The average dating period before engagement
People are marrying later in life, too, a fact that may come as no surprise.Today's bride and groom are eight years older than the average couple who got married in 1971.Good luck to those two lovebirds and everything, but you probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that research doesn’t show great odds for marriages that come out of whirlwind romances (and this one is particularly whirlwind-y).A host of studies have found that a longer romance before marriage is linked to higher marital satisfaction and lower risk of divorce.In fact, the average bride and groom in the UK date for 4.9 years before getting married.
And Kuperberg says that in her experience, the turning point is courtships that last longer than four or five years.The newlyweds surveyed overwhelmingly said they would recommend getting married, and that marriage has made their relationship stronger.More than 90 percent of participants said they felt less pressure to get married than their parents' generation.(Though as Alice Robb noted in , his research came with an important caveat: “Rushing into marriage might be a sign of impulsiveness or impatience,” she wrote, “personality traits that could also lead couples to give up on each other.”) The reason why longer is generally better is fairly obvious: “Having a longer time to date allows couples to get to know each other better, and find out about things that may be deal-breakers later on, ending worse relationships before marriage,” says Arielle Kuperberg, an associate professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and a senior scholar at the Council on Contemporary Families.
“Couples that enter marriage too quickly may not have had the time to fully discover all those things about their partner that later end up being deal-breakers.” On the other hand, there’s a time limit on the protective effect of a long courtship, and dating too long before tying the knot seems to come with its own risks.
Now, it’s increasingly optional, and many Millennials are even flirting with the idea of taking a real estate approach to the entire construct.