Average length of dating before marrige
Scripture calls Christians to “flee” from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians ), not to “see how difficult we can make the temptation and still prevail” or to “see how close to the line we can get without sinning.” In my view, Scripture teaches clearly that there is to be romantic physical intimacy outside of marriage.
No reasonable person would argue that physical temptation does not increase — a lot — the longer two people date who are attracted to each other and who grow to love each other.
He leads us primarily by His Word, and we are to look there first and primarily for guidance about how to live and make decisions.
God does not ever “call” or “lead” His people into sin, or even into folly or biblically responsible choices. Choice one is to get married anyway and work your way through.
If our goal is to move positively toward God-glorifying lives (rather than simply to “walk the line” by attempting to satisfy our fleshly desires as much as possible without sinning), wisdom and godliness would seem to counsel keeping relationships shorter.
Certainly, as God’s people, we don’t want to live in fear and have our lives be primarily defined by avoiding temptation rather than positively seeking after Christ. Still, where particular known areas of temptation exist, it’s not living in fear to be deliberate about taking the wiser course.
As to physical intimacy, many long-distance couples have told me that because they are not physically close to one another as often, they actually experience Um, no. Be deliberate about avoiding “marital” levels of intimacy.
We might even say that getting to know one another better and more deeply is (up to a certain limited point, of course) the very of a dating relationship.
PART 6: Growing in Intimacy » In matters of dating or courtship, I generally recommend that people either get married or break up within a year or so of beginning a dating relationship.