13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married By ELEANOR STANFORD

4 07 2016

Man Consoling Girlfriend

When it comes to marriage, what you don’t know really can hurt you.

Whether because of shyness, lack of interest or a desire to preserve romantic mystery, many couples do not ask each other the difficult questions that can help build the foundation for a stable marriage, according to relationship experts.

In addition to wanting someone with whom they can raise children and build a secure life, those considering marriage now expect their spouses to be both best friend and confidant. These romantic-comedy expectations, in part thanks to Hollywood, can be difficult to live up to.

Sure, there are plenty of questions couples can ask of each other early in the relationship to help ensure a good fit, but let’s face it: most don’t.

“If you don’t deal with an issue before marriage, you deal with it while you’re married,” said Robert Scuka, the executive director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement. It can be hard to keep secrets decade after decade, and reticence before the wedding can lead to disappointments down the line.

The following questions, intimate and sometimes awkward, are designed to spark honest discussions and possibly give couples a chance to spill secrets before it’s too late.

1. Did your family throw plates, calmly discuss issues or silently shut down when disagreements arose?
A relationship’s success is based on how differences are dealt with, said Peter Pearson, a founder of the Couples Institute. As we are all shaped by our family’s dynamic, he said, this question will give you insight into whether your partner will come to mimic the conflict resolution patterns of his or her parents or avoid them.

2. Will we have children, and if we do, will you change diapers?
With the question of children, it is important to not just say what you think your partner wants to hear, according to Debbie Martinez, a divorce and relationship coach. Before marrying, couples should honestly discuss if they want children. How many do they want? At what point do they want to have them? And how do they imagine their roles as parents?

3. Will our experiences with our exes help or hinder us?
Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, pointed to research his organization has sponsored that indicated that having had many serious relationships can pose a risk for divorce and lower marital quality. (This can be because of a person having more experience with serious breakups and potentially comparing a current partner unfavorably with past ones.) Raising these issues early on can help, Dr. Wilcox said. Dr. Klein said people are “hesitant to explicitly talk about their past” and can feel retroactively jealous or judgmental. “The only real way to have those conversations in an intimate and productive way and loving way is to agree to accept that the other person had a life before the couple,” he said.

4. How important is religion? How will we celebrate religious holidays, if at all?
If two people come from different religious backgrounds, is each going to pursue his or her own religious affiliation? Dr. Scuka has worked with couples on encouraging honest discussion around this issue as the executive director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement. What is more, spouses are especially likely to experience conflict over religious traditions when children are added to the mix, according to Dr. Wilcox. If the couple decide to have children, they must ask how the children’s religious education will be handled. It is better to have a plan, he said.

5. Is my debt your debt? Would you be willing to bail me out?
It’s important to know how your partner feels about financial self-sufficiency and whether he or she expects you to keep your resources separate, said Frederick Hertz, a divorce lawyer. Disclosing debts is very important. Equally, if there is a serious discrepancy between your income and your partner’s, Dr. Scuka recommended creating a basic budget according to proportional incomes. Many couples fail to discuss sharing finances, though it is crucial, he said.

6. What’s the most you would be willing to spend on a car, a couch, shoes?
Couples should make sure they are on the same page in terms of financial caution or recklessness. Buying a car is a great indicator, according to Mr. Hertz. Couples can also frame this question around what they spend reckless amounts of money on, he said.
7. Can you deal with my doing things without you?

Going into marriage, many people hope to keep their autonomy in certain areas of their life at the same time they are building a partnership with their spouse, according to Seth Eisenberg, the president of Pairs (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills). This means they may be unwilling to share hobbies or friends, and this can lead to tension and feelings of rejection if it isn’t discussed. Couples may also have different expectations as to what “privacy” means, added Dr. Klein, and that should be discussed, too. Dr. Wilcox suggested asking your partner when he or she most needs to be alone.

8. Do we like each other’s parents?
As long as you and your partner present a united front, having a bad relationship with your in-laws can be manageable, Dr. Scuka said. But if a spouse is not willing to address the issue with his or her parents, it can bode very poorly for the long-term health of the relationship, he said. At the same time, Dr. Pearson said, considering the strengths and weaknesses of your parents can illuminate future patterns of attachment or distancing in your own relationship.

9. How important is sex to you?
Couples today expect to remain sexually excited by their spouse, an expectation that did not exist in the past, according to Mr. Eisenberg. A healthy relationship will include discussion of what partners enjoy about sex as well as how often they expect to have it, Dr. Klein said. If people are looking to experience different things through sex — pleasure versus feeling young, for example — some negotiation may be required to ensure both partners remain satisfied.

10. How far should we take flirting with other people? Is watching pornography O.K.?
Dr. Klein said couples should discuss their attitudes about pornography, flirting and expectations for sexual exclusivity. A couple’s agreement on behavior in this area can, and most likely will, change down the line, he said, but it is good to set the tone early on so both partners are comfortable discussing it. Ideally, sexual exclusivity should be talked about in the same way as other day-to-day concerns, so that problems can be dealt with before a partner becomes angry, he said. Dr. Pearson suggested asking your partner outright for his or her views on pornography. Couples are often too scared to ask about this early in the relationship, but he has frequently seen it become a point of tension down the line, he said.

11. Do you know all the ways I say “I love you”?
Gary Chapman’s 1992 book, “The 5 Love Languages,” introduced this means of categorizing expressions of love to strengthen a marriage. Ms. Martinez hands her premarriage clients a list of the five love languages: affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. She asks them to mark their primary and secondary languages and what they think is their partner’s, and discuss them. Mr. Eisenberg said that a couple needs to work out how to nurture the relationship, in a way specific to them.

12. What do you admire about me, and what are your pet peeves?
Can you imagine the challenges ever outweighing the admiration? If so, what would you do? Anne Klaeysen, a leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, said that couples rarely consider that second question. Ideally, marriage is a life commitment, she said, and it’s not enough to just “click together,” as many couples describe their relationship. A marriage must go deeper than that original “click.”

13. How do you see us 10 years from now?
Keeping the answer to this question in mind can help a couple deal with current conflict as they work toward their ultimate relationship goals, according to Mr. Eisenberg.

Dr. Wilcox said this discussion could also be an opportunity to raise the question of whether each partner will consider divorce if the relationship deteriorates, or whether they expect marriage to be for life, come what may.

Credit The NewYorkTimes





13 How I Met My Love Stories

12 02 2016

13 true love stories
1. The damsel in zero distress.

“On the Metro ride home one night, I made eye contact with a gorgeous young woman on the platform. I went back to my phone and didn’t think much of it, but she came and sat next to me. Nervous, I didn’t say anything. After several stops, she asked if the train was going to a certain stop. I gave her a quick, ‘Yeah, the sign is over there,’ trying to avoid being the creepy passenger that’s more interested in the person than providing directions. She was persistent and kept asking questions. I gave her my business card before I got off the train and she pointed out that my cell phone number wasn’t on it. We went out the next night and had a great conversation. We’ve been dating ever since.

P.S. A few days later, she admitted she knew *exactly* where she was going that day.”

— Jordan Uhl, Facebook
2. The one time, at band camp…

“I had just finished training as an Army musician and been posted to my first band. When I’m nervous I lose my appetite, so I hadn’t eaten much before my first engagement, which involved standing on a parade square for about an hour and a half. Needless to say, I blacked out and one of the other musicians saw me swaying and caught me and my saxophone before I fell. It took three men to carry me off the square, and the first person I saw when I came around was the musician who caught me. We’ve been together 10 years now and married for eight!”
— claire

3. The lost luggage-turned-found romance.

“A few years ago, I flew to Rome for an archaeological dig and used my field kit as my second carry-on. Well, just my luck: after a 10-hour plane ride, I discovered the airline lost my luggage. After filing my report, I went to my hostel to have a shower and take a long nap. After check in, I asked the girl at the counter where to go to buy supplies and clothes etc, explaining to her my experience with my luggage. When I got back from my shopping trip I found out that my ‘roommates’ had used my allotted towels. Anyway, I went back to the front desk to ask about getting some more towels, and just as the clerk was telling me they didn’t have any more clean towels, the cutest guy I have ever seen tapped my shoulder, telling me that he had some I could borrow. He was visiting from Ireland, and he always brought his own towels while traveling. Apparently, he heard my story earlier and felt really bad for me, and wished there was something he could do. So we went to his room together to get them, and along the way he invited me out for a drink to help improve my day. The best decision in my life was saying yes, because that, boys and girls, is how I met my husband.”


Alice Mongkongllite

4. The laundry money that turned into cupid’s arrow.

“My husband and I lived in the same college dorm when we met. Three months into the semester, while doing his laundry, he realized he was 75 cents short and unable to finish drying his last bit of clothes. He walked around the nearby lobby, checking to see if anyone may have any change. I was sitting at a table with friends and happened to have my wallet with me. I looked inside and there were three single quarters. Nothing more. Nothing less. I let him have my quarters and we exchanged names.

Four years later, we were exchanging vows. Not a bad deal for me. 75 cents for the love of my life… wait, did he ever pay me back?”

— Savannah Pyron, Facebook

5. The radio interview that became a date.

“It was the early 00’s and I was a blogger, like all twenty-something women. I had a fairly popular/humorous blog about dating in my hometown. The local paper did a full article on me with a big photo. Later that day, I got an email from some radio DJ inviting me on his show for an interview. I didn’t listen to that station and I had no idea who he was, but my mom said, ‘Go for it! It could be fun!’ I met him the following week for the on-air interview. We were engaged eight months later and will be married 10 years in October, and have three children. I would have missed out on my whole life if I skipped that interview!”

— kristy

6. The love story for the digital age.

“When I was a freshman in high school, I was texting my friend. For no reason at all, instead of sending my text to my friend, my phone sent it to a random Florida number. He texted me back asking who I was and when we figured out the strange phenomenon, he asked if I wanted to be friends. We hit it off from there and almost seven years later we’re still together.”

— bridgets
7. The classic coffee shop run-in.

“I was at a coffee shop and there was a gorgeous man a few people ahead of me in line. We made eye contact a couple times and he was so good looking, my heart was beating out of my chest! He ordered, I waited my turn and got my own cup of coffee. I walked over to the table where cream and sugars are kept and he came over to fix up his coffee, too. He picked up the sugar bowl and said to me, ‘Do you take sugar?’ and promptly dropped the bowl right at my feet, covering both our shoes! We both cracked up and decided to get a table together. We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last month!”

— heatherannm

8. The dead car that gave a relationship life.

“I was about to turn 30, so I decided to do something ‘fun’ every day for the last month of my twenties. I ended up doing a lot of stupid meet-up things, including a Cards Against Humanity tournament at a pub. Everyone there was told to make sure their cars weren’t parked in a certain lot. Of course mine was in that lot, but when I went out to move it, my car was dead. I had to call for a tow truck, and the minute I met the tow truck driver, I took one look at him and something clicked in me. I ended up spending the next two hours with him in the truck, talking, laughing, and flirting HARD. When he dropped me off at home, I gave him my number. I had just enough time to text my sister and tell her about how thankful I was that my car broke down, when he sent me a text. We have been together two years now, and he is the love of my life!”

— kearag

9. The dog-meets-dog moment.

“My husband and I met walking dogs. It was a sunny summer day before my summer college class, and I was walking my roommate’s dog. I had no makeup on, it was my third day of not washing my hair, and I was just thinking to myself how I really needed to look human like for my class while sitting on the grass waiting for the dog to potty. Suddenly, I heard someone say hello… and when I looked up, it was a tall, good-looking guy with a Golden Retriever (my favorite breed)! We talked for a couple of minutes while our dogs smelled each other’s butts and we each went back to our apartments. Soon, we began to secretly anticipate each other’s schedules so that we could take our dogs out at the same time and be able to talk. After running into each other several times, he finally asked me out on a date. Now, a couple of years down the road, we have been blissfully married for five months!”

— jihaek
10. The concert of love.

“I went out last-minute to a concert with a friend during finals week, which I thought I would immediately end up regretting. But I met a super-cute guy there and we really hit it off. Unfortunately, I was moving to another city, so I told him that nothing was going to come of it… until he told me he actually lived in the city I was moving to. He ended up picking me up from the airport when I arrived, and the rest is history.”

— wildern

11. The fateful hockey match.

“My now-fiancé and I literally ran into one another while on the same co-ed hockey team. This was my first match on this new team after just moving to this new state. I got lost on the way to the rink, so I showed up late and didn’t have the chance to meet all my new teammates. We were both skating fast for the puck so we hit at incredible speed. He jumped up and helped me up. The moment we locked eyes was it and we have been together for the last four years. Needless to say, we were love struck after that crash.”

— Gohill89

12. The non-pet friendly hotel.

“I had just moved to town and my apartment wasn’t ready yet, so I had to stay in a hotel. The hotel had a strange rooming system. I was in 4B — the clerk said the door would be cracked open because the cleaning crew had just finished. I reached a cracked door and assumed it was mine, so I opened it. There was a man standing there with a dog in a non pet-friendly hotel. He just looked at me and said, ‘Please do not tell on me! My house is being fumigated and this was the best hotel I could afford!’ I just laughed and said, ‘Dude, chill. I just moved here, my dogs in the car, I intend on sneaking her in too. Your dog is cute as hell.’

We ended up really hitting it off, as did our dogs. He went home the next day, but we exchanged numbers. On my second-to-last day at the hotel, somebody called in about my dog. They let me stay, but said my dog had to go. He offered us both a place to crash, which I said was too weird, but I let my dog stay. We ended up dating and are still together.”

–HMC

13. The low blood sugar sweethearts.

“Before he was my husband, I worked in the same department with him at work. I was also part of a medical first response team made up of trained volunteers for on-the-job medical emergencies that might arise. My husband is diabetic and he had low blood sugar at work one day. His normal response to a low is falling asleep, but this day, he was very animated and laughing and jumping around. I and a couple other medical team members were trying to calm him down and get him to eat something to bring his blood sugar up. To stop him from running through the facility, I was holding his hand. Once we got him to calm down and sit, I sat next to him and talked. I maaaaay have been flirting a little bit. He was cute, after all. He kept saying he loved my smile and asked why was my face turning red. Anyway, after that we started to talk at work and a few weeks later he asked me over for dinner. We were engaged three months later and have now been together six years and married for four. And the really crazy thing was that day I was actually supposed to be on vacation, but plans feel through.”

— Susan Wellhoefer Roeske, Facebook

Stories courtesy of BuzzFeed Community





9 Things a Man Wants In a Woman by Matt Archbold

10 02 2016

man wants in woman

What does a man want in a woman? It’s been an unanswered question for centuries mostly because men aren’t stupid enough to try to answer it.

But I am.

Recently, Catherine Frank wrote about the traits a woman seeks in a man. It’s a good list that made a lot of readers think (and comment!).

I do believe God has someone out there in mind for everyone, but unfortunately God doesn’t give us an exact roadmap to find “The One.” We all need help sometimes, so here’s some thoughts on very important things a man wants in a woman.

  1. Honesty.This is the most important trait any man is looking for in a woman. I knew a guy in college who was absolutely bonkers about a girl. She really was wonderful in many ways. One night, after they’d been dating a few weeks, they walked into a party together and someone asked her an innocent question. She casually, yet believably, lied. Her response wasn’t even about something particularly important, but it was still a lie. My buddy didn’t think about it much in the moment, but later it bothered him to no end. Certainly the lie was bad enough, but he was concerned by the ease with which she lied. In future conversations he couldn’t forget how easily she’d lied and for no reason. It destroyed their relationship.

If a woman is dishonest with a man, it’ll eat us up and then we’ll become unbearable. Honesty is the basic building block for every other facet of your relationship. If you don’t have honesty, you don’t have a relationship. You’re simply managing the other person.

  1. No Half Anniversaries Please.Men hardly know what to do with our actual anniversary, not that we remember them anyway. The greatest thing that 21st century men have going for them is that we can just put the dates of our anniversary, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day into our phones and when we check to see where we’re supposed to be the next morning, we see that we better get to the florist right quick.

But what do we do with half anniversaries? There’s no half anniversary app to remind us and there’s no established protocol for such half-special days. My wife and I have an actual anniversary. I can’t tell you what it is off the top of my head, but we have one.

Then one day she comes and kisses me and tells me that it is the anniversary of our first date. What? Is that a thing? I don’t remember it being a thing before. There’s no card for that. I thought flowers were a little over the top. Chocolate was too holiday-ish. So I settled on rubbing her feet while we watched television. She seemed to like it. Win.

In reality, half anniversaries and actual holidays scare men to no end. We don’t know what to do with them. We would love if women would not think too much about what we do on those days of the year, but focus on what we do the other 364 days of the year. Like all the times we went out to start your car early so that it was warm by the time you came out. Or when we painted the room “Carolina Blue” because you didn’t like “Deep Sky Blue” anymore. We don’t even see the difference, but we do it because we love you.

Real love is not about Valentine’s Day or anniversaries. It’s about a lifetime of random Tuesdays.

  1. A Fair Fighter.This one sounds weird, right? Look, in any relationship you’re going to havedisagreements—sometimes big ones—and passions can run pretty high. Most important in a fight is to have a spouse who isn’t out to win the argument at all costs.

We also have to avoid arguing past each other. Very often, men want to argue logic and women tend to argue with more emotion. So we’re often at an impasse. But if there’s one thing men can’t stand it’s making a woman cry. We often run a quick cost/benefit analysis to decide whether to continue the fight once the tears start. Very often the man will just apologize to end it, but it’s not really over. We think we’re right and sometimes feel as if we were manipulated into surrender. Now, a man will likely not keep that specific argument going, but the resentment will still be there. It will rear its ugly head in an argument over the remote control or about leaving cabinet doors slightly ajar. And we’ll look like crazy people.

  1. Men Want Women Who Get Freaked Out by Bugs.Don’t kill bugs. We like doing it. The more skeeved out by the little critters women are, the happier we are. We get very little opportunity to display our manliness anymore since carrying swords became unfashionable (and probably even illegal in some states.) So killing bugs is something we can do to save you. And we like saving you. Let’s face it, the Empire isn’t going to kidnap you and force us to break into the Death Star to free you from their evil clutches. So right now all we’ve got is saving you from the hairy 30-odd-legged creature on the living room ceiling. We’ll take it. So scream away ladies. Scream away.
  2. Accept That We’re Men.Men are desperate for a woman who accepts that men are different than women. Very, very different. Sometimes silence is just our default setting. Don’t be upset when we don’t talk through our feelings. Don’t be upset when you ask us what we’re thinking about and we say nothing because guess what; we were probably actually thinking about nothing. We’re capable of that. And we’re good at it.

Men desperately want a woman who will accept them and not try to change them. God created us as man and woman. Different. Don’t try to undo God.

  1. A Woman Who Cares About Her Appearance.OK, let’s get this out of the way. Men are often accused of being superficial and visual. That’s because it’s sort of true. Men do appreciate a woman’s looks. But here’s the thing: we find the vast majority of women attractive. I’m not kidding, the vast majority. So yeah, we care about looks but we pretty much think you’re all great. It’s true. We want a woman who cares about how she looks…but not too much. Concern about one’s appearance can sometimes tip over into superficiality, however. It’s a fine line but hey, nobody said it’s easy being a woman.
  2. Please Say What You Mean.Men would love to find a woman who doesn’t ask a question when they’re actually trying to tell us something. My wife and I were driving home one night and she asked me if I was in the mood for ice cream. I wasn’t. And kept on driving.

Here’s the thing, every guy reading this doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with what just happened. Every girl knows exactly what came next. I pulled up to our house and started walking in and could tell she was upset. I asked what was wrong and she wanted to know why I didn’t ask her if she wanted ice cream.

“Do you want ice cream?” I asked, thinking this could be a quick fix. I thought if she wanted ice cream I’d just hop back into the car and go get her some. No problem.

But she tells me it’s not about the ice cream. She tells me it’s that I didn’t ask her if she wanted ice cream. She says it’s about communication, and love, and thinking about the other’s feelings, and wanting to do nice things for each other. She explains this to me for about 10 minutes. When she finally takes a breath I ask, “So do you want me to go get you ice cream?”

She stared at me as if I just won the crazy contest. She sighed and walked sadly back into the house. You know what I did? I went and got her ice cream. She said it didn’t help, but she was too busy munching it down to continue our conversation.

  1. Respect.I always tell my son that when you’re looking for a wife, look to see how she treats her parents because that’s likely how she’ll eventually treat you. Now, my son is nine years old and horrified at the thought of girls so he doesn’t listen very closely but someday, I assume, he’ll come looking for my sage advice. Until then I’ll just write my advice to complete strangers, like you

 





What Is Appropriate on a Date? by Anthony Buono

8 02 2016

what is appropriate

Dating is a process, and within the process are expectations. The first expectation is that both persons are positively open to finding their future spouse and they are spending time with each other specifically because they want to determine if the other might be that person for their future marriage. The second expectation is that both persons are serious about staying close to God and having a chaste dating experience. That means both persons are interested in making sure the relationship develops without having sexually related things happen that are reserved only for marriage. What are those things? Obviously, intercourse is the big one. But also any physical actions that would stimulate or cause arousal. For example, kissing on the lips for a few seconds can be a nice sign of affection and does not typically stimulate or arouse. But a “French kiss” (a kiss with the tongue) or prolonged kissing on the lips along with pressing the other against you will naturally stimulate and arouse.

So the rule of thumb is to avoid anything physical that can stimulate and arouse you or the other person to desire something more sexually. You don’t want to put each other into an occasion of sin, and you want to respect each other. However, as fallen human nature will have it, people fail in this area and they either try to get the other to do more than they should, or both concede to do more. Scrupulosity would cause one or both persons to see these failures as a sign that the other person is no good for them and to end the relationship. Or one of the persons might see the other’s desire for them sexually as a sign that this person is no good for them because of their sexual interest in them outside of marriage. It’s good to not be too hard on each other. It’s a challenging age we live in, so we should be quicker to give people the benefit of the doubt and not quick to make them feel bad. Just something to think about.

The heroic goal, however, that all good people of faith should strive for is that they never give up the gift they have to give their spouse on their wedding night, which is their body, given to the other in sexual intimacy that bonds the two in marriage and is open to children. For older single persons who might not be able to have children, this purpose is still the same. Sexual union is meant to bond the two in mutual love and to be open to life. That openness to life might not come from natural children, but their love will desire to reach out to the children of others and touch their lives.

You asked about romance, friendship, and intimacy. All of these things can be expressed chastely before marriage. And what we are really saying is that to be chaste is to not allow those things to happen that pertain to the bodies of each other that only a husband and wife have the “rights” to give each other in marriage. In marriage, a woman gives one man “rights” to her body for a lifetime, and the man does the same for that one woman. It is an exchange of rights to their bodies for those purposes in marriage.

Romance and friendship build intimacy. They can also build sexual desire. Once sexual desire is aroused, that is when new things have to be addressed, including preserving chastity and determining marriage. Romancing during dating is simply the process of making the other feel special and uniquely loved. Some people overdo it with what romance is and what they expect romance to be during the dating process. It does not have to be expensive dates and unusual or exotic places to spend time, or love songs or poems written, etc. But whatever it is that can be done to make the other person feel special or make them smile is romance. Nothing is wrong with any of that in dating.

Building the friendship is much more important than romance. To marry someone you can count on, feel secure about and with, whom you can trust, and whom you just can’t imagine spending your life without is a precious gift. Friends do still hurt each other, we must not forget. But friends are always “there” for you. They can be counted on. They do not come and go based on moods or feelings. They can be trusted to be your friend, even when you might not be that good of a friend. When you marry someone, you almost want it to be more important to hear “I trust you” than “I love you”. Anyone can just say “I love you”, but it’s hard to say “I trust you.” And if you do, you better mean it, and the other person better step up to being trustworthy.

This is why I strongly believe that a man and a woman cannot be “close friends” without there being romantic developments. Friendship that grows leads to intimacy. You would be hard-pressed to find a woman who is married or serious with a man who will be comfortable with her fiancé or husband having a close friend of the opposite sex. Friendship is powerful, and it is so special. Men need other close male friends, and women need other close female friends. Those friendships have an intimacy that is important for their well-being. Same-sex friendships are critical. But opposite-sex friendships have to be very careful.

So what I really want to advise you here about friendship during the dating process is 1) encourage each other to have same-sex friends and spend time with them, and 2) be very careful about how you both handle opposite-sex friends. So many terrible things happen to ruin good relationships based on these two things alone. Having same-sex friends is so important, even in marriage. A man needs to have his time out with other male friends and so does a woman need her time with her girl friends. It makes the marriage much healthier. Sometimes you see a person give up their friends because they want to spend ALL their time with the person they are dating. That is not good, nor healthy, and it is a sign that there might be other problems. And sometimes a person gets jealous of a friend that the person he or she is dating has. For example, a woman who gets defensive or insecure about a woman her boyfriend is very close to and the way they interact. That boyfriend would do well to understand he has to be mindful of how his opposite-sex friendships can affect a dating relationship. It’s never good or healthy to feel threatened by the relationship of your fiancé or spouse with a person of the opposite sex. But it is also dangerous to get “too close” to someone of the opposite sex when you are serious with someone else, or engaged, or married.

What people need to realize is that “intimacy” does not mean “sex” or intercourse. Physical, genital expression is a kind of intimacy that is reserved for a man and a woman who are married. It is a fulfillment of something begun in their relationship that is now able to be fully expressed in their marriage. But it is one kind of intimacy. There are other kinds of intimacy. Romance and friendship help develop intimacy. Intimacy affects the whole person. It is emotional, psychological, physiological, and spiritual. People who are dating have to develop intimacy. But they must never allow their intimacy to get expressed sexually. There can be signs of affection, but they cannot go too far, for the intimacy that is reserved for a man and a woman in marriage is too sacred to be abused. The dating process is time of mystery that builds up toward a great unveiling. Marriage is a lifetime of unveiling.

You also want to be careful about your dating time going on too long. For older singles, there should not be the need of as much time dating as younger people might have to do. Most older people know who they are, what they have, and what they want. They should have a maturity level that can allow for a reasonable amount of dating before entering exclusivity (courtship), and then shortly after that, engagement to be married. If you are able to see each other for several days at a time at least a couple of times per month, you should both know if you want to be exclusive within three months or so. After another three months or so of exclusivity, which is a time period used to determine a reason why you both should NOT get married, there should be engagement. Then, of course, marriage should take place six months or so after that. This timeline depends on spending your time together (and apart) wisely.

What is a “wise” use of this time of dating and courtship? Getting to know each other, spending time with each other in person and with each other’s family and friends, asking as many questions as necessary, and discovering love. There will be a point when you both discover that you really can’t see living your lives without the other. That is the time to get engaged to be married.

Be careful of men that prolong dating and will not go exclusive. You need to see a man making “commitment moves” all along the way. These commitment moves will be a sign to you that this man is serious about the process of finding a wife. If he is already not interested in seeing other women, then, in a way, you are already exclusive. But the courtship period should be accepted by both “officially”. You will want to hear him say that he is not open to any other women during this time of discovering a reason why you should not get married. So to go into courtship means that marriage should already have been talked about.

There is no need to get obsessive about how all these things will play out. All I am doing is giving food for thought. Things should and will happen quite naturally. What I want to make sure you avoid is investing too much time in a relationship that goes nowhere. In other words, you should not be just “dating” after six months. That’s too long to not be committed to a serious phase of your relationship and moving toward engagement. Otherwise, you not only may be wasting your time, you might invest your heart to the point of really getting hurt unnecessarily.

That brings me to the word “love.” Don’t use it unless you mean it in a way that desires permanence. A man will use the word “love” much more quickly and loosely than will a woman. Your job is to make sure you don’t use that word until you know he is the man you want for the rest of your life and that you are pretty certain he DOES love you and is not just saying it at an emotional level. Saying “I love you” too early can cause confusion as you go along. So be careful of this.

There is so much more I could share with you, but I think this should suffice for now to help you along. I hope you find it helpful.

 





Losing Virginity: 17 Things to Know When Dating by Kristin Oert

2 02 2016

dating

Dating is a process through which a guy and a girl come to marry.  A couple setting out on a date should know 17 things:

1) As between almost any couple (guy and a girl), there is a natural PHYSICAL SEXUAL attraction.  Those starting out on a date should know: we are such a couple.      – A sexual attraction is not sufficient foundation on which to build a marriage.

2) For a marriage what is needed is a MARITAL ATTRACTION – which can only develop and be discovered gradually

3) Therefore, the important issue is not, are we a couple who are sexually attracted to one another (this may easily happen), but are we a couple capable of developing a relationship that cements into a life-union?

4) Precisely because the sex desire is easily awakened and easily grows in intensity, it must be recognized for what it is and treated firmly, keeping it in its place.  If given rein, it grows; a couple can feel strongly sexually drawn to one another as if they were deeply in love; but if they marry just based on that, it may not last; for they never gave love a chance to grow.

5) Love between a guy and a girl, if deep and genuine, normally develops into a desire for UNION IN BOTH BODY AND SOUL. Ideally these two aspects – LOVE OF BODY and LOVE OF SOUL – should be in harmony; in practice they often are not.

6) If the bodily love is let assert itself too much, the love soul may be arrested or even destroyed.  The natural physical instinct of love is to want to possess the body: its natural spiritual instinct is to want to respect the person.  Thu, LOVE, if it is true, quickly senses the danger latent in a touch or a caress, and refrains; or cuts the physical act short once it realizes that what perhaps began as a simple expression of affection is quickly turning into a powerful desire for egoistic self-satisfaction.

dating 2

7)  If an incipient sexual attraction between a guy and a girl is to lead on to and mature into a marriage with a real promise of happiness to it, the couple need to ensure that the sexual desires – always present and, let us repeat, in itself inclined to quick sex acts- is not let get ahead of the marital decision by which a guy and a girl make a complete surrender of themselves, in body and in person, to one another, so forming a union capable of fulfilling all the human meaning of sexuality.

8)  To give one’s body without giving one’s self is to turn one’s sexuality into a lie; it is to deceive another, and or to be deceived by him or her, in the very truth that human love demands.  To give oneself, temporarily, in and with one’s body, is not really to give but just to lend.  Nothing is actually given, unless it is totally given – for keeps. To “lend” oneself, in the sexual use of one’s body, is to degrade the dignity of self, of body, and of sexuality.

9) So, in passing from friendship to love to engagement, on the way that leads to marriage, it is important to bear in mind that certain gestures have different meanings in themselves, and that even the same sign can be made to express different attitudes or emotions.  A handshake can be cold or warm; an artificially warm handshake tends to introduce an element of insincerity into a relationship.

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A kiss between lovers is seldom less than warm; all the more reason for those who are not yet married but both love and wish to respect each other, not to permit an expression of affection that in itself signifies (or can lead on to) a greater and more total dedication than their present mutual situation warrants.  If each is fully sincere with himself or herself and equally so with the other, it will be easier to recognize what is adequate – or not – to the situation in which they find themselves; what is a true expression of their love as it presently exists not just in feeling but in actual personal commitment based on mutual respect, and what would be a false expression, because it seeks to take all it can get without being definitively prepared and pledged to give all it can give.

10) Firmness and quickness on the part of either one of the couple in cutting short something that they sense will lead to sex, which is self-seeking, is a deep sign of respect for the other.  Rather than a refusal to express love, it is an expression of love.  The opposite can be an expression of simple selfishness.

11) When two unmarried persons allow the physical attraction between them to find its outlet in sexual intercourse – in other words, in what of its nature is a marital act – then they are either “playing at being married” (play-acting which has a disastrous effect on the real thing if it comes), or else they are simply reducing the sexual act itself – which is humanly meant to be a sign of total, enduring and unconditional self-surrender – to a mere (though perhaps more intense) expression of what is as yet but a temporary and uncommitted affection.  In either case they have already ensured that their physical union with the person whom they may eventually marry can never be experienced as what it is designed to be: a unique act shared only with the spouse for whom one has kept oneself, and with whom now at last one experiences a union never before known.

12)  The spousal love of an engaged person is meant to have a virginal consummation.  Only those who endeavor to come to marriage as virgins can experience the truly singular joy of marital donation.  This is the positive meaning and value of virginity: to keep oneself so as to give, to have something unique to give, in a gift that is given only to a spouse.  Hence derives the whole concept and value of spousal fidelity.

13) If a person wants to give himself, he must first possess that self.  Self-possession is not shown by promptness of feelings or strength of desire, but by self-control.  A feeling towards another person is seldom to be trusted – and the other person should seldom trust its expressions – unless it has been checked and confirmed by both mind and will.

14) Pre-marital chastity is the consequence of realizing that the sexual attraction is a delicate and precious reality that must be treated with the utmost care.  Carelessness, heedlessness, is a sign of immaturity and can lead to the ruin of that is precious in that relationship.

15)  The passage from friendship to attraction, from attraction to engagement, from engagement to wedding, is the gradual transition – which only in its last stage becomes definitive – from “you and I” to “us”.  The “we” of a married couple is something unique – a “we” that can almost be conjugated in the singular.

The marital instinct tends towards an interpersonal donation and acceptance of a quite singular nature: a privileged and committed choice of a “partner” in a common life enterprise where each spouse “belongs” in a unique way to the other.  The donation is mutual, and implies mutual acceptance.  Mutual gift and acceptance are of the essence of the marital covenant” (Guy and Values)

wedding pic

16)  Dating is the time not so much for enjoying sex, as for discovering love: to discover the extent and depth of love; and the capacity of each one to love. If it is the time to discover love, it is also the time to discover defects because marriage always involves loving a defective person; rather it involves two defective persons loving each other. It is the time to discover and know each other’s weak and selfish points.

It is so important to know one’s defects:

– one’s own

– his or hers

17)  The best way of being able to judge a defective person’s capacity for living unitedly and lovingly with another defective person, is to get to know how they behave in their present family: towards parents, brothers and sisters.  If they are bears in their present family, they will equally bears in the one they form in the future.

Defects are inevitable.  The fact of defects is no argument against marriage, as long as a person is prepared to fight to be generous.

“Incompatibility”; a very relative concept.  Two persons each with a quick temper can have a very close and happy married relationship, provided they are prepared to constantly make up.








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