This is How Long Most Couples Date Before Getting Married

We know people are getting married later in life than their parents did (average bride or groom is eight years older than in the 1970s), but did you know that dating and living together for years before marriage is now pretty much the norm?

According to wedding planning app and website Bridebook.co.uk‘s recent survey that polled 4,000 recently-married couples, most of the couples lived together before getting hitched (a whopping 89%!). No marriages on a whim here! Most married couples have very long relationships before walking down the aisle—4.9 years on average, to be exact. The app then broke down what happens during that 4.9 years: dating for almost a year and a half before moving in together and then living together for nearly two years (22 months) before getting engaged, then an engagement that lasts about 20 months.

This is also not most people’s first rodeo—many of them had two serious relationships before finding their spouse. It makes sense seeing as the average age for a woman to get married now is 30.8 years old; for a man it’s 32.7—giving both ample time to have had other relationships.

People may also be putting off marriage longer for economic reasons. “When there’s rough economic times, marriage rates go down,” Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and co-author of Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance: An Investigation told The Washington Post. “People don’t feel comfortable committing to someone during hardships.” With student debt rates higher than ever—Americans owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt—paying those off or at least making a dent in them is something many people would like to accomplish before saying “I do.” And with more women working than ever before and making more money than previous generations, it makes sense that they would also wait to walk down the aisle. A 2013 study found that women who put off marriage longer, until around the age of 30, often had higher salaries than their college-educated counterparts who…

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