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The purpose of dating is to get to know someone as fully as possible before tying the knot—ultimately with the goal of having a successful marriage that lasts.But what exactly is transpiring in this time that either confirms or disproves compatibility? Especially as our notions of dating practices change (thanks, Tinder), and we consistently hear about the supposed 50 percent divorce rate, I think we all wonder if there's some definitive rule book we be following.

The couples who were studied were divided into three groups: those who courted for less than one year before marriage, one to three years before marriage, and three or more years before marriage.I did some digging and reached out to relationship therapists and psychologists to get their thoughts.Here's what the professionals have to say about the ideal length of time to date.It’s possible to have a happy marriage regardless of how long you dated, according to Ted Huston, a professor of human ecology and psychology based at the University of Texas.Huston has dedicated the past 15 years of his life to studying the significance of courtship in relation to marital success. 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. 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. Does it really matter at all how long you date before you get married?Ask any marriage therapist which type of couple is the most likely to end up in the divorce courts and the answer is: the passionate and impulsive couple.The greater the amount of passion in the courtship phase, the less likely the marriage is to stand the test of time.In a previous post, I had challenged the notion of a standardized dating and engagement timeline and reiterated the importance for each couple to properly discern what timeline God is calling them to.Through further research, I discovered why people might jump to conclusions about imposing a standardized dating timeline.

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