This kind of growth best occurs during simple, wholesome activities. The base of the pyramid is friendship, and the ascending layers include building blocks such as understanding, respect, and restraint.After one of his first dates with his future wife, David O. At the very top is what he terms a “glittering little mystery called romance.” If one tries to stand the pyramid on its point, expecting romance to hold everything else up, the pyramid will fall (“The Gospel and Romantic Love,” We should be prayerful in all that we do, but courtship is a particularly important time to receive the Lord’s inspiration.Perhaps other individuals who are approaching—or already in the middle of—a marriage-oriented relationship could consider these ideas as well.Because courtship should continue throughout marriage, spouses too can benefit by seeking to strengthen and renew their friendships with their partners.I know of couples who spent almost their entire engagement separated because of work or school.Similarly, some couples count a partner’s years on a mission as courtship time.
While each couple’s courtship will be different, here are several areas of building a friendship that Judy and I considered while we were preparing for our marriage.A well-known maxim recommends longer courtships followed by shorter engagements. Brown concurs: “Infatuation may be romantic, glamorous, thrilling, and even urgent, but genuine love should not be in a hurry. Time should be taken for serious thought, and opportunity given for [each partner to gain] physical, mental, and spiritual maturity.Longer acquaintances will enable both to evaluate themselves and their proposed companions, to know each other’s likes and dislikes, habits and dispositions, aptitudes and aspirations” ( Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960, pp. Building a strong premarital friendship requires spending sufficient time with each other and finding opportunities for interaction.We talked endlessly of school and careers, of each other’s families and upbringing, of our individual hopes and expectations for marriage, and of our feelings about children and parenthood.We attended Church meetings and activities together and sometimes shared our courtship time with friends or family members.