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#329412 10/29/02 11:14 AM
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Dan H Offline OP
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Dr. Harley seems to offer strange advice on the topic of 'choosing the right one to marry.'

Dr. Harley writes:
"My standard advice to singles is to date at least 30 people before marriage."

To me that doesn't sound right. I'd like to ask Dr. Harley: Did you date 30 people before marriage or did your wife? Did you any of your children? What about anyone you know who has been married 30, 40 or 50 years.

It has been observed that marriage success is inversely correlated with the number of previous partners each spouse has had as I'm sure you know, and I think even if one is not sexually intimate, one is likely to at least be emotionally intimate.

To date thirty others ensures that you have 29 other people you will be comparing your future spouse to in the future. And the same for your spouse. You have expressed strong affection for so many people that it becomes nearly meaningless. Relationships with the opposite sex become full of the expectation of 'when will this end?' as twenty-nine others have. Plus, you've become so darn good at dating that you have much less fear of ending your marriage and charging back into the market. And you and your spouse are both experts at breaking up, having done it an average of 15 times. Plus there are 29 ex's apiece or 58 total that are floating around. It's a small world.

I've noticed there are two categories of relationship seekers, the 'players' and the grown-ups (grown-ups can be older, but this is by no means necessary). Grown-ups have a goal in mind, seeking a permanent partner as part of their overall plan in life. If a Grown-up is not at a point of being ready for a forever partner, they do not hang around in relationships they aren't ready to follow through on. Grown-ups find better things to do. They clarify their own purpose in life and their own sense of mission, investing time and energy in things they believe in, being single until then.

How can someone who has dated 30 people be anything other than a player?

At one point in my life (I am 24 now) I made a resolution that I would gain experience dating. I charged out there and dated largely to gain experience. I even got a book entitled 'How to Succeed with Women.' I soon came to realize that my power was so strong that needed to stop all dating and focus on what is important in my life.

Having wasted time and cheated my future wife out of various 'firsts' (which I believe can mostly redeemed) I feel certain regret. I discovered what my parents could have told me, that developing the heart and maturity is critical. Then I will be able to look a girl in the eye and tell her I am interested in exploring a future together and is she? If I only have to say that once more in my life, that would be great.

Are there ways of getting to know someone without dating them?

I believe there are many ways, and I use them all the time. Just by getting to know someone as a friend/brother/sister you can find out: What do they do with their time that is worthwhile? How is their relationship with their family? How strong are their beliefs? Do their beliefs and values line up with yours? Are they generous with others? What is their idea of a fun time? Do they think about / value having a family? Does that line up with your dreams? How strongly do they believe in the permanence of marriage?

In fact (and I've experienced this), once you are dating someone the situation is much worse because love is blind.

I'd really appreciate any clarification you can give. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your use of the term 'dating.'

Thanks so much for your hard work saving marriages!

Best,
Dan

P.S.

I worry that people who try to date heavily end up with the players, because that is the market they've chosen to be a part of. Perhaps that's justice. But very sad justice.

P.P.S.

I would be very cautious about forming a relationship with someone who has dated many people. A prospective employer would also be rightly skeptical of a job applicant who has the resume of a perpetual job-hopper.

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I have some advice after being married for 10 years.

1. Spend a lot of time with the person before you agree to a lifetime with them -- get to know them when they are tired, irritable, happy, depressed, etcetera --- under a lot of different circumstances. This will allow you to see them more clearly.

2. Spend time with their family. Observe the way they talk to each other, and how they resolve conflict. Do you they yell at each other? Do the parents resolve conflicts by forcing their will? Do they share the same values you have?
I find that myself, and my spouse, are very similar to our parents-- the bad habits formed in their families die hard, if ever. The good habits stay forever!

The way their family behaves toward each other is a close indicator of how your spouse may behave toward you and your would-be children.

Further, look at their parent that is of the same sex -- often, children become become more like them as they get older.

3. Know Yourself. You need to know where you stand on a number of issues -- are you a clean person, or are you comfortable in a mess? Are you motivated, or lazier than the person? If you are goal oriented, and they are not, you'll be frustrated. If you are less goal oriented than they are, you may find they badger you all the time do more and you'll resent it.

4. Assess the value they place on housekeeping and "domestic support". If they are sloppy and don't care about keeping a clean house, and you care about it, it will all fall on you to "make it so". And it may sap your love bank of all its units.

5. Understand their ability to manage money. It's terrible to be in a relationship where the other person spends money like water. Conversely, it's very hard to be in a relationship with someone who never wants you to spend money on things that make you happy.

6. Learn how well you work together and solve problems. Disagreements are golden in the dating phase because you can learn how well the two of you can work on problems, see each other's point of view, and come up with win-win solutions.

7. Know where they stand on the issue of children.

To sum up, someone wise once said that we should marry someone who is from a similar socio economic background, educational background, culture, and religion. While there are exceptions, this similarity reduces a lot of conflict right at the start.

That's my two cents worth.

Hope it helps.

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I personally have never heard Bill Harley say those things... but then again, I haven't not heard it. My point there is that I am not bashing or defending his stand.
However, I agree with you. It is very noble to look for the right one through friends instead of getting emotionally attached. My husband and I talked about dating in our past. He had 3 previous girl-friends, I had dated close to 20. Iwill never forget the regret I felt at that time of sharing. Maybe I learned a lifelong lesson from 1 of those guys, they didn't add to my 'experience' of finding a mate... they actually hurt me in the process.
If I could go back, I wouldn't have dated any of them, building a lasting friendship was much better. That is what I did with my husband, after I figured that the dating was doing my heart and soul no good. I became great buddies with my husband. Then we began talking about where our lives were going... still as friends. Then we got engaged. We've been married 2 years now and he is ultimately my best friend. That is the right way!
We are youth pastors and we would love to share your views with our youth. We encourage more friendships less dating. So you have head the nail on the head, and I would love for them to hear that from you.
We encourage using the time you would use for dating a lot to be spent with God. At the single time in your life, is the best time to find your place with God.
Keep the faith buddy!

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I think there is a difference between dating a lot of people and having a lot of previous serious emotional relationships, or a lot of previous physical encounters.

Dating someone can be the guy you went out with once or twice, and then realized you just didn't care about getting to know him better.

I think the advice to date a lot of people (30 DOES sound excessive to me tho) really means to have some experience with getting to know a lot of different people...to see first-hand that everyone has their pros/cons as a potential partner. I do see a lot of people who married the first person they dated seriously end up being very disillusioned and "imagining" that they would not have as much (disappointment, conflict, etc) with someone else. Maybe that's the intent?

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I'm not in complete agreement about dating that many people either -- if you look at my previous post on this thread, I think you need to spend a lot of time with the person once you make the step of dating them romantically.

Can you imagine how long it would take if you had to go through 30 people?

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by kam6318:
<strong>I think there is a difference between dating a lot of people and having a lot of previous serious emotional relationships, or a lot of previous physical encounters.

Dating someone can be the guy you went out with once or twice, and then realized you just didn't care about getting to know him better.

I think the advice to date a lot of people (30 DOES sound excessive to me tho) really means to have some experience with getting to know a lot of different people...to see first-hand that everyone has their pros/cons as a potential partner. I do see a lot of people who married the first person they dated seriously end up being very disillusioned and "imagining" that they would not have as much (disappointment, conflict, etc) with someone else. Maybe that's the intent?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">YES! Dan H you would be wise to read and digest Kam's post because it's the truth.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by Dan H:
<strong>Are there ways of getting to know someone without dating them?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I normally just go through all of their stuff when they're not home. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" />


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