Dating is supposed to be about getting to know a person, and tasting a slice of how they will be as a spouse.
Funny thing about that, some people -in trying genuinely to put their "best foot forward" -may not be representing themselves authentically as who they are and what they expect in their (future) family.
Dennis Prager very strongly asserts that if a man or woman ceases to do what they did in dating -taking each other out, giving gifts, putting in tremendous work, creating time for each other, having deep conversations, being spontaneous, sharing deep emotions, accepting each others' flaws, etc. -they falsely advertised themselves when they dated their spouse. His point, and I think it is well taken, is that when two people start dating and choose to get married they shouldn't stop dating. They should put in the same effort and thoughtfulness, even as life gets more complicated.
His punch line? Men shouldn't allow laziness to get in the way of (increasing/continuing) his taking her out and making her feel special and women shouldn't allow routine to get in the way of maintaining (and/or increasing) physical intimacy frequency/quality.
Personally, I think I may need to take more time in dating, because a person will settle into being themselves over time, and that's the part I'm really interested in.
It reminds me of a story my Mother told me when I began asking my parents about their dating experience. She said that on their 5th or 6th date, she invited him over, specifically didn't put on make-up, dressed very plainly as she does at home and they had dinner (with her family). For her, it was important that my Father see her "as she is" and still find her attractive without make-up.
Why? Because that's what he's been waking up to for the past 25+ years.
I appreciate both that she wanted my Father to see herself in a natural setting (recognizing and wanting him to accept her as she is) and that she still put in so much effort to dress up and put on make-up when they went out. Both having that acceptance for who she is, and putting in work to beautify herself because she understands how important it is to him.