In the Nigerian/African setting, the onus falls on the man to propose marriage, in order words, he determines the duration of the courtship. This is not to say that the lady sits back, crosses her legs and waits... we have been wired to drop suble hints to speed up the process. However, it seems some guys just never get there.
A friend of mine started dating her 'husband' when she was 18. As of today, they aren't married, at least not in my books! First they dated for 5years after which they began cohabiting, this went on for a long time until she announced she was pregnant. Her mum sprung into action asking for a date to formalise the union and all they got was an elaborate introduction! At the time, my friend was 31!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a guy who has a job that pays the bills, his personal business, a car, a fully furnished apartment shouldn't be hesitant about walking down the aisle with his devoted fiancée of 13years. Till date, they haven't been to the court neither have they had an engagement/church solemnization. It therefore troubles me that he proclaims undying love, yet isn't eager to sign the dotted line.
Although there is no rule book that suggests the appropriate duration for courtship, isnt it just frustrating to be in a relationship that seems to be heading no where? I have heard cases of people who dated for 10, 12 and even 15 years and still never made it to the alter. The question I want to ask is, did he/she change after a decade or you just decided to ignore the red flags from the beginning? Experts have said that the red flags can be sighted as early as 3 months, they may be wrong but did it have to take 10 years?
There are a few excusable reasons why a courtship might be long, for instance a couple that got together in their first year at the University may not get married until after about 3 years post-graduation, thus bringing their courtship years to about 8 or even more. But in some cases, it just seem they are comfortable with 'no formal commitment'.
I keep wondering why some relationships are like this, is the guy scared of committment? Is he just trying to be sure he knows her well enough? But then they say you never know all, even after decades of marriage, the learning continues. Or perhaps, he's already getting free meal tickets (love, attention, sex) so why should he pay (do a proper marriage)?
These are my thoughts, let me know yours.