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Dating and Engagements: How long is long enough?

Description: Dating and Engagements: How long is long enough?

Categories: Dating, Pen Pals, Friends: Cyber Dating, Member Surveys
This Post has been viewed 35782 times.
Submitted by: Nannette | View Member Profile | View Other Posts
Created: 9/8/2003

A member asks:

Is it just me? Or does anyone else have a problem when they read a 'Success Story' about a couple who has known each other for four months and gotten married? Or met each other for the first time with a proposal and/or engagement ring? I mean, I hate to be the proverbial wet blanket, but isn't that just a tad quick? I hate to sound, or be, judgemental about someone else's relationship, but wouldn't it seem like discretion would lead you to investigate things a little more thoroughly? I read these stories, and I go away with extremely mixed feelings...wanting to buy into the excitement and romance, but at the same time, to be quite frank, thinking, 'I wonder how long THAT'S going to last.'

Personally I would wish to know for sure that what I had was 'real'....not just rely on the emotions of the moment. Am I the only one? Does anyone else read some of these stories and have their jaw drop open?

Kimsters: Female - Age Range: 21-30
You may use my alias:
I tend to agree with the member who posed the question in the first place: Isn't that [engagement] just a tad quick? On one hand, I understand that some people are at a point in their lives where they know what they want, they put everything out there on the line, meet someone, pray about it, and then they're engaged...but honestly, I'm not sure how well that works. I mean, I'm sure there are many success stories on couples who have recently done this, but personally, I would hope to get to know my suitor for at least 2 years before committing myself to an engagement. And not just online, or over-the-phone getting to know him...we'd have to have physical contact as well. In my own personal situation, I met a wonderful guy at a church that we both we visiting 8 months ago, and we are now keeping in contact over the phone. Keep in mind, this guy lives 2,000 miles away! Sure, he's planning to move out here, (I can't wait) but not for a couple of years. The only thing that I need in order to say 'yes' to a marriage proposal from him would be more eye-to-eye contact. To where we could spend a lot of time around each other, with each other's families...instead of just over-the-phone, where I can't see the expression on his face, or see how he is as an everyday person. It's incredibly hard to 'fall in love' with someone you've never met. And it's incredibly hard to hold together a relationship with someone who you've never seen or spent time with in 'real life.' I think a lot of times, the older people get, the more desperate they become and see even the slightest chance of someone interested in them as 'God's Will' because of their age. Just let the Lord have HIS Way in finding you a helpmate. And if you don't get married on this earth, okay. There's a greater happiness awaiting all of us very soon. Well, there's my take on it...but to each his own. God bless all of you in your search...and may HIS WILL be done in the choosing of your mate. Keep in mind, this is an ETERNAL decision you're making.

Female - Age Range: 21-30
Why does your jaw drop? Some people believe in love at first sight, others rely on feelings to determine when the 'right' time is. It's up to the couple to decide how long an engagment should be. If the couple is unsure about each other or their situation, they should let God decide. Every relationship is different, due to the fact that every person is different. It's also possible do a background check on a person within a very short time period.

Of course, just like yours, this was only an opinion.

Marygeb: Female - Age Range: 21-30
You may use my alias.

I can unsderstand how people can read sucess stories of people being engaged etc after only a few months. However I very much believe that God uses this site to bring people together who he has planned for them to be together when they were still in their mothers womb, He knows the plans he has for us and sometimes you meet a person and you just KNOW because you KNOW. We should pray for the people who use this site, that their hears and eyes will be open to see people through the eyes of love but to also have the sense that God places in us to see the people that try and decieve us. We should also pray for the people who own , run and work on this site, they are doing the Lords work and are bound to come under attack to stop the work happening lets pray for them.

KidoftheKing: Female - Age Range: 21-30
'You may use my alias'
I have never read the 'success stories' but personally i would prefer to know/date the person for at least 12-18 months. If after that time we become engaged then my desired length would be 7-10 months to plan the wedding. We both need as much time and space to prepare. I'm in no rush if God chooses my partner for me! The truth is some persons meet and within a few weeks to months they marry and it lasts till one dies of natural causes. And others know each other since childhood or even take the desired time to 'get to know each other' and they divorce or separate within a very short period. It all depends on the individuals and God's approval on the matter. And quite frankly, i'd rather wait on HIM!

Female - Age Range: 21-30
A friend's grandfather said it best 'You should Summer'em, Winter'em and if you can still stand'im do it again to be sure!' Well, I don't know if 2 years is necessary, but I think it takes time to develope that level of trust and communication.

I personally wouldn't get engaged for at least 6 months and even then I'd rather it be longer, and a long engagement to boot. I think my bottom line is 18 months before the alter at the VERY best.

Female - Age Range: 21-30
I once heard a theology student ask Mark Finley (TV evangelist), what he should do if he believed that God had called him to be an evangelist. Pastor Finley advised the student that while there were not many full-time evangelist positions available, that it was entirely possible that he had been called by God. He advised him to continue preparing for both a regular ministry and an evangelism ministry and that if it was a calling from God, that the call would be validated at some point, by a job opening in an evangelistic position.

Do I think that God can very quickly match me up with the person He has for me? Yes. Do I think that I need to give Him LOTS of time to validate such an important choice. ABSOLUTELY!

I think that once I’m dating someone, it’s easy to THINK that I’m letting God lead me, when in fact, I’m rushing things too much to really hear what He is saying to me. If God has brought two people together, then what is the hurry? I would want to take at least a year to make sure I’m giving God plenty of time to speak to me, to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the person I’m with so that I can make an informed decision. To give me extra time to hear His voice.

I also think that sometimes God allows me to meet and date wonderful men, not because I’m meant to marry a particular one, but because I need to learn something VERY important from my interactions with him.

God will lead me, but He probably won’t do it at the FedEx-speed-of-life to which I am accustomed.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
Hello and God bless...
I met someone on shining last year. He was all I was looking for in a christian man, not to mention he was very good looking and succesful. It turns out we fell in love and married in two mnths, talk about rushing!!!
It turns out the man was married two times instead of one. His x-wife was in a mental institute(gee...I wonder why?)he was cold and aloof after only 3wks of marriage(serious underlined issues) Now its been 5mnths and were getting divorced.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
Yes, I have felt skeptical about some of those quick 'love at first e-mail' relationships. I do however always wish them the very best. Statistically, I think the odds are against them. I highly recommend the book 'Choosing God's Best' It says a lot regarding dating and courtship and really makes sense.

Female - Age Range: 31-40
Short engagements, long courtships! Even the SOP mentions this. If you've been heeding God's direction in selecting your mate, and the courtship has proven his/her character compliments your own - I'd say a 4-6 month engagement. (Unless of course you're planning to go into debt for 1 expensive wedding day - which should be given another thought or two).

Female - Age Range: 31-40
Yes, I have to say I agree as in most literature I have read it recommends that you should not consider engagment until approximately a year to eighteen months. I have enjoyed reading through the various stories and I am very happy for these couples but I too am a little concerned that a lot of these marriages may be based on some kind of infatuation rather than the 'real thing'!

Female - Age Range: 31-40
I think that the length of time really depends on what you want to know and if the person is sincere enough to tell the whole truth and nothing but just that.
It is always better to give it a longer time so that you have the necessary information to know what you are dealing with. Never forget the power of PRAYER. You will always end up seeing beyond what the human eye can comprehend.

CanSDA: Female - Age Range: 31-40
You may use my alias.

I share your view. I believe that in some of these Success Stories, the novelty of the relationship will wear off and they will realize that they are fundamentally incompatible. Or they may be compatible but they will have a rough time adjusting to each other's idiosyncracies as they FINALLY get to know each other. Some will be divorced because of irreconcilable differences and some will remain in a lack-lustre marriage that should never have taken place. This reminds me of the spate of marriages during World War II, when a soldier would hurriedly marry his sweetheart (or someone he barely knew) before he went off to war. Then after the war, the divorce rate hit a record high as they realized that they had been caught up in the excitement of a romanticized war and they were incompatible.

When we seek a partner on this website, many of us make no pretence about our hopes of getting married. Also the information on our profiles will very quickly give vital facts about us. So we can quickly choose with whom we will correspond and develop a relationship. The process is accelerated, which may be good or bad. It is good in the sense that we don't 'waste good shots on blackbirds'. We know who NOT to correspond with. But after we start a relationship with someone in this artificial environment, we may get presumptuous about our fitness for marriage. There are still many things that we need to know about each other, and we cannot learn all the essential things by being TOLD about them. Some things are kept hidden until after marriage, when the mask comes off!

It is best if we develop a relationship in an environment where we get to see what the other person is like in real life. There should be MANY visits before he proposes. After a while, one person could relocate to somewhere near where the other person lives, and the courtship could continue in a more natural manner. There should be no pressure for him to propose or for her to accept.

I like the idea of this dating website, but once we find that special person, LET'S TAKE OUR TIME. This website introduces us, but we should take as long as we need to get to know each other properly. For some people, that may be as short as six months of constant contact. While others may wish to quote Katisha in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado: 'It takes a man years to acquire a taste for me!'.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
I personally believe you need to court someone for at least a year before you think of comtemplating marriage. Getting to know someone takes time, I mean really knowing someone. I beleive you need common heart for the Lord and common goals and interests. You need to know if you can really live with this person for the rest of your life..Emotions and romance can cloud reality...There are far to many broken hearts and divorces to rush into things...Time tells the fruit of the relationship...God bless, Deborah.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
I feel the same way. . . .it is easy to be in a delicate emotional state and get carried away into believing that you have met MR./MRS. happilyeverafter and that God has directed you to them. Truth is that if it is right, and if God directed you. . . . there is no reason to rush!! It will still be there in a year or two, take time to work out all the bugs before you are both in the same house knowing so little about each other. Take the time to really know all the little things. Communication is a must. . . .and not online, or over the phone, or in letters. . . . face to face, and not just a weekend here and there, if it is meant to be take the time to relocate and really develope a personal relationship over some time. . . .so that you know all the aspects of your prospective love interest. . . .good and bad!
I speak from a very heavy heart. . . .I know first hand the heartache and devestation that can take place if one enters into a relationship without the advantage of knowing a person for a long time, in their environment.

Female - Age Range: 41-50
The longer the better! Really. I mean what's the rush? Maybe a year or two, it depends on the individuals involved and where they are in their lives. I mean after all, you'll be spending the rest of your lives together ;-)

TexasStar: Female - Age Range: 41-50
You may use my alias.

I have discovered some great books, written by Christian professionals, who map out the important phases and stages of a lasting relationship. I would love to share them with you. They are:

Smart Love, by Dr. Nancy Van Pelt
Love for a Lifetime, by Dr. James Dobson

Also read: When God Writes Your Love Story
by Eric & Leslie Ludy

These books are easy reading, will add depth to your friendships, and will surprise you!

May God bless you in your search to find meaning in your life...Which reminds me of another great book:

The Purpose Driven Life, (What on Earth am I here For?) by Rick Warren

Some excerpts:
The truth will set you free, but first it may make you miserable!
Everything that happens to you has spiritual significance.
God develops the fruit of the Spirit by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you're tempted to express the exact opposite quality!
The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you.
Don't ever try to argue with the Devil. He's better at arguing than you are, having had thousands of years to practice.
There is no growth without change, no change without fear or loss, and no loss without pain.
It takes time. Don't get in a hurry.
Real servants don't try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
If God only used perfect people, nothing would ever get done.
Your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.
You were made for a mission!

May God bless you as you seek to find His direction & purpose for your existence! :)

Female - Age Range: 41-50
In order to get married in our church if you must have dated a minimum of 6 months, have a personal relationship with Christ, if divorced, you must wait at least one year from the time the divorce is final, attended the marriage seminar, attended the financial seminar, meet with a mentor couple for several sessions, and been abstinent and living in separate residences. With this criteria the divorce rate among those who have been married there is very low. It's great that we have couples who have successful marriages willing to mentor young couples. So, I'd say a minimum of 6 months is a good idea.

Female - Age Range: 51-60
I have to admit that I've wondered how long these marriages are going to last,when they've known each other for what seems like such short time spans. I recently came close to getting married after knowing someone for 3 months. With this relationship, I had dropped my 'rule' of knowing someone as a friend for at least a year or more before getting romantically involved, because everything clicked right off and everything seemed so right. It was the perfect relationship that I had been waiting for. I prayed that the Lord would show me his true character (just to make sure;I really felt that I was seeing him as he was). Suddenly, he started showing a whole different side of his character and I was shocked. What I was seeing was not something I could accept in a relationship. I broke off the relationship, and just shook my head at myself; how close I had come to marrying someone that would have made my life miserable. Maybe after 10 yr.s of counseling, it would have worked (there was a lot of baggage from prior relationship), but I'm at a place in my life where I'm happy as a single, and a miserable life for years isn't worth being married. Now, I admit, that some of these people that marry after a short time may have a happy marriage; but I think that you're taking a huge chance. There's no way you can know someone well enough in a short period of time. What's so scary is that so many people (esp. men) put on an act, and portray their 'best' side, and aren't their true selves. If everyone would be open and HONEST, it would be so much easier. But, I'm finding that honesty and integrity are not that common. I could go on forever, but I think you get the point. I have decided that friendships are the way to go; if something develops later (at least a year or more); you've known that person during a period of time that you prob. have seem much more of who they really are, than you would have in a romantic relationship.

Female - Age Range: 61-70
Well, I do not know, because I only dated my first husband from New Years Eve, '57' to March 7, 1957 and we had a very happy life together. He died of a heart attack at work.

My second husband, I met on June 26, 1969 started dating him August 18, 69 and we were married Sept. 4th of 69. The Lord picked out both of them and I praise the Lord for His wonderful Love in giving me two wonderful loving husbands that loved the Lord.

I'd say that it is different for each person, and God's leading is the most important thing in the world for couples. Love is a wonderful thing between a man and a woman, but when God is part of that plan it makes it the most loving and binding love.

Male - Age Range: 21-30
I think 6 months is long enough for an engagement

Male - Age Range: 31-40
I had it happened to me on this sight. I got caught up in the emotions and I guess she did too. Within 2 months we were engaged and I was very happy and on my way to a lifetime of love and hapiness. She all of a sudden changed her mind and I got my heart broken. I would say that if someone stays with you for a 6 months to a year, you have a better chance of success.

tictack35: Male - Age Range: 31-40
'You may use my alias',

Personally speaking from experience, it is important to take some time before getting married. You might think that being with someone for only a few months and all you can do is think about them all the time. Thats when you need to wait. People get blind by the passion of a new realtionship, yes 6 months is new. Its ok to talk about or even be engaged in a short time, but the engagement should last a while. Its different for everyone. When the -awww, all I can do is think about them- is gone. Then look at the relationship and see if there are traits that you do not like. If there are, then question wether you can live with it for the rest of your life. It may be hard to break it off, but you and the other will be happier in the long run.

Male - Age Range: 31-40
I would like to see the profiles of those had the success. Like in all sites there are people here who seem they are looking for a roommate to help with the bills, or a travel partner. That's what I think sometimes when I see a profile without picture and/or without comments. But still have the hope to find the real success here because I see many good profiles and suppose good marriages have been achieved through this site. But I don't think 4 months is enough to know other person if we are really serious to have a life-time marriage.

I also heard in other place that a couple were writting to each other and the man traveled to meet her for the first time and marry her and bring her to his country. (Not form this site). I believe that you need to see that person eating, living daily life, talking, etc. before any commitment takes place. I think 6 months is not enough for a dating started on line even if you traveled frequently from state to state.

Male - Age Range: 31-40
If two people were meant to be together then time is of no consequences. Yet, on the other hand, without taking the time to ge to really know someone, how do yu know that this is the person that you are meant to be with? The giddiness and euphoria that comes with getting to know someone whom at first appearence seems to have been put here just for you can often be overwhelming at times. But, you must allow enough time to pass to allow those feelings to either grow or deminish. Ask your self, Is this really love or is it lust or does it fall somewhere in between. It is hard at times to be alone and lonely and the prospect of finding your soulmate in this world is an exiting thing, but if you just rush in with out weighing all the facts, without learning all the little quirks and faults ( yes, it is hard to believe, but Mr. or Miss wonderful is not perfect) you may find yourself with someone whom yu can not stand to be with in the long run. On the other hand if you take your time and get to know someone, then you can truly enjoy spending those cold winter nights or steamy summer days with someone that you are happy to be with for the rest of your lives as was intended by God. You must weed out the close enough ones from the right ones. whith out doing so you are either dooming yourself to a life of unhappy mediocrity or worse yet, divorce. Take the time, whether it be 3,6, or 12 months or even a year to get to know the other and then you will know in your heart whether or not you are right for each other. It also helps if you pray and ask God to help you find and determine the right one for you.
You may or may not take my advice, but whatever you do my prayer for you is that you find ove and happiness for the rest of your lives. God Bless.

Matt633: Male - Age Range: 41-50
You may use my alias,

You are defintely not alone. I have not only read some of these 'quickie' engagement periods, but I have had personal experience dealing with friends who don't think that they have to invest a lot of time when detirmining who their spouse is going to be. I can think of 4 couples who didn't spend more than 6 months to date before deciding to get engaged. As a matter of fact, one couple spent 6 months to get to know each other 'including' the engagement! Although I don't think that it is especially wise to set a definite period of time for everyone (people are different after all), a couple has to be extraordinarily efficient and diligent in how they get to know each other for their to be less than a year between the time they meet and the time of the proposal. Some couples seem to just really 'click' from the moment they meet and there doesn't seem to be a lot of time wasted on first-time awkwardness that is so common on the first date or two. Another reason may be due to the amount of time available to date and get to know each other. I know of at least one couple who seemed to have the time to date almost every night because they both had the time. However, most of us, for a variety of reasons, take more time to get to know someone. Obviously getting to know each other includes more than dating. I think it is crucial that each person get to know and spend time with each other's family, friends, and other acquaintances. In addition, they also need to see each other's reactions and behavior in different situations; this takes time and I don't see how it can be rushed. Getting to know each other takes a lot of time! The extreme example of meeting each other with an engagement ring and/or proposal is absolutely ridiculous and I don't see how 'anyone' should take such a thing seriously. It's amazing how adults can act so childishly in the area of personal realtionships. Hopefully all of the answers given to this survey will prevent some of us from such foolish behavior and strengthen the rest of us in our resolve to 'never' compromise what we believe and not feel lonely when it seems that 'everyone' else is getting married. Stick to your principles taught in the word of God and do something proactive about meeting future potential mates and the Lord will bless you.

In His service

o2bwise: Male - Age Range: 41-50
You may use my alias

I don't know. I mean, wasn't it Isaac for whom a wife was found? It doesn't seem like he spent a lot of time with her - and that is biblical!

Has to count for something.

Outside of the above, the only things I think, at the moment are:

1. Cultural norms may not be biblical norms.

2. The very fact that people are in a singles internet service suggests a strong desire to meet someone and that certainly invites caution.

3. Maybe caution can be had within a 'short' time window.

4. The right choice of the will is so important. By that, I mean if husband and wife choose their partner to be their life partner, repeatedly, in a prayerful manner, I am pretty confident of the strength of the marriage relationship.

Just some thoughts as I don't really know a whole lot about how this 'works'! :-)

Wayne929: Male - Age Range: 41-50
You may use my alias. Wayne929

Perhaps the relevant question to be asked is this. 'Is it possible to go to slowly in a relatinship?' There are many valid aruments for a yes and no response. The opposite question is of course, 'Is it possible to go to fast?' That question is answered by the many unhappy marriages and the 50 pe0rcent plus divorce rate.
I do not profess to possessing the wisdom of Solomon, but I have been praying to God as of late for wisdom. I think it would behoove many men and women to ask God for wisdom in their relationships. If a couple employs restraint on their libidos, takes takes the necessary time to forge a viable companionship, and earnestly prays to God for wisdom (who according to James 1 'giveth liberally and upbraideth not'), they will know when to make the transition from engagement to marriage.
I will continue to ask God for wisdom on a daily basis. So how long is enough? I suppose long enough to do it right.

Male - Age Range: 51-60
i suppose that the length of the engagement will varry as we are not all the same i am refering to levels of strength the biblr tells us that if we canot contain then we should marry i beleve that each christan should knowwhen they either have crosssed the line or when they are close i believe the phraze then they should marry is to protect us from falling into sin as we should marry the person we are with rather than sin or be temted it is a matter of our individual walks as to knoow the boundries as they wll varry with each of us

easygo: Male - Age Range: 51-60
You may use my alias.
Nine months of dating/engagement wasn't long enough for me. She was able to keep her bad temper under wraps that long, until I was locked down. Then, she unveiled it in all its glory. I lived in hell for 12 years, until she finally left, thank God! I have read in a relationship-counseling book that one should allow two years from the first meeting to marriage. Sounds good to me.
Also, take a careful look at the home-life of the family of origin. Prov. 22:6 applies to bad home-teaching as well as the good. We tend to reproduce our home-of-origin in our own married lives. Her parents picked at each other constantly and fought like dogs, then took it out on the children. I should have taken the hint.

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