Being in a relationship can be tricky if you tend to listen to the advice or others or base the timeline of your relationship on social norms. Do you really need other people dictating the speed of your relationship? Some couples do well when things are fast-paced; others do better when the relationship progresses slowly. So when is the “right” time to do things?
1. Moving in together: Research used to suggest that couples do not live together until they are married. Past studies have shown that couples were 46% more likely to get divorced if they lived together before they got married. The problem is that these are very outdated studies. The newer studies are showing that moving in before marriage has no impact on how likely you are to get divorced. The National Survey of Family Growth shows that women who have a live-in partner when they are 25-29 years of age have a higher chance of having a lasting relationship as opposed to women who are 24 or younger.
2. Marriage: You are always going to get pressure from someone whether it is from your parents, friends, or other family. They are going to keep asking when you and your long-term partner are finally going to get hitched. This can create an uncomfortable situation at times. The Census Bureau tells us that the average marriage age for women is 27 and for men is 29. The Pew Research Center shows that women who marry before they are 23 have the highest divorce rates. Another study from 2008 shows that the longer you wait, the less likely you are to end up getting divorced.
3. Children: “When are you going to be popping out some babies?” Who gets tired of hearing that question? Studies have shown that couples who have a baby within the first year of their marriage tend to stay together longer than those who wait. Women who have babies as teenagers face high dropout rates, a high likeliness of poverty, and higher risk of developmental issues with the baby. People who have babies before they are married have a higher chance of splitting up before saying “I do”. There is no right time to have a child either but experts suggest that it is after marriage and before the woman turns 35.