I have been professionally working with couples for several years and felt that this blog may be insightful to those in the dating stage contemplating marriage as well as to couples struggling in their marriage. I will be highlighting what typically happens during the dating versus marital journey.
Why do men and women (adolescent-latent adulthood) date? The sole purpose of dating, from a Christian perspective, is to find the ‘best suited’ partner to marry as God had intended for Adam and Eve. “So, God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 26-28 God’s purpose of creating man and woman was for companionship and procreation.
However, from secular perspectives, dating can be viewed as finding a partner to enjoy time together and when challenges arise, it is likely time to seek out another partner. With on-line dating apps, it is evident that the outlook on dating and priorities have certainly changed. Despite the changes that we have witnessed, it is evident that the similarities and differences between dating and marriage remain similar in nature.
Excitement of getting to know each other
Spending quality time and laughing together
Planning and scheduling events/dates
Traveling together with new experiences
Having conversations about future goals and life dreams
Admiration towards differences
Date nights are difficult to schedule due to work schedules
Challenges with differences of each other’s personality traits
Conversations look more like arguments or disagreements
External stressors cause marital discord
The bullet points highlighted above is the natural transition between dating and marriage. However, not all marriages experiences significant challenges, but those that do find marriage counseling beneficial to get them back on the ‘dating’ track. Generally speaking, when a couple transitions away from dating and into the marriage phase, they focus on their goals and what steps to take to accomplish their goals (house, children, financial security, spiritual growth, familial obligations, etc). All of these responsibilities