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Difference Between Dating and Courting - Date And Simple

Difference Between Dating and Courting

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There are different terms for dating, such as “hanging out,” “seeing someone,” or the old statement of “going steady.”

With that in mind, though, many wonder: is dating the same as courting? If not, what is the difference between dating and courting?

If you haven’t grown up in a church where courting is more popular, then you might not know what that word means.

What Is Courting?

There is a major difference when it comes to getting to know someone for the right reasons.

Well, the term “courting” pertains to when a man and woman get to know each other on an intimate level.

They do this to find out whether they feel like it is God's will that they should be married.

Courting is a term that is popularly used in churches and many religions to separate it from casual dating, which is deemed secular.

This stage is comprised of several dates to figure out if the two individuals feel that they are compatible enough to begin planning a life together as a married couple.

The term is commonly used as a way to show that a relationship is more serious than just a casual fling.

What Is Dating?

With all this information about courting, what, then, does dating truly mean? How does one differ from the other?

The idea of dating is that you are learning about what a relationship is like without the intent of marriage just yet.

It is typically used for younger people who are only casually looking for a partner but want to grow as a partner themselves.

When you reach the proper dating age, you will date people to help you grow and mature into a better suitor for a future partner, which you will eventually court.

Dating is seen as a casual relationship, but it can also be looked at as a way to find out how to be in a relationship with another person.

Going through this phase will help you become a better courter in the future when you are ready to find a marriage partner.

Difference Between Dating and Courting

When determining the differences between dating and courting, it typically comes down to the intent of the relationship.

When using the word “dating,” it defines the relationship as a casual encounter that doesn't have the intention of going any further at that time.

It is usually when a couple first meet and decide that they like the other person.

The relationship might begin, but before they are officially courting, they date to see if they want to take things any further.

Dating is essentially used as a casual way to decide if you would like to begin courting another person.

The Intention

The most significant difference between dating and courting boils down to the intention of the relationship as a whole.

If a man asks a woman out but only has the intention for simple companionship, then this is dating.

However, if he is asking a woman out on a date to see if they are compatible enough for marriage in the future, that is courting.

The intention of where you want the relationship to go has a lot to do with what you call it.


Another factor that goes hand in hand with the intent is the fact that courting is meant to be taken more seriously.

Courting a man or woman takes time and effort.

This means you are getting to know the other person and seeing if your beliefs, family goals, and professional aspirations line up together.

The time spent courting is to find out if you can be open and honest with the other person and ensure that you are both on the same path in life.

If not, then you are deciding that you two will not continue on the path to marriage and partnership.

Length of Relationship

When you are courting, you are not intending to spend several years getting to know your partner as a single person. Instead, you are planning to marry within the next few years.

There are certain things about a person that you will not see unless you live together or are married, as this changes the relationship.

Courting is meant to help you reach engagement and marriage as the end goal.

Hence, when courting, both people have the idea of marriage in their minds.

This means that their relationship will likely only be between one to three years before a final decision is made to go ahead with an engagement or part ways.

If the two individuals decide that they do not believe they should take the next step to get engaged, then the courtship is ended to allow the other person to find their future spouse elsewhere.

How to Begin a Courtship

When you believe that you have found someone that could eventually be your wife or husband, you will need to take the proper steps to enter into a courtship.

Typically, the man will speak with the woman’s father, or father-figure, and ask permission to approach his daughter. 

When done in the church, the man can approach the pastor, who will give a blessing to the courtship. Doing this ensures that the pair is on the right path.

Once the two decide to court, they will begin getting to know each other more intimately.

When a decision is made about how the couple feels about marriage, the man will typically ask for the woman’s hand in marriage only after getting the blessing of her father or pastor.


Though dating in the modern world has changed over time, the idea of courtship is still prevalent in many cultures.

With a high level of respect involved and the idea of marriage being the final goal, courting is taken seriously in many places around the world.

If you are interested in courting, then finding a partner that is interested in the same idea is something you should look for.

If you find someone, then you could end up with a marriage proposal at the end of your courtship.

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