"Most marriage failures are courtship failures" -- PAUL H. LANDIS
And that's true. A good courtship makes a good marriage. But the problem is that some do not even know the purpose of courtship, and when to begin it.
Most courtships are no less than crushes -- an infatuated love for a favorite teacher, pop star or some other celeb. And this starts earlier in girls than in boys.
These daydreamers, however, end up sick and depressed. Because the truth is that they may never get to meet such one in person, all their life. Even when they do, there is little chance that the love they crave for such "idols" will be returned. In most cases those "idols" are not even aware of the "love."
So be real about your date. And this would involve asking yourself some personal questions that will help you to find out if you are not deceiving yourself. These questions are: How well do I really know this person? Am I blinded to his personal flaws? Is the person perfect? Have I fallen in love with an image? Would I ever get to meet this person in my life?
If the answers you get make you think that you are on the wrong road, put your automobile in the reverse, fast. Do things that will keep you busy. Stop romanticizing. Seek help from your parents, or friends.
Then someday, you will find the "real love", and your right date. But before you start seeing each other, you have to be warned of the dark side of dating.
The Dangers of Dating
Do not date for fun. Dating should start when you are ready for marriage. In fact it is part of the process of getting the right marriage mate.
Teenagers and others, who dated for the fun of it, have ended up committing sexual immorality before knowing it. It normally starts with holding hands, an innocent kiss, then fondling with intimate body parts, and finally, sex.
Then one day the relationship breaks up, leaving the couples to suffer the emotional trauma. Some end up in hospital beds, or psychiatric homes, some commit abortions while others commit suicide. Others live for life with a wounded conscience. Would you want that to happen to you? Of course not.
Dating itself is not wrong. But it is wrong to date for the wrong reason. The following questions will help you to have a successful courtship.
Why am I dating?
It is okay if you are dating with marriage in view. But it is wrong when you are just flirting around with a member of the opposite sex, just to get attention.
Would dating help me to grow emotionally?
Limiting yourself to a boy-girl relationship will hinder your social and emotional development. This will not help your maturity and prepare you to select a mate.
Do you want to hurt yourself?
If you pursue an unrealistic relationship, you will hurt yourself later. You may be disappointed by the other person. And it may take you some time to regain your composure.
What do my parents and others say about the relationship?
Your friends or parents may draw your attention to the dangers in your relationship. Would it not be wise for you to take a hard look at the facts, and pack it up? After all, they have affection for you, and your parents who are older and wiser, should know better.
Will I be able to keep my courtship honorable?
This means that your relationship should not cross from seeing each other, to having premarital sex. So if your date decides to call off the relationship, you would still have kept your chastity and moral integrity intact. The reverse is bad news.
The following are the rules of dating.
Do not date until you are old enough and ready to get married.
Do not date someone you don't love.
Keep your relationship chaste.
Do not go to your date alone. Have a chaperon by you.
Be properly dressed, and be on time when you visit your date.
Keep your visit informal and relaxed. Converse and listen well.
Try to know as much as possible about your date.
Do not dodge sensitive matters. Discuss them.
In your discussion, find out how you are to live. Ask questions like these: Where are we to live? How many children shall we have? What type of birth control method shall we use? What is your role in our marriage? What type of work shall we do? How are we going to save our money? Do you have any health problem? Did you live a promiscuous sex life? Can we do a medical check up? Do you owe money? What is your life or religious goal? And many more. . .
Spend time with your mate in recreation and working together. Do daily chores like shopping, cooking, cleaning, and washing -- practical things that will help you later in the marriage, and see how your mate fares.
Watch to see how your mate treats his parents and friends.
Observe him when in the company of other people.
Watch him unobserved.
Do not be hasty in your courtship. If there are flaws in the person you are dating or flaws in the relationship that you think you cannot live with; break it up.
But now, how do you know that you are ready for marriage?
"Those who are very young when they marry have three strikes against them." --PROFESSOR MARCIA LASSWELL.
Are you ready for marriage? Hold your answer until you know whether you are qualified to go into it. First, know that there is nothing like trial marriage. When God instituted the first marriage between our first parents, Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, he did not tell them to try it first, and dump it afterward. It was for life; and nothing would break it excerpt adultery, or perhaps death. (Genesis 2: 18, 23, 24; Matthew 19: 3 -- 9) So know that this union is for life, and that you will even go through "tribulations" in course of the marriage. -- 1 Corinthians 7: 28.
Now, how do you answer the following questions:
Do I have great expectations?
That is the first major problem. Because you are not going to see that Wonderland that you expected after the honeymoon. The scales will fall from your eyes. Consider these life experiences.
"We thought that we could come and go, do as we pleased, . . . but it isn't that way."
"Many teenagers get married to play house. . . . but that's not the way it is."
"After I got married I found out that the great thrill of sex wears off very soon and then we started having real problems."
So do not have great romantic expectations. Childhood marriages -- physical immaturity, may blur your vision and understanding of married life.
Am I ready for my roles?
Some people enter marriage without even knowing their roles in the family. The husband fails to provide material support, and the wife neglects her housekeeping role.
Married men are reported to be still hanging out late at night, drinking with friends, away from their wives. Even those who work hard to maintain the family are frustrated. "This is hard work," said one. "Will I ever get some relief?"
Can I solve money problems?
This is the greatest cause of marital problems. Some can not provide money to support the family, and where money is available, the problem is overspending. In the end, families have become heavily indebted, while others pack to live with their parents. In extreme cases, divorce becomes the solution.
Do I have a compatible mate?
Being compatible does not mean that you and your partner must agree on everything under the sun. Or that your mate should be able to play baseball since you are a baseball star. No.
But if you are miles apart on almost everything -- work, recreation, attitude, and beliefs, you should know that you are not equally matched.
Consider one woman who thought that her marriage must work because her partner was "so handsome, so strong, such a good athlete and very popular." Was she being realistic? No. She was dreaming of Shangri-La, or building castles in the air, as they say. The marriage collapsed!
Have I thoroughly examined myself?
So ask yourself if you are the type that can make vows and keep them. Ask if your goals in life will affect your marriage. Find out if you can support or manage a household. Check to see if you are mature to handle trials that will surface later in the marriage.
If your answers are positive, if you think that you have the physical, mental and spiritual maturity to go into marriage, then ask yourself this question; what are the keys to family happiness? Do you know them?
Now, let's see.
(EXCERPTED FROM THE BOOK, "SUCCESSFUL DATING AND MARRIAGE." THIS TEN-CHAPTER BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE. INTERESTED BUYERS SHOULD CONTACT THE AUTHOR.)
ARTHUR ZULU is an editor, book reviewer, playwright, and published author. He also writes short stories, scripts, essays, and poems.
For his works and FREE helps for writers, goto:
Web search: Arthur Zulu
About the Author
ARTHUR ZULU is an editor, book reviewer, playwright, and published author. He also writes short stories, scripts, essays, and poems.<
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