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But as a baseline, Ian Kerner, Ph D, LMFT, licensed psychotherapist, couple's therapist and author of "I've worked with a lot of couples who have strong relationships, and they met and fell in love quickly and really got to know each other's friends and family," Kerner says.
"They got to experience what it's like to live with each other or spend a lot of time with each other, go through some life cycle issues, like the loss of a family member or the loss of a friendship, or going to a wedding or funeral and really getting to see each other in a lot of different contexts and feel like it's a good match. You want to have some problems emerge and see how you deal with problems together.
In fact, over half of the Northeast respondents and 60% of the West respondents dated for more than three years before getting engaged.
For the age group of those over 35 years old when they were proposed to, there was a significant trend in the Midwest, with 50% of respondents stating they dated for less than a year before they got engaged.
On the other hand, brides who were engaged at the age of 35 or older dated an average of 40 months, or 3.33 years.
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Some publications have determined that the average couple dates for a mere 25 months (just over 2 years) before the question is popped, while others find that couples date for just under 3 years before getting engaged.