We all heard the phrases, “In due time,” “Give it some time,” and “Don’t rush,” when it comes to relationships, dating, and marriage. Then on the flip side there is the phrase, “Experience is the best teacher.” These each come from people who have gone through certain things in their lives or have done a certain milestone and because it worked for them, they advise others to follow or at least take things into consideration because it worked for them, so it will work for you too.
BUT we all know that everyone’s journey is different because God made each of us unique. I heard a pastor state in a recent sermon about each of us being uniquely made, so because this is true why do people want others to or think that others should take certain things into consideration? Sometimes it’s just because they care and they want the best, but going back to a previous article on the site, they don’t understand what they haven’t experienced or if the experience is different from theirs.
This leads to the topic of discussion for this article, is there a time-stamp to marriage? No. Is there a time-stamp to the length of time you should date to the time that you get married? No. The one thing that is funny is that back in the day when people would date for shorter period of times before getting married and it was considered normal, fast forward to years later, it is now considered taboo to a certain generation. But why? Why do people feel you need to date for several years before getting married? Nowadays, especially for millennials over the age of 25 who have already accomplished a few milestones in their lives, the average time period is 1 year of dating before marriage. Once couples get to that year, some will marry within 6 months, some within a year (the usual planning stage), and some may take 2 years (while in the engagement stage). So to answer the above question, here are a few answers to that why.
- They met their spouse at a very young age (under the age of 25). When you meet the love of your life at a young age, you will typically date lounger because of the time frame that you in your life. When you’re under 25 and in love, marriage is so far from your mind, for most. Between the ages of 18 to 25, you’re trying to finish college, going into post-graduate studies, jump starting your career, and finding your passion and purpose in life. During these years you don’t know where your life may take you so you marrying young isn’t an option because you and your significant other may decide to part ways because one of you may move across the country or interests just change. For those that are blessed to stay with their true love during these stages of life, 10 years can easily pass by to where now you are 28-30 years old and satisfied with where you are personally and individually that now you are ready to jump the broom.
- The relationship started off on a long distance status. Long distance relationships are difficult, especially when you’re young. This is another factor to prolonging marriage. Yes you know you want to marry your significant other but you’d rather wait until you guys can be in the same state until you make that commitment. It’s hard to just up and leave your home to go to another home where you will have to start over with a new job, new friends, etc. All you would know is your spouse and that’s a scary thought for many. This process can take years until a final decision is made.
- Test driving before purchase. And of course sex prolongs marriage, as well co-habitation. When you get the milk for free without buying the cow, it is very easy to have a relationship that goes on for 2, 3, 4, 5, and more years. In your mind you’re like well, “I’m already getting everything without the ring or without having to propose to her, so why get married? Is marriage even an option even more?”
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- EVERYONE’s journey is different.
- The older you get the more you know when love is real and that you’ve found the one. It will be a feeling that often times can’t be expressed in words.
- You NEVER stop growing, so if you’re waiting because you want to grow more, that’s not a valid reason prolong things.
- Love doesn’t have a time-stamp.
- When you keep God in the center of the relationship, engagement, and marriage, you will ALWAYS come out on top.
- Do’t compare your relationship to someone else’s. Just because they waited to do something doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Everyone’s love situation is different.