In other words, don't discount your personal assessment of future happiness: It's tied to underlying processes you're doing now that will later affect relationship well-being. Research (Felmee, 1995) examining these "fatal attractions" has discovered that they often take a certain form.When a partner is dissimilar from us in a specific way, or has traits that are extreme — "She's super enthusiastic! " — we sometimes see these as highly attractive qualities during relationship initiation, but they later become highly qualities that can reduce relationship satisfaction.
If a couple meets at age 21, that's different from meeting at 31, which itself provides a different context from meeting at 41.
Further, some couples meet as strangers, while others have been friends for a long time prior to introducing any romantic element.
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Instead of focusing on how long you've been dating, consider these other ways to evaluate whether you're both ready for marriage. One reason some couples experience sharp declines in satisfaction during the first two years of marriage (Huston et al., 2001) may be because they entered into their marriages as a way to a relationship, leading to disillusionment and disappointment. Do you know, for example, how your partner thinks about and values money, or how he or she would approach being a parent?
Learning more about your partner now could ward off some common sources of conflict later (Stanley, Markham, & Whitton, 2002). How happy do you translates to current relationship commitment; doing the necessary relationship work; and, ultimately, a lower risk of divorce (Baker, Mc Nulty, & Vander Drift, 2017). " Sometimes what attracts us to a certain person can ultimately become what drives us nuts about that partner.
As idiosyncratic as romantic couples and their experiences are, scientists who study relationship processes are aware of questions that couples grapple with as they consider their future: When should a couple get married? Although their primary focus was the costs of a wedding, they included other factors predicting marital dissolution.
Compared to dating less than one year before a marriage proposal, dating one to two years significantly lower at any given time point.
Adding some clarity, the perception of knowing a partner "very well" at the time of marriage reduced the likelihood of divorce by 50 percent at any given time point as well.