Dating for Longer will Help You Stay Married Longer

the groom presents a bride's bouquet
Wedding bouquet

While whirlwind romances and fairytale weddings work perfectly in books in movies and end in “happily ever afters,” the truth is that relationships work very differently in real life. In fact, there have been a number of studies done on dating and marriage which have proven that couples who date for longer periods of time have a much better chance at a long and healthy marriage. There are a number of reasons for this, several of which will be discussed in this article.

Compatibility and Compromises

It is a well known fact that people who are more compatible are more likely to stay together for the long run. However, really getting to know a person takes a lot of time. Most experts agree that it takes at least six months to really start to get to know another person, especially in romantic relationships where people tend to hide their bad habits and negative personality traits in the early months to impress the other person.

However, as you spend more time with a person, you both become more comfortable with each other and reveal more of your personality. This will help you see more of a person, especially those things that they were hiding at the beginning. When you spend more time understanding everything about a person, you can make a much better decision as to whether you want to spend the rest of your life with them.

Making Compromises

Compromises can be hard to make, but they’re a necessary part of a healthy relationship and a marriage. As you get to know a person better over time, you will learn the things about them that are undesirable. People that enter into a marriage too quickly may find that there are compromises that have to be made that they are not willing to make.

Some things that may seem like a big deal early in a relationship may not be as big of a deal later on, while other things that start out small may suddenly become a big deal as things get more serious. A guy who leaves the toilet seat up may be a minor annoyance to her now, but it could become a huge source of frustration later on. When you take more time to date a person before marrying them, you can better prepare yourself to live with these habits, or begin to stress the importance of changing these habits to your partner.

Change Happens Over Time

People are always changing for better or for worse. Whirlwind romances that end with two people being married who don’t really know each other well do not take into account the changes that a person goes through over time. However, when you spend months or years getting to know a person, then you will see them changing over time, and you can decide if you like the way they are changing or if you believe that they are changing in a way that will drive you apart over time.

Emotional Baggage

Everyone carries around baggage from past relationships and hurts. Sometimes, family issues that began as children will suddenly come up again as adults. Stress in the workplace can spill into personal lives and cause emotional damage. Whatever the cause, this emotional baggage can cause serious damage to relationships if it is not properly dealt with.

There are two reasons time is important in getting through emotional baggage. First of all, it takes time for a person to open up and be honest about the personal baggage they have. They may not even realize they have emotional baggage until they suddenly find themselves upset over something that was seemingly a small issue. Secondly, once this emotional baggage is discovered, it must be dealt with.

Dealing with emotional baggage looks differently for every person, and varies greatly depending on the origin of the baggage. Sometimes, professional help should be sought in cases where there was severe emotional or physical abuse that occurred. Although people often shy away at the prospect of seeking professional help, it can be extremely beneficially personally and relationally.

Love or Lust?

Many people may not realize that there is a difference between love and lust, but the fact is, there is a big difference and it will make or break your relationship. Lust is simply a physical attraction to another person whereas love is a much deeper emotional connection. Lust is something that will fade quickly in a relationship where there is no emotional bond, especially when the initial flame goes out.

The problem with lust is that it usually feels a lot like love, which is why it’s important to take the time to really get to know the other person on a deeper emotional level, rather than just on a physical level. Often times, when it’s just lust, you’ll know because of the way it fades out over time. Love, on the other hand, will get stronger over time, and you’ll want to stay with them even if times get hard.

How Long to Date

There is no set number of months or years that you should date before getting married. The truth is that it’s going to be different for each couple. However, it is recommended that a couple date for at least two years before getting engaged. While this may seem like a long time to a couple that has just started dating, if your partner is really worth it, you’ll invest the time in your dating relationship so that it will pay off in your future marriage.

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1 Comment

  • Andrea Robinson says:

    This is an awesome article with a lot of great points. First of all, people do change. And if you’re with them for awhile, you’ll see the general direction of the changes, and that will put you in a better frame of mind to decide if you’re also changing in the same way. I’ve known couples that made major changes together, such as both changing political parties together or changing religions together. I always wondered how they pulled it off, because most people can’t make major religious or ideological changes and expect the spouse to go along with it. Now I know that because they were really on the same wavelength for years prior to these major changes, they were both changing in similar ways as their love grew and the years passed by.

    This article deserves a re-read, because it’s chock full of great information. Thanks so much!

    🙂

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