Is there such a thing as waiting too long?

posted on 17 November 2011 by The Tie The Knot Team
posted to Wedding Tips & Advice


To get married…

You’ve been together six years and lived together for at least five of these. In that time, you’ve survived visits with one another’s family, done the rounds of moving house, moving continent (and back), brief stints of unemployment, and survived it all pretty much unscathed.

At around the four year mark friends and family begin the subtle questions and assumptions – “Just when are you two going to tie the knot?” and even the proverbial “Why bother, you’ve lived together so long this way and it works, doesn’t it?”. Which is around the time when you begin to suspect that maybe, perhaps, you’ve waited that little bit tooooo long.

But can one wait too long to get married? William and Kate were together for over nine years before they even got engaged (it is always a good idea to compare notes with royalty). So is this a modern trend, to wait even longer than we think is too long? And what are the reasons for waiting?

Couples who live together, or date for extensive periods, who don’t appear to want to give up the habit are probably waiting to see if it will work, and to see if it will last – divorce stats are pretty high, surely you want to go the distance before making it a legal wrangle to part ways?

Fair enough.

But if you’re not even talking marriage by the time you’ve been together for six years (assuming that it’s important to you), there may be more to the issue than meets the eye. As one marriage counsellor was heard to say in the midst of a heated debate: most men know within the first few weeks of dating whether or not you’re marriage material. And they most definitely know within a year that they want to marry you.

Half-decade co-habitation and engagements do happen. And just because your friends married after an average three year dating period, doesn’t mean you should. The main issue here is whether or not it works for both of you. If one of you wants marriage and the other doesn’t, well, that’s a different story entirely, and is no longer about waiting so much as an underlying problem that needs resolution.

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