World English Dictionary defines “Courtship” as…
1. the act, period, or art of seeking the love of someone with intent to marry.
Often people confuse courting with dating, when actually dating is an important part of the courting period. One of the biggest distinctions between the two is their purpose.
The purpose of dating is simply to “get to know” someone in order to gather enough information to decide if you would like to court them.
The purpose of courting is to “exclusively” date someone, with the intent to marry.
When you meet a “potential life mate” and begin the process of “getting to know them”, what kind of things do you like to find out?
- What are your likes and dislikes?
- What are you looking for?
- Are you in a relationship?
- What is your favorite food?
There are any number of question combinations you can use to help you in your decision making process. I have broken it down into three categories. Past, present, and future.
The Past. Questions in this category should help you to understand where a person has come from. Please be sure to hesitate from making decisions from this section alone. Many people have had a troubled past that has made them the success they are today. Others have had a great past and are going through present struggles. So be UNDERSTANDING.
The Present. This category can be a very interesting, fun, and informative set of questions. This line of conversation should help you understand where a person is “currently”. “What things do you like, love, dislike, hate, and are interested in, TODAY.”
The Future. This is the category of HOPE. Many times you’ll see a person’s eyes light up when answering or asking questions in this category. Pay close attention to this portion of the conversation, because this will help you figure out if a person’s future, may or may not line up with yours!
IMPORTANT: Don’t be afraid to take notes and actually write things down. Not many people actually do this, but the same way we would take notes while in a class in school, we can also refer back to and study our mates.
In my opinion, all three categories should be thoroughly covered during the dating phase. Once you’ve accomplished that and have decided, after a specific period of time, that you would like to pursue something more serious, then the real work begins. Some work is fun though, right? Especially, if you LOVE it!
The courtship phase is a very serious phase as far as importance, but can be as fun as you and your partner make it. Keep in mind one thing while going through this growth process.
- Why are we doing this?
The goal is most likely to marry the person you are in a relationship with or at the very least build a long lasting and loving relationship that will last you well into your Golden Years.
While going through this phase, relationship polishing should be taking place. You both should have such a great understanding of one another, that you are only perfecting things you’ve aleady learned and had a good amount of practice with.
If you are having an unusually large amount of conflict in this area I suggest, firstly, returning back to the dating phase. This may allow you to remember WHO a person is, was, and is trying to be. Next, I always suggest relationship counseling, and just like a doctor, there are plenty of choices out there, so if certain counselors don’t work for you and your mate, SWITCH.
It’s your relationship health that’s at stake, so do what’s in your best interest, as a couple.
A strong foundation, you’ll find, can be one of the greatest assets to building a strong, long lasting, healthy, loving, and fun relationship.