Courting and dating are definitely not the same. Not only do they differ in meaning, but also in outcomes. Courting is defined as the experience of establishing an intense relationship with someone with the intention of marrying them. Dating is a social activity whereby two people meet for romantic companionship. So, immediately you can see that courting is a more serious proposition than dating.
Courting is a duty relegated to the men. The chivalrous man shares his intentions with a very special lady. He makes her aware of his intentions as they undertake this journey of getting to know each other better. As the ultimate gentleman, he receives the lady’s permission for an extended courtship to determine if they have a possible future together. His act of courtesy is the first indicator that he really means business.
The woman, on the other hand, becomes the recipient of some of the most memorable times of her life. She feels that she is blessed above all women that this man’s attention and courtesy is directed to her. He exudes all the care and concern for her well-being and shows a desire to know as much about her as possible. When the question is finally popped, she’s ready because her “gentle man” has treated her well throughout the courting process.
Courtship like chivalry is not something we hear a lot about these days. As women have become more independent and financially successful, men’s roles have been altered and not necessarily for the best. There appears to be more confusion about the gender roles in dating and courtship than ever before. For example, I read an article where the woman was on one knee proposing to the man. I wondered was the man more flattered or confused by this move? I personally feel that it will become harder and harder to witness courtships in a society where 1) men are no longer the pursuers and 2) young men have not seen nor been taught much about this honorable act of courting a young lady.
Courtship is a tradition from days gone by in an time when love happened a little slower. Men were astute in the act of chivalry. It fascinated women and caused their interest to pique. This was a time when men understood their contributions to the development of the relationship. In addition, the Bible esteems the man to be the head or covering for his wife and family, or in this case, “potential” family. He is charged with promoting the relationship by choosing his wife. Some may call this old fashioned and completely outdated, but it has worked for generations before now. Why can’t it work today?
One reason that dating and/or courtship may not flow so smoothly today is that women assert themselves with “take charge” attitudes that leave men uncertain of their next steps. As women have been groomed to pursue success at all cost (much different than your previous generations of grandparents and parents), we may also have tossed some of our femininity out the window. We can cook up the bacon and bring home the cash. While we sometimes complain about the lack of courtesy, care, and attention received from our mates, we also fail to realize that men want to operate in their perspective places within the relationship. Have we left room for them to display their manliness in the relationship when we can do practically everything ourselves? Perhaps, both sexes need some discussions on how to better relate to each other.
Dating, that companionship building period, starts as early as high school and continues thereafter – during the college years, before marriage, even after a divorce or loss of a spouse. Some people are good with prolonged dating, while others want more of a committed relationship. I certainly support dating for a season to get an idea of what you’re looking for in a man or a woman. Interestingly, some people just know early in life when the person they are dating is the right one and can live happily in that relationship for the next 40 or 50 years. That’s awesome and probably smart as the process of eliminating ghosts from your past in a marriage is practically nonexistent.
In closing, enjoy your dating life for whatever period you decide to let that happen. But, don’t fail to partake of a real courtship with your special lady, men. It will be a foundation for your future that you will not regret and your lady will forever thank you for it!!