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HOW LONG DO COUPLES DATE BEFORE GETTING ENGAGED?

Winter is the most popular season of the year to get engaged. As we bundle up inside with our loved ones, we can't help but let ourselves go to a place that's, well, just a little dreamier than normal. Some of the women in our office, as well as some of you out there, may be wondering if a ring is in your not-so-distant future.

 
Although every couple's path to the alter is unique, we wanted to see if there were any trends out there that may mean your main squeeze is more likely to pop the question. We asked Weddington Way brides about their lives before they became a Mrs. to understand if there are any tell tale signs to know who might be next.

HOW LONG DID YOU DATE BEFORE GETTING ENGAGED?

With over 50% of couples represented, that “one to three year” period appears to be the most common timeframe in which couples get engaged. The average dating time before engagement is 3.3 years, but in this age of individualism, who aspires to be common or average? Believe it or not, the same percentage of people (26%) were willing to make a lifetime commitment to each other during their first year as those who had been together five years or longer. 

A CLOSER LOOK INTO DATING FAR AWAY

Would you walk 500 miles for your beau? So would many of our brides. A somewhat shocking 43% actually dated long distance for at least a period of time before getting engaged. Don't let a little plane, train or automobile ride get in the way of your relationship.

HOW DOES DATING TIME DIFFER BY REGION?

Even more interesting are the statistics that break down by region. Could climate actually play a role in all of this? Here are some numbers based on “Where do you live? How’s the weather? and… Will you marry me?”
If your intention is to get engaged asap, we hope you live in the midwest and have dated 3.4 years. Our statistics reveal that if you do, things are on your side. Couples in the South tend be ready in the quickest amount of time for the commitment, which is actually a full year before couples in the Northeast.

In today's world, it's likely you've grown up in one region and now live in a different one. And because of this, you may have multiple groups of friends on completely different timelines. Despite all the wedding travel expenses you're likely occurring, don't let this fact get you down. You're never too far ahead of or behind the curve. These are all just averages, and what's right for someone else, may not always be what makes sense for you.

LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX

Does gender and location have some play into the age at which you might be getting engaged? Yes and no.   No matter where in the US you live, women, on average, get engaged about 2 years earlier than men. The one place there is a slight difference in overall age is the northeast where both men and women get engaged about a year later than the rest of the country. This is primarily driven by New York and Pennsylvania, where our average respondent’s engagement age hovered around 28 years old.

THE AGE TO ENGAGE

As we saw above, the average age for a woman to start rocking a ring is around 27. However, when we took a deeper look, the most common age for a women to get engaged in much younger, 23 to be exact. If you're 23, and this is terrifying to you, have no fear. Although this is the average age, most ladies are independent women at this point. There is no rush. 5% of respondents in our survey were over 40 years old. Marriage is forever, so no need to rush into anything.

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

The South leads the charge on the youngest brides with 47% of women getting engaged before they're 24. So, for all you Southern Belles out there under 24, you may be about to start wedding planning soon. If you live in the Northeast and that seems young to you, have no fear, only 19% of brides in your region are locking it down that young, so you'll be in good company. Look who owns the higher percentage in this data and the “flip flop” of women v. men. Finally, guys— stepping up your game! It’s no secret that women mature before men. Just a fact. It doesn’t mean a younger man’s proposal isn’t from the heart but it’s also interesting to note how men 35 and above take the lead. They’ve lived a little bit longer, are likely more established, and ready to commit in a way that would convey they’re in it for the long haul. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 but what matters most is intuition.

No matter how much we love love here at Weddington Way, we also recognize that marriage is a big step. On average, a person spends 2/3rds of their life with their spouse, so it's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. Facts and number aside, It's a personal decision, and you'll know if and when the time is right for you. And once you're in that moment, enjoy it, breathe it and, dare we say, engage it?

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