Dating before engagement

To this question, I respond that most of the things that are worth achieving in life require us to delay gratification and to prioritize restraint over indulgence in more primitive drives.

Recall Walter Mischel's marshmallow study which showed the value of the ability to delay gratification.* Mischel offered a group of four year-old children one large, puffy marshmallow but told them all that if they would wait for him to run an errand, they could have not one, but two, lovely marshmallows.

Some marital experts would argue that two years is a good amount of time to wait.

If you are looking for a general rule of thumb, then two years is probably a good length of time for most people, but I don’t personally favor any hard-and-fast rule about how long a courtship should be.

Would you ever give your significant other an ultimatum, and how long would you wait?But if you think about it you'll have to agree that it's worth spending a few months in pre-engagement counseling to make sure that your relationship is really marriage material.It's much easier and a lot less expensive than going through a divorce at some point later in life. Greg Smalley talks about how to know if the person you're dating is the right one to marry.When I give talks on how to make wise decisions about love relationships, the burning question that someone almost always asks is, “How long do I have to wait?” The phrasing of this question illustrates the fact that waiting can feel like working against the tide of biology and the romantic rush of falling in love and making it official.We determined that the median engagement age in the United States is 27.2 years for women, and 28.7 years for men -- a 1.5 year difference.

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