If you’ve known that you and bae are meant to be together forever after just a few months, you might be thinking about getting married before the one year mark. Maybe you found love at first sight and want a serious commitment, or perhaps you can’t possibly stand to spend more time not married to the love of your life. But what can happen when you tie the knot before dating for a year? And is there a certain amount of time a couple should be together before dropping an "I do?"
"There really are no hard and fast rules about this because each couple’s situation is different," Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent relationship therapist in Los Angeles who has worked with singles and couples for over 25 years, tells Elite Daily. "I think that the amount of time is less of a variable. That depends upon the couple. Having said that, there are some general guidelines and questions to ask yourselves: Are both of you truly ready to make a potential life long commitment? How well do you really know yourself? How well do you really know your partner?"
Dr. Brown shares what you can expect if you and boo decide to tie the knot before the one year mark.
You’ll see the real sides of your partner.
Getting hitched before dating for a year can mean that you and your partner still have a lot learn about each other. According to Dr. Brown, being married means you and your partner will see each other’s truest selves.
"When you get married, it can certainly be easier to learn things about your partner because you are living together on a day-to-day basis," Dr. Brown says. "There really is no hiding when you are married. It’s all pretty much out there. It’s much easier to bail when you are dating or living together."
Marriage can ring out some next-level realness between you and your partner. Getting married before a year can mean a lot of time to learn about each other authentically. Having open conversations about setting healthy boundaries, and establishing how you and your spouse can be patient with each other, can help ensure that you and your boo can be your best selves together.
You’ll learn about each other’s needs and values.
Whether or not you lived together before tying the knot, marriage can provide a space to truly learn about your partner’s values, as well as the ways that you and boo work through conflict.
"Living together presents situations that can help you learn how to resolve the inevitable conflicts that even the best of couples have — you can see how much better your values align," Dr. Brown says. "Being married also makes it easier because, hopefully, you are more motivated and committed to learn more about your partner’s needs and, of course, your own needs."
When it comes to commitment, getting married can mean taking your relationship to the next level. When sharing a life together, you and your partner can really dig into what you care about and the best ways to work through problems. Being clear with your intentions and priorities and using "I" statements, like "It hurts my feelings if we don’t go to dinner with my parents once a week," can jumpstart some productive conflict resolution convos.
You’ll learn how to resolve conflict.
From roommates to live-in partners to, yes, even spouses — sharing a living space can often mean some healthy conflict is bound to arise. Dr. Brown shares that marriage can provide a structure when it comes to learning how to deal with conflict.
"Living tougher is going to lead to more conflict between the two of you — the issue is not going to be whether or not you are married, but how you resolve those conflicts," Dr. Brown says. "If you did get married too quickly, see what you can do to honestly assess if there is the possibility that the two of you can work things out. Just because you rushed into marriage doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rush for the exit."
Like any relationship, marriage takes work. Having a healthy open dialogue, frequently expressing your feelings, and consistently establishing the best ways to meet both your and your spouse’s needs can be great practices for good conflict resolution. If you feel an outside perspective would be helpful, talking to a third party like a therapist or relationship coach can aid in working through conflict.
If you and your partner got married before the year mark, there’s good news: You have so many amazing years ahead of you. There is no "right" time for you and your boo to take the next step in your relationship. From moving in with a partner, getting engaged, or even tying the knot, you know what’s right for you, and you know when to say "I do!"
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