Advantages and Disadvantages of Long-Term Dating

Is long- or short-term dating better when you wish to marry? Check out this article and find out what are the advantages and disadvantages of both scenarios.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Long-Term Dating
Andrés Carrillo

Written and verified by the psychologist Andrés Carrillo.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Long-term dating is more common than you might think. Very often, people assume a couple is married because they’ve been living together for several years and their routine is similar to that of a married couple. However, they’ve merely decided to maintain their relationship for a longer period of time.

This is a transient stage. That is to say, it’ll eventually evolve and will either be more formal or will fail and eventually end. However, there are times when dating extends indefinitely.

The causes vary. For example, some couples try to improve their finances before moving forward in the relationship. This article will examine the advantages and disadvantages of having an extended courtship.

Advantages of long-term dating

Regardless of the social stigmas and what people may think, long-term dating might actually be the best option for some couples. Continue reading for a list of some of the advantages of this type of relationship.

1. The ability to establish common agreements

Couples who have spent a long time together can better overcome adverse situations. This is because they’ve already made a decision to be together and it helps avoid common cohabiting conflicts. From this, one can infer the joint agreements for a life together are healthy.

2. Security in the couple’s bond

One of the fundamental pillars of any relationship is security. Consequently, couples who’ve been together for a long time have good emotional foundations.

That is, they trust each other and know they’ll continue to move forward in a healthy relationship.

The shoes of a bride and groom.
Long-term dating doesn’t always lead to marriage and people shouldn’t feel they have to.

3. Shared goals

Couples begin to set goals together over time and their relationship becomes stronger as they achieve them.

However, a healthy couple can understand and accept that each one of them has individual goals in some areas of their lives.

4. Family acceptance

Long-term dating is usually fully accepted by relatives. Therefore, the process of adjustment eventually takes place regardless of differences.

You don’t have to like, or be liked by, your significant other’s whole family, but tolerance is key.

5. Affective emancipation

This refers to the capacity to love oneself, even when in a relationship. Accordingly, the people in this type of relationship tend to have healthy self-esteem.

It’s about being able to be independent in terms of well-being and allowing your partner to supplement and complement your happiness.

Read about Setting Limits for Healthy Relationships

Disadvantages of long-term dating

Life isn’t perfect so you must take into account the negative aspects of long-term dating. Here’s a list of some of the problems that could arise.

1. Problems adapting to routines

One of the main disadvantages of long-term dating is the difficulty to adapt to certain routines. Conflicts usually begin when a couple spends too much time together and their relationship doesn’t move forward.

In reality, routine isn’t a problem. The thing is there’s always a resistance to change as it’s hard for human beings to process that some things must change in order to maintain a relationship.

2. The romantic passion fades

It’s normal for romanticism to wane in couples who have been together for a long time, and it doesn’t imply they’ve stopped loving each other. Nevertheless, it does indicate it’s time to prioritize other parts of the relationship.

In this respect, couples who base their relationship on romanticism have endless conflicts.

3. Social pressure becomes intense

One of the most characteristic disadvantages of long-term dating is the pressure exerted by the people around these couples. Friends and relatives often ask questions such as: “Have you got a wedding date set?” “Where are you going to get married?” “Will you have children?”

4. Long-term dating due to doubts about the relationship

A couple’s expectations often change as time goes by. These changes coincide in some cases but not so much in others.

Of course, there’s no problem when they do. It’s when one of them begins to talk about marriage and the other won’t hear about it that conflicts and insecurities arise.

A man surprised by what he's hearing.
Any long-term relationship is subject to periods of conflict that can lead to chaotic times if not resolved.

5. Fear of losing independence

Indeed, some long-term relationships are the result of fear. Specifically, the fear of losing independence because marriage often results in diminished freedom.

This is linked to a stigma as people who are in the dating stage still perceive themselves as unattached. Thus, it wouldn’t be too complicated to separate.

Is marriage a good option after long-term dating?

As you’ve seen in this article, long-term dating works for some people but is unsustainable for others. In this respect, the best course of action if you have doubts about marriage is to reflect on your relationship and evaluate its dynamics.

The relationships that work well over a long period of time are more likely to end in marriage. Conversely, those with conflicting dynamics are more likely to fail in the long run.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • “Relaciones de Pareja.” Kairós Gerontologia. Revista da Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Saúde. ISSN 2176-901X 18.20 (2015): 173–188. Kairós Gerontologia. Revista da Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Saúde. ISSN 2176-901X. Web.
  • Hernando-Gómez, Ángel, Pablo Maraver-López, and María Pazos-Gómez. “Experiencias Positivas y Negativas En Relaciones de Pareja de Jóvenes y Adolescentes.” Revista de Psicología 25.2 (2016): n. pag. Revista de Psicología. Web.
  • Calero, Francisco. “Matrimonio.” ¿Luis Vives o Antonio de Guevara? El Inicio Del Enigma. Dykinson, 2019. 259–282. ¿Luis Vives o Antonio de Guevara? El inicio del enigma. Web.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.