dating for a few months before marriage, Christian courtship, courtship dos and don'ts

OUR COURTSHIP STORY

When Mr N asked me to marry him, I did not foresee how short our courtship would be. We are not one of those couples who dated for ten years before marriage. From that day in February when I said yes, it took only three months before we had our traditional wedding in May. Worthy of note is the fact that our engagement wasn’t typical of engagements today. There was no dramatic kneeling down and saying, “will you marry me?” I accepted to marry him via a text message. There was also no engagement ring. I chose to get one for myself and put on my ring finger so other men would know I’m taken. True story.

You see, Mr. N is not that kind of guy to follow the route of planning a wedding proposal where he will “pop the question”, you know, like it is in the Western world and on social media these days. The reason he came close to me in the first place was because he wanted to marry me. And the reason I had anything to do with him was because I wanted to marry him too. There was no need pretending that we were just dating until the big day when he would “officially propose.”

With the pressure around these days, I almost felt like we were missing something. Well, I did feel like we were missing something! And sometimes, I feel like it should have been the way A or Y’s own was. Or I feel like my wedding gown would have been more stylish (especially as mine was made by Pa Emmanu the tailor – totally true story.) Our wedding was not one that would get a spot on Bella Naija’s Weddings column. It was somehow basic.

I have grown to understand that you have to understand and appreciate your path. You have to cut your wedding coat according to your size. Life puts a lot of pressure on us. There has to be a proposal, an engagement party, a bridal shower, a pre-wedding photo shoot, then the big wedding which would be the talk of the town. And it is so easy to focus on the cosmetic appearance of a wedding that you forget to actually prepare to get married.

So we barely had any of those partly because I am a “contri geh” (see why) and partly because those things don’t come naturally to our culture. We skipped the proposal, engagement party, bridal shower and the modern day wedding shenanigans, and went straight to the traditional wedding. The traditional wedding happened three months after I accepted to marry the brother and I was only 21 going on 22 then.

Also, it took only three months from May to August when we had our wedding. So in reality, we courted for 6 months. It was a very short one characterised by lots of calls, text messages, travelling far and wide to see family members, holding hands and you know, planning a wedding. Read on if you are interested in knowing the itty-bitty details of our courtship story.

Christian courtship

Prior to being in a relationship with Mr. N, I loved listening to Christian tapes and reading Christian books on marriage. It was one of my favourite things to do. Of the many books and messages I gleaned on was one by late Pastor Bimbo Odukoya. One of the things she often stressed on was that a courtship should not be too short. She said you needed time to know the other person. And she made sense.

In fact, most of the marriage ministers I listened to recommended an average of two years for a healthy courtship. My courtship didn’t follow this guide at all. According to Mr. N, we didn’t even have a courtship. Because it took only a few months from when he first met my parents till when we were married. But we didn’t just know each other in those few months. We knew each other for 4 years before getting married though we were not dating in those four years.

So our courtship was very unconventional. It’s not like we were in a hurry to get married. But Mr., N started discussing traditional marriage plans with my dad literally the first few times he met him. Then my dad called his people AKA his kinsmen and they set the ball rolling. Everything was so surreal as we were traditionally married in only a few short months. I should also state here that this happened so fast because Mr. N had the means to finance everything. If he wasn’t financially able, we would have waited for more months or even years so we could prepare financially.

We tried to maximise our time as much as we could during our short courtship.

We talked a lot – about the number of kids we would love to have, where we would live after marriage and much more.

We went out a lot- we went to the restaurant where Mr. N first asked me out. That place holds good memories for us.

We visited lots of family members – Mr. N visited my family over and over again and got acquainted with them. I got to meet his mom, his brothers, their wives and other family members.

We held hands – like a lot. Mr. N could not let go of my hands. Haha so much love. I was so scared as a conservative “church geh” that it was going to deteriorate into something else. But he assured me that pre-marital sex was not going to happen as it would only destroy us.

We also held many conversations with our pastor and planned for our wedding which eventually happened.

That’s basically how our courtship went before we started life as Mr. and Mrs. If there’s one thing I ‘ll want you to take away from here, it is that you should cut your wedding coat according to your size. Once you find the right person and you are planning a wedding, don’t let the pressures of society get to you. You must not hire that professional make-up artist simply because Sophie did. If you can afford it, fine. But do not go borrowing for a lavish wedding because society says your wedding must have a certain feel to it. Be content with who you are and what you have.

Finally, put God at the centre of everything. Having God in my life is the most important thing that keeps me going. And I’m grateful to have had Him right from the start of our relationship till now.

I hope this story inspired your journey in some way. We’ve been married for over 7 years now and it only gets better!pre-signature-pro

30 Comments

  1. gloriafinesblog.com

    Awwwwh sincere and amazing love story indeed. Indeed people allow the society put pressure on them too much. Mine wasn’t any different just that i was given a ring that was neither steel or plastic. ?

    gloriafinesblog.com

  2. It totally inspires me. It’s a reminder that an awesome marriage is the real deal, and a lavish wedding ceremony does not a good marriage make.
    I feel like a lot of people spend more time preparing for the proposal, pre wedding, shower, wedding, honeymoon and how to wow their friends and spend less time preparing for one of the most important changes in their life which is the union of a man and a woman.

    A man may be unable to pull out all the stops when proposing or afford a lavish wedding but may be godsend and give you the best memories of your life.

    Who long courtship epp? Lol. My dad’s best friend married his school sweetheart whom he had known for years and they divorced shortly after marriage.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Glad it inspires you, hun.
      We constantly face the pressure to impress people and a wedding ceremony is one of those things that people put so much effort into. Now if we could put in more effort in preparing for marriage instead then there will be far less broken marriages.

  3. You have told the story simply and honestly. It was a relationship of two balanced people who did things in a very unaffected manner. My kids and I are glad we were part of this journey and remember it all the time…

  4. Elizabeth

    And I simply love this story…!!!! Thumps up! Am so freaking tired of the perfect ewedding show, and there is also “baby showers” this days..! Thank you..!

  5. Oh Precious, this post is so spot on and inspiring, especially because I’m planning my wedding too. In our case, we had our traditional wedding in our absence (at our home country), and our parents & siblings were really encouraging. The white wedding, which is our primary focus is going to be very intimate.

    I mean, the marriage is for us and not to show off, and at the end of the day, we realize that we have a future to plan towards.
    It’s just important to be real and true to yourself, and avoid debt anyway possible. Thanks for sharing this love story!

    http://www.zinnyfactor.com

    • Exactly, Zinny!
      The wedding is for you and not an avenue to show off. Wishing you the very best as you carry on with your wedding plans.
      Congrats, dear!

  6. This why I love you and your blog Precious, you always know when to deliver the right post when needed. this post was so helpful to me, thank you.

  7. OmoNaija

    Precious… I enjoyed your post (on the side I watched your video on YouTube to cook Nike every time I do. Somehow I can’t figure out how to do it without a video even tho I am Cameroon Ian and grew up there)

    OK to this story. Your wedding even was more glamorous than mine. My parents are from Cameroon and My husband is from Nigeria.

    We never had an actual “Traditional Wedding” even. When we were ready to get married, we spoke to our parents who approved the wedding (mind you I hav not seen my Parents in 9 years (- thats story for another time if i can write half as well as you do). My father accepted my husband without ever meeting him. He got to meet my Dad’s elder sister and my cousins and he has met 2 of my sister too. He talks to my Dad all the time. His mother accepted me without ever meeting me in person as well. When his Parents were suppose to go to Cameroon to see mine for introduction and whatnot, it was not possible because of the instability going on in Cameroon at the time. I didnt want to risk it so I said No! If I was going with them thats better and since I was not sure about the escalating tensions in Bamenda, I didnt want to risk it. So strike 2 – our parents have never met before. You see I am currently completing Medical School and taking a Masters, so when it was time for the wedding, even tho we wanted to marry, our priority was education and other things. So spending money on a wedding was not the wise thing to do at the time: we had priorities. So we planned on having a Court Wedding and then a reception later.

    Planning Court wedding and reception in the mist of school work was too stressful for me. Making me rethink if i/we really wanted a reception (my husband is so sweet he pretty much beard my many months on indecisions). Some people told me the wedding reception was for your family not you. See, I never grew up like the girl who dreamed of having a wedding. I guess i had other things on my mind. Anyway, last minute… like literally a month to the court reception, i didn’t want the reception anymore. So we ended up doing a court wedding with my Aunt, 1 cousins/and her family (I had none of my friends there), his aunt and 2 of his friends. …and it was amazing.

    We plan on going home next year to see his parents and mine but i am a firm believer in what my dad says “Load your bag as heavy as YOU can carry if without asking for help. Cuz they may not be anyone to help you or you may havw to pay a price for the help”. God was moving in orchestrating out marriage cuz doors have opened since we did…And trust me most people who know me growing up in Bamenda Cameroon would have expected a lavishing wedding. But I know what I want and I go for it. I don’t listen to what people have to say… (which is why I enlisted in the Army without telling my family). Cuz I have somewhere I .going and people need to over over. Spent so much time of my life considering people’s feelings. Don’t have time for that now. My husband is very supportive of me and that counts for everything.

    • OmoNaija, your story is really out of the norm! I’m glad you and your husband were wise enough to focus on your priorities. I pray your studies move on smoothly. May the Lord bless your union.
      I’m curious as to why you haven’t seen your parents in such a long time (9 years!)
      Thank you for sharing, dear!

      • Timing was not right; between sorting out school and legal status. You know I used to wonder what kept people away from home for so long, and swear it would never happen to me. Imagine my surprise. Life/God’s timing has a way of changing your plans. Next year will be 10 years…I can finally go home by God’s Grace.

  8. Just as people are different, so are relationships and even marriages. There’s no one-size-fits-all. Some people date for 10 years before getting married, and others meet and marry within a few months or even weeks. Everyone should know that they don’t need to conform to any supposed standards that society (or Bella Naija :p) poses on them. As long as both parties know what they’re doing and doing it for the right reasons, then anything goes. As much as I enjoyed my beach wedding, I would have also enjoyed just having a simple garden ceremony and going to a restaurant afterwards with a few people. At the end of the day, what really matters is how both partners treat their marriage.

  9. Wow. This is such an inspiring courtship story. No glamour, no “efizzy”. Just two pure and whole individuals who came together for a purpose.

    It’s not how long you’ve known or dated each other, but how beautiful the marriage blossom over the years. Thank you, mum Prechy!

    Wish you both more blissful years together. Cheers!

  10. I laughed so hard reading this, my hubby actually bought a ring and asked me to wear it by myself, imagine!
    As per wedding preparations and all,if you can afford an elaborate wedding, go for it. And if your account balance can do something small, do it and trust God for enlargement.
    The society won’t be with you in the marriage, so there’s no reason following its dictates.
    The most important thing is to marry right.
    Hallo Precious, Awayu (how are you)

    • Bola, ayam fine (I am fine) lol. Not quite though. I have issues with my eyes but they’re getting better. I’ve missed you dear.
      Hahaha your hubby tried though. At least he bought the ring. Your own was to wear. Lol
      Yes, marrying right is most important.
      Thanks B! Have a blessed week!

  11. You both look so cute. The marriage is so much more important and if you both are on the same page from Day 1, that’s all. All the extras are exactly that – extras! Gotta cut your coat according to your size!

    www,KacheeTee.com

  12. Girls I over enjoyed the stories n the inputs. Wow it’s a treasure all your wise words…

  13. Your blog is something real and something I can really relate to. This is the first blog I have subscribed to – True story. I am attracted by these facts about you; you Love God, are Cameroonian, are married wid kids and pretty much how your mind is ‘shaped’. I love how you write – simply- not coloring and sweating, just honest and real and engaging. Thank you for your gift.

  14. Hello dear precious. we almost have the same story line. I accepted to marry my husband through text message , bought my ring by myself. no drama my sister. 5months of courtship and married. hahaha. I always laugh when i remember all this

    • Hahaha I’m glad when I hear courtship stories so similar to mine. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who had a ‘weird’ courtship. No drama at all! Thanks for sharing, sister!

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