Length of dating before marriage
If you’re divorced, or have ended a long-term relationship, well-meaning relatives and friends may encourage you to start dating again soon.But how will you know when you're ready for a new relationship?
Consider the number of variables involved in answering: Are there children involved?Do you still want to get back together with your ex? You see how all of these things can radically impact your decision as to when to get back out there? I couldn’t convince her to take me back, so I did what I do best – I went back online – literally MINUTES after I returned home from the teary breakup.And I don’t know the first thing about you or your individual circumstances. Now, in some respects, this made sense, in that I wasn’t going wallow in misery and think about what I did wrong or how I could fix things.After the first two summers, I began to play a game with myself.On the first night of the session, I made a mental note of which women I thought the most attractive and compared that list to one I made after the four weeks.Decades of radio counseling, personal experience, and public and private discussions about marriage prompt me to write this list of questions for anyone contemplating marriage. Is the person your best friend or at least becoming so? This is probably the single most overlooked question among couples, especially young ones. Many people cannot not answer this in the affirmative. Over time, friendship is the greatest bond between a couple. One of the most devastating ideas of the last generation was that needing or depending upon another person is a sign of weakness. The inability to need is a sign of weakness — you are afraid to relinquish power or afraid to be hurt. Nearly always, a woman who dates a man who meets the criteria listed here can grow to find him sexually attractive.
But if you cannot say that the person you are considering marrying has become or is becoming your best friend, you need to figure out why before you decide to marry. As great as the sex may be (and great sex certainly adds to a marriage), even Hugh Hefner spends the vast majority of time doing other things. This sounds trite, but enjoying each other may actually be the single most important characteristic of a happy marriage. Dating for marriage is not an interview for a platonic best friend.
Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that you can pull an unbelieving spouse closer to Jesus; what happens instead in marriages between believers and unbelievers is that the unbelieving spouse pulls the believing spouse further away from Jesus.
Realize that you can fall in love with anyone you happen to be attracted to, but that doesn’t mean that you should marry them. Disclose all of your financial information to the person you’re considering marrying, and expect full disclosure from him or her, too.
The names on the latter list were rarely on the first-night list.
Nevertheless, if there is insufficient physical attraction after all other criteria are met and time has passed, you may be in the tragic position of having to end a relationship with a great man or woman. Does the person have a number of good friends and at least one very close friend of the same sex?
Your own maturity level, and that of your spouse, will determine how well you all can work together in marriage and how likely you all will be to stick with your relationship or give up on it.