The Sheikh then said:
She is the most suitable lady for him, and he is the most suitable man for her. It is a bad practice that has become prevalent in our time for people to be boyfriend and girlfriend. If their friendship is going to result in marriage, then it is alright, normal. But if they are not even considering marriage, it is very bad for them to be together.
Therefore, when a man finds himself a lady friend, who it seems to him who would make him a good wife, and if she is satisfied with him as well, they should marry without delay. A couple needs some time to get to know each other, but they must not forestall making a discission. The ideal period for getting to know one another is between three days and forty days. Some people can find out enough in three days to be able to decide, and others may need up to forty – but that is the maximum (barring unusual circumstances). If a decision is deferred for longer than that, the relationship will weaken, and doubt will seize the hearts of one or both of them.
This lady is the best lady for our brother here, but our lower selves desire to have all ladies. The lower selves of men hate being limited in one woman, and demand to have absolute freedom to go with all the ladies that they may fancy. Especially in our times men want to be like a ram in a flock of ewes – one male to a hundred females. That is the ego’s demand, and that is why they see marriage as a prison for themselves.
But you must know that even if you attain absolute freedom to pursue your ego desires, and even if you manage to enjoy yourself, yourself ego is still not going to be satisfied. Material pleasures are like salt water to a thirsty person: the more he drinks, the more acute his thirst becomes. But if you give a thirsty person one cup of fresh water, he drinks and is satisfied.
Therefore, from among all ladies your wedded wife alone is permitted to you by God’s law, and if she is the one who is sweet and can quench your thirst. My advice to everyone is to drink fresh water by taking a lawfully wedded wife. Let every man with a girlfriend take her as his wife, and every lady with a boyfriend take him as her husband.
taken from: Mercy Oceans – Pink Pearls by Shaykh Nazim Haqqani