There is a never ending debate on courtship versus dating. However, in simple terms both courtship and dating are a way of starting a relationship with the opposite gender. The underneath objective of the phenomena of dating and courtship is to find a partner who you can spend your life with. Though the concept of courtship is existent since the inception of Christianity, it still commands the respect of the community and has firm followers.
Dating is a comparatively new concept which flourished due to the increasing emphasis on freedom and liberalisation. And the age old phenomenon of courtship is now being challenged by the new entrant, a few decades old concept of dating. Many Christians dismiss the concept of dating as anti- church and the one which can corrupt the youth. And those in favour of dating accuse courtship of being restraining young people from exercising their choice.
But here we will not get into the debate of courtship vs dating. Rather we will highlight all the similarities and differences of both these phenomena of finding a mate and leave it up to you to decide which path you want to go on.
Courtship vs. Dating
- Courtship is considered a Christian phenomenon which has the consent of the holy Bible. And the concept is in practice since centuries. But dating, on the other hand, gained popularity only by the beginning of the 20th Century. Dating is a casual way of knowing the person from the same or opposite gender. without any religious strings being attached to it.
- Another stark difference between courtship and dating is that courtship prohibits any kind of physical contact before marriage. But dating does not lay down any such guidelines. Also, courtship essentially involves the consent of the parents of the concerned partners. While dating may or may not involve the parents and the family.
- Courtship and dating are also distinct in their approach. Courtship is a practice which is specifically concerned with finding a suitable match for marriage. But dating does not essentially involve any purpose. It can be casual with both the partners calling it off at some point of time or it may lead them to the marriage.
- The factors involved in both the concepts also set courtship and dating apart. Courtship is basically set in the back drop of very platonic kind of setting, with no emotional attachment involved. In principle, it is a practice to allow two potential marriage partners to get to know each other before marriage. As believed, this strengthens their marriage and binds them together for lifetime. On the other hand, dating is a casual involvement which, by nature, is a result of some kind of emotional and physical involvement between two persons. Dating allows the two partners to know each other without any pressure and give them enough space and autonomy in their interactions.
- Another distinction between dating and courtship is that, courtship sometimes comes very close to the concept of ‘arranged marriage’. This is because of the very notion on which it is based. The involvement of the families and parents of the potential partners in their courtship period can put some pressure on the couple to take any contradictory decisions. There are also chances that the alliance is entirely made by the parents and the children, despite their varied opinions, do not have a say in the matter. Contrary to that, dating, especially in its early stage is totally the decision of the two persons involved. The two souls come together entirely based on their mutual feelings and attraction towards each other. Seen this way, dating is potentially a more viable way of strengthening the bond between two mates and can guarantee lifelong alliance which is more blissful and strong.
- When it comes to courtship vs dating, courtship has an edge over dating regarding emotional and physical vulnerability. Since there are no strings attached in the courtship. While dating can involve heart breaks, let downs due to its romantic linking. Also, due to no restrain on physical involvement, recklessness on the partners’ part can lead to the risk of abortion and physically transmitted diseases.
- While courtship is often linked with the religion and will of God, dating is a simple contemporary concept just concerned with getting along with other people. It does not have any affiliation with the holy Bible or Christianity. Unlike courtship, which pertains to a particular community, dating does not involve any eligibility criteria.