If you’re tired of dating, have you considered courtship?
It’s difficult to define, but the essential difference between courting and dating lies in their purposes: people date for various reasons, but people court only under the assumption that they will marry.
And despite its old-fashioned connotations, courting is still widely practiced today — especially in religious circles. Even if you’re not religious, courtship guidelines offer solid advice to the modern daters among us.
Here are five guidelines — find out how they apply to your dating life and whether or not you’re in for a full-court press:
1. Only Court One Person At A Time.
There’s no “shopping around” once you start courting. The “what are we” talk may even occur date one. This initial commitment is meant to provide the freedom to love each other fully without being afraid that the other person will start considering other partners. Of course, this doesn’t mean all courtships end in marriage, as reality dictates that some things simply aren’t meant to be. It just means that people enter into courtships for the purpose of a serious, future-focused relationship.
Apply this: Be honest and direct about your intentions when you start dating someone. Looking for a rebound? Say so. Want a long-term relationship? Make that clear. Likewise, be honest with yourself. If you want to settle down, don’t feel uncomfortable passing on a man who’s sweet and charming but a total commitment-phobe.
2. The Man Pursues The Woman
While this practice varies from community to community, most groups that favor courtship also favor a more traditional method of wooing. The man initiates the friendship, the “talk”, and even approaches his and the woman’s parents for their blessing.
Apply this: If you’re a woman eager to let the man take the lead, by all means, let him! For those who prefer an equal-opportunity approach to dating, try letting him pay now and then (or at least hold the door for you) without being deeply offended. Many men like to feel they’re leading the way, even if you know you secretly have the upper-hand.