This is an important stage in preparing for marriage and choosing a spouse. The role of this stage has undergone significant changes in the present century, so that now there is a strong tendency to neglect pre-marital courtship in modern boys and girls (the latter are largely forced). S. V. Kovalev identifies three most important functions of this period, which correspondingly reflect the three main and chronologically relatively consecutive stages of the beginning of family life.
1. During the entire courtship, there is an accumulation of joint impressions and experiences. This is the emotional potential of the subsequent family life, the store of feelings from which the spouses will draw strength and joy in difficult periods of marriage. And it is important to combine impressions, because otherwise experiencing difficult moments of life, the spouse will turn not to the General, but to the individual bright past, thus condemning himself to mental loneliness together, which never passes without a trace for the marital Union.
2. Recognition of each other and at the same time refinement and validation of the decision. Belief in the” re-education ” of the other in the process of living together in most cases is untenable. As a rule, all those who claimed that even before marriage was aware of the weaknesses of the character of the chosen one, but “turned a blind eye”, expecting that these weaknesses will disappear in the process of living together, had to be disappointed in their original concepts. But representatives of stable families, who initially believed that their characters are well suited to each other, unanimously argued the opposite, that is, improving the correspondence of characters over the course of life together.
According to S. V. Kovalev, it is necessary to pay attention to:
features of the family way of the chosen one (his ancestral family), which seem natural to him;
the ability of the possible chosen one to overcome the inevitable obstacles in marriage;
the readiness of the future partner to perform everyday family functions (and their acceptance of the degree of this readiness).
The main thing at the recognition stage is to check your feelings and the feelings of the other, as well as to assess possible compatibility. To determine possible compatibility, the most important thing is to check the functional-role correspondence (analysis of mutual marriage-family representations coming from the ancestral family). You should pay attention to the emerging style of relationships and communication (as far as it is acceptable for later life), the level of understanding of each other, and the mutual ability to overcome conflicts.
3. The third function and, accordingly, the third stage of pre-marital courtship is the design of family life: the definition of material and living conditions and the definition of the family way of life.
Currently, the following family structures are usually distinguished: the traditional patrimonial matriarchal family, the egalitarian family, the married family (without children), and the maternal family. In a non-Patriarchal family, the strategic (non-family) and business leader is the husband, while the tactical (intra-family) and emotional leader is the wife. In the neo-Patriarchal – the opposite is true. The egalitarian family assumes the equality of husband and wife in all matters of family life without exception.
A feature of modern pre-marital courtship is the so-called “pre-marital experiment” – a kind of simulation of the entire reality of family relationships before their official legal beginning (including sexual contact). According to S. V. Kovalev, the “pre-marital experiment” can help in determining functional and role compatibility, and not at all in the sexual sphere, although it is usually started for the purpose of identifying sexual compatibility. It often takes years to achieve intimate-personal conformity, largely for the reason that the ability to have a full-fledged intimate life occurs in women later than in men: often by the age of 26-28. Starting a sexual relationship before marriage often leads to either “premarital divorce” or”forced marriages”.
It is also possible that the very attempt to “test the relationship” indicates a lack of acceptance by people of each other, their unwillingness to take on serious obligations. At the same time, the consequences are usually not long in coming: the majority of pregnancies in unborn women occur outside of marriage – 61.7% of all conception, and in 16-17 years – 95.6%, in 25-29 years – 54.9%.
V. A. Sysenko introduced the concept of “ability to marry”, suggesting such terms:
the ability to take care of another person, selflessly serve him, actively do good;
the ability to empathize, empathize, and be compassionate, that is, to “enter” the emotional world of the other partner, to understand their joys and sorrows, to experience failures, and to find spiritual unity;
ability to cooperate, cooperate, interpersonal communication, have skills and abilities in the implementation of many types of work, organization of household consumption and distribution;
a high ethical culture that assumes the ability to be tolerant and condescending, generous and kind, to accept another person with all his oddities and shortcomings, to suppress his own selfishness.
All these abilities, according To V. A. Sysenko, are indicators of a person’s ability to quickly change their behavior in accordance with changing features, to show tolerance, stability and predictability of their behavior, and the ability to compromise.