Dating time frames

When I first dated my wife, Judy, I was preparing to leave for college within a month.

I did leave, but I felt that our budding relationship was too promising to abandon—so I returned home to enroll in a local school and continue our courtship.

Sitting near the end of a parade once, my family was thrilled to see President Ezra Taft Benson step out of a car that had just completed the parade route.

We watched as President Benson slowly made his way around to open the car’s other door.

Taking his wife, Flora, by the hand, he assisted her out, and they walked arm in arm to a seat in the viewing stand.

We were all inspired by their obvious love for each other. The Bensons’ courtship stretched over seven years, more than four of which they spent apart, writing letters.

Looking back, I’m glad I did, because I now see that although we felt right for each other, we needed time to prepare to live together in marriage.

During our courtship, Judy and I spent little money on dates because we received our greatest enjoyment from conversation and simple activities.

We attended Church meetings and activities together and sometimes shared our courtship time with friends or family members.

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.

How did the Bensons develop their strong relationship? President Benson’s biographer tells us that during this time, they “talked for hours, exploring their feelings about a future together. The more they talked, the more comfortable they felt with each other.” The prophet himself describes it this way: “‘There was so much to tell and we seemed to enjoy each other so very much. It was a perfect courtship during which I discovered in Flora a great character and a rare combination of virtues’” (Sheri L. On the other hand, Scott and Pamela met a few months after Scott returned from his mission. After a whirlwind courtship, they married in a beautiful temple ceremony.

Soon Pamela was expecting their first child and quit her job due to poor health, which meant that Scott had to drop out of college and look for a full-time job.

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