Be friends with someone you like
Get to know each other for at least a year, or more.
If you really like them, and you think you match, and there is respect, understanding, match as to religion, your mother likes him a lot, he is not controlling, and easy to anger, plus there is love then....
Be engaged for at least a year. You'd be surprised all the baggage that comes up even after a year of engagement. It's better to break up then, than to end up divorced, and God forbid, with children.
After you have passed all these test, then, and only then, go buy a wedding dress, get married in the church, and live happily ever after.
Oh, I forgot, invite me to your wedding.
There are exceptions of course, and I'll venture to say the older the couple is - the more realistic they are in terms of life experiences, expectations, compromises, challenges. I've known some older couples who met and married rather quickly and are doing just fine - they are very happy.
Bottom line - every lasting relationship takes commitment, loyalty and a unselfish mindset from both parties, and a strong drive to keep God at the center of their marriage. Some people have the emotional maturity to do that early on - while some never truly reach that level.
My cousin married his now wife after 7 years of dating. But my ex married his now wife after 6-9 months of dating and they seem happy. It really depends on the situation.
As for me - I'd prefer to date for longer - the older I get, the more cautious I am about marriage.
Sadly, ppl marry without having a handle on the basics, i.e., willingness to compromise, accepting influence from the other spouse, knowing and supporting each other's dreams, talking about perpetual problems without the discussion escalating into an argument, communicating authentically, etc.
1. There are no rules.
2. I wouldn't do it myself.
3. One of the best marriages I ever saw was a co-worker who married on two weeks' acquaintance. The gal accepted him only because she hated her father and wanted to move out. Rocky knew that, married her anyway, and they were a terrific pair 12 years later.
4. One of my longtime CM friends married this past August, to a man she met last April. They are perfect for each other. I think, though, that when you are "up there" in age, you know enough about yourself and what you're looking for that you pay attention to the important things and are less distracted than you are in your 20s.
Pete asked me to marry him four weeks from our first date, we didn't marry for another nine months, but went another twenty-five years until his death.