You recently got engaged, and you’re starting to plan your wedding. A big question on your mind is, “How long should our engagement be?” Should you wait six months to get married, or should you stay engaged for a couple of years? How long is too long, and how short is too short? We’re here to answer those questions and more, with tips from our premarital counselors in Michigan.
Factors That Influence Engagement Timing
Before we explain the theoretical ‘right’ length of engagement, it’s important to note that every couple is different. There are also many factors that determine how long a couple stays engaged. Some of these might be beyond your control. Some factors that influence engagement time include:
- How long it takes to plan your wedding
- When your wedding venue comes available
- Financial hurdles you have to overcome (paying down debts, making wedding deposits, finding a house, etc.)
- Personal circumstances, such as a special date for your wedding or an event your wedding must come before
- How long you have been dating one another
- Citizenship planning, for international couples
- Pregnancy and childbirth, if applicable
- Your personalities
The Average Length of Engagement
If you look up the average timeframe for engagement, the answer will vary based on this source that you read. From our experience working with couples in premarital counseling, most engagements last at least six months, with an average time of one to one and a half years. With that in mind, there are many couples that stay engaged for years and go on to have wonderful marriages. There are also couples that are only engaged for a few short months, and they are able to have successful marriages. You and your fiancé can find a timeframe that works best for your lifestyles and your relationship.
Benefits of Having a Long Engagement
There are some benefits to being engaged for a year or longer. If you decide to live together, this gives you a chance to interact with your future spouse on a daily basis. You can see his or her quirks and notice potential annoyances that you may not have seen before. This is not to say that you will end your relationship because you are spending extra time together. It simply means that you can be prepared for what’s to come in married life.
If you do not choose to live together, having a long engagement still gives you a chance to work out your finances, determine your living situation, get to know each other’s family, and go through other steps in preparation for marriage. The better prepared you are comment the easier what it will be to get to those first few transition years.
How to Ensure a Long, Happy Marriage
The key to having a successful marriage is knowing how to communicate with your spouse. You can prevent or resolve conflicts with ease just by expressing your feelings effectively. This is one of the tasks we focus on premarital counseling and marriage counseling. It is also something you can work on in your day-to-day life.
If you are interested in premarital counseling, marriage counseling, or couples counseling at Perspectives Counseling Centers, give us a call at (248) 244-8644 to schedule an appointment.