Is it fair to keep dating, when you know you cant marry?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2009
Is it fair to keep dating, when you know you cant marry?
Wed, 02-02-2011 - 2:14pm

I have been dating a guy for about 9 months now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2005
IMHO, no, it's not fair. BUT, it depends on what you both want out of a r'ship. Do you both want marriage? If so, then yes, it's not fair because you're not allowing him to find his true mate (and vice versa for yourself). If you both aren't really looking for marriage in the next few years, then I'd say it's okay, but knowing you have to end it, may be worse later, than now.

IMHO, because you both feel strongly about the religious aspect, why would you want to stay together? Knowing full well your values do not align?
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2007

The simple answer to your question is "no" it is not fair, IF he wants marriage.


The choices we make in thought word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Hi KO--

I think my biggest concern, would be:
--- have expressed ALL of my concerns with him and he says that I am right. He wants to work on being neater, and taking more responsibility for his own children. He still takes up for his ex, but says that she will eventually re-marry, so it will not longer be an issue. He did make an effort to take me to a more "modern" Church of Christ, but I just did not feel at home. I miss the praise, the music, the singing...

Is it fair to keep dating, when marriage is not an option?-----

When you told him all the deal breakers for you---it sounds like he doesnt realize that you have already decided they are deal breakers, and is still believing he can "fix" these things (be neater, etc) and all will be well......

So, my biggest concern is just that it hasnt *really* sunk in to his mind that YOU dont consider marriage to him a viable option.

So, probably most important is to be REAL CLEAR with him that you cant see yourself marrying him ---at least not until your kids are grown and out of the house---how old are your kids?

If both you and he are "OK" with waiting that long ....then the second question: Are you OK with possiblIy always going to separate churches from him? Some people do......or , honestly, by the time your kids are all grown, one or both of you might have other thoughts re: specific churches as well..........

So, if both you and he are OK on those things....I think you're completely fine to just date......

And where is this exWife, that YOU would be "raising his two children" while he coaches ball and goes hunting.......? consideration, is simply set YOUR boundaries re: that one: Those kids are coming to dad's house to see DAD. You're free to skip town at those times, honestly----he should NOT be leaving you in charge of his kids----that's not their purpose there, and it will be better if you start off that way. HE can plan the dinner when kids are there, HE can be in charge of collecting thier stuff when they go home, etc........

(But....that's another post for another day!)



Keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
I think if you want to remarry some day with someone who is more compatible (including on the religious side), then free yourself up so you can find that guy.

"The most important issue is religious as he is Church of Christ and I am Baptist. He will not and will not ever budge on this issue"

I wouldn't expect someone to switch beliefs because of the person they are dating. Not sure if that's what you meant, he wouldn't budge to your side...
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010


Hi. As long as both of you are straightforward about your concerns and objectives, I don't see it as unfair. Not everyone is in a hurry to get married, particularly if they have been already married and divorced. However, from my experience, devoutly religious people tend to be more eager to remarry and it sounds like both of you are pretty devout. I would sit down with your boyfriend and have a talk with him.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think it depends on whether either one of you wants to remarry.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006


Like the others have said, I am wondering if you two have talked about marriage, or is this just a generalization that most couples after a few years either marry or breakup?

On one hand I don't think you have to decide if you want to marry a guy after the first cup of coffee, but on the other hand, if these things are dealbreakers and you DO want to re-marry, then it would seem you are not being fair to him.

I dated a guy for a while that was crystal clear where he stood. He delibertly did not want to get to know my youngest DD (he was OK with the older teens), nor had a desire to meet family, etc. etc. And for about a year, that worked for me. For 8 months of that time he was out of state and I only saw him two times during those 8 months. Again, for that time in my life it worked for me.

Then I started talking to someone else, and well, you can guess what happened. The long-distace thing was not working anylonger.

I cried when I told him it wasn't working any longer and I had met someone else. He was kind and said "you haven't done anything wrong."

I was so grateful that he stayed true to who he was at the time. He knew himself well, and when I was done he was OK. (Well, there is more to the story when he came back to town, but not really relevant to your post)

So I don't know, K, maybe try just enjoying what you have today, and not worry or concern yourself with M, and see how things go. Maybe a little time of not concerning yourself over it will give you a chance to better discern what is truly a dealbreaker, or not.

Let us know how it goes...

ETA: I have been with SO for five years and no current plans to marry.

Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003

You are now experiencing what it is like "in real life" with someone now that the romantic veil has been lifted.

My take on his ex-wife is that it does not matter if his ex moves away or gets re-married, he has shown how he would behave with someone like that and with his children.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2009

I want to thank all of you for ALL of your advice.