring you closer and make the relationship stronger. Find things that interest both of you – it could be painting, just sitting together and reading your own books, watching movies or documentaries or shows together, or even a sport!

6. Finances

A rather important aspect of a successful marriage is the way you handle your finances both individually and together. This includes how you save your money, what your spending behaviors are, and how you plan on splitting day-to-day expenses as well as big purchases. Your retirement plans are also a huge part of this conversation.

7. Sexual Compatibility

Understand your sexual compatibility before marriage
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Sexual compatibility is of utmost importance in a successful marriage. Know your kinks and turn-ons, as well as your partner’s. Discussing and agreeing to try out both your kinks will help you understand each other better. This will also show you how much your partner is ready to learn for you and from you and if you can really satisfy each other.

8. Balance

How do you balance your work and family life? How do you plan to do it in the future? What do you expect from your partner regarding their family and work lifestyle? All of these dynamics need to be discussed to establish a balanced life once you get married.

9. Leaving The Honeymoon Phase

The honeymoon phase comes after the wedding when everything seems perfect. There can be nothing wrong in your paradise, and your partner can do absolutely nothing wrong. But, this bubble bursts eventually, and you come face-to-face with issues in your relationship. So, consider marriage only after you are past the honeymoon phase of your relationship.

10. Future

Figure out your expectations from the relationship. What do you want out of it? How do you plan to make it come true? What kind of dynamic do you want to share with your partner? What kind of life do you want to build with them? All of these are important questions to ask yourself and your partner.

Infographic: 5 Things To Discuss Before Getting Married

A marriage marks the start of a new phase of one’s life. It is a commitment of love, respect, and loyalty for a lifetime to come. However, you must ensure that both of you are on the same page before getting married. The infographic below highlights the 5 most important things you need to discuss with your partner before getting married. Check it out!

5 things to discuss before getting married (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

There is no fixed answer to how long people should date before getting married. There is no prescribed amount of time needed before tying the knot, and the duration varies between individuals based on various factors. Age is a major deciding factor, and in general, people in their 20s and 30s are more likely to date for longer before marrying than those in their 40s and 50s. Finally, don’t rush into anything because of a fictitious deadline. Take the time to get to know yourself and your future spouse, your individual and combined needs and aspirations, and your partnership expectations. Only marry when the time is right for both of you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are 4 dates too soon to be exclusive?

While being on a 4th date together can hint toward a developing attraction and connection between both, it is still too soon to make a decision about the other person. However, if you already know the person as a good friend and are aware of his family, life, and character, then you may choose to take it a step forward after 4 dates.

What is the 3 date rule?

Considering that you need some time to know each other well, this rule withholds physical intimacy until after the 3rd date.

How often should you plan a date night?

While it depends on both your schedules and interest levels, you can plan a date night every week or at least once every month to keep the connection strong and growing.

Key Takeaways

  • Dating and engagement before marriage give you the time and opportunity to know and understand your partner better.
  • Twenties, thirties, or fifties, while there is no particular age barrier or best time for dating or courtship, the concerns and expectations may vary with age.
  • Dating helps you find a common ground on various important aspects of marriage, building a strong mutual foundation.
how long to date before marriage

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Dating before marriage is an important decision. Click on the video below for guidance, and learn how long you should date before getting married.

Personal Experience: Source

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LaTonya MeChelle

LaTonya MeChelleLove & Relationship Coach

LaTonya MeChelle is not your typical love and relationship coach. Her matchmaking skills are unique, and she is the type of life coach that makes you appreciate looking in the mirror. Her coaching techniques are far from traditional but as effective as they come. With over 10 years of experience, her creative mind, love for people, professional expertise, and past...read full bio

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