Courtship between prospective husband and wife has been in existence among the peoples of the world for many centuries. And so, for some people, it is normal. It has been observed that the underlying reason for going into this practice is to strike some level of harmony and understanding between the two people when they eventually get married.

Some people call it trial marriage but I call it false marriage. No doubt, some good knowledge of the prospective spouse could be gained. However, like anything that is false, the practice of courtship and total dependence on the experience gained there from has been damaging to the marriage institution. The reasons for this will amaze you.

  1. Marriage/Family is a living thing, a dynamic system that is never static at any given time. During courtship, remember that only two people are involved. But in marriage proper, more than two people are almost always involved. Certainly, the experience gained between them when dating would be definitely different from the experience of being three when the first baby comes into the family.

With the arrival of the baby, the family equation changes with regards to time being shared among the three, emotions, money, relationship with other people, etc. While the joy of having the first baby is always exceedingly high, it is also understandable that more money will be needed for the upkeep of the family, in addition to some friends and relations that may come to stay with them temporarily as a result of the arrival of the new baby.

Most likely, a second child comes on board before the first one turns three. Again, the family equation changes, with more financial responsibility as there are now more mouths to feed and the first child already in school. Perhaps, a third child arrives the family two or three years later, leading to further change of the family equation once again. One can now see that the experience at each stage of the life of the family in question never existed and could never have really existed during courtship.

  1. By our tradition as Nigerians, the nuclear family hardly stays in isolation from members of the extended family. Once in a while, one relative or the other may come to spend a couple of days or weeks or even months depending on the prevailing factors. Take it or leave it, depending on which side of the couple the visitor comes from , one will not expect a seamless relationship among all the people in the family at that point in time, even though there may be some pretentions. This experience does not exist during the courtship period.
  2. The good experience a husband gains when the wife newly takes in and shortly after delivery does not exist during courtship. Biologically, within these two periods, the wife is exceptionally beautiful and attractive to the husband due to some hormonal changes within her body. This indeed is an experience every husband longs for.
  3. The wonderful experience of fully enjoying natural sex between the husband and his wife does not exist between a man and a woman engaged in courtship. Sex during courtship, as my research has shown, is done with apprehension, fear and uncertainty. Most unfortunately also, sex during courtship is done with great sense of guilt and sometimes shame. In marriage proper however, the reverse is always the case.
  4. There is also this social status problem. Naturally, most people are proud to introduce their spouse to friends, colleagues and relations, as opposed to a man or a woman who really feels ashamed, demoralized or shortchanged as he or she cannot do same. Again, at social gatherings like wedding or other high profile occasions, one feels proud and happy to be called to the high table alongside their spouse.

Having said this much, let me specifically affirm here that it is mere fallacy to compare or equate courtship to marriage primarily because, as indicated earlier, marriage or family keeps on changing. Indeed, there is no basis for comparison because the total experience one gains during courtship of about six months to about five years may represent well below one percent of experience one gains during marriage that lasts for a whole life time.

In conclusion, let me advise that people who are yet to get married should not dissipate energy, or be carried away, deceived, or make rash conclusions regarding the characters they might have observed in their  would be spouse during courtship because the factors surrounding courtship are a million times different from those surrounding the marriage proper.

For more help regarding everything you need to know to make your marriage a very successful one, just get my book, ‘HOW TO ENJOY HAPPY FAMILY’ for just a little sum.

Thank you and may God bless your Marriage and Family.

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