“A courtship that lasts 1-3 years has more of a chance of surviving a marriage than one that lasts less than one year or more than 3 years.”
-The San Diego Divorce Center
As and ex of mine and I traveled to my cousin’s wedding, I warned him that my great aunt, who he would meet in a matter of hours, could be a bit hard on men and that her approval would not come easy. I was impressed when they hit it off. At the end of the night, she came and told me how much she enjoyed him and how she liked him for me. And then, in true Auntie fashion, she gave me some cut and dry advice. She told me that if I wasn’t engaged within the following 5 months, to cut him loose. Now, there was the Auntie I knew. So, I summed up that statement to her just cracking her whip as usual. In reality, we had only been together a little under a year, so I thought she sounded a bit extreme. So, I brushed her off.
Jump to us being together for almost years and he was still unsure of what he wanted out of our relationship.
My aunt’s advice a few months prior was all the push I needed. It broke my little ol’ heart to walk away from him, despite him claiming to want to be married (but what woman doesn’t want to hear that?).
I’ve always been one to think that those who jump into a marriage after a short courtship are impulsive and pragmatic individuals who were doomed as a couple. I just assumed that a courtship should last a couple of years so that you really know a person. Marriage is one of the most important decisions you make in your lifetime. It’s not something to enter carelessly and recklessly. So, I thought it was best to wait a while before making that jump.
Now, in this very moment, I beg to differ.
Maybe it’s because I am over the 30 year threshold. Or maybe it’s because I’ve seen successful unions form in a short period of time that seem to go for the long haul. What ever it is, I’ve come to the realization that we do not need to date someone for years on end before deciding to spend the rest of your lives together. NO! Dating is not a permanent place to reside. It is a stage that you spend as much time as possible with a person in order to collect the data needed for you both to decide if you want to progress into another stage. After 30, it definitely should not be a place where you camp out until something better comes along.
In our 20s, we were more prone to enter dating for longer periods of time. Women often take the risk of hoping that the man will marry us without conveying our true desire to move into another stage of the relationship. So, we do all the things a wife does including moving in together with hopes. And men, well they are just along for the ride. When he doesn’t commit the woman is left confused, hurt, and devastated.
By our 30’s, being in an ambiguous relationship goes out the window. Both men and women become more inclined to date with the intention of entering a long-committed marriage. Ideally, both are more prone to communicate those intentions and if intentions do not line up, move on.
In the past few years, I have witnessed friends exchange vows with level headed, sensible, God-fearing men who decided that they were ready to wed and went in search of a wife. These friend’s relationships went from courtships to engagements to marriages in a matter of months.
This past Sunday at our neighborhood cookout, my neighbor informed me that her and her husband jumped the broom 7 months after they met at a convention while she was outside for a cigarette break. They have been wed for 20 years.
According to The San Diego Divorce Center a successful marriage is related to how long you date. A courtship that lasts 1-3 years has more of a chance of surviving a marriage than one that lasts less than one year or more than 3 years. The blog states that these two individuals enter the relationship level headed and easy going. However, they must be on the same page with the same goal in mind- a committed marriage with each other (the each other part is key!).
The blog also states that dating longer than three years potentially decreases the chance of marriage. I’m guessing that’s why, another neighboring couple have been dating for 20 years and while she wants to get married, they have yet to do so.
Another reason I had to let my ex go. I refused to be my neighbor. Especially now that I’ve witnessed men with intention move with assurance. No buddy!
Whether it’s the article that states date for no more than 3 years or it’s couples I know, neither suggest dating long-term (3 years max) if you desire more of a commitment. Otherwise you may end up in a 10-20 year relationship doing everything a husband and wife would do i.e. cohabiting, sharing bills, and having kids.
Simply put, make your desire for marriage known early of the courtship stage. If you don’t, you risk not moving beyond that stage. It’s better to know if you’re on the same page throughout the different stages dating. If they aren’t on the same page, trust me, there is someone out there that is (please be mindful that there is no evidence of this in my life at the moment. I’m just remaining optimistic).
And I get it. Everyone isn’t going to get married in under a year or two. Every relationship is different. Some relationships will take longer to get to that stage. However, be sure that the communication is present and intentions are clear. And spare your precious time!