Both marriage and dating result from the desire for a life-long partner

The Pros & Cons of Dating Vs. Marriage

by Latoya Newman

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. )

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.

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.

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.

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.

About the Author

Latoya Newman is a novelist who wrote and published her first novel in 2012. She has a background in education, research and counseling. She taught at the elementary level for eight years, and has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada.

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