Over time, I’ve come to realise that the majority of people who go into one romantic relationship after another do not have any clear perceptions of what relationships or even the dating cycle is really about. 

Before we begin to delve into the purpose of dating, it is pertinent that we at least define it first, and in doing so, permit me to refer to the dictionary definition for clarity. 

A couple of my faves are as follow:

  1. to regularly spend time with someone you have a romantic relationship with (Cambridge English Dictionary)
  2. an ongoing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature between two persons (lawinsider.com)

holidayspot.com explains that the main difference between dating and a relationship is commitment. While I agree with this, I’d also like to add that dating typically (not always but most times) lacks ground rules and thus, by many people’s understanding, does not have an “exclusivity clause”. Many people thus exploit this loophole in the issue of dating to date two or more persons simultaneously. 

Relationships on the other hand, are based on trust and mutual agreement and while most times these may not be vocalised, I strongly recommend that prior to start of a relationship, the parties involved should have a sit-down discussion and identify the boundaries of the relationship, deal breakers and the likes (Relationship Constitution), but…that’s an article for another day. 

Now that we’ve established what dating and relationship essentially are, we can go on to discuss the purpose. 

The most basic purpose of dating should be to determine mutual compatibility – first with respect to moving into an established relationship and then ultimately, for the purpose of making a lifetime commitment. 

I am strongly of the opinion that the ultimate aim of any relationship, indeed, of any dating-related activity, is to determine compatibility towards marriage – not to explore an attraction, not for the fun of it, not to while away time and certainly not for gain – material, sexual or otherwise. 

With that firmly entrenched in my mind, it is no wonder that I often find myself wondering why so many people, and even mature singles of marriageable age and status, find themselves tumbling in and out of relationships, time and time again. Surely, people should be able to determine, at least to some reasonable extent, who they would or would not be compatible with, right?


Sadly, a great number of people go through life either not knowing, or not caring enough to take precautions with their hearts and thus get tangled up with people whom, had they considered beyond the superficial, should have had no business dating in the first place. 

Once you realise that the ultimate aim of going into a relationship, or even dating at all, is to determine compatibility towards marriage, it therefore becomes clear that anyone you know you cannot marry or that cannot marry you should not be considered as dating or relationship material – matter how young or old you are!

A young lady once dated a guy – indeed, was in a relationship with him, for 3 days. That’s right – 3 days! What was the problem? After she and the guy had agreed to start a relationship and the guy went away for the weekend, this young lady sat herself down and took a good, long, hard look at the relationship and realised certain things:

  1. She and the guy were of 2 different religions, with parents who would not allow their children to marry outside their religion. 
  2. She was too advanced – age-wise, to engage in a relationship “just for the fun of it”. 

By the time the guy came back, she expressed her concerns and they broke up amicably. 

Soooo, before you consider starting a new relationship or even dating, ask yourself if you can, all other things being equal, actually see yourself spending the rest of your life with that person. 

Don’t play games of chance with your heart – it is just too precious. Many have attempted such and had their hearts broken beyond repair. 

‘nuff said…

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