What if I told you, everything you ever learned about how to date, how a man pursues a woman and how a woman should prepare herself for a man was wrong, would you believe me?
As I entered my mid-twenties, I began to question my thoughts toward dating. I began to evaluate all of my past dating experiences. I began to read books on dating vs. courting. I began to search the Bible on what a healthy relationship looks like and I began to talk with married couples on their approaches toward their marriage. I began to talk with singles as well as non – married couples. After spending years analyzing and processing, below you will find my thoughts on this hot topic! By the way… I am no expert. 🙂
Let’s define dating:
Dating – Past the friend zone into a mutual liking of one another where two people are building a relationship. Usually built around selfish needs and physical intimacy while giving your best impressions of “who you are.” This is a relationship that is usually short term.
Let’s define courting:
Courting – Pursuing one another with healthy boundaries. Having a long term view in mind of the relationship. Building off emotional and spiritual intimacy rather than physical intimacy.
This is below list is in no specific order. I numbered the list so in the comment section; you can respond by saying I agree or disagree with # such and such… and you can share why you agree or disagree.
- Dating is usually selfish. – Why is this? Usually, both parties do not have the other’s best intentions in mind. You tell yourself you do, and think this in the beginning but really you are thinking, what is in this for me?
- Dating is usually all about “me” first. – Why is this? Shall we say self-gratification? Your needs and desires come first. Your needs and desires are important but the problem with this is, if your needs and desires aren’t being met, well on to the next.
- Dating is usually short term. – Why is this? All dating relationships are not necessarily taken seriously. I mean, who wants to date forever with no serious commitments or ultimate common goal in mind? It amazes me how women will stick around for years with the hope of getting married, when their man doesn’t have any intentions of getting married.
- Dating usually leads to break ups. – Why is this? Most people in dating relationships do not know how to handle conflict. All conflict is not bad. Conflict helps you grow. It is usually hard for those in the dating relationship to see this. There isn’t the same team mentality. For example: we may get into it and disagree from time to time, but this does not change our view of each other, our respect for one another or our relationship status. Why? Because we are still on the same team.
- Dating usually leads to looking for what’s wrong with the other person. – Why is this? People in dating relationships are constantly thinking and pointing out what’s missing in the other person, how he/she does this wrong, what you don’t like, how different you two are, and for this reason, dating relationships are called off. The self-centered view and perspective leads to going nowhere quickly. – I mean, what did you think? You would find someone just like you?
- Dating moves fast, and the relationship is usually rushed. – Why is this? Sparks are flowing, both of you are excited and maybe even too excited that the time being spent together on the phone, in person, and in conversation leads to confusing deep like and emotion for love. Usually before 6 months into the relationship someone says, I love you. – You mean to tell me, after 6 months, you love everything about a person you just met? Ok…
- Dating doesn’t usually start off with the end in mind. – Why is this? With dating, often, the two involved in the relationship do not have a common end goal. Hopefully, the end in mind is marriage. Most dating couples are not working towards marriage. What they are working towards is keeping a broken dating relationship together.
- Dating usually leads to not growing healthy as a couple. – Why is this? Stages of building in healthy ways are skipped. Such as: Getting to know each other’s personalities, the past, family backgrounds, life goals, life challenges, relationship challenges, dreams, goals, how to respond to conflict, and the list can go on and on.
- Dating usually leads to having sex or sexual interactions usually within the first 3 months if not sooner. – Why is this? Well, I am in a quote on quote relationship, so this should solidify that it is okay to now, go to the next level in our intimacy. In most people’s minds, this means having sex. There is not a lot of time spent getting to know one another, which ties into the last dating statement mentioned above. Sex can quickly lead to lies about how one feels about the other. – We all know a person does not have to love someone to have sex with him or her.
- Dating usually leads to hiding who you are. – Why is this? It is easy to put on display, my life is together, I know what I want, and I know where I am going in life. Usually, with dating the two in the relationship show their best versions of themselves. Especially in the beginning stages of dating. I mean who would want to date someone that has multiple struggles and issues in life? – Dating is much like our social media accounts. All good with little bad to show.
Before you decide to rip me apart, think about all of your dating relationship experiences. Now ask yourself, with the list mentioned above, how many of those dating statements are true? I am not at all saying dating cannot workout, or it doesn’t lead to marriage, or it cannot be healthy. What I am pointing out is the downside of dating that I see every day. The dating that I have been apart of in the past.
People can make poor decisions and try to justify those decisions by saying, “we weren’t that serious, we were just dating.”
If you are dating, what is your commitment? What are you committing to? What are you working towards? If you do not have clear answers, it is time to re-evaluate your dating relationship.
I do believe there is a significant difference between dating and courting. I would love to hear your thoughts on this blog post in regards to dating vs courting!
P.S. For Christians, I don’t think it is a sin to date or that it is wrong. What I do believe, there needs to be a re-defining of the meaning and purpose of dating.
12 thoughts on “Dating vs Courting”
Deep. There’s def a difference and I can relate to alot of the terrible things daters do. That’s why I kissed dating goodbye
I was in the same boat. Thanks for sharing.
This page might prove insightful. I think it’s best to say “Why courtship is ideal for me … (not necessarily for everyone on the face of the earth” because I’m squarely in the pro-dating side of things as long as we take a slightly old-fashioned approach to it. Some people might decide that courtship is too far gone and jump on the pro-betrothral bandwagon or something like it. Ultimately, we’re all different people, when something seems too fast, it’s up to us to slow things down and approach relationships at a more reasonable pace resisting peer pressure to speed things up, be it our parents who want grandchildren yesterday, our friends who are already moving into the next stage of life, or church people who think that we’ve lost our way.
Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the insightful read and it was good to read historical thoughts and analysis. Either way, dating or courting can be both good or bad depending on having boundaries or less boundaries. Somehow there has to be a medium where singles learn how to build healthy over time. In our day and age, our generation seems to move fast. Everything seems to be sped up. I believe sharing ideas and thoughts towards this conversation will continue to help steer people in a good direction. Ultimately it is up to them to make their decision but at least we can influence their thought process.
I am only 18 and have been going threw a lot lately. Reading your articles has helped me so much with my recent break up. Whenever I feel like giving up I tell myself to go on your site and read, and every time something you have written has helped me.
Lifting you up in prayer. Stay at the Father’s feet. Allow His love to captivate your mind. He’s got you covered my friend!
Thank you for sharing this as it really helped me clarify my stance on deciding not to date. Will you be sharing part II? I would love to hear your insight on courting and be able to share it with my friends.
A part two will be coming one day! 🙂
When is part II coming out?
Thanks for asking. I am hoping soon.
where is the definition of courting
Taylor, thank you for asking. I didn’t realize there wasn’t a definition for it. I just updated the post as well as defined what I believe courting is. Let me know your thoughts!