The waiting period before marriage

How Long Should You Date Someone Before Getting Married To Them?

I recently bumped into an article on CNN about this actor Don Cheadle getting married to Bridgid Coulter after 28 years of dating. I gasped and questioned why the long wait, but then to each, their own isn’t it? In as much as I want to mind my business, things like these awaken my thoughts and curiosity and make me question how long should you date someone before getting married to them?

You shouldn’t be surprised to hear most people answering this question with the popular answer, ”It depends”. It depends on what? If I may ask…

Personally, I will rather stay single, untangled, and free to mingle than stay dating someone for 28 years without a marriage certificate. Again, to each their own. In an interview with the actor and his spouse, they said, “our accountant proposed to both of us and he showed us the numbers, and we said, ‘Yeah, we should probably do it”, with Don Cheadle adding that marriage topic has come up over the years, but they always ended up never really seeing the point.

How long you should date someone before marriage is made up of collective factors which mostly would depend on your individual feelings and relationship standards. Each individual has their own relationship standard and what they want from any relationship, this is also guided by how they personally feel about the person and the chemistry.

How Long Should You Date Someone Before Getting Married To Them?
Each individual have their own relationship standard and what they want out of every relationship

Be aware that how long you wait to get married doesn’t determine the longevity of the marriage, some people get married just after a month of dating and stayed forever after, some people have dated for 10 years and ended up divorcing under one year of marriage.

However, these two things may help you decide how long you should wait: ‘Communication and Setting boundaries‘. Tammy Nelson, PhD, licensed relationship therapist, board-certified sexologist and author of The New Monogamy and Getting the Sex You Want, also believes that while each couple’s situation is different, it’s most important to learn how to communicate when you have a conflict, rather than focus on the time frame.


Some people are dating for dating sake and not ready for marriage so you have to make sure that the other person is in line with your marriage plan. Hence where communication comes into place. If you feel like you are ready for marriage and discuss it with your dating partner but their answer or action shows that they are not ready, then it’s up to you to move on or stay waiting for them until they make up their mind. Be mindful that when they make up their mind to get married, you may not be the type of person they want to spend the rest of their lives with simply because not everyone is dating for marriage.

Setting Boundaries

This is very important past communication. You have to set boundaries as to how long you have to date that person and if they are not ready for marriage at your planned time then you can then move on, don’t hang your hopes on a tree, it could be gone with the wind. Setting boundaries helps you know when enough is enough.

At the end of the day, there is no one size fit all with this marriage thing, only you and your partner would know when the time is right. Just don’t force it.

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23 comments on “How Long Should You Date Someone Before Getting Married To Them?

  • Phidelis Obaseki , Direct link to comment

    I really understand their scenario. They weren’t really in a rush to get married but trying to build up a firm wall before getting Married. Career was their major target and most importantly trust was actually seen in this case.
    For me, I always tell people what works for Mr. A might not work for Mr. B.
    Defining your relationship and knowing what you want at the initial stage of the relationship will help both Partner figure out the number of years they really Wana spend courting before going into Marriage. To some counsellors, they will tell you 6 months, 1 year or probably 2 years but the fact is that everyone’s relationship doesn’t go the same…

  • Abdulazeez bin abdulhammed adeyinka , Direct link to comment

    My own I stayed up to eight months, mostly is that understanding both side and good attitude

    • Dearsonma , Direct link to comment

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  • Godfrey Kindness , Direct link to comment

    In my own opinion, I think two years should be long enough for two partners to date before getting married because within this two years, they will be able to pass through the six stages of dating and arrive to the final phase of it which is marriage. Within this stages, they have also learnt from each other to know if they can cope with each other or not.

    • Dearsonma , Direct link to comment

      Do you know that psychologist says it takes two years to fully know someone? Passing through all the stages of dating before arriving to marriage sounds ideal. But what does each stage of dating entail?

  • Idikpe Arubi Victor , Direct link to comment

    They’re some behavior that someone who is really into you will do and from his or her or uncomfortability when talking about marriage will surely surface

  • Oyetade Covenant , Direct link to comment

    What I should have said is already talked about in the article. There’s no time limit. As long as both understood each other, that’s all that matters. They may decide to marry a week after meeting, a month later or after 10 years. There’s no rule in particular that guides or dictates how long courtship should last. At whatever stage both feel CONFIDENT to marry, they should just go into it.
    The fact that both courted for 50 years (just saying) does not mean they’ll completely and totally understand each other. Never! So, why the long wait? Marriage is a school where the individuals involved learn everyday, there’s no graduating from the school. It’s for life! You’ll keep identifying new things, new traits, etc., from each other, from time to time. You sit and discuss about it. And that’s how it’ll be till death comes.
    So, the notion that, to understand one another, you have to be in courtship for a lengthy time is a fallacy. It doesn’t work!

    • Enyinna wisdom , Direct link to comment

      It totally depends on the individual. Marriage is not something to be rushed into, take your time so you won’t rush out. People these days go into relationships for the wrong reason, you don’t need to stay 3years before you know if he/she is truly the one for you.

  • Nuel Kim , Direct link to comment

    Six months to one year is enough to date somebody and get married because you can never know all character of the person you are dating

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