How Long Should You Date Before Making The Big Move?

I've been a bit quiet on the blog these past few days because I have been super busy and currently I'm in the lovely city of Secaucus, New Jersey for work. I've been here for the past week and the blog had to take a back seat.

Anyways moving right along I was thinking about timing and how long should people date before you can expect to get engaged and eventually married. Some people say it should happen quickly because when you meet 'the one' you just know. Some people are more skittish and they think you should take more time.

Have you seen guys who had commitment phobia break up with their long term girlfriends only to get married to the new girl within months or a year of dating? You are left wondering what is that about? Most guys will tell you at least the older ones that when they see something good they don't want it to get away, so when they find a good girl they snap her fast before other guys can notice her. Men are very territorial and they are like hyenas, when they see something good they grab it and they don't let it go. So that leaves me wondering why they stay with a girl they have no intention of marrying? Trust me friends if you have been in a long term relationship with a guy and he doesn't want to make it 'official' you need to re-evaluate  your position in that relationship. Sometimes it is good to stir up the pot just to shake things up and see where the dust settles.

There is another school of thought that claims you should date for a number of years before you can make the big move. Take time to know the person and to see how compatible you are with each other. Get to know each others strengths and weaknesses and how you all get along. Try living together to see how well you get along before getting married. It's like going to a dealership and taking a car out for a test drive before you sign the paperwork. The excuse is always that you want to see if you can live harmoniously in the real world. Guess what though you are in the real world. Everyday that you co-exist is not a rehearsal, you are actually doing life together! I do not know if folks are waiting for some big sign like thunder and lighting or something ridiculous like that to know whether they can make someone their life partner. 

While everyone's goal for dating may not be to get married, I do know that when you get to a certain age you don't date to have fun. Dating becomes more strategic because you are trying to move your life in a certain direction. You want to choose a person who you will do life with. This means that being with someone who doesn't share this goal is a waste of time. While you have to do your due diligence and give a relationship the time it needs to mature you should have an exit plan when you realize that things are not going in the direction you need them to.

It still doesn't solve the issue of timing and when you should throw in the towel. This may be a relationship by relationship issue where you have to assess where you are and what you want and decide what you need to do. If you feel like you are not getting anywhere then you need to have a difficult discussion with your partner. I have heard people say that they were blind sided in a relationship where they invested time and themselves only to come up short. I feel like the signs are always there and you know when someone is playing you or they are just not as invested as you are. When you are not getting 100% from your partner you know, how can you not unless you are denial.

I am more for the idea that when you meet the right person you just know. It doesn't take numerous test drives to know when you have the best choice. Now it's not all rainbows and butterflies because you all know that relationships are hard work. You also know that no one is perfect and it takes compromise and understanding to stay with someone. When people think marriage they think of a big wedding and all the glamour that comes with it. Marriage though is everyday work. Seeing your partner at their best and at their worst and accepting them for who they are.

I hope you head in the direction that you want your life to take. Remember if you don't change the direction that you are going, you will end up where you are going. Take a minute to digest that and if your partner is not heading in the direction you want it may be time to exit. If you don't make some big bold moves you may be in store for some disappointments in the future.

Listening is loving....

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