i know a couple who has been dating for roughly nine months. they are pretty great together, at least from what i have seen. i fully expect them to get engaged. well, i wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they did get engaged.
but here's the thing: they aren't engaged yet.
i respect this. i think that, for some people, it is possible to start dating, get engaged, and get married in a short amount of time. it happens a lot, in mormon/provo culture at least, and i think (i hope) it works out more times than it doesn't. but, i also think that there are many people who jump too quickly into a level of seriousness in relationships without knowing each other all that well.
i'm sure many of us have heard the adage "long courtship, short engagement." there is wisdom in this for several reasons, but the part i have been thinking about (obviously) is the long courtship. i for one too often expect that things can get moving with a guy in a really short time, like i can meet someone, date them, and get engaged in just a couple months. this is partly because i am impatient and would love to be married. and the possibility still exists that something could happen that quickly.
a long courtship, if that's the way it happens, just makes sense to me, though. how could you suffer from finding out more about your boyfriend or seeing him in a bunch of different situations? yes, you might find out or observe things you are not okay with, but figuring those things out before making a big, eternal decision will make your eternity decidedly better, in my opinion. you might also find out or observe things that make you fall further in love, which is awesome. so, win win for long courtship.
as i said, it happens differently for different people. i've talked to some who "just knew" after a few days or weeks that they were meant to be together. others, though, needed a lot longer before they were ready to be wed forever and ever.
so, to that couple who is still dating (and facebook confirms that they are still dating and are not officially engaged, as of a couple minutes ago), i salute you. and here's hoping that, when the time comes, i will be absolutely sure that that guy is the one i want to be wed to forever and ever.