15 People You Must Date Before You Get Married

Although it’s rare in today’s society, I’ve met a few couples who married their first boyfriend or girlfriend. This person was their first (and last) love and sex, and the only thing they’ve ever known in regards to relationships. While I think that’s great and works for some people, I do think that, similar to a pair of shoes, before you settle on that one pair you’re going to invest in for the long-run you should probably try out at least a few first. You know, walk around the store a couple times and see how they feel after a little while, before you fork over the cash and buy them. Basically, in a less cliché metaphorical way, I think there are certain people you should date before you find “the one”.

Of all the people you date in your life before you get married, there are some definite “musts” in there. For example, everyone should date a bad boy/girl at least once, because they’re fun as hell. Granted they’re bad for your heart, the proverbial one not the literal one, but it’s still a roller coaster everyone should enjoy.

What other types of people should you date before you walk down the aisle toward “happily ever after?” Here are 15 of them.

1. Your Complete Opposite

As the saying goes, “opposites attract.” I’m not sure if I total believe this because I’ve always been drawn to the boy version of me (which is terrifying, to say the least), but at some point you definitely want to date your complete opposite. You get to see how the other half lives, and have some pretty heated debates over gun control and your musical tastes... which could possibly end up in some hot makeup sex.

2. The Struggling Artist

Whether they’re a struggling musician, writer, painter, or sculptor, dating the type of person who literally suffers and struggles for their art is someone you absolutely want to date at least once. They may only be able to offer Ramen noodles when you come over, but there is something very sexy about someone who puts their art above everything ― even you.

3. The Total Asshole

Why you should date a total asshole? Well, because your parents will hate them, which can be fairly entertaining, and as long as you know that they’re a total sh*tbag and don’t get too attached, it can be fun. Assholes tend to be cocky, arrogant, and have an ego that is out of this world. Of course all these qualities mean they’re likely to be selfish in bed, but they’ll always make a lasting impression no matter where you bring them.

4. The Older Person

Once upon a time I cringed at the idea of dating an older man, but then I didn’t just date one, but ended up marrying one. Granted, he was only 13 years older, but I think anything over a decade is a considerable age gap. In dating someone older, you get to feel young ― something I loved ― and you get to experience things in a different way than if you were with someone your own age. They also have a wisdom and a history that only life experience can provide.

5. The Younger Person

On the other end of the spectrum of the older guy, is the younger one. Depending on how much younger you go, you can end up either feeling younger when you’re with them or actually feel your age which can be depressing. But dating a younger person is a friendly reminder that, yes, being 23 is awesome, but being 33 really is so much better.

6. The One Who Got Away

Although you won’t realize it until after they’re gone, but we all need to date someone that we consider to be the one who got away, if only to make our lives feel like a Gabriel García Márquez novel.

7. The Romantic

Oh, the romantic! When you live in a society where romance is considered a heart emoji, then finding an actual romantic is a big deal. Everyone deserves to date the romantic; the one who shows up with flowers, writes epic love poems about you, and isn’t afraid to be affectionate in public. Everyone.

8. The Commitment-Phobe

To be honest, the only good thing that comes with dating a commitment-phobe is, if you’re looking for someone to commit later on, you’ll be able to spot the commitment-phobe from miles away for the rest of your life. This is a great skill to have.

9. The FWB

While “dating” isn’t exactly a term that goes hand-in-hand with messing around with your friend with benefits, it’s still a dating/sexual/almost-relationship experience you want to get in before you get married. That’s what Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis would want.

10. Your Sexual Soulmate

A friend of mine once said, “You don’t marry the person with whom you’ve had your greatest sex.” I remember thinking how sad that was, but after she said that I conducted some unscientific research and found that many of my married friends agreed. This isn’t a bad thing, of course! If you have fantastic sex, like the BEST sex, it’s kinda hard to have a proper relationship, because you just want to bang all the time. So, yeah, get that sexual soulmate in there before you get married.

11. The Disaster (And You Knew It From The Start)

Whether it’s because they were married, they were your coworker or boss, or there was some other problematic reason that meant it was doomed from the start, you definitely need this one in your pocket, too. A little drama never hurt anyone.

12. The Type-A, Corporate Person

The reason you want to date this person is because, A. They probably own a yacht, or at least a summer home somewhere awesome, B. They probably make big bucks, and who doesn’t want to be spoiled by their partner who makes big bucks?, and C. They’ll teach you that you’re really fortunate to not be so high-strung all the time.

13. The Man/Woman-Child

Although I’ve yet to meet a woman-child, I’m going to assume they must exist, but maybe not in such great numbers as the man-child. Either way, you need to date this person so you can at least realize the satisfaction of paying your bills on time and not having to go home to an apartment with four roommates.

14. The Jokester

Unless your jokester looks like George Clooney, who’s known for his prankster, joking type of behavior, dating the jokester can get old, especially when you’re trying to be serious for a change. However, dating someone who makes you laugh until you hurts, temporarily, can be a good thing.

15. The Lesson You Had To Learn

Whether it was because they betrayed you, forced you to realize that the timing was wrong, or simply that you deserved better, everyone needs that person who, when they look back on people they dated, will regard that person as the lesson they had to learn. In most cases, this is also the person who broke your heart into a million pieces, but if you don't experience at least one heartbreak along the way, you're missing out. It's only in complete devastation that we can fully appreciate love.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy(15)