Should people date before marriage?

· Philosophy, Popular culture

To most Westerners, the idea of not dating before marriage is extremely unusual, to say the least. In the West, we do not have arranged marriages; people marry for romantic love (usually). Other parts of the world believe in arranged marriages. Often, the mother of the son to be married will contact a family friend with a daughter who is deemed suitable. The girl will be shown a picture of the young man to see if she likes his looks. If she approves, the young man in question sees a picture of the girl. If he likes what he sees, then they meet, and if all goes well during their chaperoned meetings, then they get married. This at least is what I understand from a student I used to have. Perhaps it is not always this way. In the West, people date before they get married and see if they are compatible enough to get married. Since the divorce rate in the West is about 50% so I’ve heard, it does not seem like the West can argue that it necessarily has marriage all figured out. There is something to be said for both systems. With arranged marriage, people often get married younger, which in turn leads to larger families. Personally, I think, the larger the family, the better. One of the main problems people in this world face is that of loneliness. A large family can serve as a barrier between you and the rest of the world, a world that can be very unfriendly. A large family can be a source of support.


When we marry, it is two people becoming one. In an arranged marriage, especially in a culture where dating is not permitted, it seems like it would be a lot harder to know if you are truly compatible or able to get along for the long term. In a proper marriage, you sacrifice yourself for the other person in the marriage. You become united with one goal, one purpose, and one soul. If you date before you get married, you have a better chance of knowing for sure if there is a true connection. But since dating happens in the West and so does frequent divorce, what is the solution? Maybe the solution is a compromise between the two. Have your parents involved with the initial selection, based on a variety of factors, and then date without sex to see if you are compatible. Get to know each other so well that you know for sure if you want to get to know each other over the course of a lifetime and become one person.

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