How Many People Should You Date Before You Get Married?

Though dating and marriage seem like they are two halves of the same coin, in reality, there are a world of differences between the two. In dating, you still maintain your own identity separate from others; in marriage, you are joining two lives into one.
 
 For that reason, many people wonder when the right time is to make the leap. There’s no hard and fast answer for that because the time is different for everyone. Many dating experts say that some people get married very young, maybe right out of high school or early college, and others never get married.
 
 The reasons for the difference in timing can vary from person to person, but sometimes it’s simply because they never found “the one.” Others don’t ever date until they find “the one,” and then the dating period is shorter because they end up getting married quick. Still, some may go their entire life in one relationship and never get married. Why? Because that relationship gives them everything they need, and both parties are comfortable with that setup.
 
 There are some people who choose to never get married, period, says Amber Kelleher from Kelleher Associates.Either they don’t want to be “tied down” to a single partner their entire life, or their interests tend more towards the solitary life. Some people who are very invested in their career may find they have little time for anything besides work, as an 80+ hour work week doesn’t leave much personal time. Some want to spend their time traveling the world, and it’s hard to do that when you’re toting a diaper bag and a couple toddlers around with you.
 
 There are also differences between you start dating. For someone who gets married right out of high school, they may find that their spouse completely changes over the next 10–20 years. Your early adult years are when you truly begin to form your identity as a person, and someone who is married young may not have fully developed their persona. Numerous relationship have been ruined because of this change in temperament.
 
 A common refrain for many young professionals is “I want to get married, but not right now.” Whether there are certain experiences that they want to have first, or they possess an intense focus on their job, they may decide that marriage is not something they want to pursue in their 20’s. If this is the case, waiting until you’re a little older may be the right decision. A parent that is too focused on their career will not be able to give their family the love and attention they deserve anyways.
 
 The bottom line is, there is no right or wrong answer for everyone. Every single person on this planet is different, which means their attitude towards marriage will be different as well. And in the end, the only person that has to live with your decisions is you.