Did you date a lot before you got married? How did that help you in your marriage relationship?
Honestly, I was in one brief relationship before I seriously courted and married my wife. I have always been a play for keeps kind of fellow. I got in relationships and consciously put the woman I was dating in situations that told me a lot about her character without labeling the situation as such. In general it has helped my wife and I know very much who each other are and handle the things that have happened since getting married which have tweaked things from time to time.
No, I really didn't date other people at all before getting married. In the first marriage that actually hurt me a bit because I was very young (got together with him when I was 17) and had no idea where my personal boundaries were or what I could and could not accept in a relationship. I'd never really seen a healthy relationship in action, and kind of assumed that since mine looked better than all the other bad relationships around me that it must be okay -- I was unhappy, but convinced myself that it was a fault in myself that I needed to fix.
For my second marriage, I love the fact that my husband never has occasion to question my previous life, and I do not have people to compare him to in a potentially unfavorable way. While I still didn't know my personal boundaries when I got into the relationship with him, he respected me as a person enough to step back and let me learn for myself. We live in the same small town where I went to high school and lived for quite a few years, and it makes me feel great knowing there are no ex-boyfriends lurking around the corner that might make my husband feel uncomfortable or possibly insecure. There are no skeletons in my past relationship closet that might pop out, and no memories to distract me from the wonderful relationship I have now. I think it has also helped in that I didn't have preconceived notions about what should happen in the relationship or who my husband should be, I was able to just go into it eager to spend my life getting to know him and enjoy the chance to be closer to him than anyone else on earth.
a lot would be an understatement in my case. i'm glad i did because it gave me a chance to enjoy life to the max and it also helped me appreciate a good woman.
Nope. My first "real" boyfriend I wound up marrying. Growing up in a strict religious home, I had no clue what I was getting into. I have strict beliefs about sex in marriage and will try to instill those in my children, but I am going to encourage my kids to DATE. There's a difference in dating a lot and sleeping with everyone. I know that will be scoffed at by most, but that's how I see it. But, a person NEEDS to be around several types of people so they can see how they interact with each. You grow to learn who you are the more people you meet. You need to learn how to play and struggle in general before you become committed to one person to play and struggle with.
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