Guide to Young Love and Dating Before Marriage

Entering your 20s is an exciting phase of life filled with unlimited possibilities, finishing school, getting first jobs, and potentially finding love and considering marriage. However, one question that arises is, "How long should you date before getting married in your 20’s?" While there is no one answer, this blog aims to explore the many factors that influence the timing of marriage and to offer some advice to help you navigate this important and life changing decision.

So, what should you look for in your pre-marriage relationship?

Individual Growth and Maturity 

Before even considering a partnership in general, you must first consider how you feel about your personal development and maturity. Since self-discovery is extremely important in your 20’s, you must give yourself enough time to develop personally before making a commitment to a permanent relationship. Discover your passions, achieve your goals, and figure out who you are on your own. 

Humans also experience substantial emotional and psychological growth during their twenties. According to recent findings, the human brain does not even reach full maturity until at least the mid-20s. So, the better you develop a knowledge of your values and beliefs as well as how to manage adult responsibilities like living on your own or keeping a job in your twenties, the more likely you will not be rushing into marriage without allowing yourself the time to grow as a person. If you do not give yourself a period of self discovery, it can result in disappointment, unhappiness, or even resentment within your partnership later on. If you give yourself time to grow personally and mature, you will enter marriage with a greater sense of who you are and a clearer idea of what you want in your life. 

Relationship Stability 

Relationship stability is vital for a successful marriage. Rushing into marriage without enough time to build trust, navigate conflicts, and understand each other's strengths and weaknesses can lead to conflict down the road. During your 20’s, you are likely to experience significant changes in your life circumstances. Most 20-somethings are finishing school, starting a job, or moving to a new place, so making sure that your relationship can endure these changes and that you have an understanding of each other’s communication styles and problem-solving skills during challenging times is crucial. 

If you don’t feel like you have that understanding of your partner yet, consider dating for a longer period of time to establish a stronger knowledge of the way they work. If you have the opportunity to experience different phases of life with your partner and observe how they respond to challenges—it will help you know whether your relationship has the resilience needed to face the ups and downs of married life.

Shared Values and Future Plans 

Aligning your long-term goals with your partner is must before making a lifelong commitment. Spend time talking about important topics including your professional goals, family plans, financial expectations, and personal beliefs.Your ideals and aspirations may still be developing as you enter your twenties. So before committing to a life long relationship, it's crucial to give yourself time to figure it out for yourself. You can approach a relationship knowing more precisely what you want from a potential spouse if you are aware of your own needs and goals. 

Having shared values and future plans with your partner creates that desired partnership. It ensures that you both have similar expectations for your life together, reducing the chances of fights or misunderstandings in the long run. Take the time to have open and honest conversations about your dreams and aspirations, allowing both you and your partner to contribute of the future you two will hold together  

Life Experience

Your 20’s offer ample opportunities to gain valuable life experiences, such as education, travel, and professional growth. These experiences shape your perspective and influence your compatibility with a potential life partner. By dating for a significant amount of time, you can assess how well you and your partner align in terms of life experiences, interests, and personal growth. Experiencing life outside of a committed relationship allows you to grow individually and understand yourself better. It provides you with a chance to explore various aspects of life, discover new passions, and gain valuable insights. By accumulating a range of experiences, you become a more well-rounded person with a broader perspective on life. You can also find these life experiences while in your relationship by pursuing things that you do on your own and keeping your individualism alive. 

A couple arguing
With time comes realizing if you're compatible with one another or if you're just attracted to one another.


Compatibility goes beyond surface-level attraction and shared interests. It involves understanding how your partner responds to different situations, how they handle challenges, and how well you complement each other's strengths and weaknesses. Dating for a longer period allows you to observe these aspects of compatibility and determine if you are truly compatible in the long run. Take the time to assess whether your partner's goals, values, and interests align with your own. Maybe you have the same hobbies, or maybe you don’t. Is that a deal breaker? 

There are many questions you must ask yourself to know if your partner is really the one to commit to. Like maybe they don’t support a dream that you have to move to New York City. That might be something that hinders your relationship in the future. But these questions become easier to answer with the more time you give the relationship before marriage, and in the end, will help you make an informed decision about the right timing for marriage.

A couple holding hands on their wedding day
When you know, you know.

Knowing When You're Ready:

Determining the right time for marriage in your 20’s is very hard. You may believe you’re too young or everything is moving too fast, but it is crucial to listen to your intuition to understand your readiness for such a significant commitment. Your own financial stability, mental well-being, and life goals separate from your partner are all factors that should be taken into account. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner to understand their perspective to ensure you're both on the same page. 

Marriage is traditionally a lifelong commitment, and it's important to be truly ready to take that step. Open communication with your partner is key throughout this process. Talk openly about your expectations, fears, and concerns and don’t hold back. Make sure that you both have a shared understanding of what marriage means to you and how it aligns with your individual life goals.

So really, how long should you date before marriage in your 20’s?

Dating in your 20s can be tough, but it is possible to win the game of love and find someone you want to be with for the rest of your life.Studies show that dating for two to five years before getting married in your 20’s leads to happier and longer-lasting marriages. However, each couple has their own timeline, and there is no definitive number of years you should date before getting married ever, let alone in your 20’s. However, taking the time to develop a strong foundation to your relationship is crucial. Look at you and your partners’ personal growth, compatibility, values, and life experiences. 

Is the foundation strong? Are you as an individual ready? It is essential to make sure that you're fully ready for the commitment of marriage. By following these 5 guidelines, your intuition, and your heart, you'll be better prepared to make an informed decision about when the time is right to take the next step towards a lifelong partnership in your 20’s. 

Jun 12, 2023