The right time to be together before getting hitched?

As much as we’d love to, it’s hard to give you a definite answer to this question. We’ve all heard about the couple who has been together for two minutes (in real time one month) and he proposes. Sure, they might be married in the year and make it another 20 after that, but does that happen most of the time?

Probably not.

We don’t want to throw fiery romance out the window, but the fact is Australian couples are waiting longer to get married these days. So why might that be?

We spoke to Deborah Sanasi BA(Psych) MA(Couns), Principle Therapist, Norwest Counselling and founder of talk2me to find out her opinion. “Women who get swept off their feet often end up getting tripping over in the marriage! I definitely recommend waiting till after the initial euphoria wears off (the Honeymoon phase). The rush of pheromones that are released when we first fall in love are so intoxicating that they can blind us to seeing our partner with clear eyes.”

For us, it comes down to the simple issue of how well you know someone. If you’ve only been with them for three months, would you trust them with your future? Deborah says, “We need to date long enough to see how our partner reacts in different situations. How do they handle disappointments? Are they happy to let you see your friends or do they subtly pressure you not to? Do they encourage you to pursue your dreams and interests? How supportive are they when you are struggling? What sort of relationships have they had before? Do they get along with their family? Do they get along with yours? Are they possessive? These things will have an important impact on a long term relationship. You will not be able to know these things unless you give your relationship enough time.” So do you know the answer to all those questions? If you don’t, it’s probably not the best idea to be planning that walk down the aisle any time.

In most cases, it can take nearly a year for those loved up feelings to give way to the cold light of day. Be realistic with yourself and determine the level of risk involved in marrying this person. Deborah offered us one last sobering thought. “I was leading a support group once for women who had ended up in an abusive relationship. Out of the 12 participants ALL twelve had described their courtship as a whirlwind that was exciting and very short. They all agreed, in hindsight he was trying to close the deal before I could see how many issues he had!”

In the end, you are the only one who can know your relationship. We believe in romance and sometimes you can simply meet the right person and know it right way. We never want to take away from that and maybe you will be one of those couples that lasts twenty years, but if you’re not sure? We suggest keeping the relationship going a little longer and allow your brain to do some of the thinking…

Posted in Expert Advice, Planning by wedded wonderland

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