Many people struggle with determining the right time to get married. This is a critical decision that affects many aspects of life. Here I share my insights on how long one should date before getting married.

There is no specific timeline for when you should get married. While some people might get married after a short period of dating, others might take longer before tying the knot. Therefore, it is not about the timeline, but rather doing it right.

Passing Checkpoints and Markers

There are various checkpoints and markers that you need to pass through to maximize the odds of having a healthy and lasting relationship. Dr. John Van Epp, in his book, “How to Avoid Falling in Love With a Jerk,” explains these steps. The checkpoints include knowing, trusting, relying, committing, and touching. These are the phases that you pass through in a relationship. It is essential to know that these phases go together simultaneously, and you should aim for a downward slope. In other words, you should know somebody more than you trust them, trust them more than you rely on them, rely on them more than you’re committed, and commit more than you touch. Over time these will all rise together.

To really get to know somebody, you need three things: talk, togetherness, and time. Talk involves honest conversations that allow one to get to know each other, being vulnerable and real, and letting the walls down. Togetherness is time spent in the same geographical space. It is essential to spend time together to understand how the other person interacts with friends and family and how they behave in different circumstances. Time is also critical. The bare minimum to truly know somebody is 90 days, as most people put their best foot forward for at least this long and don’t show you their ugly sides..

The Danger of Rushed Courtships

While some people get married after a short period of dating and end up happily married, that is is often a roll of the dice. Rushed courtships often come at the cost of not knowing each other well. In such instances, one can fall in love with a facade or a version of their partner that is not real. It is far better to lose someone than to have them fall in love with a version of you that is not authentic, or for you to do the same with them. 

To sum it up, there is no specific timeline for how long someone should date before getting married. However, there are important markers that need to be met before entering into a committed relationship. Talk, togetherness, and time are necessary for truly getting to know someone. Trust, relying on each other, and commitment should come before intense physical involvement. It’s also important to pay attention to red flags and warning signs in a relationship, and holding off on sexual intimacy until you actually know, trust, rely, and can commit to a person allows you to see that more clearly. By following these guidelines, individuals can maximize the odds of having a healthy and lasting relationship.

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