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4 No-Nonsense Reasons to Rethink A Long Courtship 

Is a long courtship the best option?

“Sheila” met “Richie” at college and since then, they have been inseparable.  Her mantra was that her first and only boyfriend will be her one and only husband.  All together, they have been courting (a romantic relationship before marriage) for seven years.  

“Sheila” was hoping that they would get married soon, but “Richie” has decided that he wants to pursue further studies first.  A wedding is not likely to happen for a few years still.  

What should “Sheila” do?  Should she continue in this long courtship with “Richie” or would it be better to move on?


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My story

One day, a friend mentioned to me that long courtships rarely end in marriage.  At that time, I was in a courtship for at least four years.  I thought to myself that my “Richie” and I will not be a part of that statistic.  Undoubtedly, our relationship was strong enough to take us into wedded bliss.  

After-all, we were two dedicated Christians who sought God’s guidance from day one of our budding romance.  However, about a year later, our relationship also ended to our dismay.  After that breakup, I felt like I had lost a part of me.

Survey Results

The University of Texas in Austin conducted a survey following 168 couples since the 1980s.  The results show that couples who have courted for an average of eighteen months (including around half of that time being engaged) stayed together for the long-term.

Here are four no-nonsense reasons to rethink long courtship:

1) Increasing temptation to engage sexually.

When a man and woman are romantically involved, their desire for sexual intimacy increases as their love blossoms.  They have a choice – either to submit to their sexual appetites or to restrain themselves.

With the blurred lines between foreplay and sexual intercourse, many Christian couples find themselves engaging in sexual activity before marriage, as an outward expression of their love.  Since they are not ready to get married, they submit to their passions rather than “burn”

“It just happened?”

Too often, we hear the phrase “it just happened” when a pregnancy occurs.  However, that is stretching the truth.  Penetration doesn’t just happen between two consenting adults. 

It is highly impossible to go from holding hands straight to penetration in one swift transition!  Foreplay must have been taking place to increasing degrees between the couple.

Therefore, many Christian couples in long courtships have chosen to become sexually involved instead of getting married.  

“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”  1 Corinthians 7:8-9 ESV

Possible Solution: 

Focus on building good friendships with him, as well as other men.  You will be less likely to engage in sexual activity when you are only friends with a guy.  The concept of “friends with benefits” is pure foolishness.  Our bodies are connected to our hearts, minds and souls, so don’t fall for that lie.

Related articles:

6 Reasons Why Virginity is STILL Wonderful

7 Tips to Win at Sexual Purity

How Far is Too Far | 6 Naked Questions to Ask Yourself 

2) One person becomes ready for marriage while the other is not.

In most long courtships, one person will become impatient with the process and will want to get married sooner.  That person is usually the woman since she’s likely the one to be most concerned about her biological clock. 

She begins to ask the following questions:
  • Is he really serious about me?
  • Will we ever get married?
  • Am I wasting my time with him?
  • Should I move on?

Doubts begin to rise in her which places significant pressure on the relationship.  Either the man will give into her desires (probably resentfully since he wasn’t ready); the relationship will end; or they’d continue along with growing resentment between them.

On the other hand, it could also be the man who becomes ready first as more and more women are more career-oriented than family-oriented.  There are men who prioritize and value marriage and family more than their female companions.

Possible Solution: 

Don’t enter a romantic relationship now if you (or him) have no plans for marriage in the near future.  Enjoy your friendship with him. If you (or him) desire to marry sooner, there will be no pressure to convince the other person; give ultimatums; execute a guilt trip and do any other less desirable actions.  

Additionally, another winsome guy may come along who is ready for marriage when you are also ready.  Life and decisions become more simpler when you’re not tied into a long courtship.

3) Risk the loss of passion.

For the Christian couple who chooses to refrain from any form of sexual indulgence, a long courtship will likely cause a numbing of their sexual desire in order to cope.

In particular, for a man, his sexual passion for the woman dies a slow death.  In his mind, she moves into the friend zone.  The eventual outcome is that he loses his interest to marry her.  It’s only a matter of time before the courtship ends. 

Possible Solution: 

Preserve your sexual desirability and self-confidence by being friends with him and others. If you never marry him, no loss to both of you.

4) You will change as the years go by.

As you are maturing and changing, there might be a growing gap between you and him.  Then, you might realize that the guy to whom you are committed is not the best fit for the woman you have become.  You might break it off… leaving the poor guy heartbroken.  (But that’s better than marrying him though!)

Or, you might continue along and feel an increasing sense of dissatisfaction.  To complicate matters, you might meet an incredible guy who is more your complementary fit.  

(Note: When you get married, change or no change, you stick with your husband. Don’t even entertain thoughts that another man will fit you better!)

Possible Solution:  

Use your singleness years to become the best you.  When you do become ready, you’ll be better at discerning which guy is your complimentary fit at that point in time.  It is better to go into marriage with desire, admiration and respect for the man you marry. 

Related articles:

7 Must-Have Discussions Before You Commit Your Heart

9 Powerful Prayers Every Single Woman Should Pray

“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” Song of Songs 8:4 ESV

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 ESV


Ladies, trust God with your love life.  There is a better option than getting stuck in a long courtship.  Being in a romantic relationship should not be your identity. Rather, focus on understanding and embracing your identity in Christ which is superbly better.

Use your freedom to develop into a woman that God wants You to be.  Life is full of wonderful opportunities when you’re single and disengaged.  So if you have no immediate plans of marriage, embrace your singleness and enjoy it fully!  

A happy attractive confident woman of God will always be in demand by sensible men.  So if you miss out on “Richie”, there might be a future with “Charlie”, “Smithie” or “Billie”.  But don’t be too picky! Lol

For more tips on following Christ as a single Christian woman, subscribe and receive my weekly emails.  Also, you’ll receive your free “Emotional Maturity versus Emotional Maturity” checklist when you subscribe.

If you want a gem of a man, you need to also be a gem of a woman.  Check out “Emotional Maturity versus Emotional Maturity” checklist and discover the areas that you need to work on from now.  Thanks for stopping by!


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With love,

Kimberly Garth

Recommended books:

“Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control” by Elisabeth Elliot

“Sex and the Soul of a Woman: How God Restores the Beauty of Relationship from the Pain of Regret” by Paula Rinehart

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Ever feel like you don’t know what a godly man is looking for in a wife? Our Irresistible Godly Woman Checklist will give you clear insights so you can stop guessing and start preparing … while reaching your full potential as a single Christian woman.