Racing to the Altar: Why Are People Marrying So Shortly After Meeting?

June 1, 2011  |  

When it’s true love, do you really just know?  Celebrities seem to think so and couples like Keyshia Cole and Boobie Gibson, Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom and Monica and Shannon Brown all have the short courtships to prove it.  While some think falling in love and getting engaged in less than a year is an act of fate, I’m willing to bet that for most it’s more like a natural disaster.

As I write this I know I will get a comment section full of stories that are a little something like this: “Me and my husband only knew each other for a month before we got married and we’ve been married for ten years.”  It’s not that I don’t believe that people can legitimately stay in love after rushing into a lifelong commitment; I just believe that it’s the exception, not the rule.  While unions that result from short courtships CAN be successful,   I wouldn’t go shelling out relationship advice for women to marry who they feel is “the one” after only 2 months of dating.

It’s easy to want to go running down to the altar when you first meet someone who whispers sweet nothings in your ear and gives you more butterflies  than a Mariah Carey album, but what about when you find out that same man has a tattered past of drug or alcohol addiction that may prove to be an issue in your relationship?  While you may be able to accept a not so blemish-free past, the point is that certain subjects aren’t exactly first date material and it can be difficult to really know what you’re signing up for in a short period of time.

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  • Nala

    I know this is dated but I just stumbled upon it; I definitely agree with you, Toya! My husband and I courted for a few years before we married. I cannot understand what prompts a woman to even consider marrying a man within the first month of dating/courting. As women, we owe it to ourselves to treat our hearts, as well as our bodies with care. I say bodies because not everyone is a virgin or celibate; women meet a guy and give up the goods without even considering whether or not he is someone they want to be tied to for the rest of their lives. I digress though. I have friends that commit to marriage within the first month of dating a man. What do you possibly know about the guy that makes you think that he is that worthy?! I have to stop… I’m getting annoyed just thinking about all the misinformed women out there.

    • RahRah

      Nala I completely agree with you. This really annoys me to no end. Hat prompts a woman to crown mr. Right now king when she’s only known him for a month. Beats the hell out of me.

  • ann

    i was dating a cheater for 7years and one day i met this good man and dump the loser start dating the wonderful man 1year later we got married and had 2 kids been married for 5 years now beatiful thing

  • Telly

    I agree…. Monica was with the same man for 10 years (her childrens father) he was still out there cheating and they had been engaged for years. Time is a factor but its not everything.

    • DH1

      Exactly. Monica had been through enough, between C-Murder, the guy who committed suicide, and Rosco. She basically deserved to quickly find a good man to love and love her in return. I hope that Monica and Shannon have a long term, wonderful, loving, God filled marriage.


    This is an interesting topic. I think the age and stage of life makes a huge difference in the decision. My parents married 12 years ago, after a courtship of only 7 months they became engaged and married (big!) in about 5 months after that. The game changer here was the fact that both had been married before, 25 years and 20 years respectively–they were both single, independent with fully grown and independent children (total 5 between them). My parents were in there early/mid-50s. They did not feel the need for a long courtship–they knew what they wanted and had enough life experience to make judgements about character and tempermanet. Also, their respective financial lives were in order. Their advice: If a man doesn't propose within 2-years time, he's not ready. Men shop for partners like they shop for cars–they know what they want!

  • Darkesthourglass

    It’s funny. Some couples get married and stay married after only dating for a month. Some couples date for 6 years, get married and divore a year or so later. I guess it depends on the work you put into making the marriage last, how well you know each other and good communication. MN’s next article should be about married couples who split after dating 5+ years. Your welcome.

  • Jennie

    Real talk, if my husband had proposed 3 months after dating I would have accepted. I was THAT sure that he was the man I wanted to marry.
    His parents met, were engaged 2 weeks later, and married 2 weeks after that. They have been together for almost 32 years.
    Length of courtship may be a factor, but it isn't the only factor or the most important factor. I know couples that dated for 6 years and spend the entire time cheating on each other. If people don't spend the time (no matter how brief or long) getting to know their partner or deciding what they want out of the relationship, the union won't work.

  • Dimples

    It does happen. My parents met each other on a bus, dated for no more than 6 months and were married for over 50 years until the death of my dad . . . 54 years and 7 children! You are taking a risk but there are married couples who dated for years and married and are divorced. So even when you think you know someone you really don't. It's a risk.

  • homie

    I totally agree with this, whether people want to accept it or not the world treats you different if your not married.Total strangers have asked why such a pretty girl isn't married? I always tell them you tell me. If I was married getting my but kicked I would be accepted by society. Any dummy can get married. Won't hold my breath for mr. right

  • readmorebooks

    When we were 20 and 21 yrs old respectively my husband and I met, married, and were pregnant with our only child exactly six weeks from the day we met. We celebrated our 8 year anniversary in March. Sometimes it works.

  • kayla

    it rarely works, if the two people known each other for a short period of time.

  • Jessica

    Can we also ask a real question : Why do women continue to breed with athletes?
    They have the worst track record. Danger, Will Robinson, danger!!

  • Rico

    i have to know somebody for a long time…b4 jumping into marriage..:/..
    …my girl & I going on vacation…air line gave away $1000 Gift card for anywhere in world..just for giving them our puttin the fam on it..

  • Islandgal

    I don't know if I could marry a man after a short courtship. Next thing I find out that he's a woman beater, into kinky sex, or some such thing.

  • faebae

    maybe it works for some people… im old fashion. let me get to know you first….then a down the line marry. but hey celebs have the money to get married 6 billion times so let em. their life their choice.

  • correctionfreak

    Wondering why you have Keisha Cole and Boobie's picture on this commentary? They dated over 2 years before they got married, you would have better response if you put Lamar and Khloe or Monica and her man…..(justsayingeezzz).

    • They were together long enough to have a child before getting married.