People often ask the question – how long should you date before marriage?
But have you ever been in a position where your heart wants to wake up every day to your partner’s face? To the warmth of their breath? And to the smell of their body?
Your heart wants in the same skin as him if that was possible even though it has just been a few months since your first date.
You already want them to be your last; your forever and you want to put a ring on it.
Then your brain interrupts with the question “How Long Should you Date Before Marriage?”
The entire essence of dating is for the couple to get to know each other beyond surface level, and this is prime.
It is paramount to understand that there is no such thing as a normal period of time for couples intending to get married to date before walking down the aisle.
These are matters of the heart. And as I would always say, there is no manual or written handbook comprising the ‘must dos’ and ‘must not dos’.
When love, relationship, and marriage are referred to as matters of the heart, it doesn’t mean that you don’t implore your brain for thinking.
In fact, thinking with the brain is a necessity because tying the knot requires a high level of commitment. And this requires a high level of intentionality, and to be intentional, you need to think critically to know whether you are ready or not.
Deep down you know there is no curriculum containing areas you are expected to have covered before walking down the aisle.
But the question “How Long Should you Date Before Marriage?” Is on repeat on your head so you seek answers.
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How Long Should You Date Before Marriage
Here are stages you are supposed to have passed before thinking of marriage.
Every relationship starts with the feeling of attraction towards each other. Feelings of exciting, easiness and ecstasy happens a lot at this stage.
For this reason, this phase is also referred to as the honeymoon phase.
No particular time frame is attached to this stage, as such it can last up to 3 months, 6 months or 2 years even.
During this stage, the love birds are all over each, being all sweet, going on dates frequently and can’t stop thinking about each other.
It is surprising how this phase comes to an end as the initial attraction starts to wear off after being together for a while.
Once the attraction phase goes by, this phase kicks in.
During this phase, you start to realize that your partner is not as perfect as you had fantasized. You get real with each other, and see each other’s flaws.
As expected, differences are bound to exist between two individuals. You and your partner could vary in principles or habits.
But, at this stage, the differences between you both start to get obvious, which may come off as annoying.
It is at this stage that ‘see finish’ sets in. Nobody tries to impress the other again.
More and more disagreements will surface at. You might interprete it as your partner changing towards you whereas he/she is just getting comfortable with.
At this stage, couples tend talk about their future plans, dreams, and priorities so that they can get to know each other better.
The way couples manage conflicts is paramount to the success or failure of the relationship.
Commitment and Intentionality
Hormones like Oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin come into play to create the giddiness and excitement that clouds your thinking from the imperfections of your partner in the early stage of your relationship.
Once the getting real stage hits, your eyes are cleared and those imperfections become prominent.
The vividness of these imperfections and difference in life goals, plans, and core values calls for acceptance and decision to commit.
If a couple can accept each other for who they truly are and move past this stage, they can build a solid foundation and have a healthy relationship in the future.
After that comes the stage where you commit to each other and start seeing each other exclusively.
Your vision is no longer clouded by the butterflies you feel in your stomach, you become conscious of the future you want to build with them.
You see your partner’s strengths and weaknesses clearly.
You become intentional about your decision to commit to the relationship and make it work.
Read Also: What is True Love and How to Identify It
At this stage, the bond and connection between you and your partner grow deeper. You both get vulnerable with each other and your emotional intimacy flourishes.
It is at this stage that you are both free to express instead of impress. You can freely be your authentic self.
This is when they may feel ready to meet each other’s family and spend their vacations together.
It’s time to talk about real-life issues like if you both want children, how many children you want, how you’d cope financially if you both decide to get married, know about each other’s priorities, and see if your lifestyle choices align.
You and your significant other finally get on the same page and decide to make your relationship official.
You don’t mind being vulnerable and can share your thoughts, feelings, and shortcomings with each other without reservation and fear of being judged.
Whether you want to take things slow or dive right into the forever is the deal phase, these stages are essential.
This ensures you don’t feel certain; you are certain.
Because to get married, you need to have a resolved answer to the tiny voice in your head probing “How Long Should you Date Before Marriage?”
When it comes to the question of how long should you date before marriage, the most important part is that you’re confidently committed to one another.
Marriage is a big deal. If you’re deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone, it should be an informed decision.
To make the right choice, dating is necessary. It allows you to get to know your partner and understand them on a deeper level.
The above stages can be completed in a couple of months or more. It is there to help you gauge your readiness for the big commitment.