For the modern couple, here's the breakdown of that half-decade: 17 months of dating before moving in together, 22 months of living together before getting engaged, and 20 months of engagement before getting married.People are marrying later in life, too, a fact that may come as no surprise.I've said it before and I'll say it again: The fact that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake did not end up together makes it difficult for me to believe in the institution of marriage at all. The fact that Mary Kay Letourneau and her former student (whom she started very illegally dating in 1996, resulting in jail time) are still together and happily married today, 18 years later. Then, there are Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, who famously got married just one month after they met in 2009.They were married for four years, which is 48 times longer than they knew each other before committing (and longer than many other couples who dated for "normal" amounts of time before getting engaged). Well, recently a friend of mine had that exact sort of giddy smile you get about one month into a new relationship. " in my head, while the other half screamed practical things, like "Pump the breaks!
So at the end of the day, can you ever truly know if a relationship (or marriage) is going to work? But you know that you're absolutely, positively crazy about someone, faults and all.It’s a question that comes up occasionally within a singles ministry.If you are seriously dating someone, how long should it be before you pop the question?How much time does it take to determine if he or she is “the one”? I know of people who have gotten married very quickly (like in a matter of days) and are still married decades later—and people who did the same thing and were divorced just as quickly.Or, a couple may be “in a relationship” for a decade, finally get married, and then split up in the first year.I discuss this principle more fully in "Principles for Drawing Boundaries" and "What Does a Biblical Relationship Look Like?