Whatever name you decide to call it – courtship, dating, relationship, chilling, hanging out, whatever – it is a period when you’re supposed to spend time with your “romantically-affiliated partner” and get to know what makes him/her tick. Or not tick. You’re supposed to get to know each other, fight and make up, discuss your dreams, discover things you love and hate about them, compare them to what you want and ultimately need in a partner, and ask yourself truly if they could possibly be the one. You may not know this on the first date or after a month, but eventually, if you pay close enough attention, you will definitely know. And those things that you dislike/hate about them, are they deal breakers?
And that’s why I don’t understand why people date/court for months and years, discover that they’re partners are exactly what they don’t want, and then, make the decision to commit full time. Would you rent a car you hate and then proceed to purchase it? You probably won’t even commit to temporarily using a cell phone that you dislike. You probably are not willing to buy Advil instead of your favored Aleve. And you probably believe that there’s a distinct difference between Coke and Pepsi and you won’t swap one out for the other. Why then do you marry the person who is exactly what you have wished and hoped and prayed against?
Too many people are entering binding contracts with people that they have no business being with, and I guess that for me, it’s something I have never understood. When I was still dating, I used to break up so quickly once I smelled a rat. It was not that I did not like the person (well, one time I didn’t like the person), and it was not that I was heartless, and it was not that I was perfect, but I was just so stingy and selfish with myself, and I was so focused on not doing it wrong that any thing that smelled wrong was immediately gotten rid off. That’s what courtship is for: to weed out the no-nos, to find out if we have a future together. And if we don’t, that’s okay, no hard feelings, but I won’t waste your time, and I don’t want you to waste mine either.
For those who are reading this and still unmarried, consider yourselves blessed because you have not made the mistake that so many people are making. There’s never a good or welcome time to have marital problems, but it’s sad to see people my age, sometimes younger, barely married for 6 months to a year going through marital problems as if they have been through so much strife already. And the scariest part is that all the problems they experience during marriage were heavily present during courtship — which, in my opinion, completely defeats the entire purpose of dating.
By the way, I think there’s an element of madness to people who are incompatible, who know that they are incompatible, but who go ahead and get married anyway, and then act surprised when the marriage meets its inevitable demise or when they begin to literally live in bondage.
Please marry wisely. Whether or not you do, you are the only one who will enjoy the rewards or suffer the consequences. Good luck!