This is oft-given advice. On the surface it makes sense. But how does an 18-year old know who they would consider marrying? (I say 18 because I don’t believe someone younger than 18 should date.) How does a 21-year old know who they would consider marrying? Or a 25-year old?
I subscribe wholly to Dr. Henry Cloud’s stance that you don’t date to get married. You date to find out who you can marry. Dating is more about learning what you need and want and can trust. Dating is an activity to get to know someone, do something fun and with no pressure. Dating is a wonderful time to find out about other people and what they are like. As well as finding out about yourself with your weaknesses and strengths. I call this brave dating.
On this day I celebrate 18 years of marriage to John. If I was dating someone I would consider marrying, I would never have dated John. I had many good reasons–many. Yet I had this stance toward dating. Brave dating is finding out what your type is and who you are. After John snuck in an ask for a date I went on the date with this spirit of adventure and learning. What more can I learn about this guy? What more can I learn about myself? I learned a lot. John learned a lot. After a long friendship, I decided he was a guy I could marry. He so definitely was not that in the beginning! I’ll share that whole story here someday. I still find myself looking at him often and saying “how are we a match?” John just laughs wholeheartedly and says “I don’t know but we are.” We are.
If I had followed this oft-given advice, I would not be married to John. It sounds like such wise advice. But it’s not.
Dating is an adventure. Mostly an adventure in finding out about yourself. It takes some bravery. But the risk is so worth it. Happy anniversary to me!