On average, the couples in my study decided to marry 2.8 years after they first showed romantic interest (many couples knew each other before they dated, but that isn’t counted).
But here’s a hard reality: if you raise that daughter, she’ll likely intimidate her fair share of “nice Christian boys” as well.
The unsuitable suitor finds nothing more terrifying than a woman who knows her worth to God and to her family.
Couples who fell fast in love were engaged after nine months, and married after 18 months.
These couples usually made it to their seventh anniversary before divorcing sometime later.
Is there a difference between couples that met recently and those in Huston’s study?
Currently I co-run a longitudinal study of marriage and family development, started in 2008 and ongoing, and the answers couples gave me about their engagement ranged from several months to several years.
There were some common themes: slouchy-panted unemployed suitors, dads breathing out Chuck Norris-inspired threats. Her statement indicates assurance that she is not only strong, but also able to defend herself against any unworthy suitors. Here’s the problem with shotgun jokes and applications posted on the fridge: to anyone paying attention, they announce that you fully expect your daughter to have poor judgment. And don’t be shocked if she meets your expectation. Leadership is not about the strong looking for weaker people to lead.
I didn’t lose my well-developed sense of humor until I made the tactical error of glancing at some of the comments. Here is the comment that made me the saddest, posted by a well-meaning young Christian father: Bro, this is awesome. You might want to worry less about terrorizing or retro-fitting prospective suitors and worry more about preparing your daughter to choose wisely. Instead of intimidating all your daughter’s potential suitors, raise a daughter who intimidates them just fine on her own. It’s about the humble looking for those whose strengths offset their weaknesses and complement their strengths.
I get asked a lot of relationship-themed questions given where I work, and one of them is from women with boyfriends who want to know how long to wait for the ring.