Dating And Courting

I don't really know when I became a relationship expert but I recently got a mail from  a reader asking if there is a difference between courting and dating? 
Well, I may not be the best relationship counsellor around but I do know that the simple answer to this question is yes! Dating is remarkably different from Courtship.


I did a little nose-poking and I got to know about a few differences between dating and courting and they include:

1. Commitment level – there is usually a higher level of commitment in courtships, than is expected when people are dating.

2. End goal – the end goal for dating is usually to know if the other party is a suitable for a definite relationship (well, I admit, it has been abused by many who label friends with benefit arrangements as dating). The end goal in a courtship on the other hand is usually marriage.

3. Exclusivity – traditionally, people who are dating are not expected to be exclusive, since they are still “testing the waters”, but some people have also abused this. Ordinarily, it is expected that after a short while of dating, the couple will progress to courtship. But you see some couples that “date” for over a decade because the dude hasn’t popped the question. In such cases, they are technically dating and are exclusive to each other. In courtship however, exclusivity is non-negotiable, once you are courting, you are not expected to meet other people.

4. Spelling - On a lighter note, another difference is the Spelling – You don’t spell dating and courtship the same way.
 Other people, based on religious belief, customs or personal experience have identified other differences between courting and dating, but for me, the ones mentioned above will suffice.

Now, my own question is, does the difference between courting and dating really matter? 
For some, it matters. For me, I really don’t think it matters. And I have a simple reason for my view – the lines have been blurred. Dating or Courtship? It’s just terminology, the bottom line is whether the relationship is successful (culminates in a happy marriage) or not (at least one party gets hurt).
I have seen successfully married couples who went straight from dating to marriage, and I have seen courtships that landed on the rocks. From my perspective, it doesn’t matter what you call your relationship, it is what you do in the relationship that matters. 
I think you should not be worried about the difference, but be concerned about the success of your relationship (either dating or courting). So what can you do to make your relationship awesome? 
Here are a few tips I feel you should adapt:

1. Define your relationship - Both of you need to agree on what exactly you are doing. Are you aiming for marriage? (If you are but the other is not, take this free advice – walk briskly away from the relationship. It will only waste your time). I am of the firm opinion that defining the end goal of your relationship will help both of you stay focused and work together to make a success of your love life.

2. Submit to a mentor - It just stands to reason that it is easier to walk an unfamiliar path with someone who has walked that path before, than if you walk on your own. Pick someone who has experience in that line and watch how they do things.

3. Meet the family – Don’t come across to your partner as a loner without any backing. Introduce him/her to at least one family member who can monitor your progress and hold your partner responsible for any misbehaviour(s). Involving your family members in your love life helps to hold both of you accountable and focused on your relationship growth. 
Quick tip for the ladies, if your man is wary about meeting you (or introducing you to his) family, that is an obvious red flag. I believe the same goes for the men.

4. Integrate your lives and find compatibility. Whether you are dating or courting, once your end goal is marriage, you should take this very seriously. Work together to integrate your lives, if you are well integrated, it becomes harder to walk out of the relationship. Have something that connects you two together even if its an object! Something that would bring back memories when you try to separate.
It is actually very good for sincere couple  to join resources and achieve goals/aspirations. It helps the couple bond with each other and build trust/confidence in each other. What’s more? It is a good way of investing in your loved one.
Whether you are dating or courting, less emphasis should be placed on the difference, but you should focus on the end goal which is a successful relationship. 

What do you think??


  1. Nice.. I think the difference doesnt really matter too!

  2. Today people date and call it courtship and vice versa so the difference is nothing

  3. Forget d name and define your relationship


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