Courtship and Dating.

Courting or Dating?
What do most of you singles prefer? For those of you who are married what worked for you?
I personally think courtship is the way to go.
I thought this would be a good topic!
Thanks God Bless!

Courtship is the way to go. It worked for my husband and I. We were able to enter into matrimony chastely and without the dramatics of secular relationship. I won’t allow my children to ‘date’. It only prepares people for divorce and they end up wounded for the next person. It over-emphasizes eros and lays snares for occassions of sin.
The book that helped us along was Christian Courtship for an Oversexed World by Fr. T.G. Morrow. Unlike most courtship books, this was for adults from a Catholic perspective. It may be a little grown-up for teenagers, so I would advise parents to read it first.
When we married, we understood it was with the intention to lead the other person to Heaven, and not some sort of romantic seal of mutual affection. I don’t think I would have gotten this message without courtship and the assistence of Fr. Morrow.

I assume that courtship is a more conservative version of dating but other than that, what is it? What are the differences.

Yeah I guess you could say that! Courting involves the family more than dating does. Dating there is alot of alone time where in courting not so much. It’s not casual either. Dating you could see one person tonight and a different one the next week. Courting is with the intention of marrige. It’s old fashioned but I think the way to go to win a woman’s heart! Also Chastity is plays a big part in courting.

I think those are the main points?

Do you understand the basics?
If not I will go into better detail.
God Bless,

I think I get it. I just didn’t know there was a word for it and thought it was just a preference for a type of dating. I think dating is better in high school and college before you are ready to be married but then if you are ready to be married then courting perhaps would be better. However, I still would think courting would involve dating.

Well it was back before there was such thing as dating! Historically you either wanted to marry a girl or not! So there was only courting. Now however most people start dating at about 13 which is sad! God did not intend for man to have a broken heart but when you poor everything into a casual relationship you lose a piece of your heart so I think the best thing is to save it for your spouse! I guess I am sort of rambling sorry! I could go on and on and on about it though. Thanks God Bless,


If you find the time, I would love to more about it, writting up something about it in full detail would be very nice of you. I haven’t heard of courting either. Anyone have some personal experiences to add to this discussion?


True but historically, there were also arranged marriages where love was not involved. A marriage without love is not a good thing. Please go on to explain the differencs in more detail. Oh, and I totally agree about trying to save as much of yourself for marriage as possible but I do think some affection or something where the two are careful not to let it get it carried away is good for the relationship before marriage.

Hmm. Well, would “courtship” really be appropriate once someone is out on their own? I started dating at 16, but I didn’t marry until 38. That’s 22 years of dating! But I do wish I’d met my wife right away.

As I see it, a key distinction is that those involved in courtship have the specific intention of pursuing the possibility of marriage. That is, those who are able to marry and interested in marriage court as a process to validate that a particular person is a good spouse for them. The activities may be similar and they may refer to it as dating, but the intention creates a very different context.

Dating on the other hand, is a more casual activity, which is not necessarily intended to lead to a possible marriage, but may be intended as a means to romance, or fun.

In my opinion, certain types of dating, particularly when engaged in by those who are unable to marry for any reason or have no intention to consider marriage can be an occasion of sin. In other words, while not necessarily sinful in itself, it can introduce tempations that are better avoided.

Of course, courtship normally includes getting to know the family of the other person, especially the parents if they are living and nearby or in the same household. But if you are contemplating marriage it is only natural to wish to become aquainted with the other person’s family, whereas that may not be important for more casual socialization.

My son attended public school in the fifth grade. Several of the girls were dating boys in the sixth grade. When I commented to parents I got a hohum answer. No one but me thought it was wrong. Everyone else thought that it was cute.:frowning:

There is a lot to be said for and against both approaches;dating and courtship. Its an individual choice.

I dated but I might have felt differently if I was surronded by a stable Christian family.

I guess I don’t really understand…
Your definition of “courting” seems to always be what I assumed “dating” was.

I think it can be a mix of the two.
There’s nothing wrong with getting to know someone slowly by taking them out to dinner and a movie.
Once you realize that this is a worthy person it just sort of naturally evolves into your definition of “courting”.
I’ve never thought about the definitions being exclusive.

Of course, as Catholics, we’re called to live chaste lives…
But I don’t think that eliminates the notion of “dating” if it’s meant to slowly get to know another person.

I would agree with the previous poster - I think a mix of the two can be done. Courting is ideal but not always realistic by the definitions given of the two. I also believe that neither should happen until an appropriate age (ie. possibly 18).

The reason I say both is that many adults are on their own and far away from their families, so involving families is not always able to be done. My DH and I met in college, where I was 8 hrs away from my family. We spent a LOT of time alone on dates, going to dinner, museums, etc. because almost all of our friends were single at the time. We did spend a decent amount of time with our single friends and a few times with other couples when we were able. We just had to be extra careful. We travelled 2 hrs to his family once a month (mainly for him to work), and during breaks and summers, he’d come stay with my family. So, our families were involved and we entered the relationship with the goal of marriage, but we didn’t do it strictly in-line with courtship. I think it’s all in the attitude, honestly. I don’t believe in “casual dating” in the sense that you just date to date, but I think it’s okay to go out on a few dates with a person and realize that they’re not the one for you and end it and move on. Plus, not everyone has ideal parents either. Thankfully, we both have devout Catholic parents who are still married. Not everyone has that and not everyone has parents who even care. I have friends whose parents think they should be having pre-marital sex and think it’s okay to live together before marriage…those kinds of parents don’t have the best judgement and it’s up to their children to make moral decisions for themselves.

well considering my parents are divorced and I wouldn’t want anyone I choose to marry to meet my family until it is absolutely necessary since I don’t want to be judged based on them since there are many more problems besides a divorce, I think I prefer the dating. However, I agree that the idea of courting is nice. I’ll be on the other side of the country next year far away from my immediate family so if I meet someone who is a devout Catholic and more interested in what you call courting and her family is involved then that would be perfectly fine.

If your idea of dating is equal to courtship, then you have much better more maturity than all those who have lower ideas of dating.

I know in high school that there were my age women and men who had 1 singnificant other one year, then when he/she went off somewhere else, well, you know, they think, it seems, that it is time to go find someone else they can hold hands with and whatever. Then the next year, here we go again.

I suggest a book by the name “Love and Responsibility.” It was written by Pope John Paul II before he became pope, while he was still a professor.

I started getting into relationships when I was in 9th grade (yes, I know it’s young), and I always did it with the intention of marrying the person I was dating (I always hoped we would be married, but none of the relationships ever worked out…). My current boyfriend and I are now very serious about each other and discerning when (and if) we should marry. Courting is the way to go for me.

Courting is WAYYYY better in my opinion, at least it has led me to happiness :slight_smile:

I dated before (always wishing it would lead me to marriage), and honestly, that seems like joking or a hobbie to some people:( , or as I like to call it sometimes, is like “trying jackets in a store” and we’re not items on sale, we’re humans looking for a loving marriage. (or at least that’s what’s on my mind and heart)

I met the man of my dreams, who wanted to court me, not just date me and pass unto the next one, I’m happily engaged:love:

I agree with this–the labels distinguishing ‘dating’ from ‘courting’ don’t really matter. What matters is how you approach pre-marital relationships and your vocational discernment. Dating for recreation is obviously not in God’s plan…but neither (at least I don’t think) are closely supervised and intensely scheduled ‘visits’ with your bf/gf and their family.

I’m not sure how you’d describe my relationship with my fiance. We always called it dating. A mutual friend set us up for a dance during my senior year of high school, and we were friends for several months before officially beginning a relationship. We’re both at the same university 7 or so hours from our hometown right now, so we don’t really get to see our families too often, though when we’re in town we do quite a bit. We have a fair share of ‘alone time’ or time with friends who are both single and dating. I’m not sure how people can be discerning marriage and NOT have lots of time alone to talk and just be with one another.

If you’re mature and committed to chastity, the usual ‘courtship’ recommendation of a chaperone for all ‘dates’ doesn’t make sense to me. We spend quite a lot of time together at school, and honestly hardly ever go on typical ‘dates’…instead we do homework together in the library, or hang out with friends watching a movie or tv, go to Mass, and take long walks and talk.

Don’t get so absorbed into ‘dating’ vs ‘courting’… the important thing is centering your relationship on God and trying to bring one another closer to Him. He’ll show you the way.

Dating first, then it grows into courtship. I think it’s a bad idea to go in thinking it’s courtship right from the beginning. So many people nowadays go on one date and they’re automatically in a committed relationship. You become too emotionally attached and invested before you even really know the person that well.

Traditionally, this is not how it was done. “Going steady” came later on in the process.

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