Monday, August 3, 2015

Terms // Dating vs. Courtship

Terms  Dating vs Courtship
Hello to you! Happy Sabbath to our fellow keepers and happy around-the-house-"free-day" to the rest of y'all! Hm, I'm not sure which one of those categories I would be considered in these days! Haha! Anyways, today I'm kicking off a new on going series I will be posting under. Too many times we see terms being misunderstood or mixed up with their true meanings. With this new post label, we hope to get our thoughts about certain things out there spoken, as well as open your eyes to what you may have been understanding slightly wrong.

In the circle of homeschooling conservative type folk, we see the terms "courtship" and "courting" being used quite often. Though these two words have different tenses (I'll talk about that later) they can be very intimidating for someone who does not know that kind of lifestyle. What does the word courtship mean? This can be confusing, especially to someone who is much more used to the word dating. How is it different from dating? And, why use this term at all when the latter is more widely known? That's what I'll be discussing and unraveling today. 

I hope you will see what my/our thoughts are on this case as well as leave us your thoughts in the comment box afterword!

Firstly, let's get right down to the 'ole black and white and see what the dictionary has to about our two words of discussion:

Courtship- noun; a period during which a couple develop a romantic relationship, especially with a view to marriage
Date(ing)noun 2. a social or romantic appointment or engagement

While the term courtship has a very solid definition, the word dating does not. It basically means that you have set a specific day/time to spend time with another person (talking date here), and so we then just assume the easy affix of ing to add the effect of "doing" or better worded; it changes the word from being a noun to being a verb. I'm not here to give you an English lesson, I'm just stating facts and laying some ground.

So, though we have already seen the terms being depicted in dictionary format, let's say we just lay aside the deepness and say that dating is a "real word". Why not use it? Basically because when or if I myself am ever in this kind of relationship, I don't want it to be a fly by night decision. There is nothing small about considering another person to be your potential help meet. I want others to know that I am not treating such a vast decision so loosely that I'm not watching how it's presented. I'm not "just dating", I'm really truly considering this person for marriage.

And think about it, the majority of people who use the term dating have not grown up to know the way we want to approach things. They blindly date a person for a short period say oh well and move to the next "maybe" person. This is not something I stand for and I want to make that clear when referring to this topic.

Okay so, am I basically saying that I use this term because I don't want to sound like these people? Yes, I am! Though bringing in the verse about not being like the world (Romans 12v2) for this idea may sound far fetched, why not say this term that is not as well known, they ask a que? It never says not "this thing", or "only this" is okay. No. We are not to be like them. The world has corrupted what God has called good and holy. They stop at nothing. Why not this? We serve an amazing God that gives us ways to live. These ways bring glory and honor to Him and help our witnessing along the way! How neat is that?!

The way we live says so much about us. When people hear me use this term that is not widely known, they ask a question. This gives me a chance to explain why I choose to say what I do. Without over-thinking things, and just making a habit of something you believe in makes your journey of faith look stable and steadfast to the ones that long for what you have.

I've also noticed that no matter what term a person usually uses more, they tend to switch to the one that best suits the situation/relationship by what the outcome they think or will more likely be. What's this mean? Well, all too many times I've seen people mention a so in so to them is dating someone; whom I would think to be a user of the courtship term. After thinking about it, I firmly believe it is because unfortunately, that person they are speaking about has given them a reason to believe that the relationship will only last a short while, giving them no reason to use a more serious word for their relationship.

Once one is past the point in their relationship of "dating", they may begin to use the term "in a courtship" or simply "courtship". There is nothing really wrong with this, I'm only pointing out that in the beginning there should have been a decision made if it was going to be pursued as a "chick flick" or a story with an ending that had a divine purpose. The terms/words we use have great influence.

What's the difference though between courtship and courting?! One could say, "I'm in a courtship" or "I am courting so and so". But I think even this can get a bit murky. I believe that entering into a courtship rather than courting first is essential. First you enter in and then you do. ;) Now you may understand more my reasoning for entitling this Dating vs. Courtship rather than Dating vs. Courting. In my mind the two tenses of the former make much more sense in the realm of things. Courting comes after dating or courtship no matter which of those two terms you use. 

In summary: I feel like using the term courtship is more geared toward how I will eventually pursue a guy I hope to marry one day. The term dating basically, I feel, is not as serious as how I view what it tries to define. I use the C terms to let others know this. Others may give this no heed, but I assure you that it really does make a difference. Others see this as soon as they hear the less familiar word.

I truly hope you take my words to heart. And that I have not stepped on any toes. Haha! I just wanted to clear this up a bit and give you all my take on this! :)

Which term do you prefer using and why?
We'd love to hear your thoughts below!


the elder sister

CREDITS: Author; Cassie Shashaguay Editor; Rebekah Shashaguay Photography and graphic design; Cassie Shashaguay Editor used; Picmonkey
{If you'd like to read Bekah's thoughts on this: CLICK HERE PLEASE}


  1. Definitely 100% courtship! Most often when I use that word I get remarks of "um, no...that is just weird! Why would I do that? That is sooooo homeschooler." Then I get to change their view of what they "think" courtship is and make them re-asses how they view dating/courtship relationships. I use courtship because it is in my view "dating with a purpose".....a mindset that it is getting to know someone in the hope and plan of one day getting married. Dating is such a flippant and vague word that it has no real meaning and purpose related to it. Courtship however is what we have always know since the olden days as an act of two people spending time together in the hopes that i will most likely lead to marriage. With the attitude of Courtship I feel that it helps one set standards and goals for ones future relationships and mindset in the present while waiting on God's plan. Thanks for a post on this topic!

  2. Love love loved seeing this post pop up on my Instagram yesterday, it's really great to hear of other young lady's who have made this decision! It's definitely an...odd...word for this world and generation, especially. Dating is flippant, courting is a lot more serious.

    I remember once, sitting in church, I mentioned not wanting to date. Some of the younger teens laughed, then one very important person in my life (a person in the church, a teacher) laughed and said, "Good luck finding a guy who would court!" I said back to her, "If I can't, I guess I won't find a guy period, because I'm not going to lower my standards." Courtship is just as much as a mission field to me as going out and witnessing boldly with our lips. People ask us why we do it, why we've chosen it, what it is...and we can share what Christ has demanded for our lives. Purity, love, and faithfulness, not only to Him, but to our spouses and our own selves.

  3. Definitely courtship! I want to know when I begin a relationship that it's serious.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. My sisters and I are definitely going to do Courtship. Thank you so much for putting this out there Cassie to encourage others. You explained everything very well!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  5. Thanks for writing this post! I've never liked the term dating, really. I prefer courtship, something more purposeful. I can't stand the word "boyfriend", either, so I still have no idea what I would call the young man who will court me one day...beau? Sweetheart? I have no clue...maybe you should write about that sometime. �� I enjoy your posts. :)

  6. Yes I agree. I like to say courtship but to those who would have no idea what "courtship" is, I call it dating with a purpose. Which is the same as courtship but also gives a good opportunity to explain what you mean and why. But I wholeheartedly say, "Courtship!!"


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