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A Big Question: How Long Should You Date before Getting Engaged?

How Long Should You Date before Getting Engaged

In your opinion, how long should you date before getting engaged? This is a big step in any relationship, but is there a right or wrong answer?

We’ve all seen the hashtag #relationshipgoals, but what exactly are they? Is there one goal that fits every one like how long should you date before getting engaged? Are we supposed to be working our way down a tick list? If so, I’ve lost my copy because I’ve been taking each day as it comes for the last several years!

We feel so much pressure to have achieved certain milestones by a certain age, but it’s a complete waste of time to measure your so-called progress against someone else’s. For starters, we’re told that we’re “supposed” to meet someone, get married, and settle down before we’re 30. Well, I’ve missed that milestone by a long way!

We’re also told that we’re supposed to have had children before 32 at the most, as a woman, because otherwise our eggs will shrivel up. Then, we’ll end up alone, with a coven of cats for company.

It’s a load of rubbish. Seriously. [Read: How to choose the right path for you in your relationship]

We have choices in a modern era

We have choices these days, we can live our lives in the way we want to without conforming to any so-called rules. Who made these rules up anyway?

One of the biggest pressures in a relationship is when to pop the question. We’re also told that a man should do the proposing, but what if you’re not in a relationship with a man, can you not get engaged? What if you’re a woman and you want to do the proposing? Again, who made these rules up?

It’s a good thing that we’re all rule breakers these days, that’s for sure.

This does bring to mind a big question. If we’re pressured to walk down the aisle after being with someone for a while, how long should you date before getting engaged?

Assuming that you actually want to get married at some point in your life; remember, not everyone does. When should you be taking that step and putting a ring on it?

Ah, another debate! [Read: Should you settle for less when you can have so much more?]

How long should you date before getting engaged?

There’s no right or wrong answer!

The bottom line is that some couples date for 10, 15, even 20 years before getting engaged. Some couples never get engaged but continue to cohabit as a married couple would until they’re old and grey. On the other hand, some couples meet, date for a month, and then get so caught up in each other that they’re running off to Vegas to be married by Elvis.

It’s such a varied bag of possible situations, but not one of them is wrong. Only you know when you’re ready to take the plunge, and it’s possible to be engaged for a long period of time, and possibly stay engaged but never set a date and get married! [Read: 15 things to know before you get engaged that can make or break it]

Nobody can tell you that by the point of dating for three years, you must be shopping for rings. Nobody can tell you that getting married will make you any happier than you are now. It’s a personal choice and one that only you and your partner know the answer to.

If we really do have to put an average time on it, and let’s be honest, you’re still itching to know what other people are doing, then it seems that around one to two years is the average amount of time before rings are flashed around. However, I still consider that to be quite early! [Read: The relationship timeline – The 15 phases of a healthy relationship]

What do you think?

I’ve been with my partner for four years and we’re not engaged, nor is there any sign of it occurring.

Am I bothered?

We live together, and it’s as though we’re practically married anyway, so I don’t really see what difference a piece of paper is going to do. Having said that, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want a wedding day at some point. Am I rushing it? Not at all.

Another person could be in the same situation as me but be desperate for that rock on their finger. It’s totally personal. [Read: 25 signs you’re high on wedding fever and crave it]

Take the plunge only when you’re ready

You might not want to get married, and that’s perfectly fine. The thing is, know that your partner is on the same page as you. Some people have been married once before and don’t want to repeat the process because it went wrong the first time. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will go the same way, but it’s a perfectly understandable and acceptable decision to make.

Some people watched their parents fight and argue throughout their childhood, and as a result they don’t believe in marriage. Again, a totally valid and understandable point.

Other people just don’t want to do it, or think it costs far too much money. Again, totally understandable. You can be in a longterm relationship with someone and be far closer than some couples who have been married for 10 or more years! [Read: The first year of marriage and the surprising truths no one ever talks about]

It depends on the couple.

Only take the plunge and get engaged when you’re ready, and not when so-called society tells you it’s acceptable. If you want to get engaged after three months and you’re sure it’s right for the both of you, I say go for it.

Time is no measurement of the depth of a couple’s love.

If you want to get engaged, run off and get married in secret, then that’s your prerogative too. Timelines don’t matter. [Read: How to elope and have your fairytale wedding]

Quite frankly, we have no idea who decided what these so-called acceptable timelines are anyway. This could have been a person so drastically unhappy with their own life that they wanted to put excessive pressure on everyone else and make them miserable too!

The only person who’s view on marriage you should listen to is your own, and your partner’s, of course. Everything else is just noise. [Read: How to recognize your relationship doubts and make the right decision]

Is it wise to rush into engagement?

There are couples, as I’ve briefly mentioned, who get engaged quickly after they meet. While you can’t argue with the love they have for each other, is it wise to get engaged while in the honeymoon stage and still getting to know one another?

Again, a totally personal choice. If you want to know my opinion on it, I’d say wait at least a year. By that point you’ll know whether you can accept their flaws as well as the things you love about them. In the early stages of love, we brush over the bad points, because we’re so smitten that nothing else matters. Of course, we all have negative traits, but you must be able to live with them too!

It’s also one thing being with someone, but another to live with them and share everything in your life with them. It took my partner and I at least a year to settle into the groove of living together. And, in that year we argued like cats and dogs!

[Read: These are the biggest signs you’re not ready for marriage]

So, how long should you date before getting engaged? It’s personal, but when it’s the right time for you, you’ll know. Of course, only ever produce a ring when you’re sure and ready!

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...

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