The Average Lifespan of a Relationship [19+ Eye-Opening Stats]

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Romantic relationships are complicated. Some of them last forever, while some expire after reaching a certain point. Some relationships evolve and continue to an engagement and later marriage, while others just fizz out with a break-up.

Regardless of the fate of the relationship, many people have wondered about an average relationship length and whether or not their relationship falls under the term. Keep reading these astounding facts to learn more about relationships and how they can play out in different situations!

Average Relationship Length: Fascinating Facts

  • The average relationship lasts for 2 years and 9 months before coming to an end.
  • Social media plays an important role in the demise of relationships.
  • The younger the couple, the shorter the relationship – teenagers don’t tend to form lasting relationships. 
  • UK youths tend to fall in love for the first time at 18, the same age as experiencing their first heartbreak
  • Relationship facts reveal that friendship is the most common way to start a relationship. 
  • British people usually wait around 1 year and 8 months before they propose to their partner
  • The average marrying age in the UK is 29 for women and 31 for men
  • 89% of couples cohabit before walking down the aisle. 
  • Almost half of the dating population is open to long-distance relationships.
  • 17% of recently married couples met online. 

How Long Do Relationships Last?

Before diving into what differentiates successful relationships from unsuccessful ones, we need to look into relationship statistics on the length of relationships before they progress further – or before the relationship ends. 

#1 The average relationship lasts 2 years and 9 months

(Daily Mail)

The average long-term relationship ends after 2 years and 9 months regardless of whether the couple is married or not. Out of all those taken into consideration for this particular study, 24% were married, 41% lived together before their break-up, and 35% were living apart. It’s important to note that none of the couples had children

#2 The perfect time for getting engaged is 1 year and 8 months from the start of the relationship

(The Wedding Guide UK)

Relationship statistics for the UK show that the usual period for an engagement happens exactly 1 year, 8 months, and 3 days from the start of a relationship. Older generations are more eager to get engaged – 1 in 3 people over 65 expect to be engaged within the first year of meeting someone, while only 1 in 10 people under 35 want to be engaged within a year of dating

#3 The average time spent in a relationship before marriage is 4.9 years

(Metro)

The total average time spent in a relationship before walking down the aisle is 4.9 years. Couples usually move in together after about 17 months of dating, and the average time before an engagement in the UK is 22 months after living together. Couples nowadays are delaying marriage for an additional 20 months living as an engaged couple

#4 Older people get engaged sooner

(The Wedding Guide UK)

People over 65 don’t wait too long before saying ‘I do’ as the average period for senior engagements is 16 months after their first encounter. Younger people wait significantly longer – people under 24 years of age wait an average of 2 years and 2 months before getting hitched. 

#5 People are getting married later in life

(Mirror)

The average age to get engaged is moving up, with people marrying much later in life than ever before. The average age to get married for a British woman is 29, while for a British bloke it’s 31

#6 17% of all recently married couples met online, and they get married sooner than those who met in person

(Visually)

17% of UK couples that have gotten married recently met on the Internet. In most cases, they met on one of the numerous dating sites that are available to the UK population for free. These people are among the first ones to marry according to facts about relationships. They only wait for an average of 18.5 months before getting married, as opposed to the 42 months people who’ve met in the real world spend waiting to get hitched.

Relationship Milestones

There are defining moments in every person’s life, and the same goes for relationships. Although each relationship is unique in its own way, there’s an average period when these significant moments happen

#7 The average age for first love in the UK is 18 – the same as the average age for first heartbreak

(Independent)

The average age for a first boyfriend in the UK is 17, but people typically fall in love for the first time when they’re 18 by meeting their first serious boyfriend or girlfriend. Sadly, this is also the age when young people experience their first heartbreak. 18 is a tumultuous age!

#8 Couples say ‘I love you’ four or five months into the relationship

(Standard)

The average couple says ‘I love you’ in the first four or five months of the relationship. Dating facts show that couples go on their first holiday after dating for 10 months, and around this time may begin discussing the future

#9 People move in together after 10-15 months in a relationship

(Standard)

After spending 10 to 15 months in a relationship, people typically decide to start living together. People in the same house tend to get engaged sooner than those that don’t cohabit before marrying – a year and a half (18 months) from the beginning of the relationship. 

#10 Friendship is the most common way to start a relationship

(The Guardian)

More than half of all relationships (68%) begin as a friendship, with the average length of a friendship before it turns romantic being 22 months. Many people believe that this is the best way to find love, as opposed to meeting online or at a party

Age Is Just a Number… or Is It?

When it comes to love, people say that age is just a number. Our age influences every aspect of our lives, however, so let’s see how old someone is can affect a relationship. 

#11 Teenagers have difficulties forming long-term relationships

(Love to Know)

The average length of a relationship among teenagers between 12-14 is five months, which is not long at all. Teenagers are also most likely to be in on-again/off-again relationships. However, as the youth grow older, their relationships tend to get longer, as the average relationship among 15-18-year-olds lasts for 1.8 years

#12 People over 30 form longer-lasting relationships

(Love to Know)

Once people turn 30, they begin forming more committed relationships; once the relationship crosses the one-year mark, the probability of a break-up decreases. This is when people become comfortable with their partner, and the communication skills improve with age, so any problems are resolved more easily

#13 The majority of the young population (90.5%) in the UK is single

(ONS)

Relationship statistics for the UK reveal that 90.5% of the population aged 16-29 is single, meaning they have never been married or in a civil partnership. The percentage of single people is higher among the male population (92.9%), while the female population percentage is slightly lower (88%), indicating that women tend to marry younger than men

#14 Divorce rates are higher in couples with a large age-gap

(Irish Times)

The divorce rate in couples close in age is 3%, with the percentage jumping to 6% for couples that have a 20-year age gap. The bigger the age gap, the larger the possibility of a divorce, according to age gap relationship statistics. This is usually because couples with a significant age difference don’t have shared goals such as having children – an important aspect of every relationship, as confirmed by some facts about marriage!

You Might Want to Know

You might have a million questions when it comes to relationships, and we’re going to cover more here. Included in this section are cohabitation before marriage, long-distance relationships, reasons for a break-up, and how to recognise if a relationship is going to work!

#15 Majority of couples (89%) cohabit before getting married

(Metro)

89% of couples choose cohabitation over living alone – 83% have even stated that they don’t consider marriage a necessity! The average time to get engaged is also determined by both partners – 84% of women have stated that they had discussed marriage with their partner before getting engaged. 

#16 Almost half of the dating population is open to a long-distance relationship

(Refinery29)

A large number of people would be open to long-term relationships. 46% of women and 45% of men stated that they would be willing to have a long-distance relationship with the right person!

#17 60% of long-distance relationships stand the test of time

(Dating at a Distance)

More than half of all long-distance relationships last, with a problem occurring when partners move closer to each other! Long-distance relationship statistics show that 37% of couples end their relationships only 3 months after moving and closing the gap.

#18 6% of people in long-distance relationships have never met their partner in person

(Wales Online)

40% of the UK population said that they had a long-distance relationship at one point. However, what stands out is the fact that 6% of the population in a long-distance relationship has never met the person they’re in a relationship with!

#19 Social media plays a significant role in the demise of relationships

(Daily Mail)

The average length of a relationship before a breakup can often be determined by social media – 79% of people that ended their relationships were actively using social media, and 36% of them met their partners online. More than half of these people (54%) said that social media played a large role in the demise of the relationship, but they also listed social media as one of the most common ways of getting over someone

#20 There are five stages in every relationship – the third one is key 

(Lifehack)

The first stage is known as the infatuation stage or the honeymoon phase. In the second stage, people are connected and looking for long-term potential. The average length of a relationship is often determined in the third stage – oxytocin levels drop and you can see your partner for who they really are, according to facts explaining the miracle of love. The fourth and fifth stages are when people develop deep bonds and begin functioning as a team

Wrap Up

Relationships are complex and there is no strict definition of what it means to be in one. However, some statistics depict the current state of contemporary relationships, such as the average relationship length, engagement intervals, and success rates. You can compare your relationship to the stats and see whether or not you meet (or exceed) the average!

ABOUT AUTHOR

I've loved writing since I can remember, and back in high school, I started loving psychology as well. So I majored in it while dabbling in spirituality and yoga on the side.

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