Many couples who are dating wonder if there is really a timeframe for how long their courtship should last. The fact of the matter is, there really is no right or wrong answer to this question. You see many examples of couples who have dated for only a month before getting engaged. These couples have been happily married for years. And you have other couples who dated for five years before getting married, and ended up divorcing two years later!
However, if there was an answer to this question, marriage and relationship counselors say that you should not really be thinking of marriage until you have been dating for at least a year. But again, that is not the magic answer to this question.
Even though it is important to date your partner long enough to have a good idea of what you are getting into before tying the knot, there are other important factors to consider if you want to increase your odds of having a successful marriage. Let’s look at what these are:
Communication is the Key
When you and your partner started to date, it is quite unlikely you would be discussing whether you want to have kids or not. If you start talking about having kids on your second date, then your potential partner would have dashed! However, that is the time to discuss what your interests are, and you can talk about what you want in life to a degree. If you find that you have nothing in common with your date, then you can break it off nice and early.
If you do not communicate anything that is important to you before you get married, then you will run into problems quickly. In fact, in order to have a successful marriage, neither partner should stop communicating with one another! If you don’t get your wants and needs met because you never voiced what they were in the first place, that will lead to resentment which is a marriage killer.
There is Too Much Self-Centeredness
The fact of the matter is if you are going to commit yourself to a relationship, you have to be selfless. No, you should not sacrifice your own needs for the sake of your partner because that will only lead to resentment. However, you have to be willing to give a little. And the same goes for your partner. If you are noticing signs that your partner does not show a lot of concern for your needs even if you have voiced them, then that is a clear indicator that this individual is not marriage material.
However, if your partner is going out of his way to surprise you in creative ways, then that is a good sign. For instance, if your partner surprises you by giving you beautiful Pearl Rings and Pearl Diamond Rings by Allurez, then he might be a keeper! That is still not a guarantee that you would have a rock-solid marriage since people’s true colors do come out after the big wedding day. That is because they are comfortable in a marriage to show who they really are.
Expect to be Tested
A big reason why so many marriages fail is that whenever hardship arises, couples who are experiencing it throw in the towels and forget their vows quite quickly. The fact is, there will be rocky moments in life. You or your partner could become unexpectedly ill, one of your parents might get ill and need care, you could run into financial difficulties or end up having a child with special needs. These are huge tests that many couples go through.
Some couples are able to get through it, usually with the help of therapy. However, other couples are not able to cope. If you go into the marriage expecting to be tested- and realize that difficult periods will arise in your marriage, then you have a better chance at succeeding.
All marriages at some point go through difficult periods one way or another. Marriage takes work, and commitment. That said, it does not matter how long you have been dating. You have to go in with an open mind and with the expectation that you will have challenges, and you also have to be willing to give and communicate as well. The same applies for your partner in order for you to remain in a long and fulfilling marriage.