Soooo….how long should someone do the “boyfriend/girlfriend” thing before a decision to get engaged/be married be? My job’s alright and if I get my act together (and even while I’m still kind of a mess), I haven’t had to ask for hand outs and can support myself (well, I have a roommate I’m not related to. That’s a step in the right direction, yesh?)
I decided that if we’re together for a year, we should definitely be discussing engagement/marriage but I’m basing this off of absolutely nothing.
For me the way I approach things now is with women is that I ask them out on “dates” but then I start vetting them right away in terms of questions to get to know them via contact with text, e-mail, or online conversation. I ask any wide variety of topics including those which I linked in the questions and topics to talk to your prospective spouse article in conjunction with general conversation about life. Masculine behavior and teasing is obviously mixed in with this.
This means that a relationship should always be “progressing” and if it ever is not leading toward engagement or marriage then it would be stagnating. Overall, I think 3-4 months in the minimum period before engagement and should not be longer than 12 months.
I select 3-4 months because people can fake how they are and their attitudes for a few weeks, even up to a month or two. This tends to be normal with most humans: they want to show only an attractive side to the other person. But eventually they will start to show their true personality, and from their true personality you can determine the type of person they are.
I also think that 12 month is the maximum. If you can’t figure out if you want to marry someone within a year then you don’t know who you are and/or you don’t know what you’re looking for. In this case, you should explore all of the passages relating to marriage on the Bible and see if that’s something you want to pursue: Proverbs, 1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, etc. Likewise, you should read the identity series on this site pre, one, two, three, four, five, six and the mission framework posts — the 19 of the most important posts I believe I’ve written on developing into a masculine Christian. Even distance is no concern now. There are enough ways to get to know a prospective spouse without talking to them in person as I mentioned earlier.
Questions and discussions that are hard and easier to answer especially a mix on feminism, authority, and the like should be mixed in both in “online” and “real life” conversation. This ensures that you can read a woman’s body language to see if they are uncomfortable or potentially skirting around the harder questions when you ask them. However, asserting tough discussions online also allows women to think about them more before answering which is good, especially if she needs to break out her Bible to answer them. I’d rather have a woman know that she needs to look in her Bible for answers (even if it’s a google search of the Bible) than not know what to do and go with her feelings instead. Some of the more sensitive topics should and/or may be discussed with mentors and family present.
Once you’ve decided to be engaged, I think the engagement should be fairly short. Only a 2-4 months as you already know that this relationship is headed toward marriage, and that you both are serious about moving toward marriage. These are my thoughts on this topic.
Wedding and potential rings (not diamond IMO as they depreciate significantly) should be kept at a minimum cost. This will also tell you what type of woman you are dealing with in materialism concerns. The same is true of the holidays like valentine’s day to see what she desires in terms of gifts and presents.
Thus, question to the readers of this blog who are single and seeking a wife: what is the length of time(s) you would consider pre-engagement and post-engagement to marriage?
Any thoughts on any of the other topics that go along with engagement and marriage such as rings, weddings, and relationship concerns?