Dating to marriage how long


The two, who make it their habit to hold hands on their daily walks, start each day with a hug, as well.“Or she’ll be making cookies, and I’ll walk by and say, ‘I need a hug,’ ” says John. “ ‘I need a hug,’ that’s something we’ve always said.” Of course hugs alone didn’t get them through raising two children and negotiating the frequent moves that came with John’s career as an Air Force pilot and meteorologist.Bill, who’d been dating a few women, “immediately dropped them.” They spent their first five years of marriage far from family.Two sons would come later, but those early years forced them to rely on each other, working as a team, “to make the foundation for our marriage a success through thick and thin,” says Anne.Even after decades together they carve out time as a couple, take an interest in each other’s passions and take steps to foster intimacy.What results is a relationship that is always changing, always growing.



Equally important is choosing (and, of course, being) a solid life partner: Reliable, responsible and honest are a good start.For starters, long-lasting couples adopt a commitment to “marital permanency,” says W.Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.It’s worth noting that couples who are college-educated and married in their late 20s to early 30s have a much lower divorce rate than the overall rate, which Pillemer puts at about 40 percent for first-time marriages, based on couples married in the 1980s.

But what are the specific behaviors that get couples through the decades?

That when they retired, both leapt into a quest to visit as many national parks as possible. Married 68 years When Anne met Bill on a blind date in 1944, both were students at Duke University and were, at least on the surface, “exact opposites,” says Anne Mc Donald, now 91.