How long is it okay to wait for an engagement?

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download-barFREE download: 5 Tips and 4 Questions to figure out how long to wait for an engagement.

Do you have some time vested in a person? Do you feel like it might be time for him to drop that bomb on you? Here are some tips and guidelines you should use to figure it out!

The rule of thumb here is not to let anyone pressure you into the decision. The maximum recommended amount of time I would say is 4 to 6 years. The reason I say this is that you can’t put a time limit on getting to know someone. My wife and I got married right before the 6 year mark. It might have been right before the 7 year mark. So we waited 6 years before we decided to tie the knot. Most people would say that is getting the milk for free from the cow. But I beg to differ. You never truly know how someone is or how they live until you spend significant, intimate time with the person.

The other thing that’s important is the intentions. Is his intention to pursue a marriage as the end goal? Does he just want companionship? Is he willing to be accountable to someone or does he still want to maintain his freedom? It did take a while for both my wife and me to come to that decision mutually, but we always talked about it and actually had the intention to tie the knot almost from the beginning. Even if marriage wasn’t initially discussed, a short term relationship was never the end goal.

There are so many things that you don’t know as far as habits, or things that you may or may not be able to deal with until you actually live with that person on a day-to-day basis. Now I’m old school and old-fashioned, and my whole family grew up in a very christian household (pastors, ministers and what not). The saying was if you are courting or dating a woman, you should never “shack up” or live with a woman you aren’t married to or don’t plan to marry.

Though I had pressure from my family to marry my wife, and though I had pressure from some of my church members about “shacking up” and I knew it might not be what my religious principles and standards would condone, I had to take into consideration that if I wanted to be with this woman and I wanted to marry this woman, I had to get to know more about her.

Living with someone is an essential part of working up to a marriage. I’m indifferent and somewhat undecided about this particular topic or choice. However, my recommendation and my advice and my professional opinion is that you should spend at least a little amount of time living with the person on a day-to-day basis so that you can find out some pertinent details about how they live their life.

Questions to Ask About Living Conditions

  1. Are they messy?
  2. Are they clean?
  3. Are they lazy?
  4. Do they keep their bathrooms clean and sanitized?
  5. Do they leave dishes in the sink for more than 2 days before they wash them?
  6. Do they have decent or nasty hygiene habits?

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You need to know these type of things especially if you have children or if you’re going to potentially have children. This is going to be a very important aspect of getting to know someone.

I don’t encourage or endorse moving in with someone before the 6 month mark. As a matter of fact it’s probably better that you just spend weekends or maybe weeks at a time between each other’s dwelling places so you can actually see how they live and what their living conditions are like.

I do encourage getting to know them because that is something we have stopped doing. Because we have stopped doing this, it produces a lot of shorter relationships or situationships that are not poised to succeed in the long run. We need to take the time to vet potential candidates and I would say before a person gets married, they should at least try to shoot for minimum of about 2 years of knowing someone. I recommend 6 months before they ever meet the kids, and that’s just the getting to know them stages.

Click here to read The 3 Stages of Getting to Know Someone for a refresher.

From the first 6 months, and after that, I recommend another year and a half, some of that time maybe 6 months to a year to actually stay with the person to observe all their habits. This will also help you determine if you really want to waste more time pursuing a marriage, or if you just want to abandon the situation. There have been many instances and lots of research that show that when people get together and they don’t know enough about each other, the relationship is destined to fail.

So to prevent this you want to vet the candidate and get to know them, then you want to make sure that the candidate and your children get along well. You want to ensure that their living habits are something that you can deal with. In summary, it is a personal decision. It’s your choice whether you want to live with a person or not, but I believe it’s a vital part of getting to know someone. If you do take the time to live with the person for a short time, that might either seal the deal, or it might give you clarity whether it’s a person you’ll be able to deal with. Maybe its a discussion you guys can have and see if it changes things.

There are always going to be things about a relationship that either partner doesn’t like. You will never be able to please your partner 100% of the time. But if you can hit those most concrete principles and desires they have, then the relationship is poised for longevity.

When polled, most people thought 2 years was enough time to know if you wanted to tie the knot. That is a pretty good time frame, but in the grand scheme of things, 2 years can fly by seriously quickly. How many times have you been in a situationship that totally blew by 2 years just like that? Time flies when you’re in a relationship. The newness of a relationship is always intriguing and exciting. That part alone which might include infatuation can take 6 months to a year by itself just to reveal the truth of the situation. But that momentum from that relationship train chugging along might just start to truly blossom by the 2 year mark.

Two years are nothing when you’re talking about long committed relationships. In lots of cases, by the time people are 2 years in, they are 2 kids in, and sometimes more. Everything is fast paced these days. Anyway, time flies when you’re having fun. And then it seems to slow down and become grueling once you figure out you and the person aren’t quite matched up as well as you might have thought. Take your time, and the most important thing about this is that it’s your choice.

Never let family, friends, a pastor, or anyone else coerce you to tie the knot before you’re ready. You are the only one that will have to deal with the person they are pressuring you to marry. Everyone is different, and you may have more tolerance for certain situations. Make sure that it is you who is really making the choice, and not pressure or coercion from other people, entities or groups.

I said 6 years and that was actually towards marriage. As far as an engagement, at the 2 year mark, if they haven’t asked to engage you, then you can have a discussion about it and ask them where do they see this heading. Two years are enough time to see if you want to at least get engaged. If not, then the question you should ask is, “What are we doing?”

Then I would say you should spend a lot of time getting to know things about one another, and after 6 years, past that mark is probably a bit much as far as marriage goes. If you don’t know that you want to marry a person by 6 years, then you still probably have some maturing or growing up to do.

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An Important note about Men and Marriage

I mentioned earlier in my book that it takes men a lot longer to get to the point of wanting to marry a woman than it takes a woman to make the same decision. He has to go over lots of things in his mind and of course he weighs your relationship cost opportunity before he selects you versus selecting someone else he could possibly have a better relationship and future life with. Even though we don’t say it, often times this is what runs through our heads. It’s a huge decision for us.

If you want to learn more about relationship cost opportunity read this article.

Engagement, 2 years max, and marriage 6 years max, but again each relationship is different and you should take the time that you feel is appropriate. And the most important thing is don’t let anyone rush you into marriage because it is one of the most invested and largest decisions you’ll ever make outside of having children and purchasing a home.

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Thanks for reading to the end. If you liked this blog post, please check out others of mine you might like. And I would love to hear your feedback on these topics. Leave your comments below! Here are some of my other top blog posts you might find interesting

  • 7 Reasons a Person Won’t Leave a Bad Relationship
  • 3 Reasons You’re Still Single and 7 Reasons Why Guys May Not Approach You
  • The Changing Face and Mindset of the Modern Eligible Bachelor: 26 is the new 18
  • 10 Reasons Guys go For Friends With Benefits Relationships and 9 Ways You Can Avoid It
  • How to Overcome Past Hurts and Start Fresh

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Thanks for reading to the end. If you liked this blog post, please check out others of mine you might like. And I would love to hear your feedback on these topics. Leave your comments below! Here are some of my other top blog posts you might find interesting.

  • 7 Reasons a Person Won’t Leave a Bad Relationship
  • 3 Reasons You’re Still Single and 7 Reasons Why Guys May Not Approach You
  • The Changing Face and Mindset of the Modern Eligible Bachelor: 26 is the new 18
  • How to Overcome Past Hurts and Start Fresh

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I want to help you start building a healthy relationship, and watch a transformation take place in your life.

Relationships affect everyone. If you have an argument or disagreement with a spouse or partner, it could cause you to have a bad day. And when you have a truly special moment, you could feel like you’re on cloud nine all day!

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I’m dedicated to helping you build those quality relationships. Its all in the book! And if you want to learn even more tips, tricks and strategies behind the way men think, then you’ve got to listen to this podcast!

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