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Sex + Relationships

Why I Hate the Phrase “Date to Marry”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Now I know what you’re thinking. I must be the worst person in the world for not dating to marry, and I’m probably running around wasting everyone’s time. I promise that’s not the case when I say I don’t date to marry. 

What I actually mean is that when I go on a first date or even the first few dates with a guy, I don’t automatically start checking off boxes for them and trying to fit them into this mold of what a perfect husband should be. I try my hardest to just live in the moment and get to know them before I even attempt to decide if they’re good “husband material.”

I’ve heard in so many conversations surrounding dating that if you don’t date to marry, you shouldn’t date at all, and I just don’t think that’s true. I truly believe that our 20s are supposed to be about working on ourselves and figuring out who we are and what we like, rather than running around campus looking to get married. 

I absolutely understand that there are people who find the love of their life in college and get married after graduation. But for everyone else, there needs to be a more open and honest conversation about dating. 

Sometimes things don’t work out, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We should be able to go on bad dates and make mistakes without feeling the pressure of “dating to marry” and cutting someone out just because they don’t check one of the boxes.

College students should have more fun with dating and it should be more light hearted, as opposed to so serious and all about talks of the future. Of course there are instances where you’ll be in a long term relationship and those conversations will happen. But for others who don’t want to put that heavy emphasis on marriage, that shouldn’t be looked at as a negative thing. 

With all this being said, I can definitely see both sides of the argument because regardless of where you stand, everyone’s situation is different. When it comes to myself and my own experiences, telling boys that I “date to marry,” just isn’t a reality right now because that’s assuming I’m going into a date hoping I’m going to marry that person one day. 

My best advice around this conversation is to check in with yourself and know what you want and if that doesn’t align with other people’s expectations, there’s nothing wrong with that. Regardless of what others might say about dating in college, as long as you know your intentions and are smart about your decisions, there’s nothing wrong with not dating to marry.

Sophia Donis

Mizzou '23

I’m a Journalism major with a minor in Political Science from the Chicago suburbs! I love interior design, spending time with my friends and snuggling up with a good book!
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