There should be a name for the time frame prior to marriage and before an engagement. We use the term premarital, but it is only in reference to counseling or a form of consultation. If we don’t use this formal service, then what is it called? Typically, the general label is “single.” However, when a person gets into a relationship, this becomes problematic. You aren’t single anymore, but you aren’t married. Yet, a commitment has been made and it has expectations and standards.
You see…People get married and continue to live as though they are single. We promote it by calling it protection, stability or ensuring independence. When someone says,”I want to get married, but I plan to keep my apartment just in case”, it is considered praiseworthy. It is seen as a smart move because you could marry a fool and end up homeless! Few suggest more intent be given to the proper selection of a spouse, which is the ideal remedy. Or, you may hear, “We can marry, but I want separate accounts to protect my money…My wife doesn’t need to know how much I earn…I own a home and I am not selling it or renting it when I get married…” These beliefs promote a single lifestyle, which is great when a person has no plans to marry. If you do, at some point, the mindset needs to shift.
You will need to see your daily life as a partnership with another person to consider and to accommodate. When you marry, you assume your role and responsibility for your part of the relationship. Continuing to maintain independence in areas of your life where co-dependency should occur is problematic. Marriage is a healthy interconnected union. A person will need to begin to make this mental transition prior to marriage.