I received a lot of questions on how my dating experience was with my husband, Jonathan, and why we decided to get married. On one of my previous posts, I stated that I would tell you all how we met so this post will encompass all of that. Disclaimer: this is just OUR journey. In no way, shape or form am I saying this will work for others. It's just our pre-marriage journey.
Courtship: "a relationship between a man and a woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other. Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents or mentors, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage" -- Institute on Basic Life Principles
If you read my post on How I Knew My Husband Was the One then you know I was scared of emotional rejection. Honestly, I didn't believe in marriage since my parents got divorced. I was emotional. I was emotionless. I was angry. I was happy. I was terrified. I was too available. I was too unavailable. I was all of those things while dating. Let's fast forward.
I met my husband through three mutual friends. He had a Labor Day Party one year at his place and my friends invited me over, I was reluctant to go but had no other plans and met my friends there. I was briefly introduced to my future husband and I didn't see him after that until the following year in January. I was a teacher at the time and one of my friends was home from pharmacy school so we all hung out for "game night". Little did I know, he had 2 or 3 other get togethers at his place in an attempt to pursue me. I was invited to all of them but I never showed up.
Our mutual friends apparently knew he had a crush on me but of course, they didn't tell me. My best friend actually told Jonathan that he had a 30% chance of dating me. PRETTY FUNNY! During "game night" I got to know him a little better. The next day we all decided to go out and for some reason I didn't drive. Two of our friends were in the front seat and Jonathan and I got stuck in the back seat. That probably happened on purpose but remember I was clueless about the whole situation. So in the back of the car Jonathan begins to tell me that he is interested in me and wanted to take me out on a date. Our friend in the front seat was shaking his head and telling Jonathan he was doing "too much" but honestly, I NEEDED that. I needed someone to be super straight forward with me.
On our second date, Jonathan said he wanted to court me. Of course, I laughed it off because I had previously told him that I didn't want to date and I didn't want a relationship. We began to spend a lot of time together and two months went by. One day we had a pretty serious conversation in which I told him again that I was not looking to date. After that conversation he asked me to be his girlfriend.
What I gathered from that was:
1. He didn't hear a word I said.
2. He didn't care about what I said because he knew I was indecisive.
3. He knew I was going to be his wife.
Obviously, it was #3. Sooooo, we made it official. We courted for a year and a half and then he proposed. We attended premarital counseling and it worked wonders for our relationship. While we were courting, it was very clear to me that I was going to marry him because we both kept working on our friendship and our relationship. We never gave up. I prayed about it and really worked on areas of myself that were not ready for marriage. 4 months after the proposal, we decided to have an intimate church wedding with our immediate families before moving in together. We wanted to be committed to each other before living together. We have been married for almost 4 years now.
If your goal is to get married with someone, then you and the other person should make it very clear that marriage is the end goal. If you are not looking for marriage then make that clear as well. You have to choose to be purposeful while courting. A lot of the times people date and are left in the dark as to where their future stands but all of that can be eliminated with communication. This was my journey with my husband before marriage. Everyone's relationship is different but I hope this answers some of the questions you all had regarding dating before marriage.