how long should you date before getting engaged

How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged – Based on Experts advice

How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged – Based on Experts advice

Dating is exciting and highly enjoyable for people who feel the same way about each other. It’s a stage that entails the expectation or act of affectional involvement. People involved spend much time with the other person to know them better.

Dating might be official or unofficial. But whatever the case, it could go on for months or even years. The reason is that many people don’t know how long they should date before taking their relationship to the next level.

Seeing people date for a short while and get engaged shortly after, and seeing others date for a long period before getting engaged, can become confusing. It makes you wonder about the time frame to date before getting engaged.

If you fall into this category, this post offers the answers you need. Here, you’ll find the stages of dating before getting engaged. This will serve as a foundation to show you expert submissions on how long you should date before getting engaged.

How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged - Based on Experts advice
How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged – Based on Experts advice

What Are the Stages of Dating Before Getting Engaged?

Every relationship goes through specific stages before considering engagement. These stages include the following:


Relationships often begin with attraction. Once two people feel attracted to each other, and they relate based on this attraction, everything feels perfect. It’s the stage where couples are all over each other, as they may frequently spend time together.

The stage is also referred to as the honeymoon phase, because it has so much euphoria. As fascinating as the stage of attraction is, things begin to wear off at some point, and then come to an end. People who retain their attraction for each other migrate to the next stage.


At this stage, couples tend to obsess about their partner’s attributes, which may include both physical and mental. They feel a high level of infatuation that makes them dismiss noticeable flaws. The major preoccupation here is to impress each other.

This stage may last a couple of months depending on each party’s experience, self-understanding, and maturity. It’s also the stage to project where the relationship is headed.

Realization and Enlightenment

This is the stage where hormones are settling and realities set in. At this stage, both couples realize each other’s weaknesses and flaws, which would have been dismissed at the early stage of the relationship. The more their intimacy grows, the more disclosure emerges.

This is when the future of the relationship is determined. It manifests as a question that may be presented by either party in the relationship. The conclusion reached at this stage determines their progression to the next stage.


If the conclusion arrived at in the previous stage is positive, both parties begin to express more long-term commitment to each other. Couples try to accommodate some shortcomings while encouraging themselves to work on other flaws and weaknesses. They discuss decisions they’ll make in the relationship in terms of kids, goals, finances, and lifestyle among many others.

It’s after these stages and several months of dating that questions of official engagement begin to arise. If it’s taking too long to get definitive answers to the question, they begin to worry about how long they should date before getting engaged.

How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged?

How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged - Based on Experts advice
How Long Should You Date Before Getting Engaged – Based on Experts advice

The nature of every dating relationship is too dynamic to determine precisely how long dating should take before getting engaged. There is no specific time frame because, while some people may become engaged to their partners after dating for a short while, others may take a lengthy period. As a result, it’ll depend on the couples to determine the timeline for dating before getting engaged.

However, according to the results of a survey, 20% of those who took the survey believed that people should date for 12 to 18 months before getting engaged. 15% of those who participated selected 18-24 months. Other participants of the survey believe it should be between two to three years. This means there is no universal time frame to date before getting engaged.

What Experts Say

Many relationship experts believe there are no rules that state when people should become engaged. However, they believe 12 months of dating is a healthy time frame. It may take more than 12 months for other couples to make a decision about each other, but that’s the minimum time frame before getting engaged.

Additionally, the more time people spend together, the more they can become familiar with their partners. This would serve as a foundation for a strong relationship that’s less likely to undergo divorce. Experts also believe there’s more to a relationship than time spent together.

Apart from time spent together, there are many other factors to consider before getting engaged. That means, while the time you’ve been with your partner is important, it’s not the sole determinant of engagement. You should consider other factors which we’ll explain below.

Factors to Consider Before Getting Engaged

Engagement plans signal preparation for long-term relationships. However, there are certain factors to consider, and they include the following:

1. Finances

Conversations about finances are crucial before getting engaged. Often, couples don’t earn the same income. One person may be earning a more significant amount than the other. So whether you’re earning more or less, you have to be sure your partner is willing to offer support.

If they’re unwilling to offer support, that’s something to ponder towards your decision to get engaged. Ensure you’re on the same page financially with your partner.

2. Family

Family is very important, and usually has a big impact on a new relationship. If your potential partner has a chaotic family, that may be something to decide on before getting engaged. To avoid the long-term impact this may cause, it’s better to have the discussion early.

It’s okay if you decide to overlook things like that. However, you have to look inwardly to determine whether you can handle difficult in-laws.

3. Trust

Trust is a crucial requirement for any relationship. Both parties have to be sure they trust themselves enough to never hurt each other. If you or your partner are having trust issues, this may be a factor to consider, as it may degenerate into insecurities that may be continuously unnecessarily triggered.

If you and your partner are willing to work it out, discuss the deal breakers before getting engaged. Ensure you lay it all on the table and find a way around it before taking the relationship to the next level. This is the best way to prevent conflicts from arising later in the relationship.

4. Children

You also have to factor in whether your partner wants children. If so, also discuss how many. Married couples have projections of the kind of life they want for their future kids. As important as it is to pursue that, each person has to be sure these goals sit right with their partner.

Raising a child is as challenging as it is fun. You have to check all boxes with your partner before getting engaged. Attitude to religion and disciplinary style are other things to consider.

5. Career

You also have to consider the nature of your partner’s job before getting engaged. As little as you may know in advance, having a basic idea is never out of place. You can evaluate how much time their work requires, how often they get home late, and how much they like their job, as well as other key aspects.

6. How to Disagree and Resolve Fights

Couple fighting

Disagreements are normal in relationships. They don’t necessarily have to be emotionally stressful or negative, but the best relationships don’t shy away from disagreements: rather, they are embraced for better understanding.

You’ll have fights or even argue about the least expected things, but to be sure tension is temporary, discuss how to argue and reconcile arguments before getting engaged.

7. Intimacy and Sex

People are more comfortable talking about intimacy and sex with their friends than they are with their partners. People explore several topics on this subject with others, but they feel anxious and vulnerable doing the same with their partners. If your partner is struggling with this, you have to be able to reconcile that before getting engaged.

Every individual understands their body and has desired ways of using it. You have to be able to discuss with your partner what you like and what you don’t like, and vice versa. The better yoursexual communication skills, the greater the quality of the relationship when you eventually become engaged.

Key Takeaways

As important as it is for you to determine how long should you date before getting engaged, you must also prioritize factors to consider outside of the time frame – these factors will help you to make the right decision when you’re still dating. It’s advisable to observe them to create a strong bond when you get married.