Marriage - the alleged end point of a successful relationship. However, when is the right time to take the plunge into happily ever after?
This question has been sparked lately by the seemingly rushed nuptials of Frances Abbott and her rowing beau Sam Loch. The pair tied the knot on Valentines Day after only a few months of dating, with the couple holding a second ceremony this past weekend in Palm Beach.
Of course, everyone is going to have different views about this complex question - as no relationship is the same as the next.
However, according to researchers from Emory University in the US, couples who have dated for one to two years had a 20% lower chance of divorce than those who have only dated for one year, and those who dated for more than three years were 50% less likely to divorce.
News.com.au spoke with Jayne Ferguson a senior clinician for Relationships Australia Victoria, and she told the publication that there is no prescribed amount of time when it comes to the 'right time' to making a lifelong commitment.
“It’s not necessarily about time,” she explained, “but more about the investment you make in the relationship early on.”
Ferguson did warn however that some of the bigger issues that can cause relationship problems - such as family drama - don’t tend to rear their head until a few years down the track.
“There’s a danger in saying ‘If you’ve known each other for three years, then you’re more likely it’s going to work’. Well, in actual fact I think all couples should be doing some preparatory work in order to make sure they’ve got every opportunity of making it work and knowing the person well enough.”
Abbott isn’t concerned by everyone’s views about her nuptials, however, telling Stellar Magazine in December: “Everyone’s like, ‘Wow, this is really fast.”
“But it feels so natural to me. His energy, it’s so grounding. When I am around him, I am like, ‘This is what it’s meant to be like.’ Life is short, and love is special, and sometimes you just need to follow your instincts.”
So the moral of the story is, if it feels right, then go for it. However, if you have concerns, listen to your gut and don’t let your heart run away from your head.