Courting vs Dating – Why Courting Needs to Make a Comeback

| 01/12/2012 | Comments (1)


I was recently asked my opinion on modern dating vs. historical courting and the impact on black marriages. The gentleman that posed the question wanted to know if courting in our current society is indeed dead, replaced with booty calls, hooking up and friends with benefits.  I thought it important to define the meaning of the two terms dating and courting, and how they are used.

My definition of dating is that it is a modern game where intimacy has priority above commitment. Dating often involves romantic talk of love, expression of romantic fluffy dreams, holding hands, kissing, passionate making out, and ultimately sex.  Sometimes couples skip talking and emotional intimacy, and get right to the physical intimacy.

In dating, intimacy almost always proceeds true commitment. Many young women write my advice column after having had sex with some guy multiple times to say “I don’t know how he feels about me.”

The word date comes from the word mate. It doesn’t sound good to tell someone you are “mating with Malik X.” So we use the euphemism “dating.” It sounds so much better, but in reality, dating and mating are the same thing.

Courting or courtship is the time-honored practice of spending time together and slowly learning about someone enough to know whether or not the two people are compatible for marriage. Courting involves developing a friendship, discussing each individual’s future plans as well as past accomplishments, knowing each others parents if they’re alive, and for the religious – praying privately for your version of the Creator’s will in the matter.

After deciding to get married, the couple then goes to their parents to seek their blessings and finally to their pastor/minister/priest/tribal leader to seek his or her approval and guidance.

But the key component to courting is that the engaged couple avoids physical intimacy until marriage. When courting, commitment to marriage always comes before sexual intimacy. Some couples go so far as to avoid kissing, as kissing can be the match that ignites flames of passion. Passionate kissing can lead people to feel urges they may have a difficult time controlling.

That to me is why to me, courting is dead. Our society has changed and provided us with great freedom of choice, and the choice to engage in sexual activity without marriage is one of them. In the Black community this change has resulted in millions of children being born out of wedlock, and their mothers set aside for new sexual adventures by men that had no interest in commitment or to marriage.

Therefore, a woman seeking marriage would do well to communicate to the men she meets that a casual encounter is not her cup of tea. She can then quickly eliminate any man that has a problem with spending time with her without sex, becoming her friend, learning about her, and allowing himself to be known by her and her family. She can also eliminate any man that has a problem curtailing sexual activity until marriage.

In other words, get rid of any man that has no interest in courting her.

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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Date Smarter, Not Harder

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  1. Betty Boo says:


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