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How Long Should You Wait Before Getting Married?

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In a time of speed dating apps like Tinder and Grindr, more couples are rushing into relationships and engagements. Couples who decide early in the relationship to get married seem to only have experienced the first stage of love, making us question if they’ve experienced enough together to make a good decision.

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson have recently announced their engagement. The couple had only been dating for a few weeks before Davidson decided to pop the question. The engagement wasn’t officially confirmed until June 11.  “It’s a recent engagement,” a source close to the couple told PEOPLE. “They’re just two people who found love quickly and make each other happy all the time. They both started talking about it this past weekend. It’s nothing they’ve been hiding.”

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson

Although there are rare occasions were couples who’ve dated in a short amount of time have happy, long last relationships, the odds of that kind of love are unpredictable. According to a survey by Bridebook, the average couple waits nearly five years before marrying. Engagements should be long enough to truly get to know your partner. Psychologist Thomas Lee Those told Our Everyday Life that ” couples who have known one another for longer than one year have shown better success than those who have known each other for a lesser period of time.”

“Marriages are becoming stronger than ever, relationships happier and more committed than ever, and couples more independent and consensual in their decisions than ever,” said Bridebook founder Hamish Shepard.

According to a study by Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon from Emory University, couples who dated for at least three years before their engagement are 39 percent less likely to get divorced.

The research studied 3,000 couples nationwide to determine what factors played into divorce rates, including length of engagement, religious attendance, and wealth. The study showed that having wealth, a large but affordable wedding, and going on a honeymoon also decrease the chances of divorce.

To maintain a healthy relationship, the American Psychological Association (APA) encourages couples to maintain communication and keep the relationship interesting. Couples should make time to check on each other and really listen to each other. Turn off the electronics at meals and focus on each other and never go to bed angry at each other. Instead of getting into a screaming match, listen to what your partner is upset about and try to talk it out. The APA also recommends that couples keep the relationship exciting and fresh. This can be as simple as make time for a small date each week.

Also according to APA, couples that use destructive behavior during arguments, such as yelling, resorting to personal criticisms or withdrawing from the discussion, are more likely to break up than are couples that fight constructively.

While waiting three years before dropping on one knee may seem reasonable for some, Grande and Davidson don’t want to wait and why should they.  Every couple is different and know what’s best for them. After all like The Atlantic says “a strong marriage, in other words, is an intentional one.”

Elizabeth Nouryeh

Writer for Hers Magazine. Poet. Lover of words. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

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