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How Long To Date Before Marriage In Your 20s?

If you’re wondering how long to date before marriage, especially in your 20s, then you really need to read this article. 

Marriage is not the same as a wedding ceremony! 

Let’s start with the most important question of the day: Do YOU want to get married? 

If you say yes, then great. If you say no, that’s fine too. Because it is your life and you can decide whatever you want to do with it. 

It is also ok if you decide something now and in a few years you change your mind. 

For example: I always knew I wanted to get married. But not because of the wedding reception. I certainly wasn’t daydreaming about what dress I’m going to wear or anything like that. 

I’ve even outsourced almost everything about my wedding to my mother and my, then, future mother-in-law. 

They were both super happy to help and I was happy I didn’t have to stress with organizing it. 

I know some people get a huge kick out of organizing their wedding. And that too is ok. 

Just make sure that if you’re deciding that you DO want to get married, you’re doing it for the right reasons. 

Romantic comedies especially, tend to show us love stories that end with a wedding. But rarely they show what’s happening after the wedding itself. 

If you want to marry, do it for the marriage and not the wedding. As the wedding is just one (or three) days and a honeymoon. But a marriage is for many years ahead.

Yes, there’s the divorce option too. However, trust me, a divorce is quite a hassle and not so easy to go through.

I’m not saying you should not have fun organizing your wedding if you’re into that. Just make sure you’re not rushing into a marriage just because you can’t wait to organize your wedding. 

So start by deciding if you DO want to get married and why would you want that? 

What does even marriage mean to you? 

How long to date before marriage in your early 20s

The answer to this question you will have to find out from within, but don’t worry. I’m here to help you and guide you like a big sister. 

There are people who know they want to get married soon. And they are lucky to find that perfect someone and they do it straight away. And who knows? They might even be happy for many years. 

One of the couples I appreciate, have met each other when they were both 14. They have been together all their lives and got married in their early 20s. Now they’re in their mid 40s and still super happy with each other. Which is amazing to witness. 

There also are those who also want to get married soon. But they rush into it and then they divorce in a few years. 

What you should keep in mind is that it is not important the length of the marriage. But the number of happy years in that marriage. 

And most importantly, finding the right person you want to be with for a long, long, looong time. 

When I was in my late teens, one of my older aunties kept telling me not to get married too soon. 

She got married when she was 17 (those were the times then). And she regretted it as her marriage, , wasn’t happy for the vast majority of it. Although it lasted for 40+ years.

By the time I graduated from university, she started bugging me about when will I get married.

She kept telling me that I shouldn’t get married too late either. She was afraid that as I grow older, ‘I’ll notice too many things’ about people. And I’ll end up feeling like nobody can live up to my expectations anymore. 

And let me tell you, she was almost right. 

But I didn’t get married in my early twenties because I listened to her advice. 

I didn’t get married then because first of all, I didn’t have who to get married to.

Yes I was dating. And at some point in a semi-serious relationship. But at that age I felt I was still discovering the world and trying to understand myself, and what I like and want in life. 

I haven’t felt for a second that the person I was with then is stable enough for marriage. Nor did I feel that our relationship will last. 

And I wasn’t going to let anyone bully me into getting married, just because ‘it’s time’ to do it. 

In order for you to know if you’re ready to get married in your early twenties, write down what marriage means to you. How do you see yourself as being married and try to understand whether you would be ok with that mental picture. 

It’s actually not that difficult. It should be something like being in a relationship with someone you love and they love you back, and you’re also best friends and you literally feel super close to them. 

Be careful when you’re writing this list as marriages are not what they seem from the outside. So if you look for examples around you, just write down the things you do like to see in others’ marriages. 

If there is a negative aspect of someone’s marriage that you would not want in yours, then write the opposite, positive of that. 

Yes, marriage is a lot of fun if done with the right person. But they can be quite bad too if rushed into them. 

How long to date before marriage in your late 20s

Depending what culture you’re from marrying in your late 20s can be quite a serious situation and some might be pushed to get married sooner. 

I understand the biology and science behind this reason. That is IF you want children, the earlier is better because of egg count and body fertility and all of that. 

But all these reasons shouldn’t push you into getting married before you’re mentaly ready. 

I’m actually coming from a culture where although marriage in late 20s is more and more common, my family was still getting worried about me possibly not getting married ever. 

Apparently there is an invisible threshold that if you pass, you’ll never get married. Not sure where this threshold is, as even my brother got married fairly late. Although he was 37 he clearly still didn’t reach that threshold.

My family was literally asking me at EVERY family meeting when I would get married, and settle down, and have kids, and all of that. 

Yes, all these questions did frustrate me. However I understood later on that what they actually wanted for me was for me to be happy and settled. 

I was actually 27 when I met my husband, and we hit it off immediately in the most wonderful way. 

Two months into our relationship, he proposed and four months later we actually had our wedding. 

And honestly, I regret nothing. 

However the main reason why we got married so fast was because by that age we both felt we knew what we wanted in a relationship and we knew what our ideal partner looked like. 

We actually had lists and stuff. But that’s a story for another time. 

The way I knew I was ready to get married was that I actually was not bothered whether he would ever propose or not. 

I was super happy with our relationship and with how well everything was going that I didn’t mind if he would’ve proposed in 5 or 6 years’ time, or never. 

I was happy he agreed to be in a serious, monogamous and committed relationship. 

The ‘getting married’ part did not mean too much for me because I knew it doesn’t always mean it’s forever. 

The fact that he actually proposed was just a bonus really. The icing on the cake hahahaha…

It’s not the piece of paper that makes a marriage. It’s the relationship itself. 

Someone I used to work with has been with his partner for over 20 years and decided to get married when they were in their mid 60s. 

When I asked them why they even bother to get married they admit it was purely because of legal reasons. So in the case of anything happening to one of them, the other one is covered legally and insured. 

Otherwise they already were in a committed relationship for over 20 years. They didn’t need to get married to prove that. 

So instead of asking yourself for how long to date before getting married, ask yourself whether you are in a truly committed relationship and how would marriage change that? 

Important things to consider in a marriage or committed relationship

1. Communication – Do you know how to actually talk to each other? Do you know how to also truly listen to your partner? Because communication goes both ways. 

One thing that helped me and my husband from the very beginning was that we both knew how to truly communicate. With each other and other too. We were honest all the time, even if we disagreed on stuff.

 

Bear in mind that being honest is NOT a good reason to be impolite towards each other. 

Good communication relates also to boundaries and limits. 

For example a limit that we both agreed to, very early on in our relationship, was not to ever call each other bad names like: stupid, idiot and others like that. 

I understand that some of you reading this might think it’s nothing, but for the both of us this was important. 

I’m glad to say that 5 years later we still haven’t crossed that limit, although there were plenty occasions.

 

If you need help with communication here’s a fun card game that can help you with your communication.

It’s called Better Topics Card Game for Couples and is not just giving you questions to ask your partner. It is a truly replayable game that you can actually play over and over again to deepen your connection with your partner. 

2. Trust – at some point you have to decide whether you trust your partner or not. However, if your gut tells you that there’s something wrong, investigate it further. Don’t just talk yourself out of it. 

Trusting your partner doesn’t mean that you should not pay attention to signs that there might be something off. 

For example when my husband and I started dating we moved in together straight away. I was going to work in an office in the morning and he was working from home. 

After a short period of time I got this idea: ‘What if he’s doing something behind my back whilst I’m at work?’. 

I started spiralling down from there as more and more similar thoughts came to my mind. Shortly after that I got seriously anxious and had to stop myself in my tracks. 

At the end of the day I could be super jealous if I would allow myself to be. But I realized that he could think the same about me. 

I mean, I was leaving the house to go to work, but he wasn’t 100% sure I was actually going to work or somewhere else… 

I immediately took the decision to leave aside all these thoughts. It wasn’t easy at first. And just trust him, until I actually have proof. 

And let me tell you that was such a good decision. As being jealous for no reason can suck the joy our from your life. 

Again, that doesn’t mean that I’m blind to any potential signs. It just means that I’ve made my peace with the fact that if someone wants to cheat, they will. Regardless if I’m constantly with them or not. They’ll always find a way. 

So I’ve decided to trust him and only stress when and IF I see any concerning signs. 

Thank God, five years later, I still haven’t seen any signs. And he still shows me he loves me often. Not to prove himself, but because he genuinely feels that way. 

Key take-aways: 

  1. Make sure you are clear whether you want to get married or not. Either way it’s fine. And even if you decide something now and change your mind later, it’s fine too. It’s your life, your decision! 
  1. If you get married too early in your life doesn’t mean necessarily that you’ll have a happy marriage 
  1. There isn’t such a thing as getting married too late. You should get married whenever you feel you’re in a committed relationship and see yourself long term with the person you’re with. REGARDLESS OF WHAT OTHERS DO IN THEIR LIFE!

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