September 16, 2019
When a couple begins the process of transitioning from dating to engagement, or when they begin a process of premarital counseling, there are two important components.
The first is a discussion of compatibility. Age, Education, Family Backgrounds, Relationship History, Values. These are the basics. Do you even have enough “glue” to move from dating to engagement? These are important questions for the couple to ask.
After a couple has usually been together for two years or more, they can see these things more clearly. A minister, officiant, or premarital counselor will ask questions in these areas just to build a foundation. Once a couple knows they are a good fit and have decided on engagement they move into another phase. Or in other words, someone popped a question with a ring. A couple who knows they are a good fit for each other must maintain their relationship. Being perfect for each other does not just happen on it’s own. Meaning… just because your relationship is a sports car does not mean that the sports car doesn’t need maintenance. But what is the way that we maintain the relationship? It is a very simple concept…Dating.
It is a very simple concept…Dating.
Dating is the practice that maintains the relationship. I like to call dating the lab or the workshop for relationships. Sometimes, people will get the advice that you need to work on your relationship. But when and how do we do this? No one goes home and puts "Relationship Time" on their calendars. How do we work on our relationship? we spend time together.
Often, once a couple gets engaged or committed, it is this practice of dating that often wanes. Dating is how you both found each other. Why would any couple who loves each other stop doing the activity that brought them together? It is not intentional. The reality comes from something innocent. Once the couple occupies the same space, they see each other all the time. So, the importance of going on a date doesn’t always register. When I wake up…my partner is there. When I go to sleep…my partner is there. But it doesn’t mean that you are on an endless date. Seeing my spouse all the time doesn’t mean that I see her, or I am actively seeing her. You might believe that just being in the presence of your fiancée or spouse… that is all you need. Well, if you have been together for more than two years, you know that is not the case.
Time together without dating can look more like time served than time well spent.
So how do we make sure we don’t fall into a relationship rut? Date. On a regular, weekly basis you need to go out on a date. Dating allows you to continue learning and seeing each other. You fell in love while dating. If you stop doing this, you are inviting problems. And it is the easiest thing to do to maintain your relationship.
For further proof, check out these articles: