Home Dating & Relationships Marriage Steps Before Marriage: Doing It the Right Way

Steps Before Marriage: Doing It the Right Way

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But baby, I married you yesterday.
But baby, I married you yesterday. I did this for us, not your father.

I’m 2X years old. All of my boys are within 1 to 2 years of me if not the same age. Ever since college, there have been jokes and polls on who would be the first to take the plunge into the wonderful world of scary marriage. A few of us have boos and are candidates for the unfathomable. Come to think of it, each of us who has a boo has been with that person for a while. What’s a while? Ehh, for the purpose of this post we’ll say 2 years minimum. One of us recently took the engagement plunge. It came as a shock to most of the crew. I think I ran into the bathroom and vomited for my boy. It got me all nervous and then the stream of thoughts went through my head. I thought about one of my friends from high school—a White friend from high school. Why is that worthy of distinction? Well, he made a decision early about who he wanted to be his wife and was married by the age of 22. Do I think there are racial/cultural reasons for this? Yes, but race isn’t my focus for today. Anyway, let me share a bit of his story.

The man met his girl in an AOL chat room (I mentioned this a while ago) while she was engaged to another dude. He stayed in contact with her over the span of years and the woman’s engagement eventually dissolved. He went out to visit her a few times thereafter, copped a ring, asked her father for permission to marry his daughter, then copped another plane ticket and made the proposal. Within a year, I found myself in the wedding (I was the only and thus hottest Black guy there). I can remember standing there and thinking “Damn. This happened quickly, but I guess he did it the right way.” Years later I’m looking back and wondering what exactly is the right way?

See Also:  I don't want to propose

It seems that every time I log into a social media site, someone else is engaged or has recent marriage pictures up. I’m guessing that all of these people are thinkin’ that they’re doin’ it the right way. From the men I’ve spoken to, some have gotten engaged because they been livin’ with shorty for a minute and feel in their heart that there arse is ball-and-chained ain’t goin’ nowhere. Some are on that ultra spiritual tip with their special someone and want to continue as one. Others have gotten engaged because they fertilized the egg (shot gun wedding) or the booski/FwB recently delivered. I know it’s happened to some people very close to me. I even suspect that one of my closest family members married his wife because she carried his first born followed by a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Did he or the other men I spoke to ask the chick’s father for approval before poppin’ the question? Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, most didn’t. They just made up their mind, began the kiss at Kay, popped the question, made whatever other arrangements, then got married. It’s also important to note that in a good number of these situations, there really wasn’t a father figure around like that…but that’s another blog post in itself.

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And on the other side of all this, I know women have dreams and/or requirements for how they want to be proposed to and what they want their wedding to be like. The process leading up to marriage is going to look completely different in their/your heads. Some say they gotta live with the guy first. Some say they gotta make sure he is good in bed on the try before they buy/get bought tip. Others have time lines and deadlines for when they need to be married and shooting out the first seed. And then of course there are those who just go with the flow. I guess that’s the right way too.

So I’m wondering what everyone thinks of the process leading up to marriage? Based on what you’ve been taught or believe in, what do you think is the right way to go about it? Does your man need to talk to daddy before he asks your hand? For the fellas, does your mom or whoever raised you need to co-sign before you pop the question? Let’s engage…in discussion.

Doin’ it the write way,

slim jackson

Comment(67)

  1. Hi. I'm a relatively new reader, and this is my first time commenting. I'm only doing it this time because I get to be first. :0)

    First, I'd like to touch on the idea of a guy asking a woman's father for permission. I guess that I have always assumed that my future groom-to-be would consult with or at least be comfortable with my family before proposing, but I'm not entirely sure what real significance this act holds today. In one sense it is a demonstration of respect and symbolic of his wish to "take" me away from my family and build a family of our own; however my dad got rid of me 10 years ago when he dropped my ass off at boarding school and forced me to establish a sense of independence. That being said, I don't think that he is exactly waiting to grant permission to a man who wants to deal with me. I think that as long as my parents have met the guy and established that he has good intentions (read: patience), we'd all be good with him proposing to me w/o a formal blessing.

    As far as the pre-marriage dating process goes, I think that it is largely subjective. I think that I'd like to live with a guy before marrying him, even though I'm not convinced that it is the "right" thing to do morally. Realistically though, spending the night at someone's house because you want to and spending every night with someone because you have to are two different things. On the flipside, I don't want to end up being anyone's "free milk." I think the best approach is to live together after you are engaged–you've made the committment (mostly), but there's still time to bounce if you find out that your significant other is nutcase or that you can't live with someone who puts the toilet paper in with the paper hanging under (hate).

    How do you know when it's time? People marry for different reasons, largely for some of the ones you listed above. I'm an idealist, so I hope that I am moved to get married when I realize that I can't spend the rest of my life with a man. But that's me, and I realize that I am in no way representative of the population at large. I think that as long as two people are willing to committ to each other, how they go about fulfilling that committment and why they have chosen to commit are questions that are best left for them to answer to each other and whatever higher being they may (or may not) believe in.

    So, there you have it–my two cents. Sorry for being so long-winded!

    1. You made some really good points!!!!

      Me and my S.O are now living together. Before him, I would have shouted from the mountain tops that living together is wrong and that you are heading for a disaster.

      Now that I'm in the situation, it's not bad at all. I don't feel like we are living in marriage because we are not doing everything that married couples do. Additionally, I don't feel like he's using me and vice versa.

      It just depends on the man you choose and the dynamics of your relationship. Thinking back on some of the guys I've dated, I was right for not living with them… but right now, it's working. I feel like there is a future for us, we hold the same views of marriage- we're just working towards it.

  2. I fully agree with the approach on this post, because the right way to do this depends entirely on the person. Maybe more importantly, it depends on what the combination of two people produces. You can have the ideal of waiting until engagement to move in, but it is probable that the person and your relationship (substance) might become your ideal, and everything else (procedure) might be secondary. I know I'm thinking about long term plans in ways I never thought I would because of who I'm with.

    @Smash, agreed, living together before marriage is crucial. Finding out as much of those things that a person does, and does not do is a must. You have to know to the best of your ability that the final straw (whether it's hygiene, manners, habits, whatever…) will not be reached for you, right? Although, I've known people where their love for a person is pretty much unconditional (but within reason, people!).

  3. Personally, I've never really understod what the big deal is with getting married in the ifrst place. Its just a piece of paper, it doesn't ensure that the person you love is always going to be there. Here in canada, there are no financial reasons to get married. You don't get any tax breaks that you wouldn't get if you were just living together. There is really no alimony here to get, so in the case of a split, there is no financial gain from the piece of paper. If you have children together, the child support after a spilt is based on income and # of kids, so the piece of paper doesn't help there either. I don't know, maybe i'm the abnormal woman who has never really wanted or felt the need to get married. I don't need that ring or a piece of paper to tell me that I love someone or am committed to that person(but if my love really feels it necessary to spend 5 grand on a diamond, I won't turn it down, as long as i don't have to get married to get it hehe).

      1. i think it is fair to say that spirituality has nothing to do with labels or religion or contracts or living arrangements. asking about the 'spiritual aspect of marriage' would be assuming that such a thing exists. a marriage of the minds can occur and a spiritual connection established, but mind you this connection and the marriage contractual obligations are not mutually exclusive. ie: you can be legally married and have no connection whatsoever, hence the divorce after 2 years. you can also not be legally married and raise a nuclear family til death do you part. and of course, some legal marriages do work out for the best of all parties involved.

  4. I would definitely have to say from my perspective (having been married and divorced). I would highly recommend FIRST marriage counseling of some sort. Preferrably, with your spiritual advisor or someone certified to counsel people before they marry. As far as asking for the woman's hand in marriage thru her father that is up to the young lady. She may or may not want the young man to do that depending on her circumstances. I do not believe you should live together before marriage. You are setting yourself up for a situation where you are living as married but without the real commitment and paperwork. Its just not the smartest thing to do. You run the risk of languishing in a living situation and the man will most likely drag his feet to the altar because why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free. Its and old analogy but it holds true thru the ages. Even if you do all the the above and everything else..it still may not work out (in my case), One thing is for sure marriage is a very serious committment that you'd better both be ready to put in work to maintain. Its more than a notion……

  5. Great post!! I think that every woman dreams of her wedding, the proposal…not so mch. Don't get me wrong, some thoughts/ideas go on, but usually most just want something romantic. They gotta have a grand story to tell…

    Now, as far as circumstances being right for a marriage to occur, well sometimes things happen and changes the game plan.

  6. Mr Mister asked my mama if he could have the pleasure of loving and cherishing her baby girl for the rest of our lives (exact words…aaaawww), if my daddy were still alive he would've asked him. It wasn't a prerequisite for me but he felt that he should make a promise to my parents as well as me. I asked his parents the same (after I said yes to Mr Mister), lol. I never thought about how I wanted to be proposed to and didn't day dream too much about the wedding…when I thought about marriage I see us, children, a house, living comfortably. Shoot I'm damn near finished planning the wedding because I want to get to the good part (marriage) already!

    I don't think there is a "right" way to jump the broom…to each their own. Mr Mister and I do not live together, we do spend nights together but that will stop in November and December when we both move back home after our leases are up. I never did get the concept behind cow thing though (I mean I get it but it doesn't sound right…like when you get married he 'bought' a cow, meaning he bought you…? LOL) Anyway too early to think logically, lol.

    I definitely recommend some sort of counseling and financial planning. Many people have ideals of how they're going to 'run' their household and a lot of the time, though ideals differ…greatly! LOL. It also gives you time to start planning your marriage, where you want to be in five years, how you want to save money, how you want to file your taxes, what you're going to do with your cars, family planning…whew, lots of stuff.

    Forgive my rambling…did I answer the question? lol

    1. "I definitely recommend some sort of counseling and financial planning. Many people have ideals of how they’re going to ‘run’ their household and a lot of the time, though ideals differ…greatly! LOL. It also gives you time to start planning your marriage, where you want to be in five years, how you want to save money, how you want to file your taxes, what you’re going to do with your cars, family planning…whew, lots of stuff."

      I agree with this… I think all the stops should be pulled out before the marriage so that the drama could be cut down in the marriage. It's very important to be on the same page or at least have some understanding about certain things.

      1. Co-sign. This is about the only thing I have in mind about what should happen before a marriage. Counseling and planning are key. As far as the engagement and all that goes…you gotta walk before you can run.

  7. I don't necessarily need him to have a formal meeting with my parents and ask for my hand, I'm sure he'll know how they feel about him, but I'll leave that decision up to him. I'd like my proposal to be a surprise and by him meeting with them, I think I'd find out.

    I don't think there is a clear cut age for people to get married… I believe those that truly are meant to be together, will know it. All roads will lead to that person and a light bulb goes off in your head. *ting* 😉

    How is your friend that got married young? Is their marriage successful now?

  8. Good morning, stumbled across your site a week or so back and I can't get enough. I don't think it's necessary to go the whole "hand in marriage" route, but your parents/family should at least know the person that wants to marry you. I always said that I didn't want to live with a S/O before getting married, but then circumstances change (I'm in a long distance realtionship and I've never lived in the same place as my bf)and now I can't imagine NOT living with him for at least a little bit. Going from no contact to being with someone EVERY SINGLE DAY is major. Might just realize that the little annoying thing he does when he comes and visits is not so cute EVERY SINGLE DAY!! Is it the "right way"? Not the way I envisioned it for myself, but it's what will make my realtionship work for me.

    I was lucky, with the exception of a few family members, EVERYBODY in my family (both sides) are in long relationships. My parents have been married for 28yrs. So I'm all for marriage. I can't picture myself not being married. Just my thought.

    Love, love, LOVE the site.

  9. For some couples it's not that complicated. If you are with said person and you love them, sure you can get married. I have a few family members and their partners that woke up one day and decided to get married. It took my sister 2 months to get married to her husband. It's not about the big fancy wedding anymore. It's about two people that love each other coming together as one.

    Parents being involved in the proposal process ("May I have the honor of marrying your daughter?") is irrelevant. If you truly love someone, you will just go ahead and get the ring and propose by yourself. You don't need nobody to tell you what to do, when to do it or to gain someones approval. It's the 21st century, things are different than what they used to be.

  10. I would like for the guy i am seeing to talk to my parents before he proposed. My parents have been married for 25 years and i would definitely seek their insight about a potential life mate. I personally feel that it is important bc to me that's a sign that he's comfortable enough with my family to talk to them about it beforehand. My family is really close so if he is planning on being apart of my family, i feel that it's important that he gets that approval i guess. (I honestly don't know what i would do if they didn't like the person i was dating…)

    As far as living together before marriage…for me i don't believe that it would work. I figure that we'll potentially have a lifetime to live together so why not enjoy my space now lol. But i have some friends that have been dating for 4 years and they r now living together and that is what is working for them.

    As far as proposals go…i haven't thought about how a guy should propose to me other than him asking my parents first. I'm not expecting anything grandiose. I do want to be surprised though. My dad asked my mom's parents for her hand in marriage before he proposed but the way he proposed was hilarious to me…he proposed to my mom at the Omega frat house while they were sitting on the couch watching tv. He turned to her and said, "Well here's the ring. This is what u wanted right?" And here they are 25 years later happily married with 3 children lol

      1. yea my dad is definitely still trying to make it up to my mom …she always tells the story and it's a good laugh…he just shakes his head and walks away lol

  11. If I could ask… would commentors please state whether they are married, single-never married, or single-divorced?

    Thanks. I will drop my ether in a few.

  12. well, I want my future husband to ask my parents. At least inform them beforehand. I'd like to think its the respectful thing to do. my mom and stepdad are VERY important people in my life and I'm the only child–they should know their baby is finna get engaged before I do 😉

    I also don't want to cohabitate/shack. I don't think its necessary to "know your partner" at all. Most married couples I know in my peer group DID it, but a few others I know did not, and are actually STILL married while some of the others are heading for divorce. One of my girls even had a pastor refuse to marry them because they were considering moving in together to cut costs before the wedding–they did move in together like 6 mos out I believe and found someone else to marry them. She was pretty torn on the issue herself-she's pretty religious, and even though they had been together since HS and thru college they never lived together prior to that.

    the biggest thing I'd say to "do it the right way" is make sure you really know the person, and don't get caught up in the fantasy of marriage. and that probably takes time–more time than a lot of anxious folks want to give it. A few friends I know that are separated and going thru divorce now I think really romanticized marriage and underestimated the hard work–or better yet just didn't really KNOW the person they married.

    I also agree that some sort of counseling is a must. My SO and I are both Christians so that would definitely be a Christian-based counseling.

  13. Im one of those rare young black dudes in the church (not gay or married lol) thats trying to walk it out according to the "book". The book says that you shouldn't shack up before marriage, so thats what I believe. That being said, I still had to dig a bit further online and it seems that studies show that shacking before marriage increases your divorce rate slightly(unless you get engaged and then live 2gether, which apparently has no effect either way). It doesn't seem logical, you'd think that after living with someone happily before marriage that marriage would be just a formality and nothing would change. Can't explain that one but im rolling with the good book and "scientific studies" on that one.

    I think the asking the father for the hand in marriage thing is no longer required but would score quite a few brownie points across the board. I think the approval comes inherently after visiting/seeing the fam over the course of the relationship. Most of my boys who've married because of children are divorced or miserable. Not so sure thats the best way to get into a marriage either. Who knows whats right, I have seen some people break every rule in the book who are now happy, but generally going against the grain just doesn't work out. Id rather just fly solo for AWHILE. Marriage/courtship takes 2much work lol.

  14. Lol. I could write a book, but I won't.

    Was engaged to my boo of four years from December of 08 until January of 09. We broke it off cause he was unfaithful and selfish. He was probably both of those things throughout our entire relationship, I just didn't take them seriously until it came time for FOREVER. I called him on it and he left. Best thing he ever did for me, cause in that 6 weeks of engagement, I learned more about him than I ever knew in the previous four years and it was NOT good. It's totally changed my perspective of what it means to "know" a person.

    The ex did ask daddy for my hand and both of my parents gave him huge kudos for doing so. However, once things went sour, they were hugely offended by his lack of judgement. after he took the initiative to come to them. I still want the next guy to ask, b/c I think it shows a certain level of respect for the first man in my life (dad). I just hope the next guy is a keeper.

    Not sure about the shacking thing. A year ago (before I was engaged) I said absolutely not. But, now that I found out crazy things about my ex after he proposed, I think I would've found them sooner if we lived together. That decision is case-by-case, cause I don't want to get caught up with being somebody's live-in boo with no legal commitment. Sorry, but if we're living together and you getting some like a husband, I really need you to BE my husband…lol. I'm still on the fence…

    Some things I'll do differently next time:

    – Pray (I believe you have to ask God for what you want in a mate. I was 20 when I met the ex and didn't know what I was looking for. At 25, I've got a few more things figured out, so I hope to get it right next time. I now have a list. It's not a crazy list, but you have to be specific when you go to God with a request, so my list helps keep me on task: Christian, kind, patient, attractive, additction free, respectful, PREFERABLY no kids. Nothing on there about him having to make $200K a year or anything silly 😉 ).

    – LISTEN to him (guys say all the time what they want/need, but we as women don't always listen (or we try to change their minds). Won't make that mistake EVER again- waste of time).

    -Read the signs. (Being in love blinded me to my ex's disrespectful ways towards his mother and other ppl in our lives. After we ended things, that disrespect turned towards me. Nuh-uh. Respect is key in any relationship).

    – Be friends first. (If you're friends first, you have something to base your relationship off of when things go wrong. If it's all about lust and sex, that dwindles and what are you left with? Nada)

    I've spent most of 2009 reflecting on what will happen "next time" and I feel like I'm in a good place with it now. Definitely interested

    1. I applaud you for gettin when the gettin was good! Too many people stay in a situation because they feel trapped by a big commitment.

  15. Well I feel that I do not want to live with someone before I marry them I just feel we should just come together as one after we get married. Also idk about askin my dad honestly it would be more along the lines of askin my Mother. I would like the proposal to be magical honestly.

    But either way I am allergic to marriage & childeren anywhere in my 20's im focuesed on my career…!!

  16. Well seeing as how I've been engaged twice this year to the same man and quite a few times previously…I can surely agree that marriage is more than a notion.

    Slow and steady is the way to go…living together, probably not a good look. Marriage counseling is a MUST. Men and women communicate differently and having a mediator there to sift through the muddle mess of feelings is always a good look in the beginning. I honestly feel that people have good intentions but sometimes we are so overwhelmed by our own emotions and feelings that we miss the bigger picture.

    Relationships are hard work, hard hard work. Every married couple who have made it through admitted to at least 5 rough years where the married felt suffocating and endless…but through hard work and committment they made it through.

    I think that all relationships should experience a tribulation of some sort before tieing the knot…the test for the right man/woman is not how they act when things are going well, but they respond in the face of adversity.

    Other than that, I hear it's a beautiful thing…and I look forward to experiencing it soon one day.

  17. Living together post engagement and discussing finances are 2 very important steps pre-marriage. Financial matters, infidelity, and irreconcilable differences are the leading causes of divorce (in my unofficial research) so knowing those obstacles beforehand puts a couple in the advantage. They can honestly discuss those things and work out any differences/peeves/idiosyncrasies before "I Do." I am an avid believer of a long engagement (9 months +) and intense Marital Counseling so that this honest discussion can take place and be as effective as possible.

    I don't believe in Divorce, which is why I'm still not married. I take the sanctity of marriage serious and want to be sure the future Mr. can deal with all of my Crazy and vice versa.

    I didn't have a Father growing up. My Mommy was Mommy and Daddy for me, so the future Mr should want to ask Mommy for my hand in marriage.

    Oh – and absotively NO DIAMOND ring!!!!!

  18. I have never been in a relationship let alone one leading to a marriage, for starters. So this is merely a hypothetical account of how I think marriage should fall into place.

    The most important thing to me as an individual are values. My values, I hold with great respect, and others' as well. My parents, whom I assumed [as a youngster] loved the hell out of each other, cannot stand one another. Due to their strong Ethiopian cultural backgrounds, divorce is of course not an option. My siblings and I were fortunate enough to benefit from their die-hard efforts to raise us 'right' & lucky enough to still be blessed with a complete unit. Now, at 19, I am completely mystified by how they managed to put their differences completely aside and still give us the incessant of love/support etc. that we needed. Not that this is groundbreaking, but it changed my idea of my happiness vs. my children/my family's. I still believe it is crucial that you should try your best to insure you & your souses' emotional health & had they had that throughout the entire marriage, even better.

    Before I go off on a tangent, let me make my point. Maybe not the right way, but I think one way to go about is by being as thorough as possible in knowing what you want for yourself, in your spouse & in for your family. Deliberation and planning are key because you start facing what you know, what you do not know, and what you will not know until married. This says mental-preparedness to me. Also, knowing that your fixed values may be compromised & that you will have to face that with your spouse.

    Living together prior to marriage makes sense to me because you'll be spending raw moments with someone, giving you classified info that you yourself should reflect on. Spending more time in general reveals how much you are willing to compromise and sacrifice for your love. Never assume you are ready for something that you are not ready for. Be real with yourself and do not be tempted to go wherever 'love' takes you. Marriage is companionship & family requires two strong individuals. Yes, I am emphasizing a lot on the individual because two halves could make a whole lot of nothing.

    Growing up and understanding yourself first will, as far as I'm concerned, help you avoid marrying someone who is really not right for you, and you are not right for.

    As far as he goes, it isn't important to me that he asks my father for my hand, but that could be a cultural thing. I will automatically feel comfortable marrying a man that does not rush things based on his needs & will wait as long as it takes for both of us to understand what marriage will mean for us. Any man who will not respect my concerns, my hesitancy, or who refuses to work with me on marriage forethought will not be marrying me. That's all I need. 🙂

    Thus, I believe whatever behavior supports the selfless growth and application of healthy values is good behavior to uphold & expect from your future Mrs./Mr. Trust, honesty, consistency, and reciprocity prior to & during marriage is a given, all relationship types fail without those.

  19. Great post Slim.

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say I am younger than Slim and recently my best friend and I were out having lunch talking about marriage, babies, etc. She was saying how she's not really in a rush anymore because everybody started getting married and having babies as soon as we left high school. Now every time I look up there's a new baby or a new ring or a beautiful dress and I'm like woo crap I'm late.

    Now…I am single. My SO is 29 and he is ready. I guess I 'm ready too, but the fact that tradition dictates he meet with my Mom and Dad is uggh to me because like Nick said I believe he knows exactly how they feel about him…I say just do it and let it be a surprise.

    Now as SoWhatiff (I think) said I do think counseling is mandatory and should encompass religion, money and the other super big marital issues. This is definitely not a time to cut out communication. In fact, you need to triple it during engagement to really make sure you're putting in the proper work.

    Finally, I think we need to stop rushing the process…slow it down some and completely get to know that person. There's no right or wrong way to do this….different strokes for different folks…

  20. wow…I guess I can relate cause I have been married. I had the shotgun type of wedding, pregnant with my second child and already living together with the first child.I am now divorced. I have also seen some other fam and friends make the same mistake of rushing to get married only to be completly unhappy in less than a year. On the flipside of that, I have seen couples getting married a different way and are very successful. So I feel that I am experienced enough to draw my own conclusions on the right way and the wrong way to get proposed to/married as well as offer some opinion and insight.

    1. Never propose during or after a good hot round of the bedroom romp. SERIOUSLY…that has led to many bad "let's get married" positions.

    2. I dont think you should get live together prior to getting married or engaged. Let me explain, when you shack up with someone. The pressure to be together is strengthened. Its like FORCE to be with someone cause you all up in their face everyday. You may not really even like the person, you just may be used to them. Men may feel obligated to marry old girl cause she "supported you" (true story..dude wants to leave..but its cheaper to keep her)

    3. If you have a dad (I don't) or a mom or any family member, OF COURSE YOU NEED THEIR INSIGHT FIRST. And you should listen really good about what they think about it. A true friend/family member will let you know why you should wait or why you shouldn't marry old boy/girl in the first place. Especially if you haven't even known eachother for 2 years. They tend to have your best interests in heart and are not biased like you are on the whole marriage thing. Like your boys would say "man you just coochie whooped", your girls will say "uumm..he has a 6 month old..come on.." I'm just saying

    4. GET TO COUNSELING IMMEDIATELY – Couples and marriage counseling is SUPER DEE DUPER important PERIOD. It is VERY VERY necessary to do prior to getting married. This goes back to the whole knowing the person you are marrying thing. You have to know what they expect of you, what you expect to be doing, what things they expect you NOT to do and so forth. Not fully discussing what is expected of you as a husband/wife has ruined MANY a marriage. No, just loving eachother is NOT ENOUGH. How about the man who married the girl who stopped having sex with him almost IMMEDIATELY after they got married.. or the man who expected his wife to stop going out with her girls, seriously talk about it…get that counseling for I say a year, no less than 6 months…

    5. Now to the sex thing,…I know you guys are fans of women who are chaste..but as a sexually experienced women, I REFUSE to be with a man that is selfish in bed, that I have to teach ALOT to, That is WACK in bed all of that. After deciding whether I like you enough to have sex with you, then Perhaps I want a relationship. For me, I want to see if I like being with you in and out of the bedroom before I make you my man. Women are better at sex now. We dont have to just lay there anymore, we like to be apart of the sex act now and we have every right to be satisfied sexually as the man. So my take on the sex thing, you shouldnt even be making him your man, her your girl if you dont even know what the sex game is like or if you HATE IT …BUMP THAT…

    Umm..I hope that is insight enough..if not….um…hit me up

    True2me

  21. 1) A bible never said a marriage. I am not going to rely on anything a book says. I love my future wife not some preacher who is only spitting knowledge as a means to increase his revenue stream. Boobookins is catholic, so we will probably will have to go to the classes. But I am not going to spend double the money on living in two places just b/c some book that was written about a completely other culture says so. You can't put sentimental stuff ahead of being pratical when dealing with two people.

    2) I'm cool with the family. I don't think I HAVE to ask. I think before hand a guy should get the ok. Than after that the decision falls on the kids.

    1. @ Cheekz " Not really sure what the first line means, but don't disown the good book or books in general because they're written by man. Read the info yourself, digest that joint, then make your own decision based on that. A lot of the doctrine in the book is solid advice just for living period, if its going to get me a better life and its legal/moral, im with it, period.

      @Slim – The fellaz don't want any parts of marriage, even with anonymity lol

      1. i'm not religious. At all.

        I'm all for taking sound advice, from a book or experienced people. However, 'the bible says don't do that' isn't sound advice.

        1. lol, im not religious either bruh, but this road seems to lead to the best life possible so im on it!

          The bible jumpoff doesn't just say don't cohabitate, or don't do this, that, theres a bit more 2 it than that, lol, the joint is like a million pages.

  22. I have been reading all morning, and waiting for the right time to chime in (ie not make too many keystroke sounds on in the office, lol) I don't comment often, but Slim is my peoples…whattup? lol

    First of, I agree 100% w/ Reecie. (hi-five, lol) I would like my future husband to ask my parents (mom and step pops) but still leave it a surprise to me. I think couples can still have/need prior discussion about what they envision for married life, without destroying the element of surprise when he pops the question… (I'm a romantic, so I don't know how I'd feel about the whole frat house proposal, lol but good to see folks are still together!) I'm also not a fan of living together prior to marriage. The success stories that I know of personally under this situation are very very few.

    Allow me to take the conversation in a slightly different direction (and I hope folks are still here as I am coming in kinda late) Yes, marriage is a contractual agreememt in the eyes of the law, however; I do not believe that it can be reduced to merely that. Marriage for me is a very serious commitment, which vows are made to each other under the Lord. I'm trying to marry once, forever. No divorce. Idealist? perhaps…As Slim touched on before, I feel Black people are behind the 8-ball when it comes to marriage. As a Black woman, I am well aware of the connotations that come without being married. When I get married, I plan on having at least 3 spare bands around (so I don't lose the very expensive original) for the gym, for when I go running, in the car, whatever, lol just to let people know! You have to be in it to win it. You will never win the lottery if you don't play. (Not to say make the decision lightly.) I plan on taking his name, and having the nice little nuclear family lol. When I go to my future child's Parent-Teacher conference, and when the teacher says, are you Mrs. Hoop? I will say, yes I am!

  23. I would be extremely insulted if somebody asked my father for permission to marry me, for the simple fact that it's reminiscent of a time women were considered "property". Actually, I'm not sure it's even fair to say reminiscent because it's still happening today.

    Anyway.

    Both my exes and current "person" have proposed, I said no all three times because that isn't for me. Imagine their surprise when they learned I was getting married to my close friend (for legal purposes- he needs to remain in this country, he's not a citizen). They were angry but.. oh well. To me, THAT is the right way.

    Lol.

  24. i'm not reading these essays that pass for comments.

    i've never been married but i would imagine that marriage is hard work and is something that should be worked on before you even think of getting engaged. for me the steps would be no cohabitation, getting her parents blessing and pre-marital counseling and everything should fall in place. everything else as far as compatibility, religious views, views on money you should already know or have a sense about during dating.

  25. lol @tunde

    I think if a guy feels that we have reached a point where is ready to be married and we have discussed the fact that we are of the same mindframe then he needs to speak with both my parents before he runs out to tiffanys. I also believe in pre-marital counseling because there are certainly some things that I'm sure even we haven't thought to discuss. I'm also not for living together before marriage, not that there is anything wrong with people who do, but for me I want the experience of moving in with my husband because we are united not my boyfriend.

  26. let me say this… i think that a couple should live together after they get engaged, but once married, they should immediately buy a home together. after engagement, pre-house they should keep their own residences so they can have refuge, but they should be together the majority of the time. that engagement means something.

  27. My husband met my family and they loved him. He took that as the greenlight to propose. He actually proposed to me while we were having dinnerwith my mom. I think its up to each individual couple to agree upon/figureout what the "right way" is. I do not think there is a cookie-cutter answerto that. My husband and I lived together for about a month before we got married. Hewas slowly moving stuff out of his apartment and into my house, and by thetime he was done, we had about a month until we were getting married. Idon't think couples that are just dating should live together and playhouse. If you want to act like married folks, then that is what you need todo. That is just my opinion though. I also believe with the other commenters that suggested marital counselingand financial counseling/discussions. Marriage is serious business and youhave got to make sure that you and your SO are on the same page. Not justsexually, or emotionally, but financially and mentally. I think people getall caught up in their feelings and tend to neglect the more importantthings that it takes to build a marriage and a life together.

  28. Damn This was a nested blog!!! LMAOOO!!

    I dont believe in living together before marriage. You can do many test trials (stay for a day or 2) but that all should be saved for when you're hitched.

    Eff being pressed for time, biological clocks etc. Do it when its RIGHT so you only have to do it once! Im a firm believer that I want to be one and done. Hopefully that happens.

  29. I am married currently (3 years today YAY!!!) and we went about getting married in our own way. There is no real right or wrong way. It depends on who you and your partner are individually, an as a couple. My husband did ask my father for my hand but he is a traditional kind of guy. He didn't have to ask, it wasn't something that when we spoke about marriage I said "You make sure you ask my daddy". There are plenty of women who say you better ask him before you ask me. That is something that needs to be talked about before hand. When you talk about getting married while in a serious relationship what you want to happen should be addressed. Whatever you and your partner voice are your desires than it shall be. My husband asked me to marry him in a dorm room on the campus of The College of William & Mary, it held significance to us as a couple. None of the traditional hoopla that my girlfriends talk about, but it was the most amazing proposal to me, I could not have been happier.

    My husband and I were in a long distance dating relationship for 3 years, we lived separately for 6 months after being married. He was contracted with his job. Why didn't we wait? Every last one of our relatives asked why didn't you wait? We chose this day and no other day worked for us, period. Now when we moved in together was it all roses…umm negative! There were moments when I was like lawd please help me because I am going to knock him out if he leaves those basketball shoes at the door ONE MORE TIME! BTW it is always the smallest of things that really drive you crazy. Cohabitation works for some and not for others. Financial situations and various other issues come into play with that idea sometimes. Are there many success stories not many but there are exceptions.

    It all depends on the individuals who are in the relationship.

    1. My husband and I got married, lived together for about 6 months, and have been living seperately due to work (we are both in the military) and it sucks! I'll be going to join him in about two weeks though, and I'm so excited! Right now I'd kill to smell his dirty laundry, wash his dishes, and pick up after him. :o( You better appreciate those basketball shoes woman! lol

  30. (Single)

    Just wanted to say I think its cool that this is a topic and I enjoyed reading everyone's comments as I pretend to work..

    Since the prerequisite for a marriage is a relationship, and I suck at those, I'll only say what I know.. which is a loud "Go Team Go" to the people who are engaged, married, or somewhere in between.

    Its a FEAT to pull off something meaningful with another person! In spite of my perpetually single status, I am Pro-Commitment/ marriage/ all that other stuff. And as soon as I can figure out the steps to a relationship, i'll think about possibly doing marriage "the right way" whatever that means…

    1. I don't think a relationship/love/companionship is something that one has to "figure out". Its either going to happen or not, and you cannot force it. Let your experiences teach you how to act in a relationship and take your cues from your partner. I think once we stop 'trying' it happens. Right when I was DONE with men (not turning to women, just sick of men) I actually went on a "man strike". I was like, 'thats it, I'm not dating, I'm tired of trying to make things work and having it blow up in my face', and then about a month later I met the man that is now my husband.

  31. A lot of food for thought here. I think too many people who get married these days don't sit down with their partner and actually discuss what sharing their lives for x amount of years is going to entail. So many things need to be discussed – their stance on finance, kids, living arrangements, intimacy, free time, housework – the list is endless. The divorce figures are awful right now(which perhaps explains why so many people turn to our site for marriage advice, hehe) and I don't think it's any coincidence. A great deal of thought needs to go into it – it really is a massive step. Although I am somewhat of a traditionalist myself, I don't really believe in the 'ask her father's permission' thing. A guy won't need to if he's a good guy and the marriage has a good chance of working.

  32. As far as I'm concerned the only *right* way to do it is to make sure you're compatible beforehand. Talk about kids-how many do you want, where/how do you want to raise them. Talk about career-what do you want to be doing in 10 years? Talk about money- how much do you make, how much do you spend, what is your credit score? Talk about health- do you have any chronic issues, what diseases run in your family, do you have insurance and go for regular checkups? Talk about religion- what faith are you, do you practice it regularly, how important is it in your life? Etc, etc. Not sexy questions by any means, but extremely important in deciding your overall compatibility. If you get the answers you want to all of those questions in 6 months then by all means, go ahead and get married. I personally would recommend dating at least a full year before even getting engaged so you've had a chance to really get to know them AND their family (it's a package deal!) but some people just have good luck.

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