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In such settings, it’s quite clear one marries into a —something many Westerners could stand to learn.Disney movies and novels commonly portray two autonomous individuals who “fall in love” and then forge their future together, often against all odds and objections.

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Furthermore, the dating system usually leaves all the decision making to the young person who is emotionally involved, often immature, and beset by peer pressure with little significant input from parents or church.

Finally, the dating system tends to neglect the practical realities of life: sufficient education, an income-earning track record, savings, life experience, common interests, and conflict-resolution skills.

Dating may have the advantage of “screening” a prospective spouse before making any commitment to marriage. There is the tendency to become attached prematurely without wider exposure to the opposite sex (just think of a guy and a girl pairing up during university freshman orientation).

Also, if steady dating is begun too early and continued too rigidly, the development of friendship and true partnership—which is so important to a healthy marriage—may be eclipsed by increased attention to physical expression and emotional intimacy, which can blind a person to the shortcomings and character flaws in the other.

But a consistent pairing off between a man and woman is a different situation.

Last modified 05-Sep-2016 22:16