Courtship V.S Dating

Social norms for dating and relationships have changed from one generation to the next. About fifty odd years ago there was a time when young men and woman wouldn’t even speak to one another unless they had been formally introduced. Obviously this practice would seem silly into day’s society. On the other hand, some would look at today’s dating landscape as problematic, non-committal and countless number of “situationships” (A relationship that has no label on it like a friendship but more than a friendship but not quite a relationship) instead of committed relationships. Also one major difference in dating in the 21st century is where we meet people. Nowadays many relationships are formed online either through social media platforms or dating sites. Before the internet this was on heard to meet someone without meeting them in person first. Unless the occasionally bind date which was usually picked by a trusted family member or close friend. This brings up the topic what’s the difference between dating and courting?

What is Courtship?

There are many definitions out there to define courtship but simply put it is a relationship between a man and woman in which they seek to determine if it God’s plan for them to marry each other. Under this form of dating courtship was viewed as the better choice to avoid temptations and abstain from sex until marriage. The train of thought throughout a courtship would be the “courting to marry philosophy”. Where the mindset was to court/date someone for no longer than two years and the marriage was the next step.  Courtship was deemed to be better option rather than casual dating, because the idea was not to give away your heart to an array of people.

What is Dating?

Dating itself can be extremely perplexing, much less, defining what it actually is. Simply put, dating is the early stages of getting to know someone where it could potentially lead to a relationship, but is not a guarantee. Dating is usually deemed more exciting than courting, because often times we are dating more than one person at a time. Many may argue that dating is better than courting since you can get known different people to figure out what you’re looking for in a partner. Also as many dating experts have stated that dating is numbers game. The more we date the better chances it is that will find the right person to marry.

The Difference Between Dating & Courtship

The difference between dating and courtship involves the goals to be reached by spending time with someone you are interested in. For example, in a courtship the goal is marriage dating not so much. In many cases people date just for fun, sex, human interaction and just to see what’s out there. This mindset differs from courting where in the first sign of mutual interest there is a focus on marriage being the final destination. Also another difference is the maturity and readiness for marriage are not considerations in the decision to date. Instead, the decision to date is usually based on the enjoyment of dating with the goal of having good time.

Final Thoughts

 In the current dating scene you usually hide all your faults to give a false impression about yourself, in order to keep your partner liking you. Recreational dating is about self-gratification — you date to satisfy your own needs. In the end we all have to be honest with ourselves first before we decide to start dating or a courtship.

Which do you prefer dating or courtship? Comment Below


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About Jay Colby

Some would categorize me as an entrepreneur, life coach, son, friend and all of the above. I’m just another person trying to find my way in this world. Until recently, I was unsure what my path in this life would consist of. Like many others I was between I know what I want to do but not sure if that’s what I’m supposed to do. I am currently finishing my degree in something that has nothing to do with becoming a writer or entrepreneur so automatically it qualifies me to become one right! Follow me as I go through this journey called life to impact and encourage one person at a time.
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29 Responses to Courtship V.S Dating

  1. renxkyoko says:

    First date, then court. I prefer that order.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for explaining the difference between Dating & Courtship. Now, I have something in writing to show my best friend, whom has been telling me that they are the same. She’s been having fun for the past five years with the same five men.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Angela Ng says:

    Relationships are such a complex topic but I find the challenge of it all intriguing. Check out Esther Perel’s views on this (search for some of her content on YouTube). She outlines the immense changes we can outline when it comes to dating, especially marriage/long term relationships. It’s perplexing to really see how far the ideologies have come in such a short time frame in comparison to time prior to 50/60 years ago when so little changed and the norms stuck for decades.. even centuries from a very fundamental standpoint.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay Colby says:

      Thanks for sharing & I will check it out. I agree with your point that dating and relationships have changed immensely over the past fifty years. What do you think is the main reason why the shift in dating compared to the past ?


      • Angela Ng says:

        Well first, dating is such a foggy word now because there are so meanings ..everyone seems to have their own definition. Also, the world is still the same size as it ever was, but technology keeps making it small in terms of the accessibility we have to all other humans whether in the next room, or in China. For the sake of imagination, let’s say 1950s. Through literature (and speaking to older family members), someone you dated was someone you courted over time and was in a relationship with. Also, I’d imagine it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now.. or at least that it was something that was addressed with decorum in the sense that it was a definitive thing to be dating someone. Further back before the industrial age (late 1800s/early 1900s), people got together for mutual economic benefit of one another (ie, their family has land, our family have cattle or whichever valuable resource, so lets have our children marry, etc).. for the most part anyway.. and lack of a better way to explain this from my perspective. I hope that makes sense.. I’m rambling now 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jay Colby says:

        Great insight I see you know a lot about this subject. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with me!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely prefer courtship over dating.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. geminilvr says:

    oh it’s just all so confusing at times Jay isn’t it? if you read my blog you’ll agree 🙂 I don’t try to label anything or put expectations on it – at least not anymore, especially in the beginning. I do think, however, after a certain amount of time, you have to decide if it is just fun and games that you want or something real and take into account the person’s feeling that you are in a situationship or relationship with and make sure you are on the same page. Hopefully what I am trying to say makes some sense.


  6. sheragirl says:

    I enjoy dating, because I like getting to know people. Courtship is good when you find a person worth your time and energy. So, I like both… it just depends on where I’m at in my life, and what I want at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Only1V says:

    Good post! I was in a stage of courtship for the longest time now I’m single and “dating”. I don’t date multiple people however but after I’ve gotten to know someone I determine whether or not a courtship with them is what I want.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jay Colby says:

      Thank you but if you don’t mind me asking how long does a “courtship” usually last? Also do you think it is okay to get to know multiple people at one time?


      • Only1V says:

        Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a set time for “courtship”. When I was courting, I was only talking to that one person and it was only for maybe half a year. In the end, we decided to go our separate ways. Far as getting to know multiple people at one time, I didn’t used to think it was okay but now as I’ve gotten older I think it’s fine as long as everyone’s expectations are communicated upfront. I just don’t do well with dating multiple people personally so while I may have gotten to know someone, I eventually will focus on one individual even if that individual hasn’t said they wanted to “court” me. I just don’t know how to date multiple people at the same time.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jay Colby says:

        Understandable I just wanted a woman’s prospective, because there are so many views out there about courtship. I always believe when it comes to getting to know someone honesty is the best way to go. If we’re honest and upfront we will save ourselves a lot of time and headaches. Thanks for answering my question.


  8. Neyda says:

    Reblogged this on Favorite Quirks and commented:
    Dating In This Age is Perplexing


  9. S-Badu says:

    Perfect timing, needed this clarified. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great article Jay. There was a book by Joshua Harris “Kiss dating goodbye”. It is an awesome book on dating.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tikeetha T says:

    Courtship. However, you can’t get to the courtship without dating. But, the end goal is definitely marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I prefer the term dating. Courting seems to formal to me. A friend of mine was courted by a gentleman who really wanted to get married, but she wasn’t on the same page. Big blow up from her family. Her situation was my only experience with courting. It didn’t make a good impression on me.

    Liked by 1 person

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