There’s nothing wrong with wanting a commitment. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a partner you can picture spending forever alongside. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like a casual, no-strings-attached relationship isn’t for you.
You can date with the hopes of creating a strong, lifelong bond with another person. But dating specifically with the goal of marriage in mind is going to put you under an unbelievable amount of pressure.
Whenever you have an argument with this person, whenever they hurt you, whenever they make you feel like shit, your first instinct is going to be to preserve the relationship. You won’t even consider walking away from them, even when you’re clearly not working well together, because you won’t want to go back to living the single life when you’re so close to marriage. You could end up trapping yourself in an unhealthy relationship without even seeing it. You could be forcing yourself to stay with the wrong person because you’re too obsessed with the idea of turning them into your husband or wife one day.
Even if your relationship is healthy, even if you’re a perfect match, thinking about marriage too early on is going to put too much pressure on the relationship. You’re going to freak out whenever it seems like you said the wrong thing. You’re going to rush through important milestones because you’re thinking ten steps ahead. You might even freak your partner out by making them feel like they’re stuck to a strict timeline. It’s important to know whether they’re on the same page about wanting marriage in the future — but that isn’t the only thing you two should be focused on. You should be focused on now. Not later.
The worst part of dating to marry is that you aren’t going to enjoy the present. You aren’t going to have fun during the early stages of the relationship when you’re getting to know each other because you’ll be waiting for the later stages. You’ll be wishing you could fast forward. You’ll want to rush through every step — from meeting each other’s parents to moving in together — because you’ll want to get to the aisle. When your mind is so focused on marriage, you forget to appreciate all of the wonderful things that happen leading up to that point.
It’s fine if you want to get married sometime soon. It’s fine if you picture your future with a wedding ring on your hand. But walking into a new relationship with the intention of getting married one day could backfire on you. It’s much better to walk into a relationship hoping you’ll grow. Hoping you’ll make each other happy. Hoping your connection will teach you something about life, about love, or about yourself.
Maybe you’ll end up getting married in the end — but if you break up, you can’t feel like the relationship was a waste. You can’t feel like you made a mistake by getting together with them. Marriage shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind. After all, you could easily get married to the wrong person. It’s better to focus on finding the right person.