Then there's the social stigma of breaking off an engagement once it's been announced. If you've been dating someone for at least six months, and if the two of you feel strongly that you would like to spend the rest of your lives together, find a good marriage-and-family therapist and set up a series of counseling sessions.For all these reasons, engaged couples may have a tendency to ignore one another's character flaws and overlook potential rough spots in the road ahead. In many cases this can result in a difficult marriage and possibly even lead to divorce. Focus on the Family's Counseling Department would be happy to discuss the options with you and provide a list of qualified counselors in your area. The counseling process should include a personality test such as the PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital Inventory.Maturity levels and life experiences are varying factors; some people are ready for marriage at 18, and some are never prepared for it. However, this is the world's view, which will usually contradict God's (1 Corinthians ).A strong foundation is imperative for a successful marriage and should be settled before one even begins to date or court a potential life mate."When Madaline is out of the house I want to date, but I don't know how." Samantha has been divorced for only a year, but would like to start dating again even though her two boys are still in elementary school.Like Jennifer, she needs some advice but is concerned about how she can make the transition into dating easy on her children. He'd like to date again, and some of his friends say he should start looking for a woman now — after all, he's getting divorced soon.But John knows better because he's still married, and dating now would go against God's desires.
Because we've found that couples who are already engaged are far less inclined to take an in-depth, honest look at their relationship.But if you think about it you'll have to agree that it's worth spending a few months in pre-engagement counseling to make sure that your relationship is really marriage material.It's much easier and a lot less expensive than going through a divorce at some point later in life. Greg Smalley talks about how to know if the person you're dating is the right one to marry.Perhaps you share their concerns, as you're also wondering how you can reenter the dating world after divorce — and do so according to God's standards. Divorce is the death of the dreams you had when you committed yourself "for better or for worse." As a Christian, you can't simply separate from your spouse one day and hit the dating field the next.And as with any loss, big or small, time is needed to grieve and to reassess who you are, where you've been and where God wants you to go.