The Truth on “Dating to Marry”

What does the age-old saying “dating to marry” mean? Is it worth it? Should you do it? Is it right for you? Girl, lets talk. 

As young adults navigating through the dating scene, many of us girls have questioned these exact questions time and time again and with great reason. Dating, especially now in the digital age, has made it increasingly harder to recognize what true love is, looks like and feels like. But not to worry, with proper thought and intentionality, dating can become a little more simple.

Related: We Need to Talk About "Talking"

First, what is “dating to marry” anyway? In simple words, it’s a philosophy in which one reserves dating to pursue a lasting future with a significant other. Which makes absolute sense because when was the last time you saw a couple get married without dating each other beforehand outside of Vegas? Exactly. And how does that usually end up? Exactly. 

In theory, dating to marry sounds like a promising, great idea, but in the scene of casual hookups and f-buddies, once you say “I’m dating to marry” people act as they’ve just seen a ghost. 

The common misinterpretation is that once someone shares they’re dating to marry is that they’ll be clingy, start hearing wedding bells and expect a ring by the end of the week, but that’s far from the reality. Another aspect that people misunderstand, too, is that “dating to marry” insinuates those who are are in a rush to get married, which simply has no correlation to the principle. Dating to marry simply means using dating intentionally with the end goal in mind. It’s quality over quantity; and think of it, you never invest in something knowing that it’s going to fail later, you invest in something that’s valuable and could accrue over time, the same principle is present in dating to marry. Plus, who wants to date someone they wouldn’t want to marry? Dating to marry means asking: Does this person contribute to my growth? Do they possess the traits I require in love? And aside from their looks, am I attracted to them? Are they kind, caring, attentive? Etc. 

Related: How I Knew He Was the One 

But let’s face it, not everyone you date is going to end up being the one you marry. Be mindful that your dating this person, it could be possible that they’re not the one for you. Often times when talking about dating to marry we forget that dating is exactly that, dating. Meaning that things happen and if it doesn’t work out, and that’s okay! Dating is a tool made to be used in finding out what you like/don’t like, what you expect from a partner, etc. Sometimes the person you’re with is just better as a friend or simply serves the purpose of showing you a life lesson or two before they exit your life, and that’s okay! 

Dating is already hard and complicated enough to navigate, so why make it harder than it has to be? Be intentional and be present in your relationships. Kiss a couple of guys and try to find the (right) one. Use your time wisely but most importantly, use dating to find your perfect forever because it’s out there, you just got to find it, collegiettes.