I think within 6 months of steadily dating the same person, you ought to know whether you are compatible, can compromise equally with each other, feel there's a balance in the relationship, aren't hoping for miracles (your partner is not going to change, you take and accept the faults as well as the good stuff). And whether you two want the same things--marriage, kids, a long companionable relationship, have some (not all) of the same interests, like each other's friends, can deal civilly with each other's families. No money issues. No religious issues. No political issues. Etc. And within about 6 months, you ought to know whether YOU want to marry that person. Not everyone wants to be married but may want to spend the rest of their life with that one person--and if the other agrees with it so be it. Marriage isn't for everyone. If you want kids but your partner doesn't, that's something to consider. If you want to buy a house but your partner never wants to own something like that. If your partner can't seem to even talk about a long-term relationship, can't voice a long-term commitment to you, then you have to seriously think about whether you can stay with that person. And certainly if you and/or your partner cannot face each other and honestly talk about things--problems or not--after being together 6 months or more, then you are not communicating which is not a good thing and why so many marriages fall apart. "Tying the knot" per se is not the big goal. Coming to trust and rely and be able to get a mature, adult discussion about your lives is.