Is dating to marry a healthy concept?
With the modern day hookup era we are in today, dating to marry seems like a concept from the Stone Age.
Apps such as Tinder or Bumble have revolutionized the dating scene, particularly among young adults. It is just as common, if not more, for people to seek casual relationships as opposed to serious committed ones.
Everyone has their own dating preferences at different times of their lives, but as a generation we may be moving too far away from dating to marry towards just having casual relationships.
Why are we seeing this shift now?
In the past, finding a life partner young was a societal norm with clear gender roles in heterosexual couples; men were the providers and women were the caregivers.
There has been a shift in gender roles and societal norms in the past few decades that have directly impacted the dating scene. As women become more financially independent as more opportunities and social movements for equal pay and rights have progressed, the need for that stability from a man no longer exists.
Therefore when looking for a partner, there are other things people consider. So as we see an increase in female independence, we see a decrease in more traditional norms.
Some may believe we have moved too far from this ideology, but it is important to also consider, why are you dating or seeking companionship?
There are not two extremes for relationships. Dating to marry or casual relationships have a lot of options in between as every relationship and situation is different.
A common misconception of dating to marry is that it promotes settling. This can be true if one has a timeline for wanting to marry so they settle for the best present option.
The Bachelor franchise is a perfect example of settling for the best present option.
As a 20-year-old young woman, I am not actively thinking about getting married, whereas someone older may have that on their mind regularly.
My personal interpretation of dating to marry is being intentional with your relationships and not establishing or expecting to have an expiration date. Being intentional directly eliminates the idea of settling because it forces one to reflect on what they want.