How Long Should You Date Before You Get Married?

older married couple
Buzz, Love

These days, couples are dating longer before getting married. Here's why.

In today's relationships, it seems like sex isn't the only thing worth waiting for. In fact, according to USA Today, more and more couples are putting off marriage, and extending their courtships by a number of years (and years, and more years). It used to be that a man who took too long to propose was considered a relationship slacker. But just the other week, Crown Princess Victoria finally got married to her beau of eight years. And Prince William has been dating girlfriend Kate Middleton for nine years, with no sign of a ring on the horizon. And apparently, this isn't the trend with royalty alone.

Which we were already sort of aware of, but the more interesting question is why. Why are people waiting longer to take that walk down the aisle? What's running through their heads? Here are a few questions the long-term daters are asking themselves:

Will it work? People used to frown upon premarital cohabitation, despite young couples' insistence that it was the best way to test out long-term compatibility (also known as The Ability To Avoid Homicide Charges After He Leaves The Seat Up For The 37th Time). Now, couples are throwing out that very same excuse for their extended courtships... and we gotta admit, to some of us, this makes perfect sense (though how long does one really need to figure this one out?). Together Forever But Not Married? Advice You Need

Will it last? This one is about more than the logistics of living together. It's about the reality that divorce statistics are high, and many relationships don't last. Will your relationship become just one more negative statistic? In fact, Telegraph posits that this is, in fact, the reason that Prince William has held out for so long. He's a child of divorce, and is perhaps afraid of repeating history. What do you think?