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Can All These Celebrity Couples Getting Engaged Quickly Stay Together? Here’s What an Expert Says

6 minute read

It’s been a summer of love in the land of celebrity.

First Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot to much ado at Windsor Castle in May — and since then, a number of high-profile couples announced their plans to wed. Between pop superstar Ariana Grande and comedian Pete Davidson, singer Justin Bieber and model Hailey Baldwin and former boy bander Nick Jonas and actress Priyanka Chopra, the star power of this season’s engagements is off the charts. Notably, each of these famous couples has put an (engagement) ring on it after only a brief dating period.

But as relationship counselor Rachel Sussman cautions in conversation with TIME, just because we’re seeing famous people say “Yes” to the proposal right away doesn’t mean it’s a trend non-celebrities should follow.

“What’s the hurry?” Sussman wants to know. “If you get engaged after four to six months, you don’t really know that person. You’ve never been through crisis together. You’ve never seen how one of you might behave during a difficult time in your life.”

In general, people are marrying later in life anyway, as statistics can attest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median marriage age for Americans went up in 2017 to 29.5 years for men and 27.4 years for women, the highest age on record. “We don’t live in the 1950s; you can live with someone and you can start a life together without being married,” Sussman says. “Shouldn’t marriage be something you can ease into?”

Below, learn more about each of the famous pairs choosing to tie the knot sooner rather than later — and why jumping on the engagement bandwagon may be not be the right fit for the rest of us.

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson

In perhaps one of the most surprising romantic twists of the summer, Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande announced their engagement mere weeks after rumors began to abound that they were, indeed, dating. The two appeared together first in May; by the end of the month, fans had noticed they were sporting matching tattoos. And by June, fans noticed Grande was wearing a diamond ring.

Since then, they have been nearly inseparable, appearing on the carpet together at the MTV Video Music Awards and speaking publicly of their relationship: Davidson has joked that he’s responsible for keeping the fridge stocked in Grande’s luxury apartment, while Grande titled a song on her new chart-topping album Sweetener after Davidson himself. We haven’t heard about wedding plans yet, but they’re still going strong if recent interviews are any evidence.

“I never thought I’d meet anyone like her,” Davidson said of Grande in a late-August Variety profile. “I can’t even put into words how great of a person she is. I could cry.”

That effusive praise, Sussman suggests, is more or less to be expected. “The first couple of months you’re dating someone new and you’re falling in love is a very special time, and you want to be with that person all the time,” she explains. But still, she warns against jumping into an engagement while you’re in the early honeymoon phase. “For a lot of people, being in a relationship and falling in love — it’s like a drug. They’re love addicts. They don’t have to deal with reality and they don’t have to deal with their real problems if they’re just falling for someone,” she says.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin

“Sorry” singer Bieber has had a number of famous girlfriends over the years — most notably his on-again off-again ex Selena Gomez, with whom he rekindled things just this spring — but when he and Baldwin reconnected over the summer, they decided to play for keeps. (Baldwin, the daughter of Stephen Baldwin, is a model.) According to early reports and photos of the two, the engagement happened in July while on vacation in the Bahamas, and they’ve been spotted consistently out and about together in New York ever since.

“My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first!” Bieber wrote in an Instagram post announcing the engagement. “You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anybody else.”

Bieber is 24, while Baldwin is 21 — and Sussman suggests that couples this young might want to consider waiting to walk down the aisle. “It’s hard to have a breakup, but having a divorce is even worse,” she notes. Plus, re-entering the dating scene as divorced — especially if you’re still in your 20s — is what Sussman says many potential partners would see as a “red flag.” For now, it seems Baldwin and Bieber are happy just being engaged; no reports have yet surfaced about concrete wedding plans. Sussman supports that: “Enjoy the period of being new. That first year to two years together should be such a blissful time.” No need to add the stress of wedding planning.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

Maybe Chopra, star of shows like Quantico, got wedding fever at her friend Meghan Markle’s May nuptials. Or maybe her association with Nick Jonas, of singing fame, started earlier. The pair surprised fans with news that they were dating, reports of which began surfacing in late spring. But it turns out there was history behind their relationship; the duo attended the 2017 Met Gala together, deciding to walk the carpet jointly as they were both dressed in the designer Ralph Lauren, PEOPLE reports.

By May, they were snapped going on dates; by June, Chopra had met Jonas’s family at a wedding, and Jonas had met Chopra’s family in India during a weeklong visit as well. Their engagement was confirmed in late July following Chopra’s 36th birthday in London. They’ve both shared loving tributes to each other on social media, although have not spoken out to the press about their plans.

One reason to move quickly towards a wedding is a desire to have a large family. While this may not be a factor for Chopra, the actor has previously expressed an interest in having kids. But Sussman suggests that there are certain tenets couples should work through together before they make it to the altar, from discussing religion to family planning to how to deal with change as you grow older together. “Let’s prove to each other that you can handle each other when the going gets tough. Because if you can, then the statistics show much greater likelihood that your marriage will last,” she notes.


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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com