A lof people still mistake “dating” for “courtship”. Although both terms are inter-related and include forms of human relations by means of communication or interaction and shared interests, however, they still don’t entirely mean the same thing. No, they don’t!
Here is the Sharp Difference.
Dating is a form of a romantic relationship and a stage where two people who are attracted to each other (and want to get something meaningful out of it) try to get to know each other better. This is usually the point where people get butterfly feelings in their tummy as they gradually learn more about their new friend and partner. This stage is usually characterised by so much likeness, happiness, crush, fantasies and possibly..infatuation. The partners try to impress each other and not ruin moments spent together. Ordinarily, the dating parties do not seek anyone’s permission to date each other. They hang out, go on dates, spend time together and get to know each other’s character, likes, dislikes, hobbies, values, interests and a whole lot of things.
Compatibility is tested in this stage. Physical intimacy and s£xual compatibility is also usually allowed. However, there’s no expectation of engagement or marriage at the phase. There’s isn’t a specific timeline attached to this stage. Dating multiple partners is allowed if the two parties just want to keep it casual.
With time, the infatuation will wear off as they get used to each other and start facing reality. If after all of this and they discover they are still cool with each other and would want to deepen the bond between them, they can then decide to take things to the next level by getting into a committed relationship properly.
In a very precise explanation, dating is a step to forming a committed, deepened and goal-oriented romantic relationship. This is where Courtship sets in.
This is a higher form of a romantic relationship. The idea and feeling of getting into courtship comes up after two people who have genuine feelings for each other have been convinced within themselves about each other and have decided to strengthen and deepen their bond. They both have passed the dating stage, outgrown the level of infatuation and have also started to better understand what they truly want and feel for each other. In courtship, the goal is MARRIAGE and so the man seeks the permission of the lady’s parents or family members to court their daughter. This stage is characterised by intense affection, a deeper emotional connection, coupled with a definite, sincere plan for the future. Genuine Love, Undeniable Intimacy and Unquestionable Intentions tend to set in here properly.
The friendship which they had formed at the dating stage continues to grow as they delve deeper into each other’s life, exploring every nook and cranny of each other’s life, spending more time together, doing things together, professing love to each other, trying their best to make each other happy, making life much better and pleasurable for each other and also doing all they can to maintain their new found love and happiness.
This stage is an exclusive stage where the parties aren’t allowed to multi-date or date any other person. This stage is time-bound and usually not so lengthy. Biblically, physical intimacy and testing of s£xual compatibility aren’t allowed. The lovers would have to wait till they’re married before they can discover and explore all of their fantasies and desires.
It’s no longer news that some of these highly invested relationships still end in break-ups caused by various reasons. However, couples who are still crazily in love, have chosen to stick to each other through thick and thin and are willing and eager to do all it takes to maintain their loving relationship can also decide to take this relationship to the next level. This is where Marriage sets in.
Marriage is the highest form of a romantic relationship entered into by two consenting adults who are ready and really know what it takes. In this stage, both lovers have vowed to stay with each other through thick and thin, for better for worse, to love, cherish, adore, nurture, respect, admire, care, provide, support, protect, be there for each other all the days of their lives and do whatever it takes to make their marriage work. Unlike the courtship period where no vows are made yet, marriage is a lifetime commitment to each other. At this stage, it’s the couple against the world. Marriage isn’t a child’s play.
Nevertheless, love is never enough to maintain any form of relationship or even the said marriage. Other crucial factors such as compatibility, respect, teamwork, loyalty, commitment and willingness to compromise matter too. That’s why the two parties must be willing to put in joint efforts towards achieving it. Why? Because the two are now one!
Sweethearts and Darlings… Let me leave you with this line… Before you venture into any form of relationship, make sure it’s with your friend or someone you feel something for. Don’t get yourself entangled in an unrequited love that will eventually bring the relationship to an end. Honey, it’s true that not all relationships will eventually lead to marriage, but ensure you do your part and never let yours be one of those with a sad ending. There’s so much love to give and take. But make sure it’s with the right person. Shalom!