Dating is your chance to test drive the person you may marry. You need to see how your compatibility holds up under all circumstances and as many experiences as you can. Within the variety of dates you go on with the person you are dating there should be a strategic variety. Your dates should take place during the day and night. They should be active and stationary. They should be high budget and low budget.

Divorce is definitely something that can be prevented. Smart dating can lay the foundation that help protect you from the five main causes of divorce in America. According to The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the top cause of divorce is poor communication. The second cause is financial problems, then a lack of commitment to the marriage. The fourth cause is dramatic changes in life priorities and lastly, infidelity.

Here are the dates I think you should have so you can survey all of the main areas needed for a strong healthy relationship.

1. The Parents date. It is always important to introduce the person you are dating to your family and specifically your parents. Depending on your relationship with your parents the earlier the better. Waiting too late to introduce these important people can decrease the power that this meeting should have. If you wait too late whatever suggestion your parents may have had may not make a difference because you are invested in the relationship too much. Your date should also introduce you to their parents. Just as your parents know things about your dating history the parents of the person you are dating’s parent know things about their dating history. I know its hard to bring every person you date to meet your parents but information you can faind out from the meeting is invaluable.

2. The Friends and Family date. Hanging out with your friends and family with your date are always important things to do. Your friends can see the person you are dating in a different way then you can. Family is also a good judge of character. Many times you are friends with people you wouldn’t date but you may have a few cousins who are just like the person you are dating and they provide a unique perspective on the people you date. It is not only important for you to introduce your date to your family and friends it is also important for you to meet your dates family and friends.

3. The Honeymoon date. Having a full out planned date which includes sexual activity is not only fun and a treat it also gives you a chance to see how you plan things together as a couple. Not every couple to go on expensive dates together. Many times they go to concerts and to restaurants but a real planned out vacation honeymoon type is something players or Sugar Daddies do. A full out special occasion type of date doesn’t have to wait until your honeymoon. Plus having a focused day or weekend for only the two of you is magical and can allow you to go all Karma Sutra on each other. Couples who are both virgins and wish to stay that way until they get married should avoid this dating activity.

4. The Creative date. A creative date is one where you do something that exploits your creative side. Think of the dating shows MTV used to have where they would set a couple up on a first date where they would take to an art class, culinary class or even a dance class. Well there is a lot to learn from your partner on those types of dates.

5. The Planned date. A planned date is a date you simply make an appointment for. This is probably the most popular form of date. You plan to meet each other at a certain place at a certain time and you meet up. Even though it is very common some couples fail to have them. They see each other so often and hardly make plans. There always available for each other so there’s no need to make a plan. However a date that is planned is a bit of prioritizing and commitment and those are good characteristics to have.

6. The Couples date. Going on a date with another couple is a good date to go on. You can check for a lot of behavioral characteristics in your date. You can see how you function as a couple. You can see how you talk together. Do you support each other? Do you allow each other to disagree? Or do you argue? Or cut each other off when you are trying to make a point? All of these important things and a more from going on a date with another couple.

7. The Last Minute date. Deciding to go on a spontaneous date is probably something all dating couples do already. However, what’s important to do while going on a last minute date is to study the behavior of the person you’re dating during the date. Last minute arrangements in general can be nerve racking. These are the dates that test your patience and stress. Knowing how your potential partner behaves under stress is a vital aspect to know.

8. The Intellectual date. Getting married is at best a merger between two cultures and two different sets of morals. Going on a date that forces you to confront the issues of the world is good whether you are going with somebody or even just by yourself. These dates include activities lectures, museums, coffee shops in a bookstore or a charity fundraiser. These are activities which may be difficult for a shallow or apathetic person. A person who think and values the world around them is a person who can value for a relationship and an intellectual date.

9. The Political date. A political date is only important because learning your date’s political opinion is important. This is tricky because disagreeing over a political issue can be a deal breaker early in a relationship. The sad thing is as important as politics is not everybody has a political opinion. Talking about politics is also a good lead into a conversation about the future and goals.

10. The Religious date. Religion is considered a taboo subject however it is actually one of the most important dating activities for everyone whether they are religious or not. Dates which involve a religious element allow people to express their moral commitment. For people who are not real religious, maybe they don’t go to church but they still believe in God a religious date gives them a chance to see what they can expect from the person they are dating if they take their relationship to the next level. Religious dates don’t always have to be going to Sunday service because the object for this date not observation but discussion and during worship services participants do mostly listening. Religious dates are better served by going to religious activity like a charity event, a picnic or a church hosted cultural or political program.