The 5 Steps to Marriage
During a very heated debate with Manny, we found ourselves trying to our damnedest to pin down the order in which people meet, date and marry.
After a couple drinks, some animated arguments, agreeing to disagree, here is what we came up with:
Step #1 – Dating
You’ve announced yourself as being in the market and proceed to meet and mingle with a handful of folks.
Some you see casually, maybe once or twice a month. There are folks you like more as friends than lovers. Others who you like more as lovers than friends. Then there are those in the middle. Dating is about rotation. By the middle of the first date, you can tell whether a person you’re dating or attempting to date is a homie, lover or friend.
I like to call this the Trio. The Trio is comprised of:
- Person #1 – You really really really like. Normally the one you wish you could lay in the bed with on a Sunday afternoon and do nothing. They’re sexy and a tease. You dangle at the end of their hook.
- Person #2 – You like them but its a mix of like and a great friendship. You’re not blinded by sexual feelings and get a better sense of who they really are. This is the chill person who lets you move at your own pace.
- Person #3 – They really really really like you, so much so that they pressure you for some sign of commitment. They can be somewhat jealous. You think they are cool but know you can’t give them what you want.
At some point 2 people in the TRIO always cancel themselves out. Usually its #1 and #3 and when that happens you find yourself with #2 moving into…
Step #2 – Courting
Courting: To try to gain the love or affections of, especially to seek to marry.
The fact that this was voted on as a step (a key step might I add) kinda surprised me.
Unlike women, men feel there is a huge difference between “dating” and “courting” aka “I’m seeing someone”.
At this phase a front runner has been selected and all attention and time goes toward getting to know, impress and hanging out with that person.
Another important factor: Many women don’t allow men to court them. (I’ll be writing about this next week.)
Courting is the foundation. Its crucial to laying out the roles of the relationship and revealing your core beliefs.
By the end of step #2, if you’ve found a match then you’ve moved on to…
Step #3 – Relationship
The start to any relationship is the mutual decision to no longer see other people. It’s this exclusivity that makes a relationship different from steps #1 and #2. Once you’ve made the choice to be a one woman man or one man woman here is where the real fun begins. Relationships should be where two people work on developing into something bigger but sadly for most people, step #3 is the highest level that they’ll ever reach.
“Relationships” get a bad wrap. Most people who say they’re in “relationships” are really in Step #2 masked as a relationship.
When done right, relationships result in…
Step #4 – Engagement
You’ve realized that the person you’ve made it through steps 1-3 is worth holding on to. More importantly you can’t bear to think of them being with anyone else so the natural reaction is to want to lock them down. Depending on how much time and effort was spent on steps 1-3, the duration of the engagement shouldn’t last longer that the time taken to prepare for a wedding and cleaning up any issues lingering from your single-hood (money issues, ex-lovers, commitment issues, etc). If your engagement lasts years, chances are you’ll still mentally and emotionally in step #3 but trying to justify getting married…at some point. Sidenote: I personally don’t believe that an engagement should last years. If you’ve been engaged for as long or longer than you were together but not engaged, you my friend have some thinking to do.
Step #5 – Marriage
Congratulations, you’ve made it.
(Sorry for the spotty posts…I’m working on some things.)