Couples who rush into marriage really are more likely to split up

London: Couples who rush into marriage really are more likely to part ways, according to an academic study.

Researchers tracked the relationships of 168 couples over 14 years.

They found that those who had the shortest courtships were more likely to split up than those who had spent an extended period of time together before they married.

In the study, author Ted Huston, professor of human ecology at the University of Texas, concludes that ‘the central task of courtship is for the two partners to make a sound choice, to be drawn into marriage for reasons that will prove out over the long haul.

“One of the risks of courtship is captured in Johnny Mercer’s song Fools Rush In, wherein lovers put their hearts above their heads.”

Huston said the seeds of divorce could often be detected from the beginning of a relationship.

“The courtships and marriages that are successful are the “best friend” ones, the ones that are slow and steady and unfold over time,” a news daily quoted Huston as saying.

“Positive feelings such as trust and respect emerge and the whole thing mirrors the evolution of any other kind of good relationship in life,” Huston added.

Huston advises couples to ‘enter marriage with eyes open to the strengths and weaknesses of one another and the relationship’.

The study has been published in the US journal Personal Relationships.