How long do couples date before finally getting a place together? And how long do people wait to get married after getting engaged? A new survey is shedding light on relationships milestones and how modern couples view marriage.
Wedding planning app Bridebook.co.uk recently released a survey looking at the relationship timelines of 4,000 people in recently married couples in the United Kingdom to find out how long they spent at each “stage” of a relationship, as well as why they decided to get married in the first place. (The survey was focused on opposite-sex couples.)
As for how long it takes couples to reach certain relationship milestones, Bridebook.co.uk found that on average, couples were together for 4.9 years from the start of their relationship until they got married. They dated for roughly 17 months before moving in together, lived together for 22 months before their engagement, and tied the knot roughly 20 months after getting engaged. Couples also had an average of two serious relationships prior to their marriage, and 91 percent of couples reported that they got married to demonstrate commitment. That’s compared with a total of six percent who said it was due to convenience, money, or social pressure.
Additionally, Bridebook.co.uk’sdy also looked at how the marriage ages of men and women compared to the ages of men and women who got married in the previous generation. Single men get married at an average age of 32.7 years old now, versus 24.6 years in 1971. Women get married at an average age 30.8 years old now, versus 22.6 years 45 years ago.
Hamish Shephard, Bridebook.co.uk’snder, said he believed the survey’s findings show a dramatic generational shift in how people view marriage. “It is fantastic to see how the marriage is evolving with today’s modern couples for the positive,” he said in a statement. “Whilst living together before getting married, having serious relationships out of wedlock, or getting married when you are older were previously frowned upon, for the modern couple these can clearly be very positive steps to finding ‘the one’ and having a fantastic long-lasting marriage.”
While the survey looked at British couples, research suggests similar trends in couples’ relationship approaches on the other side of the pond. According to the Pew Research Center, in the U.S. 1960, brides’ median age was 20.3 years old and grooms’ median age was 22.8 years old. In 2011, those ages were 26.5 and 28.7, respectively.