How Long Should You Wait Before You Get Engaged?

Engaged Too Quickly?iStockphoto

My favorite sex and relationship columnist, Dan Savage, is now on Nerve and a few days ago he tackled a question from a woman who revealed she started talking marriage with her boyfriend three months into their relationship. Savage balked at this admission. His response, after the jump…

You were discussing marriage at three months?

The fact that he would bring up marriage so early, and the fact that you didn't laugh in his face, disqualifies you both from obtaining a marriage license. (Okay, it doesn't - but it should.) Three months - eight months, sixteen months - is way too soon to be discussing marriage. Sure, you can allow yourself to be swept away by new love, you can crush out on each other, you can sheepishly admit that you've allowed yourself to daydream about marriage - so long as that admission is immediately followed by this statement: "But I realize it's way too soon to even think about it seriously…" But you absolutely, positively should NOT be making plans to marry, small ceremonies or large, courthouse or St. Paul's Cathedral, at eight f**king months; nor should you attempt to hold him - or anyone else - to a premature "commitment" to wed.

While I think three months is generally too soon to be making wedding plans, 16 months hardly seems "way too soon to be discussing marriage." My first job out of college I worked with a wise woman who passed along some great advice, including: "always wait a year before getting engaged - you gotta know someone all four seasons before you make a commitment like that, " so in that respect 16 months would be more than appropriate. My personal philosophy is this: if you've seen each other at your worst and best, met one another's families and friends, have taken at least one 1-week long trip together, and have survived at least one kind of crisis or stressful event between the two of you (job loss, family or pet death, cancellation of, God forbid, "30 Rock") then you're golden. What do you guys think?

- Wendy Atterberry at the Frisky