People date with a future in mind. No one wants to exclusively commit to a relationship that doesn't yield a future or that goes nowhere. Your time, love and heart is too precious to waste. So how does one date for marriage?
1. "Grow up"
Love is for the brave and marriage for the grown. If you desire it you need to be ready.
2. "Know your worth"
This way you will choose the best for you and you will see yourself as being the best for someone.
3. "Know what kind of a partner you need"
When you know your destination you will know which route goes there. When you know the kind of family you need, you will know the qualities in a spouse required to have that kind of family. Be specific. Trust in God, let love surprise you.
4. 'Possess the qualities you are looking for"
Whatever qualities you want in a spouse, have them too.
5. "Engage socially"
You will not find that person or be found by that person if you don't connect with people. Chat online, make friends, talk with people, go where good people hang out. Be open minded.
6. "Establish your no go zones"
Have things you will not compromise, like you will not date or marry someone who doesn't share the same faith in God as you, an alcoholic, a flirt, or someone who is married.
7. "Have friends of the opposite sex"
This will help you to learn how to relate with someone of the opposite sex. It prepares you for that special someone. This will also make sure you choose well having known many because a lover starts off as a friend. The danger of isolating yourself from people of the opposite sex is that the moment one of them does any good to you, you choose that person even though that person is not right for you.
8 "Be faithful even when single"
If you expect to be faithful in marriage, be faithful when you're single. Don't be casual with yourself. Have the same standards you desire to have in marriage.
9. "Enjoy you"
Love your singlehood, it is a season that will go. Love you and be happy with you so that you won't jump into a relationship to cover up the mess you are.
10. "Don't confuse 'like' with marriage material"
You like someone, there will be people who will catch your attention. But be objective, that person may be fun and pleasant but like is not enough to build a marriage.
11. "Don't rush"
When you meet that person you connect with in a deeper way, when it's more than like and you are sure you are on to something lasting; don't rush. Many times a good love is rushed and ends up burning the two. Love takes time to brew.
12. "Know before committing"
Sufficiently know the person before committing, know what you are getting yourself into. See if you are on the same page, if your idea of what love, sex, marriage, parenthood, responsibility and life is similar. How can two walk together unless they agree?
13. "Commit and allow"
If both your hearts are well-aligned and love is growing, commit and stop living like a single person. Let your lover in on your life and who you are.
14. "Talk more than lovey dovey stuff"
Be real. Talk more than "I love you", do more than fancy dates. Get to each other's inner secrets, talk about issues, life, be transparent. Trust each other.
15. "Pay attention to your heart, gut and instincts"
Notice any red flags and act, pay attention to your spirit. Not because you doubt your lover, but because your garden is delicate and should be protected from the little foxes that come to destroy your young love. Be alert and sensitive, accommodate each other.
16. "Involve your family and friends"
Introduce each other to your family and friends, let each other in your daily life. Family and friends will cover you and look out for you. Their blessing and insight matters.
17. "Don't forget you"
Yes, you are so in love but don't forget to build you. Don't lose yourself. Go on, advance your career, go to school, start your business, be the best you. You should always be making progress whether you are single or with someone; in fact, true love pushes you to be more.
18. "Be honest"
When your feelings are hurt by your lover, be honest. When something doesn't sit right with you, be honest. Don't pretend you are happy just to please your lover, you will eventually explode and despise your lover for the issues unattended to. True love is about truth. Be honest about the good and bad in your love. But don't complain, don't attack or nag but rather use honesty to better your love.
19. "Talk about the future, ask questions"
Envision the future together, where are you heading? Dig deeper, come to decisions and act on them.
20. "Listen to people's advice but make your own choices"
Seek advice to make informed choices. Some might approve of you two or not. But you know your lover and yourself best.
21. "Build the right foundation"
Marriage is possible but a good marriage needs a good foundation. Establish good communication, nurture good habits, agree on dos and don'ts, set the right love culture.
22. "Seek God's guidance constantly"
This one you should do right from the start. The Lord reveals things progressively, seek God until you reach the place you are sure being husband and wife is God's will. What God has joined together, let no one put asunder. Has God joined you two?
23. "Be responsible with people's hearts"
Whether you are single or dating, be responsible. Don't cause heartbreaks intentionally. Minimize causing heartbreaks because sometimes you will break someone's heart when you choose not to date them or because the right thing to do is to break up. You can't stay or be with someone because you feel sorry for them.
24. "Remember no relationship is perfect"
There will be challenges, misunderstandings, moods, highs, lows, trials, disappointments in your relationship; but remember, love is two imperfect people growing together.
25. "Remember this is long term"
Pray together, be patient. Grow spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically, financially. Growth takes time. Don't lose sight of the bigger picture.
26. "Don't be misled by sex"
Some stay in the wrong relationship just because they are getting good sex. Stay objective. Sex can blind you and trap you. It can make you stay in a relationship that is dead or wrong. Soon, the relationship ends with regret or with you having a child and the father running away or years of your life wasted in the name of sex leading to retrogressive emptiness.
27. "Dating doesn't mean marriage is a must"
Yes, you dated with marriage in mind. But sometimes dating reveals just how much you two are not compatible. Sometimes a relationship ends, not because of wrong done or unfaithfulness, but because the two are not meant to be. The love you had was for a season but still a blessing.
28. "Marry because you are right for each other, not because you have invested together in the past"
Marry because you are sure you're right for each other, because your future is brighter than the colorful past you have spent dating.