18: Racing to the Altar (Are You Truly Ready for Marriage?)

Most people have a desire to be married.


However, the vast majority aren’t properly prepared for marriage.




In most cases, it’s because they rush into it.


Marriage is a serious, life-altering decision and it shouldn’t be made without very careful consideration.


No matter how much you may love someone.


No matter how long you two may have been together.


You should never rush into an engagement or a marriage.


If you would like to know more about the dangers of rushing into a marriage or you’re interested in figuring out how you can slow your own pace to the altar, you must listen to the latest podcast episode, ‘Racing to the Altar (Are You Truly Ready for Marriage?)’:



If you know someone who can benefit from this, whether they are single, in a relationship or engaged, please share it with them, by pressing ‘click to tweet’ below.


[Tweet “Racing to the Altar (Are You Truly Ready for Marriage?) #RTRL”]




Episode Title: Racing to the Altar (Are You Truly Ready for Marriage?)


Guests: DaraFollow Her on Twitter * Damani


Music: Mary J. Blige – Propose * Kere Buchanan ft. Gary Pinto – If You Need Somebody


Book: How to Love Me by Ali Davis



  • If you’ve been single for X amount of time, people look at you like you aren’t worth anything.” – Dara


  • “If you go into something not wanting to really be 100% dedicated to it, you’re just going to make yourself unhappy.” – Damani


  • “Marriage is what you put in it. You get out of it what you put in it.” – Dara


Key Lessons:

  • The importance of having your own unique take on the value of marriage
  • The topics couples must discuss before getting engaged or married
  • How to tell your partner you’re not ready to get married


Hot Topics & Takeaways:

  • The stigmas that are placed on unmarried people
  • Dara gives her BIGGEST justifiable reason for rejecting a marriage proposal
  • The abandoned significance of the engagement period
  • Deciding to cohabit before marriage or not


Dangers & Difficulties:

  • The dangers of rushing into marriage
  • The challenges that arise when either you or your partner changes over the course of the relationship
  • Dealing with the aftermath of a rejected proposal
  • Financial deal breakers


Experience is the Best Teacher:

  • Damani shares how he’s dealt with pressure to get married
  • Dara shares the benefits of discussing engagement before the proposal
  • Dara explains why her and her husband chose to take a pre-engagement course and how helpful the course was


Hold Yourself Accountable:

Speak up! Don’t sit quietly knowing you are not ready for marriage or knowing that you are and allow your partner to dictate your life or decisions.


Apply the Principles:

“Do not lie to each other.” Colossians 3:9(NIV)


Take Action Now:

  1. Be honest with yourself and answer the question: Am I ready for engagement or marriage?
  2. Share with you partner how you feel and let them share with you how they feel.
  3. Prepare for the next step or prepare yourselves as a couple before entering into an engagement or marriage.


Show Some Love:

Please leave me a comment or a private message answering the following question:

Do you believe cohabiting or moving in together before getting married is beneficial to a relationship?

  • Destiny's Truth
    June 23, 2014

    I truly felt that his was a very informative podcast and your guest were very honest. I was very impressed by Dara’s preparation for marriage and admission that everything is not perfect but they are willing to work on whatever problems together. Also, I was initially shocked by Damani’s admission that he was in a long-term relationship for over 15 years and had two children by this partner and yet was not married. However, I respect his position and feel that he and his partner will eventually work through their issues and mutually decide to get married when the time is right. He was very receptive to learn more and made no excuses for doing it his way. That level of honesty is needed more in relationships. Where do you find such great music? Jay quite a wonderful topic and insightful podcast! I am truly enjoying Right to R.E.A.L. Love Radio.

    In regards to the question about the benefits of cohabiting before marriage, I do not feel there are any benefits. I dated a man for 3 years and lived with him for 1 year prior to our engagement and one month before our wedding date I called it off. You do not learn more about a person just because you live with them. I was not born again at the time and did not understand the principles of God.

    • Jay
      June 24, 2014

      Wow! Really great comment Destiny. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the podcast and for answering the question.

      Similar to you, I really admire Dara and her husband’s preparation. That’s a great standard they set.

      Yes, Damani was very receptive and I think that’s a great thing. He is very open-minded and willing to hear multiple perspectives on the matter. That truly is a sign of maturity.

      Somehow great music keeps finding it’s way to my ears and I feel compelled to share it with you and other R.E.A.L. Lovers. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying it.

      I appreciate you sharing your experience and I’m glad that you made the decision that was best for you, instead of conforming to the pressure the society and family can place on us.

    • dtafakari
      June 24, 2014

      Thanks! It was really important to me to convey that everything isn’t always perfect, even with preparation. I think a lot of Christians have a tendency to gloss over things and give a skewed image of what marriage truly is. And it’s WORK. 🙂

      • Jay
        June 24, 2014

        That’s a great point Dara.

        Thank you so much for taking the time to swing by and respond to comments that I have been left. I truly appreciate that.

    • Damani
      June 26, 2014

      I had a feeling that people would be shocked by my situation. Thank you for placing value on my honesty. I’m open to the idea of getting married in the future, but I don’t feel it is necessary for my overall happiness.

      • Jay
        June 26, 2014

        Hey Damani!

        I appreciate you taking the time out to swing by, read and reply to some of the comments.

        I definitely respect your honesty, your reasoning and your choice.

        Marriage isn’t for everyone and I would only recommend someone make such a serious commitment if they were ready and desired all that comes along with it.

        Like I stated before, your openness and willingness is what’s most commendable. Many people aren’t even willing to give marriage a second thought.

        Thank you again for being a guest on the podcast. It was truly a pleasure to speak with you again. I look forward to such an opportunity again in the near future.

  • Autumn
    June 24, 2014

    I’m really, really, really glad you guys opened with the stigma of being
    single especially after a certain age. Single may be the new freedom
    but not when it’s no longer new. I do think people simply don’t know
    how to categorize a person who doesn’t fit into the mold. But that’s
    they’re problem! We each have to do what’s right for ourselves and not care about
    what others think.

    I’ll be honest. I hardly ever think about marriage. It’s only when the right person comes along do I think about it seriously. And that’s rare. I think about LTRs first.

    I agree with Douglas about co-habitation, but really it depends on the
    people. Some people are very open and you can get to know them so well
    so quickly. Others aren’t the same until you live with them. You
    basically know the person after a few years, but people change and I
    think there will always be something new you’ll find out but it probably
    won’t be a major thing. Like maybe he has to fold all his socks a
    certain way vs. the very contentious extended family out of state he
    hasn’t told you about. One isn’t a big deal, the other you should (and
    probably will) know co-habitating or not.

    So, I don’t think you learn or gain something from it you wouldn’t otherwise. I
    would probably still co-habitate for me personally, but it’s not
    necessary. It would just give me some extra reassurance. I’d want to know as much as I can possibly know before taking such a huge step as marriage.

    • Jay
      June 24, 2014

      YES!!! You’re right Autumn. If a person doesn’t fit neatly in a certain mold, that’s definitely not their problem. I’m so glad that you said that.

      You make a great point about people change. That’s true and it’s a part of life. I think it’s all in how we respond to it. We can accept it and find the positive in it or we can dwell on what we don’t like and the negative of it. I prefer to take the positive approach.

      Thank you so much for sharing your answer to the question. I can totally understand your position.

  • Julia
    June 24, 2014

    This was definitely a great discussion, and I’m glad we got a chance to hear the side of a married person and someone in a long-term relationship. Society would have us to believe that marriage is binding (yeah, a legal contract between two persons who are committed to one another) and ties people down for life. They discourage its purpose and degrade its beauty and purpose by embracing counterfeit forms of love because they don’t understand nor see the necessity of marriage. Soul ties are just as binding and their after effects can truly be devastating. But if you genuinely love a person for who they are purposed to be and feel so drawn to them that you want something permanent, then why not marriage? It is truly one of the most magnificent forms of human interaction. Marriage is something that should be esteemed and cautiously considered as the purpose isn’t just legal sex.

    As a single who desires marriage, I’ve learned to accept this period of time without a mate as something to be coveted because there are things I still have yet to discover and learn about myself. I am daily preparing for my future union by working on me while thinking about him and how my actions and thoughts may be beneficial and/or destructive to him.This is an incubator season (just like the nine months of pregnancy)– you get nourished, strengthened, & stretched for what the future holds in store for you. I agree so much with Dara that you need to take that time to get to know the other person, but you don’t have to live together to do it. It’s great that she and her then boyfriend (now husband) studied themselves and one another before entering into this lasting commitment for life. The premarital/ pre-engagement exercises were a great idea, and it alerts you to anything you should know prior to saying I do; as well, confirms that you are moving in the right direction. I definitely want to read that book, and think it’s great that they developed more as two whole people before they fused their lives together as one.

    On another note, that 15 year thing is quite a shocker, and I guess times have truly changed. It says to me that though I’ve had all the time in the world…I still need more time. What is it exactly that can’t be figured out after 15 years? I do strongly feel that matters like this need to be addressed because our young people will grow up thinking it’s normal and that marriage is pointless, but that’s so untrue.

    Yes, take the time to discover yourself, genuinely get acquainted with your mate,be honest and discerning about everything and discuss your desires upfront. It doesn’t take forever to do this though. Society says don’t do this (just let it flow and see what happens), but why drag someone through something that they aren’t ready or suited for. In your heart, you know. Couples need to know if they are on a level playing field, and you don’t want to attract someone (or attach yourself to someone) who’s destination is different than your own. You owe it to yourself to ask the right questions and pursue what you really desire. Time can’t be reclaimed, so you have to be intentional about what you do with it.

    • Jay
      June 24, 2014

      WHOA! This statement you made is truth Julia: “Marriage is something that should be esteemed and cautiously considered as the purpose isn’t just legal sex.”

      I love what you said about this being and incubator season. I agree with that completely and I’m definitely in that season as well, and enjoying it to the fullest! God has revealed and taught me so many things.

      I’m with you, I’m interested in checking that book out too. I’m curious to see what other questions it has within it.

      “Time can’t be reclaimed, so you have to be intentional about what you do with it.”

      That statement sums up the importance of clearly communicating within a relationship and assuring that both partners are on the same page.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feedback on the podcast Julia. I truly appreciate it.

      • Julia
        June 24, 2014

        Hey Jay,

        Thank you so much for providing an outlet and safe haven for we R.E.A.L. Lovers to express ourselves and learn from each other; as well as you and your guests. Your podcast is groundbreaking and I know your gift is going to reach many more people and open some major doors. May you continue to experience tremendous success in this and many other endeavors.



        • Jay
          June 25, 2014

          Wow! Thank you so much for the kind words Julia. However, I have to give all the praise and glory to God. I know none of this would be possible or even happening if it was not for Him. I am so thankful and grateful. You have no idea.

          I know that God is going to positively impact the lives of many through you and your gift too. Watch and see!

  • singlemomsmile1
    June 25, 2014

    I enjoyed this discussion. I like the way you have two very different guests on the show. Like Destiny’s Truth I was initially turned off by Damani’s relationship because I was in that type of relationship for a long time while desiring more. As the podcast went on I had to step back and say, “Hey his lady likes it obviously. That’s their thing and who am I to judge?” I too came to respect his position when he admitted that he was a selfish individual. My long term partner would not admit for the life of him that he was selfish and he too frequently lied by omission. Just like Damani’s relationship his omission of important facts because he did not want to be held accountable to anyone lead to the demise of our situation. Kudos to Damani and his lady for trying to working through it. My ex was not willing to work on it and I had to walk. As a Christian woman it did not go along with my values and the closer I got to God the less I desired the relationship as well.

    Dara just blew my mind! I wish I had enough sense when I was younger to date with a purpose. I allowed some good guys to pass me by with my nonsense back in the day. Thank God it’s not about how we start but how we finish. I plan on finishing strong. Her preparation for her marriage was worth noting. She didn’t give this elaborate fairy tale of “Oh he swept me off my feet with this big ring in front of everyone while walking on a tightrope!” She and her husband clearly understood that marriage is not a destination but a journey. They were prepared.

    I think where I went wrong with my marriage was we both looked at it as the end. We had arrived. When actually it was just the beginning. There has to be a purpose for your marriage other than getting your needs met and meeting your partners needs. For me I desire for my next marriage to be an inspiration for the Black community. I hate our statistics! I also want my marriage to show that blended families are capable of being just as loving and supportive as traditional families if not more becuase we will not be biologically programmed to love each other. We will have to work extra hard. Marriage in my eyes has to serve a greater purpose beyond your household/family. The only way to ensure that is to take time.

    • Jay
      June 25, 2014

      Simply AMAZING!!!

      You’ve done it again Ariel. This is such a honest and thought-provoking comment.

      It is truly a joy to know how many valuable nuggets you took away from the discussion, from both Dara and Damani. That means a lot to me.

      I know that God has amazing things in store for you and you definitely won’t be just another statistic. That’s for sure!

      You have a new and clear perspective and God will definitely reward that.

  • singlemomsmile1
    June 25, 2014

    I don’t feel cohabitation is a means to learn more about your partner. If God has truly put you together you will know all that you need before you even accept or make the proposal. I’ve never cohabitated. I won’t even try it for two reasons (1) It goes against God (2) With my luck he probably wouldn’t marry me and I would be stuck playing house.

    • Jay
      June 25, 2014

      That’s TRUTH! Sadly, there are many men and women who don’t view it that way.

  • Damani
    June 26, 2014

    I’ve really enjoyed reading the comments. I’m not a religious person. It is obvious to me that my lack of passion for religion is what separates my view of marriage from the commentators. In regards to cohabitation and knowing “the one” I do not believe that God guides us to perfection. God provides us with the means to make the decision to find “the one.”

    • Jay
      June 26, 2014

      I am so glad that you enjoyed reading the comments. Thank you for being willing to do so.

      True, our perspectives may be different, but there is so much that we can learn from one another. I know that I personally learned a lot from both you and Dara. I am extremely grateful for that.

      I agree that God isn’t going to point out “the one” to us. What He will do is allow people you may be “the one” to cross our paths, throughout our lives. The choice of selecting “the one” or someone who isn’t “the one” is completely and entirely up to us.

      Thank you for bringing that point up. Your continued support truly means a lot to me. Thanks again Damani!

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