It's never very long after you see two people holding hands on campus and BAM! they're engaged ... what is the average length of time? I think we have figured it to be three months.
(Mike and I were scolded (jokingly) for having taken so long.)
After that? mmm ... some get married the next month or wait at least till the end of final exams the following semester. Typically no longer than a four month engagement period, however.
The timetable of mate pursual at my church is very similar.
In contrast, as Jason suggests, this appears to be against the traditional length of courtship in both secular and (modern) Christian tradition.
Who says you have to wait two years?!
Jason, in the return commented ...
"... I used to consider love something we fall into, mostly about the magic and chemistry between a guy and a girl. But after my most recent relationship, when those feelings became worthless in one short break-up conversation, and my grandpa's words after Thanksgiving dinner, I'm starting to think of love in more practical terms. I can't help but notice that Sojourn people have pretty short dating/engagement periods before getting married. Why is that? How do two people become so sure of the most important decision of their lives? ..."
Priscilla responded ...
"My husband and I dated for 4 months then we got engaged and 4 months later we got married. Some of our friends were quite concerned.
"Here we are 14 and a half years later...with 3 kids, and a morgage to pay. Marriage is hard work. I still know that the Lord's hand was in our relationship. And it still is in our relationship. Our marriage is not always exciting...and I don't daydream about my husband all day (like I did during our engagement), but I am here with a hot meal for him when he comes home from work. I love him. I'm committed to him. We still stay up late talking. We understand each other so much better than we did that first year of marriage.
"Marriage is like a fine wine...it mellows, but improves over time..."
To which Jason replied,
"... I ... agree with the point that marriage needs to be centered around God and that definitely makes the difference. You know, there was a discussion about marriage on the Catholic Answers web site a while back and I was surprised at how many people there had very short dating/engagement periods before marriage who were married for 10, 15, 20 years. In fact, I didn't read a single account of anyone taking what I consider the more traditional route of dating for a couple years before engagement. Is that not as typical as I thought it was?"
My two cents:
"Perhaps, Jason, it has to do with intimacy and commitment. In their short time together, these couples have achieved a level of intimacy to which they know that they can commit the rest of their life to that person. Their time spent together is purposeful in getting to know the inner workings, desires, passions, standards, habits of the person. When you know that you are commited to this person, why draw it out? Why wait to be married? Do you know the person fully and completely? No. But like you implied about your grandparents ... commitment is hard work that lasts a lifetime. Divorce is NOT an option. You've made your choice and you will stick by it till you die. So ... why wait two years?"
It is not about having sex as soon as you can without feeling guilty.