Experts warn that rushing into marriage can lead to an early divorce -- but that doesn't matter to some couples, writes Deirdre Reynolds
In love, most couples wish they could press 'pause' on their relationship; out of it, some probably wish they could press 'rewind'.
But what about 'fast-forward'?
That's the nickname being given to today's high-speed romances such as that of Khloe Kardashian and basketball player husband Lamar Odom -- who married a month after meeting in 2009.
Forget the seven-year itch -- modern relationships are most likely to end after just three as people put off getting married but spend less time getting to know their partner when they do, according to a new study by parenting website Netmums.
If it's true, Khloe and Lamar could already be in the danger zone as they approach their third anniversary this September.
"I like to think divorce is not an option," Khloe (27) responded to rumours that her marriage is on the rocks after the couple put their reality show Khloe and Lamar on hold. "We just wanted a little pause."
In Ireland, the average age for women to get married has risen from 28 in 1996 to almost 32 in 2008. And the average age for giving birth is also up from 29 in 1991 to 31 -- or as high as 33 for married women -- in 2009.
Now experts have warned that the fast-forwarding of marriage and motherhood could result in quicker divorce too.
"Delayed motherhood has resulted in lots of women rushing to settle down," says relationship counsellor Caitriona Brady of Sandyford Wellness Centre.
"But often these whirlwind romances are unrealistic.
"When you're in the honeymoon phase of a relationship, you only present your 'best self' -- and it's only over time that you get to know each other, warts and all.
"However, I do think it's possible for a couple to 'click' immediately," adds psychotherapist Caitriona. "Whether you've been together two weeks or 20 years, the most important thing is to be upfront with each other about everything from sexual history to your expectations of marriage."
So can love at first sight turn into happily ever after? Three of Ireland's 'fast-forward' couples tell their stories.