There are many different opinions about the “right” way to date. Some people think you should only date if you see the potential for marriage, while others believe dating is just for fun and isn’t necessarily serious. If you’ve just started exploring what it means to date to marry and want to know if it’s right for you, read on!
What Does It Mean to Date to Marry?
Dating for marriage has everything to do with your intentions. Some people go on dates or have short-term relationships for the fun of it–they want someone to hang out with and aren’t interested in a long-term commitment. When you date to marry, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to marry every person you date. It means that your intention of dating them and getting to know them on a deeper level is to see if marriage is a possibility. People who date to marry don’t typically stay in a relationship if it won’t eventually lead to marriage.
How Do You Date to Marry?
On the surface, dating for marriage doesn’t look much different from dating in general. You’ll still go out to dinner with someone, maybe see a movie or have a picnic in the park. The two main differences are that you’ll only do these things with someone you’re genuinely interested in pursuing. And you’ll talk about deeper topics on the date to determine whether or not there is potential for a long-term relationship. Here are three tips for dating for marriage:
1. Make Sure You’re Ready for Marriage
Before you decide to date for marriage, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for marriage! Finding the right life partner requires you to know what you’re looking for in a relationship and be willing to pass on people who aren’t “The One.” When you date to marry, you’re going for quality over quantity, which often requires patience. Make sure you fully trust God to bring the right person into your life at the right time, even if it means experiencing your season of singleness a bit longer.
2. Stick to Your Dating Criteria
If you’re looking for a life-long partner, you likely have a mental (or physical) list of must-haves. For example, maybe you only want to marry someone who is a Christian. Maybe you’re only interested in people who want a large family. Maybe you’re looking for someone who shares the same values and political beliefs as you. Whatever is on your list, don’t deviate from it and only accept dates with people who check all the boxes. If you’re genuinely only interested in dating for marriage, there’s no reason to form deep feelings for someone who isn’t what you’re looking for in a spouse.
3. Be Intentional on First Dates
When you date for marriage, it is a very purposeful experience. Make the most of each moment to get to know the person on a deeper level. That way, you’ll know sooner rather than later if there is potential for a lifelong relationship. Being intentional means asking questions to learn what the person is looking for–are they also dating for marriage, or do they just want a short-term fling? Once you know, you can make the best decision about whether or not you’ll go on a second date.