The One-Year-Before-Marriage Rule

12 May

in love

Have you ever met someone and had an instant attraction? That chemistry kicks into overdrive and you have so much in common: lots to talk about and you just can’t keep your hands off each other?

Watch it. That is very dangerous. How do I know?! Because that is what I’ve based the majority of my relationships on. If that chemistry wasn’t there I thought there must be something wrong. Don’t lie, how many of you have dumped the nice guy because “it just wasn’t there” right away?

Why are we attracted to some people we just met and not others?

The danger to this instant attraction is that we place emphasis on the wrong part of the relationship and we justify it by saying words like “fate,” “true love,” and “soul mate.”

And then we dismiss a great guy because “there’s no spark.”

Relationships that start off with a strong chemistry don’t have to be all bad. But many of us take that as a sign of “love” when really it’s just an extreme physical attraction. We have the ability to build up entire relationships in our heads within weeks and then we are hurt, angry and confused when the guy spends months ruining everything we had built up and they don’t meet our expectations – many times with the guy scratching his head wondering what he did wrong.

Relationships are built on trust and friendship and sometimes we find that the guy who didn’t jump-start our heart (or body), can slowly become the guy of our dreams. And sometimes so is the guy who did, but we don’t know that for sure when we jump into relationships too quickly.

A caller on the radio show today said that she has recognized how often this happens in Southern Utah. Two people meet and are married in 3-5 months. She calls this the “dating” stage, but many are using it as the “pre-marriage” stage instead, she said.

blind love

When we jump into that heavy of a commitment so fast, we overlook red flags. Even if the person is the “one,” it is better to date for a long period of time while you work out big issues: like how the other person communicates and how you both handle conflict with each other. How do they act on a daily basis and do you like each other’s friends and family?

Last year I met Mr. Perfect. The first three months were the best time of my life and then something “happened.” Well I had spent the first three months in the honeymoon stage and ignoring serious red flags. After another six months of fighting and making up, we finally realized that it just wasn’t going to work.

Even today he tells me he’s never loved someone before until he was with me, and I do actually believe him because I can tell that he lacks experience in the serious relationship department. But lately I also realized that I was doing things to push him away. I certainly wasn’t helping to build a strong, and trusting relationship.

Other outside factors had really interfered with our relationship, too; things that were completely beyond our control. I used to think, “if only we’d met xyz instead of now.” But when it comes down to it, it just wasn’t working.

Now imagine if I had married him as so many do.

Imagine starting off a marriage where you are both trying to change each other simply because you love them and don’t want to let them go. Pretty selfish isn’t it?

How many years and hurt feelings and frustrating moments would it have taken for us to want each other the way we are? But had I had the opportunity to marry him in those first few months when things were so perfect, I might have thrown all realism to the side and done it. And how glad I am that I did not do that.

Just because you love someone does not mean you have to marry him or her right away. Take the time to build the trust – it doesn’t come easily and it doesn’t come fast. Spend time together alone and with your friends and family. If one person is pushing marriage too quickly, that is a HUGE red flag that should not be ignored. If they love you now, they will love you in a year from now if it is “meant to be.”

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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Relationships & Personal Growth


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