While a person wonders whether to get married or continue to date, questions about the pros and cons of either option will likely arise. Dating provides the opportunity to build a secure foundation before entering into the marriage commitment, but also offers less stability in relationships. Dating involves the process of going out with an individual for the pleasure of their company and shared interests. It is also commonly referred to as “courting” or “going out”. Marriage, on the other hand, is a legally binding commitment to one individual with which there is an intimate bond which matures over time. Marriage lowers depression risk, but also may result in financial constraints, especially if a couple marries at a very young age. Marriage is usually a progression from dating. Both types of relationships can be fulfilling for those involved yet still have their separate advantages and disadvantages which are linked to physical, mental and financial well-being.
I dated my husband for 6 years before we got married. I think there were several pros to this but we were that couple that did everything backwards. Moved in, had a child, rented a new home, bought a car and THEN got married! It seems like the new norm doing things backwards but to be totally honest, I think it actually helped build our foundation for a strong relationship. We learned so much about each other in the beginning especially when we moved in together.
I think doing this early on in a relationship helps you figure out if it will work. I had to adjust to him having an 8 year old daughter as his attention had to be split between two people now. I had never dated someone with a child before so I was not sure how to act. It was an adjustment for all of us. He was the clean freak and I was the go-with-the-flow type. I could sleep in and he wanted to be up when the sun was coming up. I don’t know if this had anything to do with our age gap (7 years) but it was something we had to adjust to. As time went on, we starting turning into each other. Now, every Saturday morning I am the cleaning police in our house and he likes to chill on the couch drinking his coffee. BUT, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
My how things change between dating and marriage.
It was all lovey dovey and hugs and kisses in the beginning. We were inseparable and life of the party everywhere we went. We had our fights and actually separated for awhile after I had our son. I know this was partly due to our age difference and maturity levels. So funny thinking back to how we acted in the beginning and how we act today. We got married last March and we are completely different from 6 years ago. Trust me, we still have our fights/arguments and we might still be the life of the party when we actually go out but our relationship could not be stronger. Our kids take up most of our time and attention but we make sure to do date night once a month. Spending time together without kids is crucial to a marriage.
Here are a few examples of how things have changed for us:
Dating: Taking shots all night
Marriage: Taking shots of Benadryl
Dating: Bar Hopping
Marriage: Sam’s Club!
Dating: Keeping all your money to yourself
Marriage: “He will know if I buy that… I shouldnt”
Dating: Cut-off shorts & cleavage
Marriage: Mom jeans & oversized t’s
Dating: Talking on the phone for hours.
Marriage: “Why are you calling me?”
Dating: Comedy Clubs
Marriage: Elmo “Live”
Marriage: Why are you touching me?
Dating: Shaving daily.
Marriage: I belong in the forest!
Dating: Meeting friends after work
Marriage: Rushing home to cook, clean, go to bed
Marriage: “How can you forget our anniversary?”
Dating: Sexy talk
Marriage: “Why are you whispering?”
You can probably relate to at least one of these.
Being in the dating world today, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have been out of the dating scene for awhile but it seems to be harder to meet people than it used to be. Everyone has settled with meeting people online or through dating apps. I have nothing against these but I going places and physically putting yourself out there is important. I love hearing all about other people’s love stories. Finding love is not the easiest thing but once you have it, there is more work to be done.
I have always been one to take advice from others when it comes to relationships. Here are 10 pointers that I have always kept in the back of my head that I think are truly helpful.
10 Helpful Relationship Pointers:
1. Don’t let the other person change you. Always be true to who you are. God made you the way you are for a reason.
2. Build a genuine friendship…one in which you can always be yourself. Hopefully, you’ll be marrying your best friend when you say “I do.”
3. Don’t forget about those who have always been in your life through the good and bad times. They still exist.
4. Get to know their family and friends. You’ll need to know the people who have the greatest impact in their lives – besides you! This will probably give you something to pray for. Not sure if you have heard this before but when you marry someone, you are marrying their entire family.
5. Don’t allow the other person to isolate you.
6. Make sure that you continue to improve yourself. Do not stop pursuing your personal ambitions because in the long run, they will benefit the both of you.
7. Don’t start skipping things you love doing: running, shopping, seeing a movie, going to church and of course hanging with your friends.
8. Start setting goals together. This is a perfect time to begin to develop teamwork.
9. Make sure you never neglect or take your mate for granted. Remember, nothing just happens. Neglect begins subtly and over time, can be devastating to your relationship. Make a point to show your appreciation on a regular basis and don’t let your responsibilities negate the importance of spending time with the one you care about.
10. Be patient. He/She is not perfect, and neither are you. If you see something that raises an eyebrow, take note but don’t put on your track shoes.
And of course my favorite…. Don’t quit!!
Thanks for following my blog and I hope you loved reading these 🙂
Has dating and marriage changed for you? What advise do you always follow when it comes to relationships?