Why do we date? Have you ever realized how interesting the concept of dating and marriage is? You find one other person whom you love in a different way from all the other people you love in your life, and you decide you want to spend your whole life with that one person. But this concept has been around for centuries. In fact, in medieval times marriage was meant for alliances and maintaining dynasties. Throughout the 20th century, this has evolved but has remained a set process – you date, you get engaged, you get married, and then you have children. In 2018, this set formula may be on its way to extinction. While many couples still follow this flow of a relationship, others choose to do things unconventionally. Either choice is a valid option, of course, and it is between you and your partner to decide how to live your lives. Just know that there are all sorts of ways to have a successful relationship. While you may read insider secrets claiming to be the one way to guarantee success and happiness, you know yourself and your partner. So find what makes you guys happy, traditional or not.
Dating in the Modern Era
Even the way we date has changed and evolved so much from our parents’ day. Many young people today approach dating in a much more casual way. Technology has become a part of everything we do with our partner. Some people would rather skip the idea or dating altogether and simply hookup with others they meet online. If that is all you want from a relationship, by all means, enjoy that. Sometimes these online relationships even lead beyond hookups to lasting relationships or marriage.
Technology connects us in a new way. You used to have to court someone by walking to their door with flowers and conversing on the porch swing. Now, once you have your crush’s number, text them while laying in bed at night, and get to know them that way. Meeting people has also become a more casual thing. Maybe there’s a cute guy in your class at your automotive & diesel technology college in NY, or another guy who bought you a drink last weekend, or you could really hit it off with your Tinder match. While there still are opportunities for the traditional, “Would you like to go on a date with me?” question, there are several non-traditional ways for a relationship to blossom.
The “In a Relationship” Talk
With such a casual dating routine, when do you know if things are getting serious? A relationship that starts out as a hookup or “talking” (a phrase meaning you’re flirting a lot but not actually dating yet). It can be tricky to figure out where the relationship is going. As with any relationship, communication can open the doors to how you both are feeling. Life isn’t as simple as when Hugo and Kim got pinned in Bye Bye Birdie and everyone knew they were exclusive. Open relationships and casual dating are a huge part of our culture today, so it is important to talk about where you are and where you want to be going together.
So how can you know if you’re going from a casual fling to a more serious commitment? Often a big gesture or a planned event can show you this. For example, if your partner introduces you to their friends or even their family, that is a big step. Maybe you guys are ready to take a trip away together. You could travel to North Bend, OR or take a weekend trip to a big city. Committing to making memories together feels like you’re moving forward.
Next Steps: Marriage or No?
After being in a committed relationship for a longer period of time, you may start to consider what your next steps are. You have the right to decide what milestones to hit on your own time. Some relationships move quickly and they’ll be living together after 6 months, others may wait 5 years before even talking about moving in. Plus, a lot of millennials today even reject the idea of marriage. We live in a constant state of transition and growth where the idea of settling young scares us. While this is true, there are also many couples who are interested in getting married and having a big wedding and a killer reception. So before you start looking at custom engagement rings in Brisbane, you’ll want to check in if marriage is actually a thing the two of you are definitely wanting. Getting married is great, but living with your significant other in a committed relationship without the title of marriage is also fine. Whatever works for the couple is perfect, because, at the end of the day, it is their decision and their decision alone.
The Important Things
Traditional or not, there are some things about serious relationships that you can’t just ignore. If you are planning to spend your life with someone, married your not, there are things you may want to talk with them about. If you do want to have children, how will you raise them? If there are issues with a pregnancy, should you look into dna testing in Syracuse, NY? If you are of different religions, how will you bring up your kids? There are a lot of big questions to consider when choosing a partner. So whether you are getting engaged, moving from dating to being in a relationship, or at the altar on your wedding day, be certain this is a person you can work through things with.
Every relationship should be centered around one simple thing: love. Obviously, other issues are bound to come up. You may argue, you may have days where you are unhappy, you may have doubts. But hopefully these hard times pale in comparison to the love, compassion, trust, and honesty between you. After interviewing over 1,000 married couples, their advice came down to a few basic principles — open communication, forgiveness, flexibility, being independent, setting realistic expectations, and overall being together for all the right reasons. Any commitment, traditional or not, should be based in unconditional love. That love will lead you and your partner through a happy relationship and a happy life.