If you are focused on the subject, are you missing issues sitting just on the periphery? On one hand, if either of you are still in college or graduate school and not financially stable it might not be a good idea.
But a 30-something guy in a multi-year relationship with a steady job doesn’t have that same excuse. Maybe he really is just saving up his pennies and has a plan in place.
Ted Huston, a leading researcher on transitions in relationships, marriage and parenthood, followed couples for 13 years starting in 1979.
He states in his study that happily married couples dated for approximately 25 months before getting married. Couples who were unhappily married soon after they said “I do” and quickly divorced more often married at or after three years.
Are these guys patient or just stringing them along? As it turns out, there isn’t a lot of recent research on the courtship length prior to marriage.
Currently I co-run a longitudinal study of marriage and family development, started in 2008 and ongoing, and the answers couples gave me about their engagement ranged from several months to several years.Couples who fell fast in love were engaged after nine months, and married after 18 months.These couples usually made it to their seventh anniversary before divorcing sometime later.Most say living together prior to getting engaged has less promising outcomes, but this might not reflect changing cultural acceptance.If not, are you ready or willing to take a stand for what you want?If not, you may find yourself like Jennifer Aniston’s character in Bruce Almighty (she repeats this long-suffering role in “He’s Just not that Into You”) whose boyfriend needs literal divine intervention from God to get him to propose.In real life God doesn’t make such obvious house calls.Much has changed in the last thirty years, and those in my study are still reporting general satisfaction in their marriages.There is actually a lower divorce rate now than in the 80s, and what marriage means on a societal level is also changing.On average, the couples in my study decided to marry 2.8 years after they first showed romantic interest (many couples knew each other before they dated, but that isn’t counted).This may reflect growing trends in the delay of marriage.