I think it’s great to be friends before marriage, because you get to know that person. But more importantly, you MUST remain friends after the marriage.
A lot of marriages failed because once they became Mr and Mrs, the friendship slowly dies, the relationship had changed, there isn’t the anxiety and worry of losing the other person, people became too relaxed about their relationship, starts to take each other for granted to some extend.
There’s a Chinese proverb which shows the way to a successful and fulfilling marriage, is that, you respect one another as though the other person is a friend.
People tend to give more allowance, less criticising, less demanding towards friends than their own spouse. I think it’s an image issue too, we don’t want the friend to think poorly of us, doing things with the family instead of boys night out is seen as being wiped. A lot of times, people tend to cancel with the family for the sake of friends, I have heard it all the time, ‘you are my husband/wife, you should understand’,
It’s fhe friendship after the marriage which makes it work. I have seen the older generation of Asian arranged marriages, it’s still being practised in many parts of the world, and a lot of those marriaged last and happily too, it’s how those people trying to make the best of a situation, of course it takes both of these two strangers to work together to build the friendship after the fact, and make it grow and last a life time.