What do you want in a mate? Who do you want to spend the rest of your life with? Someone in love with Jesus? Someone in love with you? Someone who is really really in love with themself?
Being friends first is great, because it gives you a chance to find out someone’s core values. Their spending habits. Their work ethic. How selfish/selfless they are.
When problems emerge during the friendship stage, you can know for certain, those issues will exist in a marriage.
Is there any topic that is taboo between you and your friend? Can you freely discuss common topics like disciplining children, saving money, acceptable amounts of t.v. Time?
The biggest problem I see with couples is that they get serious with someone who has serious problems.
I do realize that no human is error free. The important thing is…does your friend understand what disturbs you about them? Or even what sort of concerns you? Does what concerns you concern them? Or are they indifferent?
If you never reach a point of being able to talk freely with one another, on a multitude of vital issues, then these things will not be resolved and decided should you get married.
The biggest problem with most relationships is communication. So if you can’t discuss these things now, while you are deeply “in like”, then how will your relationship whether the long term storms of life? Naturally, it’s not advisable to launch into a “talk” on all these things right away.
But before you date with the intent of marrying someone, you need to know how they feel. About many many things.
Bear in mind, however. Not every “friend” is necessarily interested in taking it to the next level.