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Dating vs. Courtship

A topic that can be controversial, complex, entertaining, educational, and quite diverse is definitely dating. With the society we live in today, dating comes in various forms. Take for example dating sites. People now utilize sites like match.com, christianmingle.com, and a plethora of other sites to meet. This form of dating could be because people are shy and lack interpersonal skills. While some may just be too busy with their life to engage in the normal face to face form of dating. Then there are dating apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Tindr, and many others that are used by millions of people every day. Regardless of what your sexual preference, fetish, or sexual appetite is; you will find an app that will cater to your needs and desires.  


Dating sites and dating apps are quite risky. How? Because you have idiots, freaks, pedophiles, and all kinds of nasty crazy idiots present on these formats. Then there's the topic of Catfish. I personally don't see how this is even a thing. It wouldn't work for me because I ask to many questions and I have too much common sense. There's no way in hell I’m going to fall in love and/or consider myself in a relationship with someone I've never met. Where the only mode of communication is texting or messaging each other online. Where months and months done went by and all we have seen of each other is a picture.  A picture that turns out to not even be an actual picture of you. Let me tell you something...baby with the way technology has evolved, within week one we will do some form of video chat if we don't live locally. I can read through the bullish so when it seems like something in the milk ain't clean, I'm not a gullible fool that would keep pursuing the said relationship. For me it would be like Jay Z said, "On to the next one!"  However, folks that clearly don't think enough of themselves, is naïve, or have internal issues can easily be filled through catfishing and other negative bullcrap that exists on social media and dating sites. 

It is evident how things have changed. Technology and the internet has not only changed how we communicate with each other but how we date and get to know each other as well. Remember the days of writing a note to someone you liked? We would wait for them after class or put a note in their locker. We would surprise them with flowers, hold their books for them, walk them to class, or walk them home. As adults, we’d walk up to them and strike up a conversation, which would lead to different outings so that we could get to know each other. You'd get to know their siblings, friends, and parents.  Heck there's probably a few of us that if we were interested in someone we went to their athletic game or went to church with them.



In olden days, people considered this form of dating as courting.  What I've noticed is that the necessity and priority of courting someone has pretty much become obsolete. Hell, this new generation probably don't even know what courting is and have never heard the word before. Dating has been tainted and modified so much that the meaning of dating vs. courting have been confused. Some don’t think there's a difference.  Some don’t realize how the two are different. Some don't know which is beneficial.  As priorities have been altered and shapened by society, values and standards have been cheapened. Temporary satisfaction has taken over long-term gratification. Wants conflict with needs, while desire conflicts with purpose. 

There is a reason that there are so many people in relationships that they are unhappy with. There is a reason why there are so many broken marriages.  There is a reason why divorce is so high and had been quite high for decades. More physical and financial aspects are focused on versus character and personality. I feel that there were components to courting that better promoted the growth of two people. With courting, there was lesser chance of individuals wasting their time. I feel that when you court someone vs. dating the way folks today date, you provide your relationship with a better chance of surviving. Fat booty, big breasts, height, dick size, type of vehicle, size or type of residence, status, power, and bank account balance does not guarantee happiness nor a successful relationship. Yet the world or society we live in would beg to differ. These are the things that men or women look at and gravitate towards. When they see someone, who has some or all the aforementioned items, they lose their dang minds. They overlook things that they shouldn't or normally wouldn't, just because they see someone who possesses the superficial things that they feel are most important.


If there is not love or a stable foundation, what happens when the breasts start to sag? What happens when the income is greatly decreased? What happens ladies when the big dick doesn’t work to your satisfaction no more? What happens when you deep in a relationship and you finally get to see someone for who they really are and realize it's more than what you can handle? You're either stuck in an unhappy relationship, you're now a single parent, you start to step outside your relationship, your life is miserable, somebody in jail, you’re looking like Ike after Tina Turner whooped his butt in that limo, or end up looking like Chris Brown did Rihanna. When we don't take our time to get to know someone; if things don't turn out for our good, we must take some level of accountability for whatever comes our way.

I solicited opinions from some of my Facebook friends, as to what they felt was the difference between courting and dating. Here are some of the responses that I received:

-I’m old school and in my opinion courting means that you have an interest in the person and a specific outcome is expected (i.e. your relationship will lead to marriage). Dating is more flexible and it depends on what the two people involved determine it to be (i.e. just having fun, friends with benefits, etc.). ~V.Wade


-Today courting is obsolete and dating is on its way out too. Seems as if folks are just hooking up and having sex. Courting is when a man takes his time to find out if I’m the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He prepares himself for just that then he approaches me. He asks me to spend the rest of my life with him. This can only occur through the Holy Spirit. Dating is more like test driving a car prior to purchase. ~C. Lewis


-Courting is a tone set by the man. He either chooses to date a woman or court her from day one. All men need to do better and women need to stop settling, then be grumpy at 50 because they still can’t keep no man. Courting and dating should be interchangeable, but it’s not. Courting is dating but dating isn’t always courting. Courting is dating with the intent of marriage. Dating is just a monogamous relationship. ~S. Gordon


-Courting is looking for who will be “the one” and dating is just sampling. ~R. Alleyne

-I would believe that dating is seeing if you are interested in that person or just a companion you’ll have for a while. Courting is basically the step after dating because now you have the intention of marrying this person, if it’s under God’s will. It’s hard now a days to define

the two because people start dating and married the next day. Some people see dating as just going out with different people each night. Court is dating only one person with the desire or hope of being together forever. ~O. Clarke


-It’s semantics to some and based on your age. Once upon a time when people courted or dated, they were getting to know the person to move to a more intense relationship such as marriage. Too often today, people date as an opportunity to be someone for the moment (immediate gratification) or without a sense of direction for the next level. They are quick to move on than straighten differences for a better understanding and growth. That’s my take and biblically, this is the time you take before you are married and consummate your union without shame to either person. ~P. Robinson

The main difference between dating and courtship involves the goals to be reached by spending time with a potential marriage partner. Men and women who choose to date often have no commitment to consider marrying the other person. Maturity and readiness for marriage are not considerations in the decision to date. Instead, couples usually date with the selfish goals of having fun and enjoying romantic attachments. In contrast, courtship is undertaken only when both parties are prepared to make a commitment to marriage. According to the Institute in Basic Life Principles: Dating tries to answer the question, How can I find the one who will make me happy? Courtship strives to answer the question, How can I honor God and discern His direction regarding my life partner?


Courtship doesn’t start with a first date or even with an introduction by a mutual friend. It starts much earlier than that with everyone deciding on their intentions. While dating can be more casual in nature, courtship has a decidedly more serious goal in mind: marriage. So, unless your goal is to ultimately make a commitment to marry, courtship is not for you. Modern dating is focused squarely on the two-people involved. But with courtship, it’s another story. If you decide to follow the path of courtship, other people will have a say in your relationship. In addition to thinking about God’s will for your life, you’ll also be considering the guidance of outside parties. The most common outside parties in a courtship are the parents of everyone involved. Often, they are closely involved in the courtship process. They offer advice to their son or daughter. They spend lots of time interacting with the person their child is courting. And they offer support when they agree about the potential marriage of the two-people courting.


Unfortunately, however, our culture teaches our singles to engage in multiple dating relationships as though it were a normal and useful practice. The truth is, the modern dating system has only been around for less than a century. It is my conviction that the worldly system of dating, as it is currently conducted by most people, is far from God's original plan, as described in the Bible. The dichotomy is this: in dating, we presume to partake of many of these privileges of marriage. We would be shocked if a married man had an emotional attachment to another woman, and yet it's quite acceptable for singles to have a different emotional attachment every week. On the one hand, we save sex for our partners (and some even do that sparingly), but on the other, we engage in rampant emotional promiscuity, giving pieces of our hearts away until one wonders what will be left for that special, life-long partner.


Courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other. Under the protection, guidance, and blessing of parents or mentors, the couple concentrates on developing a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as they discern their readiness for marriage and God’s timing for their marriage. (Proverbs 3:5–7.) It is a choice to wait for God’s best, for His glory. It is a decision to walk by faith, to trust in God, to honor others above yourself, and to believe that God will deal bountifully with you, because He is love. (II Corinthians 5:7, Psalm 9:10, Romans 12:10, Psalm 13, and I John 4:8.). Everyone, family, and set of circumstances is unique, each courtship will be unique. While those who choose, courtship will hold to general guidelines for the relationship, their specific choices about when, where, and how to court may differ according to their needs and circumstances.


Today, dating arrangements are made entirely by young people apart from parental involvement. The date is planned by young people with a known expectation of physical intimacy. All that is unknown is its degree, or the speed of its intensification. A woman is left very vulnerable. Without her father's protection, she alone must determine the degree of sexual intimacy and in the heat of the moment. We are confronted with a massive predominance of amorality. Sexual activity among teenagers is commonplace. It remains true that it is very unlikely that a girl will get pregnant if she does not go on a date. But the practice of dating has transformed the nature of teenage sexuality. Take for example the following stats:


· In the US more than one million teenagers get pregnant annually.

· 40% end in abortion; 13% in a miscarriage.

· 90% of males and 80% of females are sexually active by the age of eighteen years.

· One in five girls will be date- raped, but only 5% report it.

· 50% of teenagers think it is OK to force sex.


Through examining information acquired from research and the opinions of other, I have developed 7 paradigms that I feel differentiate courting from dating.


1. Dating: Romantic interest and curiosity is the foundation.

Courting: Friendship and trust is the foundation.

2. Dating: Views sexual intimacy as a casual act.

Courting: A commitment to guard the sacredness of sex is a priority.

3. Dating: A person’s character is evaluated through the usage of artificial environments.

Courting: It is very important to utilize real scenarios to interact so that you can see who a person really is.

4. Dating: Flirting is deemed to be innocent.

Courting: Flirting is immoral because it trifles with the heart and creates habits that will be brought into a marriage.

5. Dating: Builds experience with the opposite sex and develops maturity.

Courting: It’s best to prevent numerous emotional attachments to avoid unnecessary heartbreak and regret.

6. Dating: Emotional attachments develop with no intention to marry. The goal is pleasure.

Courting: Only serious candidate for marriage are considered. The goal is commitment.

7. Dating: Focus is on pleasing yourself. You feel that “God will understand” if moving in together saves ya’ll money.

Courting: Focus is on pleasing God. You don’t utilize feelings to base your obedience to God.

I enjoy dating. I love first dates. I think they're incredibly fascinating studies in human psychology. When you sit down across from someone on a first date and things are going alright, you talk objectives. We want to win each other over, so how do you win someone over? You have to put the best foot forward.” ~Chris Pine



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