Is Tradition Dead? Courtship In The 21st Century

Sometimes on your journey through life being single for a period of times helps to restart your life. When you are ready to enter into a new relationship the dating world can be quite scary, dating isn’t for everyone and may not always be full of healthy and happy memories.

So if you are tired of dating have you ever tried courtship? Courtship isn’t the easiest to define but the main difference between courting and dating is essentially its purpose. People date for various reasons, but courting has a purpose and that is an underlying assumption that they will marry.

Guidelines to courtship

Despite the fact that it seems to be a very old-fashioned approach to a style of dating it is actually widely accepted and practiced. Here are some guidelines to courtship:

  • Only court one person at a time, this means no “shopping around” the reason for this is so that it gives one another the freedom to fully commit to each other without the worry that the other one will start to look around. This doesn’t mean that all courtship will lead to marriage it just means that the people who enter into this kind of relationship have a purpose of a serious future. The best way to be is open and direct about what your intentions are, make everything clear and be honest especially with yourself.
  • The man pursues the women, this is a more traditional approach to dating a wooing, and you let the man initiate the contact. By doing this you are allowing the man to lead, you are allowing him the control of the relationship and ultimately the future of the relationship, and thus giving you the option to follow or not. Some see this as the man having the upper hand or all the power, this is incorrect, secretly you always have the upper hand because you are allowing him to lead you and it’s your choice ultimately if you follow or not.
  • Courtship is always conducted publicly, with most of the time approval of both party’s parents and often the man will ask the woman’s father for his approval. This is mainly for the family to provide support to the relationship and able to counsel if they see something going the wrong way. This way the man and the woman are accountable for their actions and level of commitment to each other, relationships haven’t change overly much and whether we want to believe it or not our parents sometimes do know better.
  • These days one on one-date nights are normal but with courting group activities are encouraged.  The goal with group dates is for the couple to get to know each other on a friendship level first before becoming romantic with each other. Starting a relationship doesn’t always mean you have to be intimate and loving straight away by gazing into each other eyes. The initial dating should be fun and light in order to get to know each other first before going deeper; slow and steady wins the race.
  • Courting couples usually wait until their wedding night to have sex, although the idea is that courting precedes intimacy, the modern dating age and culture upholds the importance of discovering sexual compatibility prior to marriage. Couples who take courting very seriously believe true commitment means learning to be sexuality compatible after marriage even if it’s not something that happens straight away. Without going as far as this to starve yourself of sexual relations you can benefit from prolonging your first intimate time together and focus on getting to know each other first. By removing this sexual distraction you can truly find out if the relationship is a keeper or not.

To those who believe in courting it is more about selflessness, friendship and commitment rather than the use of romantic partners for sexual indulgence.

Differences between dating and courting

Courting and dating both have a “catch me if you can” phase, the thrill of the chase allows for accepting or declining of ones advances, it also keeps things interesting.

Dating is about catching prey, and there is no gender roles regarding who is the hunter and who is the prey. The volume of the prey and the time period in which they are court has no limit and it all comes down to who declines and who accepts the advancements.

Courtship is more about the hunt but with more of an emphasis on the prize at the end, being marriage and commitment. From the start interest is shown, grand gestures are often shown but with more resistance given from the prey, which means more effort is shown from the hunter as long as some interest is also reciprocated from the start.

The pace of the relationship, love can happen in a moment or over a long period of time.

Dating focuses more on making fast choices and maximising the time, while experiencing a high volume of partners, not just to keep options open but starting off as casual and seeing where things go. This usually gives both parties the options to keep something going and cutting off alternative suitors or to break it off and move to the next option.

With courting there is a joint decision to take it slow or slower than usual, they both take time to really get to know one another through logic, love and respect for one another. There is a great deal of emphasis on compatibility, attraction and interaction with each other, and each other’s family and friends. Although opposites do attract courting is about finding common ground as a basis to build a strong foundation to begin upon.

Date meets the family
Image: Boyfriend meets family

Modern-day vs old school love, by the means of traditions, customs, values, the forming of romantic bonds and how that relates to today’s love.

Dating usually involves breaking away from tradition, the use of communication, the roles of each gender, and there is a greater focus on individual needs. Although romance still exists more emphasis is on instant attraction and seeking pleasure in all forms.

Courting focuses on chivalry and romantic gestures that demonstrate affection and admiration. First dates tend to be more traditional in order to get to know each other and often involve going out to dinner, long walks and sightseeing. Courting is about tradition and the masculine energy pursing and showing the female energy that he can protect and provide.

Intimacy is a huge part of a relationship, but it depends when both parties are ready to engage on a more intimate and personal level, the hope is that there is a sense of respect.

Dating getting hot and heavy in the bedroom really has no time limit, and tends to happen sooner rather than later. There is a greater urgency and desire to discovering sexual attraction sooner rather than later. Focus is more on sexual compatibility rather than emotional or intellectual, the downside to this is it tends to be more about physical connection and outside that compatibility can be lost.

With courting this involves restraint, but both have the choice to become sexual with each other once a mutual agreement has taken place. This is once a level of trust and exclusiveness has taken place this doesn’t always take place after marriage but once a couple decides on their future commitment to each other.  Sexual compatibility is just one part of the relationship that is important.

Commitment is the end goal, most humans like to be loved, this means giving and receiving. We have the desire to feel safe in the presence of others with one another; relationships reveal to us our level of self-awareness and selflessness.

During dating this isn’t for the faint hearted or hopeless romantic although some people do get married from a one-night stand; there is always an exception to every rule. Most of the time one person wants further commitment while the other still wants to discover and play the field, emotions, thoughts and care are not often handled with respect or considered overly important at the time, and then there are some couples who have marathon relationship that either end committed or agree to disagree and break apart.

Courting is a relationship with true intentions of commitment and getting to know each other on a deeper and profound level. Each outing together is to create lifelong memories and determining factors that ultimately find out the true possibility if marriage is the start to a new life together. There are never any guarantees but there are clear intentions and open communication to this ultimate decision, and if the relationship does advance there is a strong foundation from the very beginning.

Happy courting!

Morgan x

Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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