December 4, Written by Ashley Hamer Share Our editors delve into Curiosity's top stories every day on a podcast that's shorter than your commute. Click here to listen and learn — in just a few minutes! So you're head over heels for someone special and you've got marriage on the mind. How long should you wait to take the plunge? Science has some answers if that's your question, but we're here to tell you that's probably the wrong question to ask.
Mialon published a study in the journal Economic Inquiry involving 3, couples. The study looked primarily at how wedding spending affected marriage length the moral of the story: It also looked at other variables, such as the length of time couples dated before popping the question.
That study found that, compared to dating for less than a year, dating 1—2 years before proposing cut a couple's risk of divorce by 20 percent. Dating three years or more slashed their divorce risk by half. For example, couples who said they knew each other "very well" at the time of marriage also cut their risk of divorce by half. As you might have guessed, when it comes to marriage, relationship length isn't everything. What's In A Number?
In Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" , the character Marianne Dashwood says, "It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others. But there's a lot to be said for disposition when it comes to relationship success. A study by Diane Felmlee at the University of California, Davis found that some of the traits that attract people to their partners at first are the same ones that cause the end of a relationship.
The most common of these so-called "fatal attractions"? That brings us to another fact about marital success: A study from psychology researchers Laura VanderDrift, James McNulty, and Levi Baker found that how satisfied you think you'll be with your relationship in the future is linked to your level of commitment and the work you'll do on your relationship today. As relationship expert and university professor Eli Finkel told Business Insider , "The degree to which you're compatible right now isn't any sort of guarantee whatsoever that you'll be compatible even in three years or five years.
Each couple has to decide where their priorities lie; if the relationship is important enough, you can adjust on the fly and make the sacrifices you need to ensure your love thrives. How the Best Marriages Work. It's free with a day trial of Audible. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.