If you do end up getting engaged and married, you will (hopefully) continue dating. This stage of dating is much different than the others. Now that you have made a lifelong commitment to another person, you will have to nurture and grow that relationship (a satisfying marriage unfortunately doesn’t just happen naturally, which I believe is one of the biggest misconceptions about marriage).
#14 The long distance relationship. Both of you love each other and are connected to each other emotionally. But physically, both of you live in two different area codes and share minimal physical intimacy. You’d have to deal with insecurities and jealously, and several bouts of suspicion now and then. [Read: How to make a long distance relationship work in your favor]
When you date from a right point of view, you know a date in a parked car is not where you should be. But, this is only if you have been prepared, and prepared your own mind beforehand, to understand that your way of life will determine whether you are successful in dating or not. When you date from a right point of view, you know a date is bad when bad things start to happen, but it is too late then. We should be able to read the predator type of individual and the non-predator. There are predators, both male and female. When you know the purpose of dating—you will know what kind of person to avoid. You will not succumb to the smooth-talker who wants to get something from you. There are more of those smooth-talkers out there than not.
I am going to cover some biblical principles that apply to the sometimes-frustrating situation in which singles find themselves. I have no one person or one couple in mind. The mistakes I will mention are not unique to any one person or couple—they happen repeatedly to millions of people. I am giving this because I care about the spiritual, mental and physical health of you teenagers and singles.
We are at the end of this age and time is short. We do not know how short it is, but we know that we cannot tell ourselves as singles, "Well, I will just repent of this later." You do not know if you are going to be in a car accident today, or tomorrow and die before you have a chance to repent of anything that you have done wrong concerning dating. Luke here, in quoting Christ, is really sounding urgent. "lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life," [You could just put in there dating, romance or immorality.]
This stage of dating requires much intentionality. If you are in a courtship, you should be asking yourself, “What do I need to know about her and what does she need to know about me to be able to make this decision about marriage?” When Olive and I were in this stage of dating, we found it helpful to give ourselves a time frame so that our decision-making process would not drag on forever.
Historically, marriages in most societies were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being love but legacy and "economic stability and political alliances", according to anthropologists. Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman. While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, and who would have to serve the function of reproduction. Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe; in China, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship" and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating children as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates.