They got engaged 12 days later—and stayed together for the next 55 years.
Though the literature on this subject is limited, research suggests that for most people, the amount of time you spend getting to know your partner is positively correlated with the strength of your marriage.
For a 1985 paper in the journal , a team of researchers from Kansas State University’s department of Home Economics recruited 51 middle-aged married women and split them into four groups: those had dated for less than five months; those who had spent six to 11 months getting to know their future husband; those who had dated for one to two years; and those who had dated for over two years.
The researchers asked the women how satisfied they felt with their marriages, and used their answers to explore three factors that might contribute to marital satisfaction: length of courtship, age at marriage, and whether or not they broke up with their partner at least once while dating.
They found that the only factor that consistently correlated with marital satisfaction was the length of courtship: The longer they dated, the happier they were in the marriage.
Actress, ambassador, autobiographer: Shirley Temple, who died yesterday at the age of 85, didn’t waste a lot of time in her career—or in her love life.
She got engaged to her first husband, Army Air Corps sergeant John Agar, before she turned 17, and when the marriage ended four years later, she wasted no time finding a replacement: She met 30-year-old Charles Alden Black, an executive at the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, less than two months after divorcing Agar.
But as we found, these numbers vary based on where you live.
Overall, Americans tend to move pretty quickly: nearly half of all engagements occur two years or less into a relationship.
So, we surveyed 1,000 recently-engaged Weddington Way customers (all women), posing questions like: How old were you when you got engaged? And, how long were you dating prior to your engagement?