It’s about time! People reports that Nick Lachey has finally popped the question to longtime girlfriend Vanessa Minnillo last week near a beach in California.  Nick Lachey took to Twitter to confirm the happy news.  He tweeted, “Hey all.  If anyone’s heard the rumors of my engagement, they are absolutely true!  Vanessa and I couldn’t be happier.  Thanks for all the love.”  Nick Lachey, 36, and Vanessa Minnillo, 29, have been dating since 2006 and the bride-to-be has been recently needling her beau about marriage.  Last year Vanessa Minnillo said, “Once again it looks as if I’m always the bridesmaid but never the bride.”  Sounds like Nick Lachey got the hint when he sealed the deal with an Asscher-cut diamond flanked with trapezoids from Bader & Garrin, according to a source.  This is Lachey’s second marriage, after divorcing from first wife Jessica Simpson in 2005.

How long should you date before getting married?

Cupid’s Advice:

It’s important not to rush marriage, but you also don’t want to wait too long, as Vanessa Minnillo will attest!  Cupid has some suggestions on what is the right amount of time to date before tying the knot:

1. Four seasons: While each couple is different, in general it’s good to know someone for about a year, or all four seasons, before you make a commitment.  It will give you a chance to get to know each other past the honeymoon period of the relationship.

2. Life experiences: Perhaps more important than the amount of time you’ve known each other are the experiences you have been through as a couple.  If you’ve met each other’s families, seen each other at your best and worst, and survived at least one major crisis together, you’re probably ready.

3. Love at first sight: Some may wonder, when you meet someone and immediately know that they’re “the one,” why wait to get married?  While the idea is romantic, your chances of longevity decrease the quicker you jump into marriage.  If you’re so sure you want to spend the rest of your life together, what difference will a few more months make?