Moving too quickly and not allowing themselves time to really get to know one another: Exploring Unrealistic Expectations of Marriage (Part II)

If a couple believes that nothing could cause them to question their love and already know everything there is to know, why wait? Some couples move too quickly towards engagement and marriage, not allowing themselves time to really get to know one another.

Almost intoxicated by love, engaged couples are often known for being infatuated with one another. They tend to be confident that they’ll never have problems or that existing problems will just fade away with time, they’ll never question their love, never experience a drop in romance, and already know everything there is to know about their partner. They truly are love struck.

The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations

While the phenomenon of being love struck is quite normal, it can also be a setup when experienced in extremes. There are several problems associated with unrealistic marriage expectations.

    Moving too quickly: 

    It may be the norm for engaged couples to be love-struck, embracing romanticised notions regarding love and marriage or perhaps it may just be that humans are designed to function at a physiological level.

    People and relationships are always changing. Almost all relationships begin happily, but many do not remain so. When couples are first getting to know one another, mutual curiosity creates an atmosphere of sharing and personal reflection. After some time together, there is a tendency to believe they know their partner and conversations shift from each other to events, other people, or ideas.

    Don’t sound the alarms or be overly critical but understand that couples may need to be more realistic about what they should expect from their relationship.

Marriage Expectations is a challenging, yet fun area of discussion for premarital couples, however whilst these couples often have a lot to discuss as they prepare for marriage, healthy dialogue about expectations is critical. The key question for exploration for engaged couples is:

“My partner is the only person with whom I could have a happy marriage.”

by Peter Larson, Ph.D.

Tune in next week for part 3.

Source: Peter Larson, Ph.D. 
References: Olson, D. H. (2004). PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor’s Manual. Minneapolis: Life Innovations.

Slater, L. (2006). True Love. National Geographic. February, 32-49.

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich


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