Another more recent study published by researchers from Emory University following three thousand couples found that those who dated three or more years were 39 percent less likely to get divorced than those who dated less than a year.Couples that dated for two years were 20 percent less likely to split.I did some digging and reached out to relationship therapists and psychologists to get their thoughts.Here's what the professionals have to say about the ideal length of time to date.These couples dated an average of eighteen months and were engaged for half that time.Of those who were quicker to marry, the study found that the marriages survived to the seven-year mark, but many divorced after that.We met late in the summer of 2013 at a mutual friend’s BBQ. Going to that wedding with him, made it very clear to me that I was in love with him. I don’t really know how to put our connection into words. I never really dated a guy that had similar interests as me, had similar style to mine, or that would be considered as ‘my type’. There was one thing that really struck me about him… Since we had so many mutual friends, it was the people around who adored him. You’re then in a constant power struggle for the upper hand in the relationship.We were both in unhealthy, on & off, long term [and long distance in my case] relationships. We both knew the couple getting married so it wasn’t awkward. When I was around him I didn’t think about anyone else, I didn’t want to look at my phone, and I didn’t think about how the life I had known for the last four years was falling apart right under me. I was constantly being told how great of a guy he was and how much he was admired by people that I knew and trusted.“Elena, if you elope…I will cut you a fat check.” My dad was a wonderful man, but he had terrible luck with women. You decide to stay together because you are inconvenienced by the thought of starting over with someone new.
While Betchen suggests at least a year, he also explains that self knowledge and learning from past dating mistakes can speed up the dating process.
Results showed that couples that had dated an average of twenty-five months before marriage were most happily married at the conclusion of the study.
The study also looked at couples who were quicker to get married.
"There is no ideal time to date before marriage," Firestone says. If a couple has been married for fifty years, but they have been miserable and treating each other badly during those years, is it really a good marriage? a marriage will last, but I feel more confident giving our relationship the time we need to be intentional and discerning.
Even arranged marriages work sometimes, and they haven’t dated at all. "If you're seriously considering marriage, you should focus on discerning whether or not you are truly ready for marriage, despite the amount of time you have been dating. Maybe it didn't have to be two years, or maybe it will be three.