Can someone explain courting?


#1

I read the chastity.com article about it but I felt it was a little vague.

Can someone explain courting and what it entails?

Thank you,
coolduude:cool:


#2

Basically, courting is a lot like dating, but it’s more like a pre-engagement. Basically, dating with the intention of marriage, or for the discernment of marriage.

A lot of courting is a lot more family-based then dating. Say, instead of going out to the movies w/ your girl, you go to her house and play games with her parents. Or go play cards with the grandparents. You involve the families more–they get to know you, you get to know them, etc.

Courting is more of a…permanent…thing than dating, typically. You would court someone if you think [are almost positive] that you would like to spend the rest of your life with someone, and just need to figure out if it is right. Dating, typically, is more for companionship for awhile…at least in the high school sense.

What I see of it, courting is the more old-fashioned form of dating. Instead of using each other for your current good, you help each other to your future good…chastity is very much expected. As is respect, and most importantly, love.


#3

So in high school I should be...? Courting or dating? :confused:


#4

[quote="coolduude, post:3, topic:188353"]
So in high school I should be...? Courting or dating? :confused:

[/quote]

Firstly you should never be dating ever.

Secondly in high school you should be doing neither, you are not ready to marry in high school, you need to concentrate on becoming a man who can support a family, then you can start courting.

That means focus on your studies and stop wasting your time fooling around with girls.

The girls of course will disagree with me here, hopeless sentimentalists that they are lol


#5

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:4, topic:188353"]
Firstly you should never be dating ever.

Secondly in high school you should be doing neither, you are not ready to marry in high school, you need to concentrate on becoming a man who can support a family, then you can start courting.

That means focus on your studies and stop wasting your time fooling around with girls.

The girls of course will disagree with me here, hopeless sentimentalists that they are lol

[/quote]

Slow down there-I'm a guy and I disagree! LOL

Modern day dating consists of girl A and boy A going out to the movies, an arcade, dinner, hiking, etc. You don't need to kiss, hold hands, or anything else.

Dating is perfectly moral and ::gasp:: fun. A catholic can have fun-it's not a sin!

Courting is fine too. A bit antiquated, but if that floats your boat-go for it.

Interacting with the opposite sex is a skill you need to use in life. By all means, go for it!


#6

I personally think “courting” vs. “dating” is mostly a matter of semantics. What you want to pursue is a holy, pure relationship. It doesn’t much matter what you call it. My fiance met among friends, and have done many family-oriented dates (with his family, not mine, but that’s a long story) where we cook for his grandfather, or watch movies with his mom, or eat sushi out with his dad. I suppose you could call that courting. But we’ve also gone for long walks, visited art museums, haunted physics labs, and gotten coffee on our own. :shrug:

I second the idea that high school relationships are generally a bad idea. It certainly was for me. My best friend, OTOH, started dating her husband in high school. They married young, are on baby #2, and are by all accounts quite happy and blessed. So . . . it all depends! It depends on you and the particular relationship.


#7

I just thought of this-

Dating one person exculsively in high school may not be the best idea, in fact-it's not.


#8

[quote="Rascalking, post:7, topic:188353"]
I just thought of this-

Dating one person exculsively in high school may not be the best idea, in fact-it's not.

[/quote]

I see your point. However:
1) people DO marry their highschool sweeties.
2) it's probably worse to date the same person all through college unless you're 1000% positive they are the one. Otherwise it's a bad idea.


#9

[quote="colluded, post:8, topic:188353"]
I see your point. However:
1) people DO marry their high school sweeties.
2) it's probably worse to date the same person all through college unless you're 1000% positive they are the one. Otherwise it's a bad idea.

[/quote]

Oh, dude-I agree with you. But most people don't marry their high school sweethearts. Yes, I'm sure everyone knows someone who did-but the majority probably didn't.

I'm 30 and I date-but even now, it's been a while since I've had a "girlfriend" exclusively (that's by choice-NOT complaining at all...I still date)

You have time. Don't rush into things.


#10

Courting sounds a bit old fashioned to me semantically. Nothing is wrong with dating. You get to find out what you do and don't like in a partner. I have no problem w/dating in middle school & high school.Nothing is to say you'll have any better luck meeting "The One" in college. So don't worry.


#11

Good post (Coco82) except I think middle school 'dating' is way too early. High school not so much. Middle school, yes. Just my thoughts.


#12

[quote="Advocatus_Fidei, post:4, topic:188353"]
Firstly you should never be dating ever.

[/quote]

That is strictly a matter of opinion, isn't it? Dating can help you get to know someone before you get into anything serious. I dated several guys before meeting my husband. I was quickly able to sort out some that weren't from me based on a couple of dinners and movies... As long as you're not getting involved in any immoral activity, dating vs. courting is a personal choice, and, as others have mentioned, largely a matter of semantics anyway.


#13

These days the lines between dating and courting is blurred. In addition, marriage is an individual thing instead of a family thing. Many times, meeting the parents is done after the actual engagement. Meeting anyone else in the family often times waits until the wedding. There is a general feeling that since both are over the age of 18 that what the family thinks doesnt matter at all. To a certain degree this is the right thing but it is my opinion that often times it is the family that will tell you the things about a person honestly more often than your friends do or what you can pick up yourself. If it is a tight-knit family then the spending time with family before engagement is extremely important so you can know if the person will fit in with the family and understands what the family dynamic is. Often times, family problems do become your own and it is a good thing for perspective spouses to see this before engagement.

In other countries, family is more important than it is here in America. In other countries there is not the same expectation of moving far away from your family when you get married. In other countries, the whole concept of a retirement home for old people is anathema since it is the children's responsibility to care for the parents. When considering the differences between dating and courtship as well as which one should or should not be done you need to consider the culture. In America, dating is normally the step before and during boyfriend/girlfriend stage and this relationship leads to engagement or it fails. I dont like to call the boyfriend/girlfriend stage to be courtship because little courting is actually going on and in the general population including Catholics the relationship carries with it the same norms as during the actual marriage. Courtship doesnt have the same norms as marriage as you are free to date and court as many people as you so choose.

I have seen many relationships in my life. Out of all of those, only 1 has been the case of high school sweethearts getting married. And it effected their ability to regularly participate in social activities in college though they were great people and discerned their vocation well. I even know a man that gave up a free ride scholarship to Yale to go to a smaller university to stay with his high school sweetheart. His first semester he got expelled for drug use and his girl dumped him. Most relationships from high school end in the summer before college or soon after. Very few people have the maturity at age 18 to get married to their high school sweethearts and many high school sweethearts that do get married do so after college.

In high school, dating takes time away from school work and socializing. When you have a girlfriend in high school, grades frequently take a hit. When the girl hits the road, they go back up. Doing well in high school is important because it increases your options. If you do poorly, you will have your options after high school limited.

My advice for men is to find a stable career or job before getting married and ideally before getting engaged. For women, determine whether you want a career in the home or outside the home or both. Once you figure this out, figure out through dating which type of man you think will be the best for a husband and search for the man that fits what you need the best.


#14

I think dating is natural in high school. Most people know they won't get married, but are trying to find someone who they can share time with. I had many Catholic friends in h.s. who dated. I don't consider dating multiple people a sin also, because these relationships teach you lessons about life and yourself and help you to not make mistakes later in life. Plus, you can think of dating as trying to find someone special. Very few people meet "The One" right away, so think of it as having an opportunity to get to know a person and if that person or that type of person suits you. This way you can weed out people so when you're older you aren't wasting time.


#15

You should just marry a girl after meeting her and having dinner with her folks. I am sure it will work out. :shrug:

No dating ever? Wow. Big scary world out there…


#16

No, he says dating shouldn't be done ever, as there are other ways of finding out whether it's the right person.

Anyway, let's get down to business:

  1. Dating is *not *the only way things can be done. Doing it this only way and seeing things done only this way ever may create such an impression. Well, there was a time people believed humans couldn't fly and there'd never be moving pictures inside a box.

  2. "Courting" is *not *a moral commandment of Catholicism. "Courting" as some people understand it is a mating ritual from 19th century and earlier/a bit later. The actual moral requirements we have here are charity (love of neighbour) and chastity. Respect for parents, families or authority may play a role. There is no commandment to be conservative and copy behaviours from 19th century novels.

  3. Marriage does join families and I don't want to say the sacrament doesn't have to do with it, but the sacrament is exchanged between two people, a man and a woman and not between their families. Spouse's family is to be treated like one's own family, but this shouldn't blur the fact that marriage is a sacrament for two people. Negotiating with Dad doesn't seem to be adequate preparation.

  4. Fun is fine, but the line is use. It is never good or right to use a person for fun. This is not to say that enjoying the fun that's caused by interacting with another person is wrong, but person > fun. The person has to come first and has to be treated as a person, i.e. someone with his own goals and dreams and unique value that comes from being a person. That person can't just be an object, even a consenting one. Mutual consent does not necessarily make things right (lack of consent is a problem, but consent itself does not eliminate use).

  5. Non-exclusive vs exclusive dating is a tough subject. I agree that it's reasonable to keep a level head and not place commitment too early, let alone in the wrong or simply untested person. In this light, it might be reasonable to have a number of friends, some of whom one would obviously be considering as perhaps having potential for some more. However, this doesn't mean that it's fine to have *n > 1 *boyfriends or girlfriends. I don't want to get into the semantics of "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" when such a person is basically only an attractive friend of the opposite sex. But discernment (choosing) doesn't somehow necessitate or entitle "fun" (just because you're choosing a man/woman doesn't mean you're entitled to have a kissing session with all of the candidates) and multi-commitment (e.g. you depend on those people, give them some right to your affections or at least create some habits in that regard, you proclaim your feelings and act on them, you invest time and effort in developing whatever romance connects you) is basically a form of polygamy (polyamory if you insist on the lack of sex making a generic difference).

  6. If you're in highschool, it's hard to be told that you shouldn't date and I suppose some psychologists or other wise people would react adversely to this supposed deprivation of some normal human experience. To be honest, I don't know. Maybe they'd be right, although I react allergically to the idea of romantic relationships being had for jolly fun and for the sake of learning about the world. What I do know is that I regret the time and effort spent chasing girls instead of studying when I was younger than say, 16-17. It's more complicated with the time I spent chasing girls from 16-17 on, as while most of that time seems wasted, the experience probably isn't, it's kinda like looking back down your biography and wondering which experience you should have had and which not, it can't really be done. Whatever you do, don't neglect your learning and your other obligations, don't put your faith in danger, don't think the girl is almost your wife or more than a wife could ever be (the sacrament of marriage is way more important and way more of a connection than just sharing feelings), don't get tied up to a girl you don't feel (and think) that special about just for the sake of company or for the sake of having a girlfriend (you don't need a girlfriend, you need to become a responsible man who will have a wife and children, girlfriend is just a transitory stage). This is a minimum only. It wouldn't hurt (and I'd strongly recommend) to get hold of a good priest, especially a wise and orthodox one, and get advice from him in this regard, especially as it involves your faith and your relationship with God. You can do it, their pastoral activity does involve talking to people like that.

  7. As far as "courting" goes, be careful not to fall for the trap of the older the better or the more restrictive the better etc. Super-hyper-restrictive parenting doesn't result in the best-adjusted people we know and super-hyper-restrictive dating rules don't necessarily result in super-happy marriages. I suppose some people would even have you wear 19th century suits and speak Victorian English while on the chase, but that has little to do with morality, it has more to do with conservatism, which is independent from religion. On the other hand, just because something is an old custom, even an abandoned one, doesn't mean it's irrelevant. It's basically that 19th century is not the magical Old England Golden Age kind of thing in which everything was good. It was a period of time with its own problems just like the current one. Time goes forward, not backward.


#17

As I stated on the other link *...dating in high school is NOT all bad. There definitely needs to be times you hang out with your friends, she hangs out with yours: a balance needs to be achieved. Going to college will be rediculously rough and you still need to pick your school based on what you need, she picks hers on what she needs. You may end out two or five or fifteen hours away: that's a good time for more discernment. You guys can end up together, though it is NOT probable. But you guys control your relationship.

P.S. If you need anymore answers from someone who's been there [dating in high school exclusively, etc] feel free to P.M. me. *


#18

[quote="mini_me640, post:12, topic:188353"]
That is strictly a matter of opinion, isn't it? Dating can help you get to know someone before you get into anything serious. I dated several guys before meeting my husband. I was quickly able to sort out some that weren't from me based on a couple of dinners and movies... As long as you're not getting involved in any immoral activity, dating vs. courting is a personal choice, and, as others have mentioned, largely a matter of semantics anyway.

[/quote]

What you describe as dating could just as easily be the beginning of courting.


#19

[quote="PassingThru, post:15, topic:188353"]
You should just marry a girl after meeting her and having dinner with her folks. I am sure it will work out. :shrug:

No dating ever? Wow. Big scary world out there...

[/quote]

That is not what happens if you don't date and only engage in courting, courtships generally best last around a year. If you don't know what it is you are commenting on why comment?

I am happily married to a wonderful lady, I met that lady and figured out she would make a great wife by courting, courting works its as simple as that.

Dating is treating causally something that is to serious to mess around with, people kill themselves over this stuff but your just going to fool around with other people for your own enjoyment?

Better to avoid it all until your ready to take a relationship all the way to its natural conclusion, which is marriage, upon finding the right woman.

Other people are not merely learning aids for you to gain experience on or pawns to be used for your own amusement.

It is also much easier to avoid falling in love in the first place than to be stuck in the dating stage for years due to an inability to marry because of finances, been still in education etc etc. Most secular couples get around this by simply acting married even though they aren't and using artificial means to avoid the children that would otherwise naturally result, Catholics do not have that option.

Do yourself and any girl you come into contact with a favour and wait until you are ready.


#20

I disagree. How're you supposed to get tyo know a woman well enough to to marry if you don't date and find out X person isn't good person but Y person is. Courting is antiquated and I haven't met a person that does it.


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