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How Long To Date Before Marriage In Your 30s

If you’re in your thirties and either single or dating, you might be wondering how long to date before marriage in your 30s.

By the time you’re in your 30s, it can feel like most of your friends are married. Your weekends might be starting to get full of wedding invites, baby showers, or kids’ birthday parties as your peers get married and grow their families. It could leave you wondering, what about me?

There is a lot of societal pressure for a single woman to get married in her 30s or have a long term relationship. But you’re probably here because you want to make sure you’re doing the best thing for yourself and getting married for the right reasons.

According to Pew Research, about 19% of women ages 30-49 are single. Whereas 27% of men in the same age group are reportedly single. The good news is, that means there are plenty of people who are single in their 30s.

how long to date before marriage in your 30s
photo by Tawni in Kona for Flytopgrapher

Some Thoughts on Marriage in Your 30s:

This is a question that doesn’t have a definitive answer, as it depends on a variety of factors.

In your 30s, you may have already gone through some major life changes – such as starting a new job, buying a house, or becoming a parent. You have life experience. All of these things can impact how soon you’re ready to get married.

There’s no right or wrong answer, but here are a few things to consider when making the decision.

Getting married isn’t even something that you *have* to do. It is a personal choice and completely up to you. If you’re looking to weigh some pros and cons about whether marriage is a good idea for you, keep reading.

The timeline many people in their 30s follow:

Before you read this section, please know that there is no right answer. You may end up dating for six months before getting engaged or you might date for several years. It all depends on your relationship, your partner, and your relationship goals together.

A timeline example might look like this:

  • Day 0: Couple meets for the first time
  • 2-3 months later – officially dating
  • 6-18 months later – engaged
  • 6-18 months later – married

To some people six months is a lot of time, to others, it is no time at all. Some people might know it is the right person for them after the first date. Others might need months of dating to be sure. Usually, a few years is a good amount of time to feel like you’re doing the right thing by marrying your partner.

Factors To Consider on When To Get Married In Your 30s:

Your Age

One factor to consider is your age. If you’re in your early 30s, you may feel like you’ve finally reached a point in your life where you’re ready to settle down.

On the other hand, if you’re closer to 40, you may feel like you still have some time to enjoy being single.

Or you might feel the complete opposite! You could be in your early 30s and feel like you have all the time in the world or in your late 30s and feel rushed. There is no right way to feel.

There’s no right or wrong answer here – it’s simply a matter of what feels right for you.

Your Desire To Have a Family

We don’t believe there is any right time to start a family. If you feel like your biological clock is ticking and you’re ready to settle down, that’s great.

But if you’re not feeling the pressure to have kids, that’s okay too!

Some people in their 30s feel like they want to get married so they can start a family while others feel like they want to wait until they’re more established in their careers.

Again, there is no right or wrong answer – it’s simply a matter of what feels right for you.

Your Current Relationship Status

Another factor to consider is your relationship status. If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you may be ready to take the next step.

On the other hand, if you’re just starting to date someone, you may want to wait a bit longer before getting married.

Marriage is typically a deeper, longer-term commitment. And truthfully is not right for everyone.

If you’re in a long-term relationship already, the next step might be getting married if you both feel you want to. Or you might not want to. Alternatively, you might want to end the relationship. Don’t feel stuck in a relationship just because you might have to “start over.”

Again, there’s no right or wrong answer – it all depends on what feels right for you and your relationship.

Your Relationship Goals

Some couples want to get married because they feel it is the natural next step in their relationship. Others may want to wait a bit longer to see if marriage is right for them.

Some couples may never want to get married at all! Talk to your partner – see a couple’s therapist – and decide together what the goal for your relationship is. You don’t have to take a next step.

Your Finances

Another thing to consider is your finances. If you’re stable in your career and have a good income, you may feel ready to get married sooner.

On the other hand, if you’re still working on getting your financial life in order, you may want to wait a bit longer. Financial security can keep you from feeling like you’re entering a relationship because of money.

Additionally, a wedding can be expensive, so it’s important to make sure you’re in a good place financially before taking on such an expense.

For example, consider the option of an elegant pre-owned engagement ring if you’re on a tight budget but still want to make your proposal unique. You can spend more money on other areas of your future together by purchasing a pre-owned ring, which can often save you a large amount of money and be of high quality. As you should always keep in mind, the ring’s actual value is not in its price but rather in the love and devotion it symbolizes.

Your Lifestyle

Another factor to consider is your lifestyle. If you have a busy career and an active social life, you may not be ready to settle down just yet.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more stable and quiet lifestyle, you may be ready to get married sooner.

It’s important to consider how marriage will impact your lifestyle and whether or not you’re ready for that change. You might also be looking for a partner who matches your lifestyle.

Your Values

Finally, it’s important to consider your values. If you’re looking for a lifelong partner to share your life with, you may be ready to get married sooner.

On the other hand, if you’re not sure marriage is for you, you may want to wait a bit longer.

It’s important to think about what you want out of your marriage before deciding to get married. You might want to know your partner long enough to discover any red flags of an unhealthy relationship before you settle down for the rest of your life.

Previous Marriages

If you’ve been married before, you might feel like your first marriage wasn’t what you were looking for. You are probably more serious now about your potential partner and might want to date for a long time before taking the plunge again. Take as much time as you need to find the right person and form healthy relationships.

If you feel unsure, it could be a good idea to talk to a relationship expert before you take the next step in your relationship.

Finding a New Partner

If you are looking to find a new partner or new people, you might consider entering the dating game by asking friends to introduce you to a single friend. Another option is online dating and apps.

People on these websites and apps aren’t just looking for a good time. Most single people are truly looking for true love, a best friend, and a life partner.

If you haven’t met the right person yet, putting yourself out there is the first step to making genuine connections. Move at your own pace and don’t let other people pressure you into thinking there is a ticking clock of some kind.

And don’t let a bad date put you off. There are plenty of good, and even fantastic dates, waiting for you. On the flip side, you also don’t have to keep dating different people if you don’t want to.

photo by Tawni in Kona for Flytographer

In Summary: How Long To Date Before Marriage In Your 30s

Long story short, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how long to date before marriage in your 30s.

It’s simply a matter of what feels right for you. That is ultimately the important thing. A serious relationship doesn’t have a timeline. Consider your age, relationship status, finances, lifestyle, and values when making the decision.

About the Author

Nicole Booz is the founder of GenTwenty and GenThirty. She is an entrepreneur, author of The Kidult Handbook, and most importantly, Mama to two beautiful little boys. She loves reading, organizing her home, and living a simple, less toxic lifestyle. You've seen her in The New York Times, TIME, Insider, Inside Edition, New York Post, NextAdvisor, Forbes, Yahoo, HuffPost, and U.S. News & World Report.


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