Research Reveals the Average Time Couples Date Before Saying "I Do"

Nicole Singh
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Getty

When it comes to millennials and marriage, the rules of engagement are being noticeably rewritten. Whether for better or for worse, many contemporary couples are now forgoing the once standard protocol of rings, wedding ceremonies, and other societal expectations (often to the dismay of their traditional parents). These age-old customs have largely been dubbed "optional" in 2017, with more and more couples opting to create a bespoke life-merging experience for themselves. 

And now, research by Bridebook.co.uk reveals the average twosome is also waiting longer before saying, "I do", dating for an average of 4.9 years. Couples now spend 3.5 years living together before marriage, with nearly nine in 10 couples (89 per cent) cohabiting in some capacity beforehand. Both figures show modern couples are getting to know each other on a deeper level across a longer time period, before making things official. Perhaps because of this, most couples are getting married significantly later than their folks did, with the average first-time bride now 30.8, and groom 32.7 years old. (This is compared with 22.6 and 24.6 years old in 1971.)

It seems these trends are to the benefit of couples, with HuffPost Australia reporting a decline in divorce over the past 30 years, despite more marriages taking place. Bridebook.co.uk's study gives us further happy vibes (and encouragement to walk down the aisle) with a whopping 95 per cent of research participants recommending marriage, and 85 per cent stating it strengthened their relationship in some way. 

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