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Either way, research indicates that the sparks should be flying at some point before you decide to get engaged and married. Whenever I meet privately with conflicted couples, in my efforts to get to know them I might ask how long they dated before they decided to get married. Some might tell me less than six months. When I hear this, I sometimes feel myself cringing because I know it takes time to get to know someone. In fact, research indicates that it takes a minimum of three months for couples to loosen up enough to begin showing their true colors.

Research also indicates that it takes around two years to really get to know your dating partner. Part of the reason has to do with the fact that it takes that much time to get to know how your partner will interact with you and others in many different social situations.

Time is needed for this to unfold as you share experiences with a variety of people, from close family members to complete strangers. Otherwise, you will likely regret it. They deeply regretted this omission after marriage. The signs were there, I just chose to ignore them. After Data also indicate that people who wait until they reach their mid-twenties significantly increase their probability of being happily married, and staying happily married.

These people are likely more mature than their peers who marry earlier, putting them in a better position to make wise choices. Young adults in their late teens and early twenties who have a healthy self-knowledge and are grounded in their Christian faith can be wiser than many in their thirties. For the most part though, our modern cultural milestones tend to shape this maturing process, leading those in their late twenties to be more responsible and self-aware.

In other words, what similarities do you share with your partner? Do you have a similar perspective regarding money, friends, in-laws, career goals, recreation, leisure activities, sex and parenting? What about your cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds? How compatible are they? Then again, how similar are your personalities?

Do you like to argue passionately, but your partner tends to avoid conflict? Is he an introvert, and are you an extravert? The extent to which two people are compatible is very important to the well-being of your relationship today and into the future. Several excellent premarital preparation inventories exist that can help you understand the extent to which you and your partner are compatible.

Together with this option, a nice compliment is the Journey of Marriage in the Orthodox Church, a premarital preparation process co-authored by Dr. Philip Mamalakis and myself. It is widely used across the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

Employing these two options should prove very helpful to you in your efforts to assess your compatibility quotient as a couple. Some variations can enhance the relationship when those differences complement one another and serve to help the other grow.

However, significantly differing world views tend to cause deep problems for couples. Many couples spend time trying to determine how compatible they are, but few spend an equal amount of time trying to determine how different they are. This last statement might confuse you, but I have found that couples who spend time trying to determine the extent to which they are similar, should also spend more time trying to understand their differences—especially with regard to some big issues such as, money, friends, in-laws, career goals, arguing styles, recreation, leisure time, sex, parenting, ethnic and religious backgrounds and personality differences.

Unfortunately, many couples marry without carefully examining some of their big differences, thinking it would be easier to figure things out after marriage. The following is an example of a couple that benefited from examining their big differences more carefully. While the outcome was hard for them to face, both agreed their decision was for the best. Some time ago, the following couple sought my counsel. He was an Orthodox Christian and she was Muslim. This they believed, in spite of the fact that both had a high connection to their ethnic and religious backgrounds.

As I respectfully probed them with important questions, it eventually became apparent to both partners that the differences they shared were so great that it was impossible for them to bridge them. As a result, they decided to end their relationship as friends, rather than postpone an inevitable breakup that would be more difficult later. Both left this meeting visibly distressed. However, a few months later, the young man called and informed me that even though they were both still hurting, they continued to believe they had made the correct decision.

In this above example, the couple was able to respectfully and bravely face their big differences and make some prayerful, healthy decisions. But what if they had failed to do this? I am inclined to believe that this would have been a huge omission both would have lived to regret. Spend some time examining how different you and your partner are on important matters like ethnicity, religion, sex, communication, arguing style, career goals, money, leisure time, in-laws, friends and personality.

If you discover that some big differences exist between you, slow the dating process down enough to permit both of you to consider these differences prayerfully and respectfully. In these instances, it could be helpful to consult professionals who have a Christian foundation or are respectful and comfortable working with religious populations. These strategies will have a decidedly positive impact on your future well-being.

Avoid Compromising Your Beliefs. I have met far too many couples that compromised what they believe in order to please their partner or extended family member, only to regret this decision after marriage. In the long run, those who stifle their beliefs to keep peace with their dating partner, almost always regret doing so. These feelings usually end up poisoning marital satisfaction and family stability.

At Eligible Greeks, you can sign up for a free account that will allow you to create a customized profile. You can upload photos and fill out information that will let other Greek singles get to know the real you: your hobbies, interests, and values.

You can also answer a questionnaire that will allow you to better find matches who share your background, religion, and personal values that are important to you in a relationship. Once your account is set up, you will be able to browse through our hundreds of thousands of Greek singles, many of whom identify at Greek Orthodox. You can receive messages from interested suitors, and you can even send a message out to someone who catches your eye.

Should you find that you want even more options, you can always upgrade to our Platinum Membership option. This will allow you to send and receive unlimited messages, as well as talk to other members privately using our Greek chat service. Join Now for Free! Try it for free today! EligibleGreeks is powered by World Singles Networks.

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Many of their stories are listed on the club's website. The tables had filled up within minutes that evening, and Sergei stood chatting on the sidelines with Yulia, a fresh-faced music teacher. She wore a head covering, like most of the women present, though the policy is not strictly enforced on club nights.

Gomonov insists it was never meant as a lonely hearts club. Moscow's youth might beg to differ. The capital's clubs and bars organize regular singles' nights, and Tinder and other such apps are wildly popular. The Orthodox, too, now have a plethora of resources to aid their courtship, with several dating sites now catering to their community. But those who attend the Peter and Fevronia Club and others like it popping up across Russia say they seek something they won't find elsewhere.

Beyond the chance to find a soulmate with an Orthodox worldview, such gatherings offer an alternative religious experience to the somber services held daily at Moscow's churches. Each meeting of the Peter and Fevronia Club begins with joint prayer.

Then, after a period of free conversation, all eyes turn to Gomonov, who grabs a mic to address questions submitted anonymously on small slips of paper. Each answer is a sermon in itself. Do not take his example. The author of the second note wanted to know whether he should marry a priest's daughter. Questions continued for another hour, probing issues from curing loneliness to the use or nonuse of vodka by Russian soldiers in past military campaigns. Yekaterina Gromova, Gomonov's assistant and the club's main coordinator, said attendance at club evenings regularly exceeds The majority of people are between the ages of 25 and 40, and men tend to be slightly outnumbered.

Most women, she said, are practicing Orthodox Christians who come with the express goal of finding a husband; many men attend out of curiosity, to "see what Orthodox girls are like. The lifestyles of Orthodox Christians largely depend on personal choice. Some drink and smoke, others maintain an ascetic lifestyle. Few outwardly tolerate homosexuality, which is unequivocally denounced by the ultraconservative church.

But at the Peter and Fevronia Club, most profess fealty to at least one rule of Orthodox dating: no sex before marriage. And I noticed that God helps a lot with that, too. Today he comes mainly to hear Gomonov's sermons and see old friends. The Peter and Fevronia Club may be the largest weekly gathering of Orthodox singles in Russia, but believers on the market aren't short of resources to aid their search.

Since the s, there's been a boom in dating sites tailored specifically to them, with names such as Alphabet of Fidelity, Seagull, and Fate. They offer access to an exclusive community in exchange for heightened scrutiny and compliance with a strict code of conduct.

To register on Alphabet of Fidelity , one must fill out an electronic form consisting of 78 detailed questions about lifestyle choices, religious practices, and political views, ranging from "Would you consider a marriage without carnal knowledge? The question "How many children do you have? There are also separate tests on love titled "Do you know love?

Russia's first Orthodox dating site was launched in by Roman Kolpakov, then a year-old student. A serious car accident that spring left Kolpakov with spinal fracture and paralysis from the waist down -- he was bed-bound for months, he said in an interview, with the Internet as his only connection to the world. He took to online forums and registered on secular dating sites, but disliked what he saw as the promiscuity they promoted.

Noticing there were no suitable platforms for the Orthodox community, he began work on what would become Parishioners , Russia's largest Orthodox dating site with around 86, members today. That's the gap that the Peter and Fevronia Club, and others like it, aim to fill. Roman Lunkin, a religious expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes the faithful are slowly moving away from dating sites and searching for opportunities to meet potential partners in person.

Adam has an advisory board of clergy and lawyers to be sure everyone is safe. He also is sure to screen every photo personally to be sure they are decent and appropriate. With the challenges of meeting other single Orthodox Christians, it seems that Orthodox and Single is a good way to find someone. I look forward to seeing where Orthodox and Single goes. It surely is intriguing. Our blog, The Sounding, supports the well-being of our readers by providing well-written, positive, and thought-provoking Orthodox content and fostering discussion of its application to life.

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