Having been married to an abuser, I have read extensively about their behavior so I can avoid them. One thing they do is try to get the woman moved in or married as quickly as possible because they are trying to be on their good behavior when courting. After they have wrapped up their prey, they can let their true selves come out and the abuse begins when you have no option out. I dated a guy who rushed me into moving in, and within a few weeks, he was acting like my ex! Needless to say, I was out of there so fast your head would spin! When I'm dating a guy, and they start to talk about the "M word" as I call it, I simply state, "I can't say if I will or will not ever do that again. However, I'd like for us to just date, and if, after a year, we are still as compatible as we are right now, I'd be willing to broach the subject. Let's just put that word on the table and enjoy courting!" I dated a widower who broke up with me after 4 months. I asked him why, and he said, "I can tell that you'll never get married again, and I want to get remarried." I said that I thought we had an agreement about the "M" word that we'd date for a year before even talking about that. He said that we did, but he could just tell I wasn't going to remarry. Hmmm!!! Oh well, my experience dating widowers is that they want to remarry as quickly as possible, and I'm just not going to rush into a lifelong commitment that quickly! Slow down and enjoy the courtship!
I went to a singles Sunday School, and we had a great teacher who taught a lesson about the FOUR SEASONS of courtship. She said that we need to go through all four seasons with a person to really get to know them. They were not literal seasons, but the Spring was the courtship and initial infatuation. Summer was the warm, comfortable stage. I forgot what Fall was, but Winter meant that you needed to see how a person handles the bad times and conflicts that happen to everyone. I think seeing how a person deals with the "stuff" that life throws us is very important. Do they handle it or go into depression, create melodrama, pull back, fall apart, etc.