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But the poll suggests it may be difficult to meet a woman's romantic expectations, as 43 per cent of those who do get the proposal within three years wish it had been more romantic and 42 per cent told their partners so.
And if their partner hasn't agreed to marry before the self-imposed deadline, more than 75 per cent would end the relationship.
He states in his study that happily married couples dated for approximately 25 months before getting married. Couples who were unhappily married soon after they said “I do” and quickly divorced more often married at or after three years.
Couples who fell fast in love were engaged after nine months, and married after 18 months.
Whirlwind romances may not be to everyone's taste, but it seems boyfriends who are approaching their third "anniversary" are overdue for the ultimate romantic gesture.
The average couple gets engaged two years, 11 months and eight days after first setting eyes on each other, according to research.
The study also looked at couples who were quicker to get married.