7 Reasons Why Dating May Hurt Your Chances At Marriage

1. Dating is about checking each other out. Marriage is about accepting each other fully

Dating makes us skeptical by nature. It builds a habit of evaluating the other person based on their merits. You find yourself ask questions like, “Is this the best person for me?”, “How long should I put up with this?”, What’s going to be the easiest way to end this?” In many ways it’s a quest to see if their desirable qualities will outweigh their undesirable ones.

Besides, in dating you really only see the best 10% of each other. In marriage you have to learn how to fully accept the other 90%. (Side note: If the best 10% is already challenging, run for your life!)

2. Dating is about being happy. Marriage is about being committed.

As a result, when you are dating, anytime you are not happy the relationship comes into question. You say things like, “Maybe this isn’t working.”, “Maybe we should just take a break”, or “Maybe we should see other people.”  This is a mindset that prepares you for divorce, not determination to stick with it when it gets tough..

3. Strong attraction is the basis for dating. Strong friendship is the basis for marriage!

Every hear the saying, “Opposites attract”? Sometimes we are attracted to our worst nightmare. And once you start dating it is impossible to go back to being “just friends.” But, when you are good friends first, it is easy to move into a great marriage. If you build great friendships you may just end up marrying your best friend.

4. Dating invites immorality. Marriage protects intimacy.

Ask yourself, “Does dating encourage sexual immorality or help me avoid it?” In the Old Testament, the consequence for premarital sex was marriage with opportunity for divorce – ever! (Deut. 22:28-29). The goal should be to get to marriage as a virgin.

5. Sexual intimacy in dating breaks your heart. Sexual intimacy in marriage unites your hearts.

Continued broken intimacy on decreases your capacity for intimacy. Dating is like going to the store without any money – you either leave unsatisfied or take something that doesn’t belong to you.

Covenant commitment is the currency of intimacy – You can’t have one without the other. People who say they are committed in a dating relationship don’t understand the difference between commitment and exclusiveness.

6. Dating isn’t mentioned in the Bible, neither is courting. So you are on your own.

There is no wisdom that God give you for engaging in a purely secular, culturally engineered relationship. Our modern version of dating is simply marriage without the commitment

7. Dating cheapens your view of marriage.

Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

The real problem isn’t with our concept of dating; it is with our concept of marriage. We don’t hold marriage in high esteem any more. It’s a cheap relationship that can be discarded or upgraded as we feel like it. Dating puts marriage on the clearance rack in your heart.

6 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why Dating May Hurt Your Chances At Marriage

  1. Christians are still trying to trot out this tripe about courtship over dating? In all the years I had to listen to this garbage I saw more failed relationships and horrid manipulation than anything good come of it.

    A) People stay in or get into bad relationships because they think having feelings for someone means that they belong together (“I just KNOW God is telling me that we’re supposed to be together!”)

    B) It cripples peoples’ ability to act normal in early stages of attraction. While the church may think it’s cute for everyone to get married as soon as possible, few things are more of a turn-off than a woman asking you how serious you are about her after taking her to coffee twice. Most of the young men in your congregation are just as socially inept and they find that question totally normal.

    C) It alienates those who aren’t married. Preaching this message makes single people feel like they aren’t marriage material. And then this fosters the behavior in B, because every new single guy/girl that comes to church immediately has a target painted on them by anyone who is single, and everyone else works feverishly to match them up with someone. You’re breeding desperation.

    But hey, what do I know? I quit going to church a long time ago. Imagine my surprise when I discovered women who could act normally (ie; not ask if we were going to get married after hanging out for a couple weeks). And if things don’t work out, people can be adults about it and just walk away rather than cry a lot and quote a bunch of scripture to convince yourself you didn’t do anything wrong. By all means though, feel free to continue maiming yourselves with this nonsense.

    1. Kang, I completely understand your points and agree to some respect but I think you’re missing a valuable message here. First off, I think most people get into and stay in bad relationships because of their own insecurities. I happen to be a Christian who has made more bad decisions than I’m proud to mention and has spent most of my life disagreeing with Christians. I would invite you to take a second look at at numbers 2 and 5. George, who beyond being a pastor is extremely knowledgable about family and relationship counseling outside the walls of the church, with it without scripture, is completely right on these 2 things, as much as you don’t see eye to eye with him on the others. 2. Marriage is about commitment and I think our desire to have fun and leave at anytime does not grow us much in our quest for a long, meaningful relationship as much as we like to think it might while saying “experience is what’s made me who I am today.”. In #4, I really admire and respect George’s approach and wording here. That analogy is amazing and I think he’s dead on. I think the biggest issue here is what i refer ti as “meaningless sex”

      1. When George says dating “meaningless intimacy” is like going to the store with no money, he’s right on. As my wife says, “every time we give a piece of our heart away, we can’t give it back.” Eventually, we have tarnished our capacity for intimacy, not built it up as we like to imagine we have.

        Anyhow, I understand what you’re saying Kang, but don’t let the actions of certain people in the church hide the merit of some of the things being said here.


  2. You know, I started this reply fully planning to disagree with the arguments of the previous poster. (Kang) But I find that I don’t disagree with either of you. You’re both writing at least partially out of your experience.

    George, I loved this post as it resounds and rather eloquently frames much of what I’ve decided is true about relationships right now.

    However, I presume I can only understand your meaning because we have similar experiences. Unfortunately, you were so vague that others might not. You even forgot to mention what you consider to be dating. I’m sure you understand the danger of taking things out of context and the ammo vagueness gives to any who would.

    Kang, it sounds like you’re talking from your own bad experiences (or summarizing stories from “someone who knew a guy’s uncle’s brother’s friend.”) Yes, people can be vague, people can twist vague things, people can make generalizations and try to spread them as truth. If they’ve been hurt, they can do it with wreckless abandon just because it fights back against what hurt them. But while they are so bent on attacking what or who they think is an external manifestation of their own problem, their focus narrows so much that they don’t care about the collateral damage any more — the innocent bystanders who might trust them and take their words in their entirety as life advice because some little bit of what was said resounds with them.

    Kind of like what you just did, Kang, through your own vagueness because you were afraid to personalize your hurt. For example, “the church” thinks its cute for everyone to get married as soon as possible. What church does? The couple grandma’s at the one you went to? None I’ve been to encourage rushing into marriage. In fact most acknowledge the state of marriage and prevalence of divorce and teach how not to wind up in a bad marriage.

    I’d be willing to bet you don’t hang out with such a diverse age group as “the church” you went to on a regular basis any more. If you did, you’d know encouraging marriage is just the way some ‘helpful’ people are. They want to help everyone find someone to live happily ever after with. The difference being that in church, they generally want you to happily only ever have sex after you’ve been married to whom you’re with.

    Moral of the soliloquy, I don’t presently like the idea of even kissing a girl I’m dating because someone is going to get hurt (or married) after it’s been physical. Of course, most wouldn’t call that dating, they’d call it being friends. But neither you nor I have many friends who are girls where there wasn’t an attraction one direction or the other. I’m seeing if we’re alike enough to bother wondering about marriage.

    Will either of you disagree that getting to know someone is a good idea before even thinking about marriage? Or would either of you disagree that sex can create an artificial and immediate connection between people that hurts to break? Kang, before you disagree, think about the last girl you slept with and are no longer with. At least one of you was hurt by the breakup.

    The difference is I know what will make my wife wonderful can’t be discovered through making out or even a nice year of nights together. I’ve tried. What will make her my wonderful perfect partner is everything else we share. Our shared values, giving ourselves to each other, finding God’s call for Us Together and working together to serve Him. Not saying I’ll marry the first nice gal in the door or that I’ll do it without a fight. I’ve been hurt too. Just saying lets try to be precise in what we say so no one misunderstands and let’s try to be open to each other’s suggestions.

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