Earlier this week, my partner and I would’ve been 5 years courting, if not that we got married a month ago!
No, we didn’t plan to date or court that long, circumstances around us from the time we met to the time we got married necessitated that we waited that long to get married.
Circumstances that included finishing my undergraduate degree on my part, and migrating on his part. We had established that we didn’t want to start a marriage in long distance, or even entertain it at any point and we wanted to partner with God to see that brought to fruition through our journey on earth.
We’re averse to long courtships and while we had a long courtship, we wouldn’t advise it, and if you’re a woman or man wondering why, here’s our reasons;
1. There’s a chance that you both could get too comfortable in that space. My partner and I were actually friends for 1 of those years and then courted for the 3 and couple months left, if you’re both not careful or mature enough, you could get used to that space of being committed but not committed, and then settling there. It’s why we have so many Christian and also non-Christian couples cohabiting today.
They’d rather not go all the way because they figure they’re fine in the space they are; being exclusive but no evidence to God or your family of commitment. It’s a dangerous place to be, for both your spiritual health, as well as your emotional health. Thankfully, my partner and I always had the marriage goal in mind so even when we were tempted to get comfortable, the marriage conversation would come up and we would reposition ourselves and our lens and God brought us here.
2. As a result of getting too comfortable in the courtship phase, you could go down the line of sexual impurity. When you’re mentally committed to someone, you can deceive yourself into thinking “since we’re headed to the altar, it makes okay our sexual sins”, but it doesn’t work that way. Sexual purity is what God requires all the way to the altar and even in marriage, (I will write about this at some point). There are higher chances of compromising your sexual purity stance in a long courtship than a shorter one, cause remember this is someone you love! There’s every chance you’re also sexually attracted to them. Again, thankfully, my partner and I were in a long distance relationship almost our entire relationship, so the distance was also a good physical barrier even if our flesh ever thought to slip up. We had strong convictions for ourselves and spiritual stance, and also good accountability around us.
3. It breeds a “locked down” mindset. This is mainly for my girls. When you stay with someone so long, you begin to think that the time validates your staying with them and so, even when they begin to act up you make excuses as a result of being locked down by time (which is only a myth), and dangerous to your ability to hear and obey God. The longer the courtship, the more tendency of being caught in this mindset and as a result you settle, even when you’re suppose to move.
4. Long courtships attracts unsolicited pressure from family, friends and even other bachelors and spinsters. I know we want to say “people should mind their business”, but sometimes, those people are genuinely looking out for you and it’s okay that they ask. The more they ask, the more you might find you’re getting uncomfortable with them asking and before you know it, you’re internalising the pressure and becoming passive aggressive to your partner who is probably going through same situation. Once your family and people keeping you accountable become aware of your commitment to someone, it’s only fair they begin to check up often, to even keep you both focused on the marriage goal and also keep you accountable in your purity walk. Pressure from other bachelors and spinsters is also a thing, I remember telling bachelors around me that I was in a serious relationship and because a year after they didn’t see me married, they thought I was lying and kept making a come back, it could be tiring if you can’t handle it.
5. Finally, I strongly believe that God didn’t intend us to court for long. I have no scriptural backing for it, I only see it in His relationship with me. It didn’t take Him any time to decide to die for us, it didn’t take Him much time to claim me as His bride, so why should a man/woman take forever to show that height of commitment if he/she has already received their conviction from God and made up their mind? My partner and I had deep convictions from God about our marriage and kingdom business together, so as often as possible, we would pray together and remind God these things and He worked it all out at the perfect time.
All this to say that it’s important that a person has their convictions from God before making any proposals to you. Without conviction, there is no certainty of a desired outcome, which is okay for people who just wanna date with no goal in mind, but not for the believer who recognises that time is precious and so is emotional and mental strength.
Some situations might be like Nelson and I’s and while it’s impossible to list them all here, you’ll know by the leading of the spirit and by the position of things at a particular time, some of the things include: compatibility with vision and leading by God, being in the same geographical location (I wrote something on why I don’t believe marriage was meant to exist in long distance here), agreement and understanding from both families, a release in both your spirits that the time is now.
I don’t believe God authors confusion so let’s not name Him in places where we’ve allowed our flesh to lead us to.
It’s been a month in marriage and I’m grateful for every day of our 5 years courtship, it prepared us for where we are now and if I could do it again, honestly, without any reasonable doubt, I will.
Here’s sending love and light to my sisters and brothers in long distance relationships *hugs*. I do believe that it could be a blessing in disguise so don’t be mad at God or your partner. Trust God through the process and time and watch Him make beauty of all of it!
13 thoughts on “The Long Courtships …”
For me I would have to disagree somewhat, I dated my husband for seven years, and was married this past May for 30yrs. in those years I have been abuse in many ways, as well as my husband trying to kill our daughter who is chronically ill and has cancer. I have known people who were dating a couple of months and married for more than 50yrs my best friend parents were these people, I would have given anything to have a marriage like that and no married to someone who into porn, drugs, and so much more something I never knew until the police removed him this past May. May God bless your union always
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Heyyy, thanks soo much for your comment and vulnerability. Im sorry for all you had to go through and I imagine you’re so much stronger from all of it and know better to give counsel. Thanks a million, And we’re totally on the same page as regards the Message in the post. Long courtships do not guarantee a longer lasting marriage and neither do short courtships guarantee an early parting. Like I said, my partner and I, despite being in a long courtship before marriage, we are against it and wouldn’t advise people to be in a long courtship for the reasons we stated in the post, ofcourse the term “long” now becomes relative depending on a couple.
As a matter of fact, it isn’t exactly predictable either way and all one can do is trust God and believe & expect the best every step of the way. That’s loved way.
I know you’re way past parting with your husband now but I pray wholeness of your heart and mind, that your heart will be full of love in spite of all the unlovable things you’ve been through. I also pray for your daughter, Gods healing power rests upon her and makes her whole in Jesus mighty name, amen. God takes the glory from your life x
I’ll have you in my prayers. Thank you so much for reading and engaging xx
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My husband is a danger to me and our oldest daughter with taking and dealing drugs besides other things I want no part of it besides him trying to kill our daughter. Our Lord walks with me and my daughters in this journey and I am grateful that I continue to serve in different ways
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Super glad you have found comfort and rest in Jesus. One thing I know about this same Jesus is that He preserves His own, so no worries. This all ends well. Praying for your family’s safety x
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Congratulations! God Bless.
Thanks a million David xx
Congratulations to you Rubie and Nelson 🎉. God knows that long distance courtships is meant for some of us but Thank you for sharing.
I noted some points and I’ll keep them in mind especially the one about Conviction. Thank you ❤️
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Funmiiii, Thanks a million darling. Glad some points resonates with you, thanks for reading and engaging.
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I resonate with this as someone who is in a long distance relationship and by Gods grace counting down to be in the same space with my partner.
You see that pressure from other bachelors it was real. I had to remind myself always I am committed to this .
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Hahah, I can honestly imagine! Thank God for an end of that phase honestly. Praying along with you both. Abba will be glorified in the entire process x Looking forward to seeing you sooonnnn xx
Thank you Rubie for this piece. It blessed and strengthened me. I found your post via Twitter just minutes ago. But I have important questions to ask if you don’t mind. Back story, your story is similar to mine only that we’ve been together for 4 years. And it was not all smooth. First two were long distant and last two, he relocated to Europe to join me. That was what we planned. And we didn’t intend for us to not be married by now…it is 2 years late. My questions:
1. Did you both ever break up? We have broken up about 4 times. But he kept coming back.
2. Did you have the marriage conversations regularly? Our families are asking questions and I don’t know how to tell them that I am ready but he isn’t. I am scared of having it these days to not sound like I am putting him under pressure. Our plan was to tie the knot in 2020 but we had unresolved issues, especially on his path.
3. How did you keep yourselves in check? Sadly, we fell into the sexual sin. He was my first. And we have since repented and now have people around us who keep us accountable. We don’t live together either.
4. What would you advice? We come from different backgrounds and he had it rough, including all forms of abuse a child could possibly go through. I was born into wealth. There are things he still needs to heal from that have inadvertently hurt me and our relationship (we’re still fixing). I have been ready to settle down with him for a while but I also feel this delay is a blessing. I am still making discoveries.
5. A lot of bachelors still approach me for marriage but I tell them we’re serious.
P.S: We’re both saved (born again Christians).
Thanks. I’m sorry for the long post.
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Pleaseee, no need for apologies, I really enjoyed reading from you and I think you’ll make a beautiful writer, I felt every word typed and that’s cause it was all well placed, so well done!
Now, to the elephant in the room! I’ll go number by number as you’ve done and that might help me to cover everything you have asked.
1. Honestly, no, Nelson and I never actually broke up in our 5 years together, we had low points and many days of obscurity and oblivion, but we never broke up, this is not to say that there is anything wrong in your case, It is just to reaffirm what I said about convictions in the post. Conviction keeps us with a person no matter what. I’m sure yourself and your partner had reasons for breaking up when you did, but it is important to ask yourself that in marriage, if same issues arose, would ‘breaking up’ be an option? If not, then you have to consider the options available to you two each time you’re posed with situations that stretch you both, so going forward, be careful about that, please don’t make breaking up an easy escape or first option because you’ll make it a culture in your relationship and in marriage, these cultures honestly do not change.
2. Yes, Nelson and I had marriage conversations all the time. I’m not surprised to hear that your family brings it up often, 4 years is a long time for courtship like I explained in the post. I also don’t think you should feel any kind of way bringing this up with your partner. I do understand the sensitivity of the situation like you have explained but a safe space to air whatever you feel or think is so important. You can bring it up with your partner while still being very emotionally intelligent about it, for all we know, he may be oblivious to your true feelings on this (which is not far fetched for men in general). Please find time and have this conversation with him. I remember that at the start of 2022 Nelson and I reaffirmed what we both wanted from the start of our relationship, which was to get married this year.
With your family, just be patient with them, but also honest, especially after you have had this conversation with your partner. There is a tendency to always protect our partners, but sometimes we need that external counsel especially from people who know God and love us.
3. This was easy for us at first; because we lived in 2 different continents, but closer to the wedding, he moved to where I was and then the real temptation started, it was hard Ara, but by Gods grace, we did it, with pecks and long hugs here and there lol. Thank God you do not live together cause that is the biggest bait to sexual sin; cohabiting. I’m glad you now have people keeping you accountable and I’ll love for you to keep it that way. I also want to say here that you shouldn’t beat yourself up about falling the first time, just repent and put measures in place not to go back there. My prayers are with you guys on this.
4. This is a bit vague and if you’re happy to talk more about it, leave me an email on email@example.com and we can have a chat about it. But from what I gather, the delay to getting married is from his end; issues and baggage’s he is sorting out from his past and also his mind. if this is the case, I understand and it is now up to you on how long you are willing to wait this out. Waiting it out will depend on if you see progress on his end in the years you’ve been together and if you see the end in sight, if neither of this is the case, you might be waiting indefinitely, and from my experience counselling people, this will do you and your relationship more harm than good, but again, please lets talk about this more if you feel ready to.
5. This is normal, especially cause I guess you are a woman in her prime. I think you are doing the best thing telling these bachelors the truth cause you would not want to double date or lead other people on while in an active relationship, so yes, keep doing this until it is right not to.
In conclusion Ara, I am so happy that yourself and your partner are both born again Christians. It makes typing this so much easier, I’ll just say that God is not a man that He should lie, whatever God has told you, I need you to stand with it, if God has not told you anything, then take time out to hear Him out, it is in hearing Him that we build our convictions, so this is so important. I have a personal experience here that I’ll love to share with you.
Above all, Ara keep praying for your partner, it sounds like he is going through a lot and the best thing you can do right now is cover him in the place of prayer and trust God for the best.
My heart and prayers are with you.