Yes; you need to date to find someone to marry, how else will you find the right person for you? However, if you are asking if you need to date with the end goal being marriage, then no you do not. Enjoy the journey and getting to know different people. Do not fixate on getting married because it might mean that you ignore red flags and put up with some questionable behaviour. Never settle for someone you are not completely in love with because we only live once, and we all deserve to be happy.

Whilst dating, you can learn a lot about life and different people will teach you things along the way. You might learn about the things they are into and they might inspire you. Or you could simply learn the type of person you do not want to date again! Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who meets their true love in high school and goes onto marry them. Or you could be like me, I was almost 33 when I met my husband. I was temporarily engaged before him, but I am so glad I didn’t settle as it wouldn’t have been fair on either of us. You should wait for that person who you are completely in love with.

It is fine to only date people who are wanting a serious relationship but don’t put too much emphasis on a big white wedding. You might end up rushing your greatest relationship by not letting things progress naturally. I knew my husband was the one for me, which is good because I was pregnant after four months! I was intent on getting engaged before the baby came and so, he proposed as I wanted but I wish I had taken the pressure off and let him do it in his own time. He would have done it regardless, but probably not quite so quick. I think it would have meant so much more to me on hindsight if it had been on his own terms. It wouldn’t have changed how committed we were. Almost five years on we have got married, have two beautiful girls and a third one on its way! Although I had to kiss a few frogs before I found my prince charming, I could not be happier! 😊

Reasons why its ok to date someone you are not going to marry

  • You might never actually want to get married, and that is absolutely fine. It isn’t for everyone. Some people think its more about money and property than being in love and committed to one person. My brother and his girlfriend have been together for 20 years and have children but never have wanted or felt the need to get married. Simply being married doesn’t change how committed someone is; you get people who are married that stray and other people who have never been married who have been faithful and happy together for decades.
  • Dating will teach you what is important to you in a partner. It will teach you about the type of person you want to be with and the kind of relationship you want. When I was in my late teens and early 20’s I wasn’t even thinking about getting married, and if I were, I never would have gone out with my boyfriend at the time. He had none of the qualities I now realise I needed in a partner, I simply just had fun with him. It is a learning experience. I wouldn’t have wanted to get married so young anyway.
  • If you get married young, its most probably more likely to end in divorce. If I had married either of my first two boyfriends there is absolutely no way we would be together now. When you’re so young you haven’t had the time to think about what it really is that you want and need in your partner.  I thought I was in love with both and I wasn’t. Of course, this isn’t to say everyone is like me. I have a friend who has been with her boyfriend since age was 11 years old and she is now 27! They are absolutely besotted with each other. So, it definitely can work. The issue with getting with your partner at a young age is that we change so much throughout our teens, twenties, and thirties and if you aren’t evolving together you are likely to grow apart.

There is no reason why your main intention to date must be to get married. Its like saying you can only make friends with someone if you intend being their friend for a lifetime. People change and grow, and they might find that the people they spend their time and associate with changes too. Your end goal doesn’t need to be full commitment. You might be young and the wisest thing to do is learn about yourself through your dating experience. Even if you are older, dating is great fun. It is enjoyable spending time with someone and getting to know them. Marriage really is not for everyone. According to the office for national statistics (ons.gov.uk), 42% of marriages end in divorce! And half of these will be before the tenth anniversary is reached.

Reasons to date other than marriage

  • To meet new people and enjoy spending time with them.
  • To find out about yourself and where you might need some self-improvement.
  • Dating will increase social confidence, enable you to have more consideration for others and improve your communication skills.
  • To establish an intimate relationship.
  • Dating provides companionship by finding the right mate.
  • To try new activities, eat at new restaurants, and go to new places that you might not have otherwise ventured to.
  • To have fun! 😊

If you are dating marry it is best to be upfront and honest from the start to avoid wasting your own time and the other persons. They might not be looking for any serious commitment, so it would save any potential heartache too. The only problem is that it could also scare someone away bringing up marriage on a first date. Some guys don’t even know they want to get married until they fall in love with the right person. My husband never wanted to get married, but he told his best friend after our third date that he was going to marry me.

Dating Ed:
Do you have to date to marry?

Yes and well… the problem with dating to marry you might feel like you have failed at the end of each relationship. So, when things don’t work out you will feel extremely disappointed. By putting this kind of emphasis and pressure on the relationship you may be increasing the likelihood of it failing. Essentially, I don’t think you will be helping your chances at all. Also, when it does end you might feel like you have totally wasted your time. But you really shouldn’t view it like that, remain positive and be mindful that every relationship affords you an opportunity to learn and grow as an individual. You should make sure you never settle or force a relationship to work because you don’t want to be back at square one. Marriages can be hard work to maintain, look at the divorce statistics above for proof! If the dating phase isn’t effortless and fun, then the relationship is unlikely to survive long term. My advice would be to not lose focus on the present moment, enjoy dating and all the fun you can have along the way!


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