I have interviewed lots of young people who are dating and in intimate relationships and I discovered most people date just for fun, most people even go to the extent of enjoying sexual relation for the sake of pleasure. When asked if they are foreseeing marriage, I’d get responses like “I love him but I don’t want to marry him” or “I love her but not ready for marriage now. I am not thinking of marriage at the moment.” A majority also said they wouldn’t want to marry who they are currently dating but most of them are sexually active.

Every relationship will not lead to marriage however, any relationship that shouldn’t lead to marriage should not cross the boundaries of friendship, it shouldn’t get to a higher level of intimacy. It is unnecessary and somehow an unwise move. If you want to take your time before deciding marriage, then take your time and never subject someone’s heart to an irrelevant experiment. The heart is not a test tube that can withstand various tests and chemicals. You must not have sex with people and bond intimately with them in a bid to test if they are what you want.

You don’t go to the apple shop and eat half of the apple only to check if it is what you want. I believe that God designed sex for pleasure as much as it is for procreation. I believe that God wired those feelings of sexual urges in us but I also believe that feeling like eating doesn’t mean you have to steal to eat. When you are hungry, you take your time to prepare the food you’ll eat. Sometimes, after breakfast, you’ll have to wait until it is an afternoon to eat lunch no matter how hungry you are. Unfortunately, self-control is becoming a myth, more and more people are beginning to believe that it is impossible for one to control him or herself but it is not true.

If you are not ready for marriage, you should be far from intimate relationships and dating. This isn’t a popular opinion but this is a view and lifestyle that will keep you on a safe side. We can’t be dating if our aim isn’t geared towards marriage, it must not work out but at least we must have a direction. If it is fun that we want to have, then there are lots of ways to have fun!

One of the reasons premarital sex is so wrong is that it creates a bond that shouldn’t be there in the first place, it makes breakup more painful and it tears a part of your heart in the process. We were warned to stay away from sexual immorality not because of God but because of ourselves, God wants to protect us and that is why he wants us to do things at the right time. Sex in itself is not immoral, having sexual feelings isn’t immoral but you’ve got to channel that energy to other things till you’re sure that you are ready for it.

If you are looking for fun, get into the football field, go to the tennis court, go to movies, sing karaoke with friends and do other stuff. Being two consenting adults isn’t enough reason to go on a sex rampage when you aren’t willing to take up responsibilities associated with sex. Yes, you are entitled to your own opinion and to some extent, you are entitled to the choice of life you want to live. However, I want you to consider my advice.

The heart of someone else is the wrong place to find fun, it is a wrong venue to play around! Stop messing with people’s head and stop messing with your own head too! A young girl in junior secondary school once asked me if it was wrong for her to be in an intimate relationship, I clearly told her it isn’t right especially now that her focus isn’t marriage. I advised her to keep friends, make friends but don’t let it cross that boundary except when you are ready to work out marriage with someone.

A lot of counsellors out there believes that dating and intimate relationships helps us to understand ourselves better and have insight into what marriage may be about but I think there is a bit misconception here. You don’t need to date people before you can know them. In fact, dating may make it more difficult to discover the things you are seeking. I believe that it is on the platform of friendship that people open up so well. Friendship-love is not as blind as those butterfly feelings that we give so much room when the idea of dating comes in. Love is more real in friendships and lust is more profound when we are just being pushed with our infatuations.

If you are not ready for marriage, find pleasure in other things but not in toiling to a zone meant to be enjoyed by two people who have decided to take things to the next level and become one. Sex creates a kind of bond that can’t be explained with words, the more you have sex with someone, the more there is an attachment in the soul and the more it is difficult to let go when you have to let go. God designed sex to be a tool of bonding beyond words, a bonding that is meant to bind couples together forever. It is the experiment of what is meant to be shared by two persons exclusively that leads to unhealthy comparison.

After experimenting with sex with diverse people, there will always tend to be some sort of comparison when you meet someone else. You may be sexually satisfied by your spouse if you didn’t experiment sex with various other people and thereby building up tastes that your spouse may not meet up with. Some ladies would have been satisfied by a man whose penis is average but because they have been experimenting lots of stuff with what they see in the media or hear in the public, they build up fantasies that are almost impossible. They might always think it is “the bigger the better” but they will keep wanting more even when there isn’t more.

When someone is not ready for marriage, when someone isn’t thinking marriage, be friends with them but don’t date them, don’t take things to a deeper level, keep some distance and protect your heart. Before I date someone, I put many things into consideration, is she someone I am willing to spend the rest of my life with? Is she someone that possess what I need in a woman? And then I also check to see if she wants work towards marriage. We rather remain friends that start an intimate relationship when marriage isn’t in the view.

You may ask, “why not date and find out if she has what you need?” We can get to know each other as friends. It can start on the friendship level and when we are ready for marriage, we can proceed to take things more serious. When I talk about “being ready for marriage”, I do not mean “being ready to do a wedding”. To be ready for marriage means to be ready to find a soul mate, work things out and get married. It means being ready to find a partner for the purpose of marriage and not for the purpose of helping us out of boredom and loneliness.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying every relationship must be about marriage but if it is not about marriage, it shouldn’t cross the friendship level. Much younger people lose focus on more important things when they start dating, we need to educate our young ones that having a crush is not enough reason to start dating. We need to help them out of that phase, we can support them and make them feel free to confide in us. It is not wrong to have a crush and having a crush is also never an indication that you are ready for dating. You can get to know people better in friendship when you’re ready to work towards marriage, you can decide if you want to take things to the next level.

After all, it is at that level of friendship that you get to know people very well. You don’t know people by having sex with them, you know people by being friends with them. You don’t know people by getting intimate with them, you know people by being their friends. Friendship before intimacy makes a great marriage but intimacy before friendship makes friendship more difficult to achieve. Here is one thing about intimacy before friendship, intimacy blinds you with emotions and lust but when there has been some level of friendship before intimacy, it brings a balance.

Don’t expose and stop exposing yourself to emotional hurts. If you are not ready for marriage, stop hurting those who are ready by wasting their time with relationships that aren’t leading anywhere. Sometimes, there are other reasons why people come into our lives but we bastardize these reasons and lose the roles they would have played in our lives because we rushed them into some sort of intimate relationships.

The major people that have contributed to my success on various levels are friends and there were friendships that got lost simply because we rushed to get out of that friend zone to something we were not ready for. Friendship is like a foundation, take your time to build it and when it gets strong, the marriage institution will last on it. The reason some marriages fail is that they never took the time to build a strong friendship (foundation) and they went ahead to build marriage on a loose foundation.

Yes, some married who weren’t their friends and remained happily married but these are exceptions. Don’t build your life based on the result of a few. Since you have the opportunity to read this, take your time to build friendship. Date when you are matured and responsible enough to make up your mind about what you want.

As much as this will not speak to all, I hope one or two persons find sense in it.


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