We’re both 18. That depends. If you’re planning to get married within the next two years and are ready to actually start planning your wedding, then it’s okay to get engaged. Being engaged means you’ve entered the phase where you’re ready to actually plan your wedding….
We found that the median age at engagement in the United States is 27.2 years for women and 28.7 years for men – a difference of 1.5 years. In addition, the mean time span a few days before the proposal is 3.3 years. But as we found, these numbers vary depending on where you live.
(There is such a thing as getting married too young, however. Research shows that marriages that begin when a woman is 18 are twice as likely to end in divorce than marriages that begin when she is 22 is.)
Most couples date for two or more years before getting engaged, with many dating for between two and five years. Once the question is asked, the average length of engagement is between 12 and 18 months.
With parental consent and court approval, a person can marry at 17 as long as one of the spouses is under the age of two. Emancipated minors of legal age may marry after completing a premarital education course, but not to a person older than four years.
According to Carrie Krawiec’s ‘Goldilock Theory’, the ideal age to marry with the least likelihood of divorce within the first five years is 28 to 32. In 2018, the National Human Rights Commission also recommended that there should be a uniform marriage age for boys and girls.
“Every couple is different based on their age and circumstances, but a reasonable length of time for an engagement is one to three years,” she says. Every couple is different based on age and circumstances, but a reasonable length of time for an engagement is one to three years.
Love is in the air
However, there is no need to wait for the official first date to spend a little face time. Americans agree that children are ready for their first kiss by the age of 15 (average 15.1), while the average age they had theirs was 14.5.
Teens are also the most likely to be in ongoing relationships. However, as adolescents get older, their relationships tend to become longer, as the average relationship among 15-18 year olds lasts 1.8 years.
Some children may express interest in a boyfriend or girlfriend as early as age 10, while others may be 12 or 13 before they even show interest. The key is for parents to remember that the tween years are a time of transition.
Child marriage is currently legal in 44 states (only Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have set the minimum age at 18 and eliminated all exceptions), and 20 US states do not have a minimum age require for marriage, with a parental or court waiver.