Dating involves the process of going out with an individual for the pleasure of their company and shared interests. It is also commonly referred to as “courting” or “going out”. Marriage, on the other hand, is a legally binding commitment to one individual with which there is an intimate bond which matures over time. Marriage is usually a progression from dating. Both types of relationships can be fulfilling for those involved yet still have their separate advantages and disadvantages which are linked to physical, mental and financial well-being. )
1. Variety is the Spice of Dating
Dating offers the advantages of variety of choice in intimate partners. The ultimate aim is to find “the one”, says clinician Maria Baratta, Ph.D. in “Why You Date Someone”. There is little to no pressure in having to commit to one particular individual, freedom to socialize with several different individuals with whom you have a connection. If an interaction is not working out for you, it is fairly easy to walk away with no strings attached. Based on “Knot Yet”, facilitated by The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, the extension of dating and therefore, the delay of marriage until later years, have actually resulted in increased socio-economic status for both men and women. In addition to romantic attachments, these individuals use the dating years to focus on furthering their education in addition to building and establishing their careers.
2. Less Stability in the Dating Game
The stability of dating relationships is significantly lower than in marriage. Maria Baratta points out that individuals may experience several failed dating encounters before they finally find the one they will settle down with. For every dating relationship you will have to get to know a new partner all over again and present yourself to them hoping for acceptance. In case you decide on dating instead of being married, the chances of your relationship coming to an abrupt end is much higher because you and your partner are not legally bound to each other.
3. Better Well-Being in Marriage
According to "Family Facts: The Benefits of Marriage", married couples enjoy better psychological, physical and financial health. The research revealed that married people experienced better mental health, with less occurrence of depression, stress and struggles with alcohol abuse. A study conducted by psychologist Ilene Siegler, Ph.D., found that people who had been married well into the middle years were less likely to die from serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, usually recovering faster from these conditions than their unmarried counterparts. Married couples report greater sexual satisfaction than those who are simply dating. Additionally, the coming together of two people to become a single unit, extends to the finances. Reports from the fact sheet revealed that married couples are generally more financial stable and prosperous than those who are unmarried.
4. Greater Decisional Constraints in Marriage
Even if the chances of being more affluent are significantly raised in marriage, marrying too early in life can increase the risk of getting into financial hardships which limit those decisions that you make. People who marry earlier in life are less likely to have completed higher education and be employed in mediocre jobs rather than progressive careers. Moreover, should your spouse have different ideas concerning spending decisions, you may experience difficulty in reaching agreements to budget for the money that you are making and in planning for your future. Your partner’s bad decisions, whether financial or otherwise can significantly affect the well-being of yourself and that of your children.
- WebMd.com: Dating Directory
- WebMd.com: Marriage Directory
- Family Facts: The Benefits of Marriage
- Psychology Today: Why You Date Someone
- Knot Yet Report: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America
- Annals of Behavioral Medicine: Consistency and Timing of Marital Transitions and Survival During Midlife: the Role of Personality and Health Risk Behaviors
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