As a couples counselor who specializes in premarital Counseling, I have noticed a pattern of common couple problems. Many couples have relationship friction before marriage and experience an increase during wedding planning. I counsel couples, I teach couples, and I help individuals with their relationship problems. Here are some common complaints by couples before the wedding.
- Lack of trust
- Inability to problem solve
- Parents or in laws are allowed to interfere
- Money problems
- Spending too much time with opposite sex friends
Premarital Counseling is important Premarital Counseling Workshop
One of my favorite television shows is “Chopped” that airs on the Food Network. If you haven’t seen the show the premise is that four chefs compete in timed competitions to make three dishes, each round somebody is eliminated. The chefs stand before a panel of judges and they listen to the judges critique their finished dishes. One of the obstacles within the competition is that for each meal the chefs cook they have to use specified ingredients, some ingredients they have used before and some they may be unfamiliar with.
Well, I began to think about what if we used a relationship version of chopped. What if, when we decided we were ready to marry we dated several people at a time; lets say four dates at a time. How wonderful if the potential mates could audition for a place in your heart, to see if they really loved you and to see if they were marriage material.
The first round would warrant that a contestant desires to marry, passes all perquisites such as (good financial standing, sharing values/religion, future goals and family values, work ethic, sexual past etc.) this would hopefully insure that you are on the same page with your date. If they didn’t pass the test then they would be CHOPPED.
The second round would require that there is enough attraction, in other words are you in love, are you sexually, mentally, emotionally attracted to your date? Do you desire to be with this individual? If they didn’t pass the test then they would be CHOPPED.
The third round would require that your date is able to past the family test. If your date met your friends and family (provided they are mature and emotionally and spiritually sound) would they receive a favorable review? If they didn’t pass the test then they would be CHOPPED.
The fourth round would require a proposal in a timely manner and respect for moral values. Meaning that your potential mate should not attempt to live with you before marriage or to have sex with you out of marriage. The winner of relationship chopped would be spiritually mature, ready to commit, would not have to wait on a divorce, and would not drag his or her feet by delaying the proposal or having an extended engagement. If they didn’t pass the test then they would be CHOPPED.
It should be this simple, and you should have requirements for the person that you decide to marry.
Dating can be exciting and fun, it can also be painful and confusing if one does not date with a plan in mind. The pain that is sometimes experienced can be eased if one dates with an agenda. Having an agenda reduces stress, confusion, and hurt feelings. Having a dating agenda simplifies the entire dating process. Be sure when you date you understand your purpose for dating and the purpose of the other person, dating should not turn into a long painstaking ordeal. Here are some helpful tips for dating made easy.
- Have an agenda: it is imperative to know why you are dating, whether you date for companionship or marriage, be sure to know ahead of time. Don’t be naive, remember some people simply date for casual reasons, be sure to know your dates intentions.
- You are either married or single (I once heard someone say): do not place unrealistic expectations upon the person you are dating. True commitment can only come from marriage. Don’t waste time and emotions pretending that someone you are dating casually has a commitment to fidelity, especially if you have not defined fidelity within the relationship.
- Teach your date how to treat you: opening the door for a woman, not calling after a certain time, speaking in a respectful manner etc. starts with the first encounter.
- Know what you are bringing to the table? Be sure that you meet all the requirements and expectations that you have for the person you are dating. It is selfish to have a list of wants or demands of someone else that you cannot fulfill in return.
- Be honest: don’t hide or omit information simply because you are afraid that the person you are dating may not be able to accept your truth.
- Ask the important curious questions up front: Are you dating anyone else? Are you married? Are you ok if I date other people?
- Take it slow and easy: try taking your time to get to know the other person before making important decisions.
Please add your dating tips to the list!