How Long Should You Date Someone Before Getting Married?

What if after meeting someone, love struck the both of you like a bolt of lightning? What if this individual possessed everything you ever wanted in a love? Kindness. Generosity. Ambition. Respect. Romance. Sexual Prowess. Loyalty. What if this individual had it all?
Many people never see this kind of person during their search for love. Sure, many think they do. But once you move beyond what someone has to offer in the bedroom and your selfish needs, people rarely find this kind of love in their lives. You’d have a better chance of hitting the lottery.

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But for the sake of this argument, let’s say you did. Let’s say this person absolutely had the complete package.
What amount of time would be acceptable for you to pop the question? Is there ever an appropriate time to get to know someone? If life is all about the experience, what amount of time would you allot before you gave your life to someone else?
Many people will fight and argue with me about the answer to these questions. But the truth is, there is no correct answer. I’ve known people to get married after knowing each other for one week and ultimately stayed together forever. I’ve also known people that waited 5 years and divorced the moment the marriage was legally solidified.
But there are rules to success in love. And if you never follow them, you will surely go the route of 80% of today’s couples. Here are 5 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Married:

1. Where He or She Lives: Believe it or not, there are people out there who have been in relationships for years and do not know the mailing address of their significant other. These people literally take for face value that they are the only person in their lover’s life. Now I’ve always been one to believe in trust, but come on. There’s no way I’m going to date someone and not get a bullseye on their place of residence.

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2. Friends: You know that old saying about judging a person by the kind of company they keep? Whoever made that saying must’ve been cheated on in some capacity. A person who plays with puppies all day won’t roll with the pack of wolves at night. You are a reflection of the company you keep. People in healthy relationships tend to hang with likeminded folk. Don’t get me wrong. I have some friends that have done questionable things. But their overall judgment is pretty much on par with mine. If your man or woman is hanging out with a bunch of promiscuous weed smoking club hoppers, how can you be all that surprised when your lover plays in the same sandbox?

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3. Family: Let’s keep it 100. There are some members of my family that I absolutely hate. I can’t lie about that fact. And it wouldn’t shock me to know that a large percentage of the population harbors those same emotions about family. I know several people who’ve straight up divorced their moms and dads. And although I don’t know the facts, I can’t say that this is wrong. But if you’re rolling with someone that doesn’t have any family that they keep in regular contact with, that person is either hiding something from you or has serious issues. And these issues may be huge ones down the road.

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4. History: Let me ask you something. Have you ever dated someone and tried to inquire about their history, only to be shut down cold? Let me tell you something. That is seriously suspect. I mean deeply. Now I’m not talking about harping. Someone that nags you over and over and over about something in your past that they weren’t a part of has some serious issues. I’m only speaking about a healthy conversation about past loves. Your past is a reflection of who you are today. I generally have no problem discussing failed relationships because, in the end, they’re in the past. And if I hope to avoid repeating them, a healthy conversation about that history kind of sets the table for what is acceptable and what isn’t. And if you’re catching feelings for someone in such a short amount of time, you’d better be darn sure you have as much information about their emotional stability as possible.

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5. Money: Does he or she have their own money or are they always talking about yours? You ever had to lend to them? Did they ever tell you a sob story in which you had no choice but to cough up the dough to save them? Find out about their money situation. Because short-clock lovers generally have something they’re after. Your guy may very well be good. But the percentage of gold-diggers and account draining men becomes very high when you decrease the amount of time in which you’ve known them.

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Bottom line? If you’re going to love someone and believe in all that they say in the short term, success in loving them is somewhat risky, but not impossible. You just need to develop a tight list of things you absolutely need to know before making that commitment. And just realize that if one of those items is on that list, it knocks about 30% out of your potential success rate. That’s a body blow for a hopeless romantic.

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