courtship prior to potential marriage

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audacity9
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:58 am

courtship prior to potential marriage

Postby audacity9 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:21 pm

I have recently met a potential future partner in marriage. Circumstances are not ripe for us to get married, I am having difficulty finding information in the writing on what is permissible so far as the length of this type of relationship is legitimately allowed? This length of time is not required for the reason of us getting acquainted with each other's characters. I am beginning to think keeping this connection indefinitely is immoral and beneath what is required from a believer according to Baha'i law.

BruceDLimber
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:34 pm
Location: Rockville, Maryland, USA

Re: courtship prior to potential marriage

Postby BruceDLimber » Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:44 pm

This depends in part on the cultural background of you and your partner because the rules are currently different from Baha'is from the Mid-east.

There, a 95-day limit exists on engagements; but in the rest of the world this restriction doesn't apply and longer engagements are fine!

Obviously, the prohibition on non-marital sexual relations exists regardless, so we hope this won't be an issue.

You (and your partner, if available) should contact a Local Spiritual Assembly to pursue any further marriage arrangements; they'll tell you any other details you need to know.

Regards, and I wish you both all the best! :-)

Bruce

audacity9
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:58 am

Re: courtship prior to potential marriage

Postby audacity9 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:10 pm

Thanks for information, we are from mideast, both divorced and have responsibility with teenage children, geographically speaking live at two opposite sides of the world so it is not a possibilty to move on with potential plans for a few years. I can not deny the feelings I have developed, What I feel sounds immoral is keeping in contact knowing we can't get married at least not for some times to come.

brettz9
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Re: courtship prior to potential marriage

Postby brettz9 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:32 pm

Hello Audacity,

The limitation of 95 days for Eastern believers is only in the case of engagements (where a firm decision has been taken)--NOT for courtship.

In the context of the society in which your family now lives, a society in which materialism, self-centeredness and failing marriages are all too common, your sons may well feel that it is wise to have a long period of courtship in which the prospective partners spend much time together and become thoroughly acquainted with each other’s character, background and family. This practice does not in itself contradict Bahá’í law and, as it is not unacceptable in … [country name removed], it appears to be a viable option. As you are aware, Bahá’u’lláh ordained that Bahá’í engagement should not exceed 95 days, and, although this law has not yet been applied universally, it highlights the desirability of marrying quickly once the decision to marry has been firmly taken and parental consent obtained. However, in a relationship in which such a decision has not been taken and in which the law of chastity is strictly observed, there is no objection, in principle, to a prolonged friendship in which the two individuals entertain the possibility of marrying each other at some time in the future.

(Published in Marriage Can Be Forever--Preparation Counts!)


Other quotations also refer to becoming adequately acquainted with one another's character:

Bahá'í marriage is the commitment of the two parties one to the other, and their mutual attachment of mind and heart. Each must, however, exercise the utmost care to become thoroughly acquainted with the character of the other, that the binding covenant between them may be a tie that will endure forever. Their purpose must be this: to become loving companions and comrades and at one with each other for time and eternity....

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, section 86)


So it seems clear there should be no objection to your relationship, as long as it is not a firm commitment (which could, I might observe, strain relations if one member is counting on it, and the other then breaks this after such a long time expecting a commitment) and as long as it is adhering to the law of chastity.

Wiki page started with these quotes at http://bahai9.com/wiki/Dating .

Best wishes,
Brett

audacity9
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:58 am

Re: courtship prior to potential marriage

Postby audacity9 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:27 am

Thank you Bruce and Brett for your dedication in informing me. I will communicate this with the other half of this equation and hope positive affirmation, discussion and decision would be the result.

BritishBahai
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: courtship prior to potential marriage

Postby BritishBahai » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:18 am

audacity9 wrote:I have recently met a potential future partner in marriage. Circumstances are not ripe for us to get married, I am having difficulty finding information in the writing on what is permissible so far as the length of this type of relationship is legitimately allowed? This length of time is not required for the reason of us getting acquainted with each other's characters. I am beginning to think keeping this connection indefinitely is immoral and beneath what is required from a believer according to Baha'i law.

If I were you, I wouldn't be worried. As long as you're not breaking any chastity laws etc., then there's no problem with it. Human beings are dynamic individuals, so if anything, it's in your favour to thoroughly acquaint yourself with their character because you'll getting to see him/her in different scenarios and how they respond (which is gold).
Last edited by BritishBahai on Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Reason: typo
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"


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