I have been dating my boyfriend Zach for one year and eight months, and I am ready to get married. At least, I think I am. You see, I've always had this two year rule in my mind for how long I want to date someone before we get married. Two years seems like a natural progression. After twenty-four months together, you usually know whether your partner is someone you could really commit to—forever. But a lot of my friends have been getting married with fewer than this magical two years under their belts, and it's making me second-guess my rule.
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: The fact that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake did not end up together makes it difficult for me to believe in the institution of marriage at all. Equally upsetting? The fact that Mary Kay Letourneau and her former student whom she started very illegally dating in , resulting in jail time are still together and happily married today, 18 years later. Wrap your brains around that! Then, there are Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, who famously got married just one month after they met in They were married for four years, which is 48 times longer than they knew each other before committing and longer than many other couples who dated for "normal" amounts of time before getting engaged.
If you've ever dreamed about getting engaged, you're not alone. A lot of us definitely think about the steps in potential or real relationships. You have certain timelines: meeting the friends, the family, going on a first vacation, moving in together, when should you get engaged , married, and have children. You might map it all out to see where it fits in with other parts of your life, like school and career.
These days, couples are getting married later in life than their parents did. In , the average man was Census Bureau.