The Rush to the Altar

What Couples Need to Consider Before Rushing to Get Married

Photo: Ian Waldie / Getty Images
Photo: Ian Waldie / Getty Images

After the 9/11 tragedy, judges and county clerks reported a noticeable increase in couples wanting to get married. This was especially true in locales near military bases. This is not something new. Take a look at the reasons couples quickly got married after the San Francisco 1906 earthquake.

Are You Past the Infatuation Phase?

When couples rush into marriage, are they past the infatuation phase of romance?

Are military couples rushing into marriage unprepared for the stress of long-term separation and uncertainty?

During the infatuation phase of a relationship, dopamine and norepinephrine are triggered in people's brains. They get butterflies in their stomach, they don't sleep well, they daydream more, and their appetite fluctuates from day to day. They are literally on a chemical high.

This is when the old saying about love being blind rings true. Belief in the fairy tale myth of living happily ever after is high.

We're not saying the hurried marriages of couples who quickly decided to get married are doomed to face divorce court some day. However, the odds are against them. The romance novels and movies showing quickie marriages often don't show the reality of a couple's life later in their journey together.

Questions to Consider

Ask yourself these questions before you rush to the alter:

  • Why do you really want to get married?
  • Do you want a long term relationship?
  • How much premarital education have the two of you experienced?
  • Do you see any value in this type of marriage preparation?
  • Have you thought about how you will handle a long-term separation from one another?
  • Is one of the reasons you are getting married financial?

Hopefully, most of the couples who get married sooner than they had planned are engaged couples with wedding dates previously set who decide they don't want to wait any longer to begin their life together.