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Young couples and those beginning to look for potential spouses can create realistic expectations for marriage by talking with their parents or other couples who have been where they are or will be.

While single, people can learn to see marriage as a journey and realize that having a family or being married isn’t going to solve all of their problems. What things do you value and what do you want your life to be about?

I don’t think most good things in life, like having a child or getting a really good job, are rewards for righteous behavior in a reward/punishment scheme.

It’s not helpful to think of life that way.” “Thinking in the longer picture, can be helpful in not being so destination- or outcome-focused.” Practice thinking long-term.

Sometimes, even when you are ready for marriage, the opportunity doesn’t present itself.

In these instances, it is even more important that you have a healthy view of what marriage is like.

Many students are used to having their lives set out for them. If or when that doesn’t happen, they get discouraged or think something is wrong with them.

Erickson said when people understand that relationships tend to follow these three stages, they can focus more on improving themselves and being patient with the timing of their romantic relationships.“If it follows this script mentality, it isn’t really your story. “You’re not the one who is living and growing and deciding.You’re just kind of following along in a passive way that won’t be healthy because that’s not what life is about.” Erickson continued, “It’s not good to think of marriage as a reward for righteous behavior.It’s okay for you to want to date a lot, form relationships and have great experiences at college.It’s normal to hope to get married during or shortly after college.

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