We can be in touch with our potential paramours all the time – via texts, on Facebook, on email – and this constant contact can be misleading – giving us the impression that we’re embroiled in something much more meaningful than we really are. My reasoning being that if someone doesn’t feel strongly enough about me after a couple of months, then they’re never going to feel strongly enough for me to spend time and energy on them.But the fact is – and this is something I’ve had to learn the hard way – if one of you isn’t calling it a relationship, Then. Yes, I could hang around, try and coax them into it, or just generally refuse to go away until it becomes easier for them to give in – but who wants to do that?
I don’t want to come across as some relationship-obsessed harpy and I’m sure once we’ve been seeing each other for long enough he’ll come round – we’re in a relationship in all but name anyway.” I slightly want to bang my head against the keyboard now, not least because I’ve said the same thing more than once in the past.
I’m not judging – I can see how easy it is to get into that situation.
In other words, if the courtship is long because one or more partners is concerned about the long-term stability of the relationship, then long courtships = not so good.
But, if the courtship is long because both partners want to wait to marry for practical and well thought out reasons, then long courtship = probably good. Click here for other topics on Science of Relationships.
I feel very secure and confident in our relationship, but just as I've heard that short relationships (or courtships) can be a bad thing, I'm wondering if it works the same for long lasting relationships? This isn’t to say that all accelerated courtships are doomed – and there are a lot of other factors that influence marital outcomes – but in many cases getting married after a short courtship is akin to walking on quicksand.
As for extended courtships, most of the research out there suggests that longer courtships enhance marital satisfaction and other outcomes I think we can borrow some findings from the cohabitation (romantic couples who live together without being married) literature to provide some insight into your question.
“They’re still getting over their ex,” “they just need more time,” or (ugh) “they’re scared of commitment,” but the fact is when someone meets the right person, they can’t propose marriage, or a joint rental agreement quick enough.
Of course, there’s always the chance that I’m (shocker) wrong – maybe eight weeks is far too early to call it – maybe I’m going to miss out on swathes of wonderful, slightly indecisive men who need longer than a couple of months to decide if they want to be in a relationship.
Earlier this year, The New York Times published an article called “The End of Courtship?
” explaining how proper dating has been replaced with casual hook ups and ill-defined relationships. And when I say I’ve learnt this the hard way, I mean it.
But, couples who cohabit prior to marriage for practical reasons and plan to someday marry all along fare better (and in some respects may fare better than those that didn’t cohabit), especially because these couples have had practice confronting and working through life and relationship stressors.