If you’re like many millennial women, you might have a Pinterest board dedicated to wedding inspiration. Over the years, this board has been a collection of various trends and styles, reflecting your dreams of a future wedding. Growing up, influenced by movies and TV shows, the idea of a fairy-tale ending is often ingrained in our minds. However, as we step into the world of dating and encounter numerous incompatible matches, we start questioning if those dreams will ever come true.

The concept of marriage-minded dating emerges when individuals seek a relationship that leads to marriage. However, finding the perfect partner for a lifetime commitment is not as easy as adjusting your dating app settings to “looking for something serious.” Approaching dating with the intention of marriage requires focus, dedication, and the ability to say no to individuals who, despite being great, are not the right match for you.

According to dating experts, finding “The One” involves understanding your relationship goals and staying committed to them. Damona Hoffman, a certified dating coach and author of the book F the Fairy Tale: Rewrite the Dating Myths and Live Your Own Love Story, stresses the importance of dating with a clear plan or relationship goal to avoid wasting time for both yourself and your dates. While casual dating has its merits for fun, meeting new people, or self-discovery, it may not lead you to find your life partner. If you desire each first date to be your last, consider adopting a marriage-focused dating approach and follow these expert recommendations along the way.

First, what does “dating to marry” really mean?

Dating to marry is not about traditional courtship solely aimed at marriage. It involves dating with the goal of getting to know someone well enough to see if marriage or a long-term partnership is a potential future. You might have been in or know of relationships labeled as “fun for now” with no long-term commitment in mind. When dating with marriage in mind, such casual approaches are set aside as they are seen as a waste of time.

People looking for a long-term partnership are pickier about who they invest their time in and only continue relationships with those with whom they feel a genuine connection and potential future.

Expert-backed tips to know when you’re dating to marry

Modern dating often involves moving from the initial “talking” phase to texting, hoping that the virtual connection will translate into a real one. Some lucky ones see this spark turn into an exclusive relationship, while others get stuck in ambiguous situations. Although casual dating is common, it may not suit everyone.

Professional matchmaker and dating coach Thalia Ouimet points out, “Most individuals date with marriage in mind; traditions like marriage remain significant worldwide.” Despite the casual nature of mainstream dating apps, a majority of online daters are still searching for a long-term partner or spouse, according to a Pew Research survey. If light conversations or casual encounters leave you feeling discouraged, you’re not alone.

Be upfront about your goals

If your goal is a lasting relationship, superficial interactions may not be enough. While going for a casual coffee or a cozy movie night at your date’s place may seem appealing, being honest about your intentions is crucial when looking for a life partner.

When you feel ready to start dating with long-term goals, Ouimet suggests being clear about your dating objectives from the beginning. “Bring up your dating goals early, preferably by the second date. The first date should be light and fun to gauge compatibility. If there’s a connection, the second date is the right time to ask 2-3 important questions like, ‘What are your intentions with dating?’ and ‘What does success look like for you?'” Clearly communicating your needs and expectations helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures that both parties’ time and effort are valued.

Hoffman stresses that aiming for a long-term relationship not only attracts potential partners who share your goals, but also positively influences your dating approach. “Being upfront and unapologetic about wanting to date for marriage makes you a serious contender for those seeking a similar commitment. At the same time, it repels individuals who do not share your objective, which is a good thing,” she explains. “The problem often lies in our constant need for approval, which stops us from expressing our true desires until it’s too late to make changes.”

Stick to your standards

We’ve all experienced dates where the spark was missing right from the beginning. There have been times when I knew a relationship wouldn’t last after just a few sips of a drink. Whether your date shows early red flags or doesn’t align with your future goals, maintaining your expectations and boundaries is crucial.

Hoffman advises, “Embrace Maya Angelou’s philosophy: believe people when they show you who they are the first time. Clearly state what you are looking for in a relationship early on. If you notice discrepancies, don’t try to change their mindset or persuade them to want something different.” For example, if you want children but your date doesn’t, it’s counterproductive to hope they’ll change in the future.

Respecting your needs and desires is vital in dating, but it’s also important to assess if you are ready to approach dating with such seriousness. If you hold potential partners to high standards and expect them to bring their best selves, self-reflection is key. Are you able to reciprocate that level of commitment? If not, it might be wise to delay dating until you are prepared to offer a healthy and solid relationship.

Manifest your dream partnership

If you believe in the power of manifestation, it can positively impact your dating journey. When searching for your future spouse, Ouimet suggests that having a positive mindset can attract the right match. Manifesting a partner may involve listing the qualities your ideal partner should possess or updating your dating profile to reflect your pursuit of a serious relationship. Ouimet states, “Maintaining a mindset of being open to love while upholding your standards is crucial. Your desires need to be respected. The right partner will be drawn to your expectations because they share the same sentiments.”

Engaging in positive affirmations when envisioning your ideal partner can be beneficial. You can say them out loud or visualize yourself with this perfect match. Affirmations like, “I am deserving of the love I seek,” “I am embracing unconditional love in a supportive relationship,” or “I am grateful for a healthy and fulfilling relationship that awaits me” can help. By believing in your affirmations, you radiate the energy required to turn your dreams into reality.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *