How Long Should You Date Before Thinking of Marriage?

Couples holding hands

Love is blind while marriage is an eye opener – whoever said this was right on the money.

The question – how long to date before thinking of marriage – cannot be answered with any accuracy quite simply because there are too many variables involved, such as:

  • What type of emotional bonding do you share with each other?
  • How compatible you are with your partner in terms of interests and ambitions?
  • What is the level of intimacy that has developed between the two of you in the course of dating?
  • The adversities you have faced together in your relationship
  • How settled are you in life?
  • And many more..

Each relationship has a pace to itself and not all of them work out towards the end.

The initial euphoria of passion will ultimately fizz out and what you are left with is the depth of your emotional bonding and if it’s not too strong there is little hope for the relationship to go the distance.

You should ideally date long enough to ensure there is a strong emotional bonding between the two of you so that your relationship can stand the test of time.

Though it is difficult to generalize, we will attempt to answer the question as to how long you should ideally wait, in terms the most common duration, as listed below:

Dating for 3 months

This is a very short period of dating and no matter what you feel there is an element of impatience involved if you decide to marry within this period.

This is because, it is difficult to create any form of deep emotional bonding within such a short time.

There have been marriages that have gone the distance in spite of a short dating period, but these instances are more of an exception rather than a norm.

If you are planning on getting married within 3 months of dating, ask yourself a hard question – What is my real intention behind wanting to get married so quickly? – Am I feeling insecure or do I feel the need to possess him before he changes his mind?

Remember that marriage is after all an institution with responsibilities and liabilities.

Love is an emotion while marriage is a practical venture. Finance, work habits and several personality quirks can suddenly turn into big problems when you start sharing the same life space.

Dating for 6 months

A good majority of couples start popping questions regarding commitment, and the road ahead for the relationship, by this time.

Six months is good enough time to start contemplating a long term commitment but would hardly be sufficient to truly consider marriage.

If you have been dating for six months and you find great compatibility with your partner, that’s a definite indication that this is a serious relationship. This is usually the time to go to the next level and develop a depth to your communication and be more intimate with each other.

Start thinking about a long term commitment and discuss it with your partner, but don’t bring up marriage yet because your relationship has hardly had the time to stand the test of time.

If you are asking – how long should you date before getting engaged – six months might still be a risky duration.

Dating for 1 year

This is usually a mature duration to consider marriage or engagement.

If you have been dating successfully for one year and find that your love for each other has only increased, or has remained stable, then you have most likely found your future life partner.

One year is usually long enough a duration to figure out most of the eccentricities, quirks, inclinations, moods and mental make up of your partner.

If you find yourself in love with him/her after such an intimate knowledge of their life, then you are quite ready to pop the question of the long term contract called marriage.

Emotional bonding increases when you trust your partner with your vulnerabilities, this is possible only when you have faced a few adversities together. One year is usually a long enough a dating period to develop a good level of bonding on the emotional front as you are sure to have faced quite a few adversities during this time.

Anything more than 1 year

You can always wait for a period of another six months to a year after the one year anniversary of your dating period, just to be doubly sure.

If you are not quite sure of marriage even after such a long period of dating, then you need to have a hard look at your relationship.


In conclusion, its not always about how long should you date before marriage but more about how deep your relationship should be before making the commitment of sharing a life together.