I suppose the relatively high average age of marriage in the sample would explain a curious personal experience that I once had that has never been repeated at other weddings I’ve attended. According to this infographic from Wedding Paper Divas, 40 percent of couples wait 13 to 18 months between "Yes!
To this question, I respond that most of the things that are worth achieving in life require us to delay gratification and to prioritize restraint over indulgence in more primitive drives.
But women feel ready to tie the knot even sooner - after just two years, seven months and 24 days.
Alexandra Campos, of The National Wedding Show, which carried out the poll said: "Men everywhere should be getting ready to buy that ring and get down on one knee if they are anywhere near the three-year anniversary.
"If you really want to earn some brownie points, you could pop the question a few months earlier, as this research shows that's when women think it's the perfect time to get engaged." The poll of 3,000 engaged or married Brits also revealed that one in ten has even set a time limit on when they get engaged.
And if their partner hasn't agreed to marry before the self-imposed deadline, more than 75 per cent would end the relationship.
Recall Walter Mischel's marshmallow study which showed the value of the ability to delay gratification.* Mischel offered a group of four year-old children one large, puffy marshmallow but told them all that if they would wait for him to run an errand, they could have not one, but two, lovely marshmallows.
Some of the four-year-olds were able to control their impulse to snatch up and consume their marshmallows for the duration of Mischel’s 15–20-minute errand (which must have felt like several lifetimes for these four-year-olds). Mischel followed up with his subjects many years later and found that the ability to control impulses and delay gratification was associated with success in many different areas of life as an adult.
If you are looking for a general rule of thumb, then two years is probably a good length of time for most people, but I don’t personally favor any hard-and-fast rule about how long a courtship should be.
Because it felt important and timely, I deviated last week from my central topic to write a short piece on deceptive marketing practices affecting untold numbers of returning Veterans with G. In addition to being a highly accomplished group, well-educated people are thoughtful planners and strategists.
But the poll suggests it may be difficult to meet a woman's romantic expectations, as 43 per cent of those who do get the proposal within three years wish it had been more romantic and 42 per cent told their partners so.
It also noted that one in ten women breaks with tradition by making the proposal themselves.