It's the big question before The Big Question: how early into a relationship should you bring up marriage with your significant other?

A curious Reddit user took to the site last week to find out when other users first set foot in "marriage territory," asking: "Dear married couples of Reddit, when did the topic of marriage first come up in your relationship and how long before a proposal?"

Many of the responding users agreed that between three months and a year is when couples popped the pre-Question question, and relationship expert Dr. Tammy Nelson says that's about right. She told HuffPost Weddings:

"They say men know after the first couple of dates if the woman they are with is the right partner for life, while for women it takes almost six months of steady partnership to decide if this person is right for marriage. And yet both men and women start from almost the first date to check each other out on the subject."

Nelson said that broaching the marriage subject directly is different than "checking out the landscape."

"Asking questions about your date's home, where their parents live and what they want to be when they 'grow up' are all potential mating-for-life questions," Nelson said.

She also said that the three-month mark signifies a "grace period" where couples must decide to continue and become serious or to end the relationship. At this point, she said, most couple bring up marriage in some fashion.

"By the time you are in your mid-twenties you want to know if the person you are dating is appropriate for the long haul. If not, you will probably move on," she said.

It may take longer for some couples to touch on the topic.

"Once the year mark passes and no serious talk of marriage pops up, it's likely that one or both will feel frustrated and may wonder if this person is 'the one,'" Nelson said.

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