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I get asked a lot of relationship-themed questions given where I work, and one of them is from women with boyfriends who want to know how long to wait for the ring.These aren’t women who have been dating for two months, but rather women who are in long-term relationships.They have seemingly great mates who have jobs and call their moms and open doors to restaurants- but haven’t yet popped the question.

These couples usually made it to their seventh anniversary before divorcing sometime later.Is there a difference between couples that met recently and those in Huston’s study?Currently I co-run a longitudinal study of marriage and family development, started in 2008 and ongoing, and the answers couples gave me about their engagement ranged from several months to several years.On average, the couples in my study decided to marry 2.8 years after they first showed romantic interest (many couples knew each other before they dated, but that isn’t counted).This may reflect growing trends in the delay of marriage.Much has changed in the last thirty years, and those in my study are still reporting general satisfaction in their marriages.

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