Why Dating Is Important For Marriage: 4 Vital Reasons

by Gideon Hanekom
January 6, 2022

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In this post, we’re considering four vital reasons why dating is important for marriage and what that might suggest about how you approach dating in the future.

While there are many different points of view on the subject, as well as many societal shifts, dating is still widely regarded as an important step in finding someone to marry.

At least in the Western world.

At the very least, dating allows people to get to know each other in a more relaxed setting and at their own pace until they decide to make things more permanent, such as seeing someone exclusively.

Dating, in that sense, allows each person to determine if they are compatible with the other and if there is a spark between them.

That is especially important for (eventual) marriage because those are two key factors in a successful long-term relationship.

If you don’t have compatibility with someone, you won’t get along well, and if you don’t feel a spark, the relationship will likely lack attraction, which is essential for feelings of desire.

While a relationship can be “successful” without those two things, they are frequently what makes the relationship most fulfilling for people because they affect a couple’s satisfaction levels.

For example, if the couple is compatible, they may be able to understand each other better and have a stronger relationship as a result, resulting in more intense feelings of love.

Furthermore, if the couple has a strong desire for each other, they are more likely to have a satisfying sexual relationship, which in turn may satisfy their more lustful, naughty, or adventurous sides, which is essential for personal expression and wellbeing.

However, if a couple is not compatible and does not have a strong desire for each other, things may not go well.

In that case, regardless of other factors such as having good jobs or being attractive, the relationship is unlikely to last.

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this article.

What Is The Purpose Of Dating?

Dating, at its most basic, can be defined as a social activity that allows people to get to know each other better.

It is, more specifically, the process of getting to know someone with the goal of developing a romantic relationship with them.

In that sense, one of the primary goals of dating is to use it as a tool for determining the type of relationship you want and establishing those relationships before committing to something like marriage.

Dating allows you to do so because it allows you to spend “exclusive” time alone with someone you’ve just met but want to get to know better because you like them and enjoy spending time with them.

Another way to look at dating is as an opportunity to try something new and discover new things about yourself.

We don’t always think of it this way, but dating is as much about figuring out who you are and what you like in potential partners as it is about meeting different potential partners and testing the waters, so to speak.

In that sense, dating is about more than just forming relationships; it is also about personal development, both of which are critical for long-term relationship success.

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

In my experience, before I figured out who I was and what I actually liked in terms of partners, it was a bit hit-or-miss.

You end up in relationships with people who seem like a good idea at the time but don’t work out because it became clear that you were simply not compatible or attracted to them after the initial phases.

So, in that sense, dating as a process is an opportunity to not only meet a variety of people but also discover your “true” self, which leads you to become attracted to people you were not previously attracted to.

In other words, as you mature as a person, your preferences for people and partners change.

Of course, in my opinion, this is critical for long-term success in any love relationship.

When you commit to the wrong person (for you) because you haven’t done the self-development work and are thus still choosing partners for the wrong reasons or purposes, it can be disastrous if you decide to do something more significant, such as marry and start a family.

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that one should not view dating in isolation.

Unless you only want to go on dates as a casual partner and want to have casual sex because that’s what you enjoy, which is fine, it’s better to think of dating as part of a larger process that’s in service of finding a life partner.

In that sense, one could argue that dating and marriage are inextricably linked because dating is the process by which people prepare to marry, and marriage is the result of two people who are dating indefinitely and exclusively.

Now, if you buy into that notion and consider dating as a process with a very specific purpose that transcends sexual intercourse and isn’t limited to Valentine’s Day or blind dates, it becomes important to also consider how you can make dating meaningful in your life.

How to Make Dating More Meaningful

I believe that something must have a purpose in order to be meaningful; otherwise, why do it? This could range from a life goal to a daily routine.

It can be difficult to find meaning in something without a purpose and, as a result, to be motivated to invest in it.

As a result, I believe that everything we do should have a purpose in order to make the best use of our time and energy.

Dating is included in this.

What is the point of dating in your opinion?

What significance does it have for you?

These are really important questions to consider because they will most likely define your entire dating life.

Meaning is determined by purpose and meaning influences behaviour, which in turn determines the outcome.

So, if you want to alter the outcome by reverse engineering that idea, you must change your behaviours, which will only occur when you give something a different meaning, which will only occur when that thing serves a different purpose in your life.

In this particular instance, it is dating.

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

In that sense, there are numerous reasons why it is critical to understand your dating purpose.

One of the most important reasons, for example, is that it can help you better understand what you are looking for in a partner.

Furthermore, knowing your purpose can help you stay focused on your goals and avoid becoming overly emotionally attached to someone who may not be a good fit for you.

Finally, understanding your purpose in a relationship can help you better understand your own needs and desires.

So, how can you make dating more meaningful? 

Here are 3 ways to make dating more meaningful for marriage:

Begin with yourself

Before you can try to make the most of your relationship time, you must first strive to be the best version of yourself.

We already discussed it earlier. In other words, don’t be content with being okay with yourself; instead, strive for excellence.

What does this mean?

In my opinion, excellence is the pursuit of incremental and ongoing improvement.

It is the never-ending pursuit of the best that you are capable of achieving.

It is a commitment to always give your best effort, to constantly push yourself to new heights and standards.

Setting high expectations for yourself, pursuing your goals and dreams, and engaging in activities that are meaningful to you are all part of this.

After all, if you can’t find personal fulfilment in your own life, how can you expect others to?

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

So, how does all of this contribute to a more meaningful dating experience?

It becomes more meaningful because like attracts like.

People are always drawn to others who share similar interests, values, and beliefs.

In contrast, if your interests and values differ from those of another person, there is little chance that the two of you will find common ground in your pursuit of a satisfying relationship.

From that point of view, if you don’t start with your highest self, you run the risk of attracting partners into your life who will never be able to satisfy your core being.

By starting with yourself and doing the work internally, you’re essentially tweaking your energetic frequency, which will naturally attract others with a similar frequency into your life.

Understand your relationship goals 

While dating, it’s critical to understand your own relationship goals because you need to know what you’re looking for in order to make the best decisions for yourself.

If you don’t know what you want, you might end up with someone who isn’t a good match for you or who doesn’t share your values.

Dating can be enjoyable, but it is also a form of self-discovery.

Looking at what you don’t want in a relationship is one of the best ways to figure out what you do want.

One of the first steps in figuring out what you want is to examine your previous relationships and see what they had in common.

This will assist you in determining whether you truly want the same things as the person you’re dating.

For example, if you and your previous partner frequently disagreed on a particular issue, would it be any different with the next person you’re dating?

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

I understand that our brains can trick us into believing otherwise when we’re in love, but a leopard’s spots never change.

Understanding your relationship goals is a huge time saver that will allow you to date with more intent and purpose.

Determine your deal-breakers and avoid them at all costs

These are the kinds of things you simply cannot put up with in a relationship.

If you find yourself unable to tolerate a certain behaviour when you’re with someone, this should serve as a red flag for everyone you date.

People tend to make decisions based on their core values, which do not change easily.

So you might start dating someone you’re madly in love with, but if they have opposing values, it’s likely that it’ll become a problem in the future.

Again, I recognise that love is blind, and we have a tendency to convince ourselves that things will be different this time, but they rarely are.

If something was a dealbreaker in the past, chances are it will be a dealbreaker again once the newness of the relationship wears off.

Dating can be made more meaningful by identifying your deal breakers and avoiding them at all costs as you meet new potential partners.

The Importance of Dating Before Marriage: 4 Vital Reasons

There are many important reasons to date before marriage, but here are four of the most vital:

  • You need to get to know each other well.
  • You need to establish trust.
  • You need to learn how to communicate.
  • You need to develop a strong relationship foundation.

Let’s briefly unpack these one at a time.

You need to get to know each other well

As we’ve seen several times in this article, getting to know someone well before marriage is critical because it allows you to establish a foundation of familiarity and trust (see the second vital reason for dating below).

It allows you to learn about each other’s values, beliefs, quirks, and habits, all of which are crucial in deciding whether or not to continue a relationship with that person.

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

Furthermore, spending time together prior to marriage can help you develop a deeper level of intimacy, which can strengthen your relationship and eventual marriage.

However, I’d like to emphasise that you don’t need to know “everything” about your partner before getting married.

Relationships are fluid in the sense that they evolve, and it is a continuous process of self and other discovery.

We’ve been married for almost 16 years, and I’m still discovering new things about my wife.

Little things, like being reminded the other day that she used to play a lot of chess, which I enjoy and have done for a long time.

But it’s not something she and I have ever done before.

So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to believe that dating is about learning everything there is to know about the person you’re dating, because that will never happen.

We are evolving humans, but that is what makes relationships so challenging and enjoyable.

Dating, on the other hand, should be used to get to know each other well enough so that you can make an informed decision about your future together.

During this stage, it is also very beneficial to ask friends and family who know you best for their observations and insights.

You could save yourself a lot of time and heartache if you do this.

You need to establish trust

It’s important to remember that when two people marry, they’re committing to sharing their lives together.

That is, it is a commitment based on trust.

Trust is essential in any relationship, but it is especially critical in marriage.

So, if you don’t trust your partner right away, you won’t be inclined or able to open up to them and share your deepest feelings, affecting your ability to form a deeper connection and lay the groundwork for a successful relationship later on.

Furthermore, if you do not trust them or have a strong connection with them, you will be less likely to forgive them for their mistakes.

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

So, dating before marriage is a good time to build trust and determine whether or not the person you’re with can be trusted.

As I previously stated, when certain red flags appear early in a relationship, they are very likely to persist later on.

Trust is essential in any relationship, and if it is not present from the beginning, the relationship is unlikely to last.

You need to learn how to communicate

Another important reason for dating before marriage is that it allows you to learn how to communicate with the person you’re dating.

The importance of learning to communicate before marriage is that it can help prevent future misunderstandings and fights.

You will be more likely to have a successful marriage if you can learn how to communicate effectively with your partner before you marry because you will be able to communicate about most things openly and honestly.

I’m sure you’ve heard that communication is essential in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a marriage.

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

If you can learn to communicate effectively with your partner, you will be able to resolve any disagreements or problems that arise in a healthy and positive manner, which will only serve to strengthen your relationship.

However, if you are unable to learn how to communicate effectively with your partner, or if you become aware that they are unwilling to learn how to communicate effectively, there is a good chance that you will experience many problems in your relationship or marriage in the future.

You need to develop a strong relationship foundation

Finally, dating is essential for marriage because it allows you to establish a solid relationship foundation.

Now, why is this important?

A strong relationship foundation is important before marriage because it ensures that the couple is compatible and has a solid foundation on which to build their marriage.

And marriage is more likely to fail if it lacks a solid foundation.

A strong relationship foundation, on the other hand, remains an important component of a relationship even after marriage because it is how you maintain lifelong bonds.

Why Dating Is Important For Marriage

When you first started dating someone, you probably went through some good and bad times.

But you overcame them together, which resulted in a stronger foundation, which ultimately led to a stronger bond.

When you get to know someone better, especially when you start dating, you will want to give your relationship a chance to develop and grow because that is the foundation on which you will build your future life and family when you marry.


Dating is important for marriage because it allows two people to become more intimately familiar with one another.

This can assist them in determining whether they are compatible and want to cohabit or marry each other.

Dating helps you lay a solid foundation for a good relationship.

Many singles make the mistake of entering into a committed relationship without laying a solid foundation.

They meet someone, move in together, or get married, and things start falling apart.

However, learning how to date well can make the transition into getting married and marriage itself much easier and more satisfying.

If you have any thoughts or comments on the topic you’d like to share with us, please leave them in the comments area below.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a renowned relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website shares valuable insights on creating healthy relationships life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling more than a decade ago. In addition, he since completed post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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