Relationship and marriage trends are significantly different than seen in past decades. Today, there are fewer spontaneous marriages than before and most couples live together before getting engaged. But, at the end of the day, everyone is different, which leaves many people wondering when to settle down.

A Connection That Outlasts The Honeymoon Phase

There’s a reason the beginning of a relationship is called the honeymoon phase. When you’re first getting to know someone, everything seems light and easy. It’s during this time that you fall in love with your significant other’s little quirks and tendencies.

Most experts say that it takes about 12 to 18 months for that initial infatuation to wear off. Once you get past that stage, your relationship starts to evolve on a deeper level which can help couples understand each other’s foundational values.

Learning To Live With Your Partner

Couples today are choosing to live together before they’re married or even engaged so they have a better chance of getting to know their partner. In fact, one study showed that 89% of couples live together before making it official.

Understanding your spouse’s priorities and having similar values is a huge factor in successful marriages. Those intricate details of a person’s character take some time to learn, which means couples who date long enough to know these things about each other are more likely to last.

The Age Factor

With brides and grooms now getting married later in life, it’s common to see someone in their 30’s or 40’s to get married after a shorter period of dating. That’s because it’s likely that they’ve had more serious relationships than someone in their early 20’s and know what they want. Depending on where you are in your life can play a role in how long you might date before being comfortable with settling down.

Each couple’s journey is different. It may take some people longer to open up than others, and some couples may face challenges together early on that builds a strong bond if they can make it through them. Therefore, there’s not a certain rule you can follow to know when you’ve found the one, but studies have shown that couples who date three to four years before getting married have a 50 percent higher chance of staying married.