How Long Should You Date Before You Get Married? This Is The Optimum Amount Of Time, According To An Expert

Considering taking the next step with your beau? Read this first.


You and your SO have been dating for a while now and things are going dandy, but is it really time to take things to the next level and get hitched? Shedding a little light on that issue is anthropologist and human behaviour expert Helen Fisher who has revealed the ideal time to wait before you say ‘I do’.

For her, two years is the optimum courtship if you and your other half are to have a happy, long-lasting marriage and her reasoning is actually pretty simple.

“One of the problems with early stage intense feelings of romantic love is that it’s part of the oldest part of the brain that become activate,” she explained to Big Think. “[These are] brain regions linked with drive, with craving, with obsession, with motivation. In fact some cognitive regions up in the prefrontal cortex that have evolved more recently begin to shut down — brain regions linked with decision making [and] planning ahead.”

What does that mean in terms of your relationship? It means that the intense feelings you feel early on when you’re dating cloud your ability to think logically and make rational decisions. Fisher instead recommends allowing your brain time to adjust to the new feelings.

“I think… this slow love process of getting to know somebody very carefully over a long period of time is going to help the brain readjust some of these brain regions for decision making,” she offers. “You’re going to get to know how this person handles your parents at Christmas … how they handle your friends, how they handle their money, how they handle an argument … etc.”

Ultimately she concludes that “people should marry when they feel like marrying but from what I know about the brain if it were me I’d wait at least two years.”

What do you think? Should you wait it out past the fuzzy, honeymoon phase or throw caution to the wind and go for it if it feels right?


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