What is dating?
Some people view dating as merely a social activity. In this article, however, “dating” refers to the period of time a couple spend together to see if they would be suitable marriage mates for each other. So, dating has an objective. It isn’t just a way to enjoy attention from the opposite sex.
In time, dating should lead to a decision—either to marry or to end the romantic relationship. When you start dating, you need to be ready for either outcome.
The bottom line: If you believe that you’re ready to date, you should also believe that you’re ready for marriage.
Are you ready to date?
Dating could lead to marriage, so you would do well to consider what qualities you will bring to the relationship. For example, consider the following:
Family relationships. How you treat your parents and siblings—especially when you’re under stress—often indicates how you will treat a spouse.
Bible principle: “Put away from yourselves every kind of malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and abusive speech, as well as everything injurious.”—Ephesians 4:31.
Ask yourself: ‘Would my parents and siblings say that I treat them with respect? When I have a disagreement with one of them, am I able to discuss things calmly, or do I lose my temper and argue?’
Self-sacrifice. When you are married, you will need to consider and often yield to your spouse’s preferences.
Bible principle: “Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.”—1 Corinthians 10:24.
Ask yourself: ‘Do I always need to get my way? Do others view me as reasonable? In what ways have I shown that I put the needs of others ahead of my own?’
Humility. A good marriage mate can admit his or her mistakes and sincerely apologize for them.
Bible principle: “We all make mistakes many times.”—James 3:2, footnote.
Ask yourself: ‘Do I readily admit my mistakes, or do I make excuses for them? Am I overly sensitive when people give me constructive criticism?’
Finances. A person who can handle money responsibly will avoid one of the most common sources of conflict in marriage.
Bible principle: “Who of you wanting to build a tower does not first sit down and calculate the expense to see if he has enough to complete it?”—Luke 14:28.
Ask yourself: ‘Can I control my spending, or am I frequently in debt? How have I shown that I can handle money responsibly?’
Spiritual health. If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you should have an established routine of studying the Bible and attending Christian meetings.
Bible principle: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”—Matthew 5:3.
Ask yourself: ‘Do I take the initiative to maintain my spiritual health? Is my spiritual routine a priority, or do I let other things interfere with it?’
The bottom line: The person you marry deserves nothing less than a capable mate. If you are working hard at being that kind of person, you will be more likely to attract someone who is doing the same.