Are Dating And Courtship Important? (Explained)

Happy couple

Courting is becoming a dying art with the advent of online dating.

It does have many benefits though for those who are willing to follow its rules.

Here I look at if courtship has a place today and how it compares to dating.

Are dating and courtship important?

Courting is a traditional way of starting a romantic relationship. Dating is more modern. They are very different and some people prefer the etiquette that courting provides. As long as both partners are willing, you could try a combination of both to suit your needs.

What is courtship?

Courtship is an old fashioned concept which is still practised today. Courting is when two people decide to develop a relationship with a view to getting married in the end.

It’s normally a male courting the female. He would seek the authorization from the father, family or church to proceed. This aspect is not so important today and neither is which gender starts the courtship.

A courtship will involve the couple getting to know each other exclusively. They exchange gifts and keep a distance. It’s about respect and there’s usually no intimacy.

You commit yourselves to each other early on in the relationship. You spend time with one another’s parents and friends so they can oversee the progress.

The process is usually very slow and comfortable. All through this you only have an eye for the one person, there can be no one else who you’re considering in a romantic way.

5 Courtship rules

Courting is still practised in some families, and it’s taken very seriously. Here I go through some rules you need to be aware of.

1. Court one person exclusively

In this modern day we’re used to finding different partners to get to know, but this is not the case with courting. It’s an exclusive arrangement.

There is no talk of how you feel about each other or whether your girlfriend or boyfriend. You made a commitment at the start when you agree to court each other.

The love you feel will be for your partner from the very beginning. You both agree the aim is marriage and nothing should deviate from this.

2. Family is involved

As I’ve mentioned, it’s for the man to make a request to the father and family that he can court their daughter. It’s after this that the courtship can begin.

The parents make sure the relationship is conducted properly with respect and commitment. They’re often consulted during the courtship to check it’s going smoothly.

For this reason, the couple will spend a lot of time with each other’s parents. They make sure their opinion is heard and their advice is acted upon.

3. Chaperones are encouraged

A courting couple should not spend time alone. This way they can keep each other accountable and nothing untoward can happen.

This is important to the father who may choose a close family member to join the couple. Someone they trust to maintain decorum.

Several courting couples may get together to ensure everyone behaves well. Whatever activity is chosen the principal aim is getting to know each other.

4. The man pursues the woman

Before anything can take place and the courting commence the man starts everything. He’s the one who decides he likes the woman and then asks her parents if it’s ok to court her.

This is a very traditional way of doing things and is a sign of respect for the family and their daughter. He’s asking because he’s looking to marry her, eventually.

Sometimes it doesn’t work out and that’s for everyone to decide. But the commitment is there from the start for the man to do the chasing.

5. There’s normally no intimacy

This includes kissing and even holding hands. The aim is not to see if you’re compatible in an intimate way. That has to wait until you’re married.

Courting is practised in many religions where sex before marriage is frowned upon. You may find it difficult to rule out any intimacy whatsoever but it’s one of the rules.

It’s an important one because the sole aim is to save yourselves physically. You may decide a hug is ok when you meet but anything else has to wait.

Happy couple

How is courting different from dating?

The aim of dating is to find a partner whereas with courting you’ve already found someone. You pursue that person and only them throughout the courtship.

With dating you can be dating many people at the same time with a view to picking one for a longer term relationship. You could go on many first dates hoping to find someone you like.

When you’re dating there could be many aims for the relationship and outcome. Whereas courting the aim is to marry in the end.

Courtship has no intimacy, whereas dating is totally different. Modern dating can include emotional and physical intimacy, which can involve sex.

Courting has a specific rule of no sex before marriage. It’s acceptable for some people who are engaged to partake in minor intimacy.

You can date who you wish but courting is strict. You’d never ask for a parent’s approval before you date someone yet it’s expected when courting.

Why they are both important

Courting and dating are both different and each has their place in a getting to know someone. They have their own advantages.

If you don’t want to get into dating and are looking for a more formal relationship experience. Courting could be right for you.

Those with old fashioned values like parents will put great weight on doing things right. Whereas the daughter may prefer to date her way to marriage.

Dating has its place and is looked upon by modern youngsters as the best way to get out there and meet people. It’s a good way of finding someone out of many potential partners.

If you don’t want to take things so fast then you’ll prefer the courting pace of things. You may not want to start flirting and getting intimate too quickly.

Dating is often one to one, whereas some may take the comfort in having a chaperone or group to be out with. Courting has its place and can be an important part of a fledgling relationship.

Combine both courting and dating

Those who believe in courtship would be horrified at combining dating with it. They would say you can either have one or the other, you can’t have both.

But there are aspects of both we could use in a modern relationship. You can get the best of both worlds to suit your needs.

The respect and commitment of courting is certainly something you don’t see in dating. This could be of benefit to many hurried relationships we see today.

No intimacy is an advantage or disadvantage depending on your point of view. Waiting for marriage for sex would mean less unwanted pregnancies. But then you won’t know if you’re sexually compatible.

Dating is certainly a far more promiscuous way to find someone for men and women. Saying no is often difficult when the time comes.

With courting you get an understanding of where you both stand that you just don’t have with dating. It’s more of a free for all although some people like it that way.

Final thoughts

Dating and courtship are very important. They are both credible ways of finding a partner. If dating is not working for you then you could try courting.

It’s a slow way of doing things with some strict rules. But you may enjoy and find fulfilling the relationship that comes at the end of it. If your aim is to definitely marry then it’s something to consider.

I do feel with dating you’re more likely to find someone to have a successful relationship with. Because you have so much more choice. You’re not deciding on one person too soon.

I think there are good aspects of both of them, so take which ones you prefer and use them in your own relationships. Hopefully, you’ll have a willing partner if you do.

In today’s world where so many women are hurt by men in all kinds of ways. Then having a chaperone and setting boundaries from the start would be a good thing.

Courting is slowly becoming a dying art with modern technology in widespread use. Perhaps it will take a resurgence as some see the benefits.

Emma Taylor

I'm a relationship expert with years of experience who's given advice to hundreds of people. I hope you've found some good advice here too.

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