Marriage is often seen as the motive of relationships, because at certain stages in our lives, we are expected to settle down and start a family of our own. Also, there is a need for companionship, not wanting to spend the rest of our lives alone. These are a few of the purposes of marriage, although there are people who would rather be alone or have no kids. As relationship is an important step before marriage (even though not all relationships are aimed at marriage), there are various questions and views arising as to whether it is necessary to date for a long period of time or not. It is no secret that majority of long term relationships, ranging from 5 years and above, do not always lead to marriage. A lot of people dating for long years often start their relationships from either secondary schools or universities. Looking back to the secondary school and university sweethearts that we all knew, a lot of them didn’t end up getting married to each other, despite the fact that we all probably thought they looked good together or will make beautiful kids as a couple. Majority of these couples ended up or will end up getting married to people whom they only or will only date for a year or two. This is almost not surprising, as a lot of people believe that once a couple dates for too long, there are high chances it wouldn’t lead to marriage. In fact, some folks see long courtships as deal breakers.
Of course, longer relationships do not just end because of fetish reasons, as there are quite a number of reasons as to why they do not lead to matrimony. According to a poll I took on Twitter, a larger amount of folks believe the major reasons why long term relationships do not lead to conjugality, is maturity and changes in people. There were also a few other reasons like ‘see finish’ (this is believed to be as a result of the partners getting to used to each other, since they have been together for too long, making them to grow bored of each other), growth and dating for the wrong reasons. Majority of these reasons can be classified under one category which is ‘age’.
Age plays a very important factor in maturity. Although age does not necessarily mean maturity, but as we grow older, we become more matured than we used to be, our choices, tastes, mindsets, aims and purposes in life changes gradually, until we get to certain stage of our lives. This change is also applicable to our relationship lives. We start from wanting to date the finest guy in the class just because he looks good, to dating just to get over an ex or dating just because we don’t want to be single. But as we grow older, our mindset concerning romance begins to change, we begin to think more of our future than our present, and with age, we begin to think about marriage. Then, we start realizing the kind of future we want, and the kind of partner that would fit in this future we have planned for ourselves. Perhaps our current partner plans to stay in the country for the rest of their life which isn’t the case with us, or he/she isn’t as matured as we are the moment, then the long term courtship has to come to an end, in order for us to find someone who meets our future plans.
As maturity comes with age, changes in our lives will continue to occur, which causes people to eventually fall out during longer courtships. A guy could decide to date a girl during his teenage years because she’s wild, and he is also at the ‘wild stage’ of his life, but as time goes on and he begins to reminisce on his future, he may decide his years of playing around are over, but his girlfriend on the other hand is still at the playing stage. In this case, the young man has not only changed, but has become matured, serious minded, and also changed taste in women. Breaking up here is as a result of maturity, which can be traced back to the age factor.
Another valid reason for ending longer relationships is ‘dating for the wrong reason’, which can also be traced to the age factor. The motive behind going into a relationship at the age of 17 cannot be the same with the reason for dating at 28. This is obviously because what you are looking out in a man/woman at the age of 17, is quite different from what you’ll look out for at the age of 28, because at that age, you’re probably already thinking of marriage. Whereupon your partner at 17 will probably not be compatible with you at 28.
This is not to say that all relationships that start at young ages will collapse or not lead to conjugality, nor does this mean that it is not possible for long term courtships to lead to matrimony, but to establish the fact that age and growth is a very important factor in relationships, because as people grow older, they experience changes as a result of maturity. Maturity differs from person to person because people grow differently, thereby causing some partners to grow apart.
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