This was the topic of discussion this morning with my younger sister as we were getting ready for work. Her close friend/colleague is finally getting married to her hearthrob after dating him for NINE years!(he eventually popped the question) We were both happy for her and excited that the marriage will eventually take place. But NINE years!!!! With no commitment! Not even an introduction between both families. The bride-to-be doesn't even know her father-in-law yet. Haba!!! Pardon me, i may be a little old-skool and not an average 21st century babe but NINE years!!!! I'd have been very understanding if he's reluctant cos of financial constraint or she's still in school. That's not so in this case, she graduated over 5 years ago and he has a very lucrative business. Now enough of my busy-body '"tatafo" gossip and back to the main gist. How long should a couple date before he pops the question?
Reading some literature in the past, studies have shown that the average human can have a feeling of intense chemistry that lasts for approximately 18months and 4 years. The well known love-related chemical phenylethylamine-PEA ( also dopamine and norepinephrine) is actually what is responsible for mad passionate "lovey dovey" feeling. That feeling of instant chemistry, always wanting to be his/her company, the feeling of your heart skipping a beat when they walk by. Sadly that fades (maximum 4 years).
In romance novels it ends with happily ever; in the real world that's when your eyes gets literally open. Open to ALL the flaws. That's when you begin to see the long sexy nose as been very ugly and gosh how did you cope with all those funny habits all the while. At this stage the relationship is based on the attachment, friendship and companionship.This does no mean that love fades, it just means that the initial excitement withers a little.
Now if it is difficult or impossible for him to care for you strongly enough to insinuate that he wants to spend his whole life with you when he is all high on neurotransmitters and adrenaline, what's the assurance that he'll develop those feelings later. Like my friend Emma always says: "A man will know if he can marry you after a spending some hours in your company".