Meeting, getting engaged, and tying the knot faster than a season of Gossip Girl sounds so passionate and romantic. But rushing to the altar isn't such a smart move. In fact, experts agree that you should wait at least a year to make sure you and your guy are really a match-for a few simple, common-sense reasons:
You need more than a few months to see your worst sides.
It can takes a good six months or so to remove the love-colored glasses and begin to really see the other person, flaws and all. That's because the longer you steadily date, the more you get out of your comfort zones and settle into a routine-and that's when your true personalities emerge. Is he lazy about doing household chores? Is he disrespectful to your family and friends? Experiencing different scenarios together can help size up whether you two are right for each other, says Linda Miles, PhD, author of The New Marriage.
Related: 6 Ways to Train Your Boyfriend
You need time for the early-stage dopamine haze to clear.
This is the brain chemical that's responsible for triggering that head-over-heels feeling when you first get together. Dopamine makes us feel overly positive, which can mask the fact that maybe your union doesn't have long-term legs, says Miles. That high usually starts to wear off in six months to a year, and those behaviors you thought you could live with or were even cute and quirky-for example, his forgetfulness or penchant for being 10 minutes late for everything-suddenly become super annoying potential deal breakers.
It takes time to find out if your future plans sync up.
Before you can determine if your love will go the distance, you need enough time to go by to make sure you have similar outlooks on handling money, whether you want kids, where you want to live, and other crucial thoughts about the future. "To sustain a relationship, couples have to share common goals, values, and interests along with sexual attraction and emotional maturity," says Christine Meinecke, PhD, author of Everybody Marries the Wrong Person.
Related: In Praise of the 29-Year Old Bride
We're not saying that marriage can never work for couples who tie the knot sooner than a year-but if you can put time on your side, what's the rush?
After all, if he's really The One, then even after one year, he still will be. Now that you know the ideal amount of time to be dating before you get married, check out what experts say is the best age to get married.
Read more at Cosmopolitan.com!