Dating vs courtship


What is the difference between these two terms or what are so easy accessible web sites I can visit to find out?
How is this relevant to college students and how can you teach the difference from a secular and theological/faith perspective?
Thanks and God Bless


I don’t have a website that answers this specifically but dating is a new idea that I understand to be for “fun” and no real purpose.

Courtship has that connotation of the dating process has one end - to find a suitable partner, where as “dating” doesn’t have generally have this connotation.
is a good site.


A really good book to read is Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World. Its written by a Catholic priest and has some very practical advice - really sets out exactly what to do for men and women.


I second what Cadence says. I read this book and bought a copy for my girlfriend at the time (now fiance). YOu don’t have to follow it to the “t” but it does have great advice!


to my way of thinking the terms dating and courting can be used interchangeably

but i have a definite view that dating occurs before courtship…the purpose of dating being to find someone to court exclusively.

dating to me is like shopping around while
courting is like being focused on only one person whom you want to get married to…but you’re not quite sure…but you are totally smitten but there are no strings attached…the man has to do the pursuing in the courting phase…and wins her hand when he asks her to marry him and she says yes…thus ushering in the engagment period.

just because a couple is bf-gf does not mean they are courting. when someone is being courted the man is focused on winning her hand in marriage and thus he is wooing her with romantic gestures…i

to me if there are no romantic gestures then it is not a courtship and is not be taken seriously.

but then again…you can’t take romantic gestures too seriously either…

bottomline is it depends on the intentions of the man involved if they are dating or courting


I would be careful of the term “courting” as promoted by Josh Harris, a Protestant, as opposed to Catholic sources. His “courting” and the courtship presented the book recommended by the other posters are two different things entirely.


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