A lot of people believe that long courtship does not necessarily result to a long lasting marriage, as they believe one can never really know a person completely, and people can be deceived during the years of courtship. Also, it is a common believe that what makes a lasting marriage is a lot of understanding, finance, forgiveness, submission (on the part of the woman), tolerance and patience. These attributes are therefore not attributes that can be built by long courtships. While other people simply believe that long relationships may cause partners to get bored of being together, whereupon, the idea of marriage might not seem interesting to them.

Before diving right into what really determines the length of a relationship, it is important to examine the meaning of a successful marriage. To most people, a successful marriage is basically a long lasting marriage. A lot of people judge marriage based on its longevity, rather than the happinesses and fulfillment of the couples individually. A typical successful union has a lot of pain, disappointment, endurance and torture maybe. But that is not really it. There are ‘successful’ marriages that involve domestic violence, and emotional abuse being endured by one partner, all for the sake of having a lasting marriage, or for the sake of their children, makes no sense whatsoever, calling such marriage a successful one. Although, some partners may go through things like physical abuse, but then decide to forgive, or learn how to deal with their abusive partners, that still doesn’t give the marriage a pass mark.
One time, I saw a discussion on social media, it was about the kind of marriage single young men and women would like to have when they finally get married. The question was if young people would like to have the kind of marriage their parents have, and a lot of them said ‘no’. Even though the parents of these young folks were still married, and will probably have long lasting marriages, they would rather not have unions like that with their future partners, probably because these ‘long lasting’ marriages are not entirely ideal wedlocks or do not meet their idea of successful marriage. Clearly, successful conjugality has more to do with blissfulness, gladness, joy etc.
Therefore, successful matrimony is based on the happiness and fulfillment of the couples involved in it, maybe the longevity too, but it definitely has to do with the fulfillment. Marriages definitely does involve quite a number of sacrifices, but if its continuity is based on endurance, or because of a particular benefit, then it’s no longer a perfect marriage, or an exemplary wedlock, because it is clearly faulty.

If then a flourishing conjugality is based on the happiness of the couple, what then determines such result in a marriage?
The courtship stage before the marriage is there for a reason, which is mainly about ‘understanding’, and getting to know each other. Even before relationship these days, young people like to do what is called ‘talking stage’. The essence of this stage is to get to know each other and find out how compatible the duo are, before finally going into a relationship. It is a stage of honesty, transparency and openness, where partners get to know and understand each other, and also have mutual agreement on certain things. This is also a very necessary step before going into a marriage, and once the step is skipped, you can guess the possible outcomes of that union.
Inasmuch as there are people who are willing to go into be joined in holy matrimony with people whom they barely know, this risk is not healthy (Not like the motive behind rushing into a wedlock is clear to me), because there are certain things you need to agree on, and learn about a person, before deciding to spend the rest of your life with them, and knowing these things take time. Although people change, and a lot of people believe the relationship stage before matrimony is not necessary because of that, the truth is, no matter how much people try to hide their true self during courtship, you’ll still see signs that indicate red flags. For example, if you talk to people who have been in unhealthy marriages that involved violent, abusive or lazy partners, you’ll see that they all saw signs before their marriage, maybe subtle, but most of them decided to ignore it, probably because they wanted to give benefit of the doubt, or they were too eager to get married (which is the case with a lot of women). This is exactly why the courtship stage should not be avoided, and should be taken seriously. Waiting for the right person, at the right time makes a whole lot of sense, than rushing into a marriage, simply because you think you’re getting older, and then ending up in a bad wedlock.

In conclusion, the length of a matrimony does not in any way determine the success of a marriage, if at all it determines anything, it’ll be the endurance or perseverance of the couple. The only things that determine a successful marriage are the happiness and fulfillment of the partners, and what determines a successful marriage is compatibility and mutual understanding.

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  1. Nice piece. I agree with you here as marriage is about choosing your love and then loving our choice.
    Curious to know though how long you think a courtship should be? Yes it is about understanding etc, but should there be a time frame on this at all (after all, you can never really fully understand everything)? Or is it more of a minimum and maximum time?

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