This Is How Long The Average Couple Dates Before Getting Married

Is it longer or shorter than you thought?

By Steph Barnes

From the editors of

After dealing with the fact that denim-clad Britney and Justin didn’t end up together, we began to question the idea of happily ever after. But modern-day courtship is giving us hope again.

When it comes to love, romance, and the average time couples spend dating before getting married, things have been changing. Modern couples are creating their own rules when it comes to weddings and marriage.

They’re spending less on the over-the-top rings, more money on the actual wedding, and according to a new study, they’re investing more time into getting to know each other before walking down the aisle.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (8826364a)
Michael Middleton and Pippa Middleton
Wedding of James Matthews and Pippa Middleton, St Mark’s Church, Englefield, UK – 20 May 2017

See: This Is The Average Age For First-Time Mothers In The UK

Bridebook – a popular wedding planning website – conducted a 4,000-person survey that revealed the average couple spends 4.9 years in a relationship before getting married.

This half-decade breaks down as 1.4 years (17 months) of dating before moving in together, 1.83 years (22 months) of living together before an official engagement, then spending another 1.67 years (20 months) engaged before getting married.

We’re also getting married a lot later in life now than the generation before us. The average first-time bride is now 30.8 and groom 32.7 years old, compared with 22.6 and 24.6 years old in 1971, respectively.

Additionally, because people are waiting, it means they’ll probably be more experienced with dealing with long-term relationships. The average bride and groom will have had two serious relationships before settling down.

See: The Average Price Of A Wedding Dress Is Actually Quite Surprising

The study also revealed that this generation no longer feels compelled to tie the knot, unlike many of our parents, with 83% saying they felt no pressure to marry and 84% having discussed it before the proposal.

And if we’re spending more time getting to know each other before committing to spending ‘forever’ together, divorce rates will likely decline.

Bridebook founder Hamish Shephard said: ‘Marriages are becoming stronger than ever, relationships happier and more committed than ever, and couples more independent and consensual in their decisions than ever.’

This sounds like fantastic news to us! Longer lasting, happy unions are definitely worth celebrating.