Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Great Reasons to Date Before Marriage

That seems like an odd title doesn't it? WELL not in Provo Utah! Alright alright, it happens in other places too - other places in Utah that is - within said LDS culture that is - but really, it's all connected somehow to the mother ship of two week courtships and 1 month wedding plans - Provo, Utah.

Provo is kinda sorta maybe full of weirdy's. Granted, LDS folks are a peculiar people, it's true. The world is going the way of Sodom and Gomorrah: morally it's a mess, and ethically it's a disaster. When people are surprised that a person returns a lost wallet or helps a stranger pack in their groceries, it's an indicator that the world is in a rather sorry state of existence. Thus, in such a place, to find a group of people who not only profess to uphold what seems out-dated: i.e family ideals (stay at home mum, many kids), morals (no sex before marriage), and high necklines, but even live that standard, is...well, somewhat peculiar. There is a difference, however, between peculiar and weird. Provo, my friends, is WEIRD!

I want to rant about all the reasons Provo is weird. I really do. But I'm going to ATTEMPT to go with only one rant today and save the lame date ideas (picnics on State Street meridian), the curious "keep up with the Jones's" attitude, the overwhelming amount of mothers who (try to) look like their teen daughters conundrum, the "peroxide drone" theory, and finally, the really really crappy drivers rants, for another time. Don't worry, there WILL be another time. Today, I want to talk about why one should date before they get married. Many of my fellow LDS brotha's and sista's have chosen to marry an individual without really dating them. Now, shall we define dating? Lets. I think dating/courtship is the act of exclusively dating one person, without interest in seeking out other dates from other people, for a period of time in order to get to know them and determine if they are a suitable match for (in our case) eternal companionship....or in other words, marriage and family. THIS idea of companionship and eternal families is probably one of the most important principles taught in the LDS church. In fact, it's one of the reasons we are considered peculiar. Thus, because of this push for families in the church, there is a push to "put yourself out there", do "go on dates", and to "actively search for someone you can spend eternity with." I've already defined dating - and one aspect of it (dating) that I think is completely thwarted in the blood-bath attempts of singles to sift through the eligible singles pool and find someone they can bear to marry, is the "dating for a period of time, to get to know" part.

We can all name couples who dated for, and I do not lie to you, 2 weeks and were married within a month. A MONTH! Furthermore, HOW how HOW can you expect to know someone after 2 weeks to get engaged to them?? Okay, now, I am a believer in inspiration, and I'm also a believer in timing and all of that. But really, REALLY, I can't imagine wanting to marry someone after "knowing" them for 2 weeks. This is weird, not peculiar. I guess I can't judge(well I can, but maybe shouldn't?), but what I propose is, at the very LEAST, date someone for a month before proposing. And not only date them for a month, but there are specific months that, if you insist on getting engaged to a total (must be hot) stranger, I urge you to consider the following "one month (if you must) to marriage" plan. Furthermore, I might suggest either Spring or Fall for your season of choice to select a month from. I'm going to go with Feb, March, or April...OR, October, November, or December.

  • Guys, you should date a girl while she's on her period. I know I know. That seems weird, but seriously trust me. If you can love her when she's feeling fat and miserable and in pain all she does is rant and rave and maybe cry and want to hit you in the face - well you know what to expect every month for the rest of her (and your) menstrating life. We won't talk about menopause...cause after 30 years of menses I'm sure you can handle, by that time, menopause.
  • Girls, pick out of the afore mentioned months to gauge the importance of sports in your mans life. Spring equals baseball beginnings and March Madness. Two big events in man sports life. Fall signifies the beginnings of Football season and the ending of Baseball season, again two big events in the sports world. Sit with him, if he's a sports man (I like mine cause he's not really - I'm so proud), during a crucial game and see what happens. If his team loses and he punches you in the face - well clearly there is an anger issue there. If his team loses and he kisses his overly enthusiastic sports buddy instead of you, well, I don't need to say RED FLAG do I? If your dates are contingent upon him catching every single game, well, again...you choose if that's a deal breaker or not. Cough...breaker.
  • Seasonal Dating. Spring and Fall give you warm, summer-esque days, and cold, winter-bundling days. It's suggested to see how your "dating prospect" reacts and or changes with the season/weather. S/he may get depressed and angry when it gets cold - and if you live in Utah - that's about 4 months of angry to deal with each year for 50 years. Think about it. Also, think of the sweat ladies (and guys!). You have to see what happens when s/he sweats - as in saturation and smells. I just can't handle some smells....that of BO is the worst.
  • Covers stressful School Times. Usually, here in Utah, we date students. We marry young(er) than most others. Date someone during a really stressful school time (thus end of Fall semester or end of Spring semester) and see how it goes. If they turn into a ranting raving lunatic who (heavily) relies on Prozac to make it through each semester, well...just consider how well they can handle LIFE without exploding all over you. Nobody wants to be exploded on. Everyone stresses; but how folks handle that stress is really telling of who they are. It's that whole "get to know them" idea again.
  • Spring and Fall fashions. MONEY guys! The new styles are in and the ladies are ready to transition their dull wardrobes they've been rotating all winter or all summer into the new season set before them. It's a magical time really. Watch and see how many times that credit card flashes, and having said that, it's also the time for new hair. Make sure you love summer hair her as well as winter hair her. Not to mention tans and short sleeves are traded for tights and sweaters. This is crucial from cold weather clothes being more forgiving than summer wear clothes. I believe women will spend more money within the season transitions than any other time - and guys, you should really examine how much money that really is and IF you want to or can keep up with it.
  • Winter Flab, Spring Thin. See who fattens up come winter and who slims down. If she starts out normal in the Fall, you're probably guaranteed she can shed the winter pounds in the Spring. A month is a good way to gauge health practices. See if either partners rockin bod is due to youthful metabolism or good habits. Superficial, maybe. But I also don't want my hubby croaking of heart disease because his genetic gifts can burn off bacon wrapped in bacon now - but not when he's 40 years old.
So there you have it Provo. If you INSIST on getting engaged before really knowing anyone and pushing the marriage envelope as quickly and efficiently as possible into your well-structure time-tables, just consider my "month" dating suggestions and seasons. Clearly I'm not trying to convince anyone to date before they get married - that would make some Provo-ites heads implode (and we can't have that) - but I am suggesting at least, at LEAST, find out minimal emotional tendencies and telling characteristics BEFORE you get engaged. That month will give you at least one more to break it off before the wedding (should there be a need of course). I foresee great things in this plan for all. So let it be written...


Laura said...

funny ... I completely agree! I was just talking about getting married and barely knowing each other this morning!

Crowther said...

SO I just feel like I read the Utah edition of Cosmo.

Brent said...

Oh gosh. 1 month! I don't know how you can really know someone in one month.

they may want to check some of these videos about getting engaged, like "should we get married" or "how do you know if he's the one"...