Recently, I attended a small get together organized by my fellow workmates. Amidst the games and socializing, the question on how long courtship should last arose in the course of our discussion. We were four of us and soon enough everyone else had joined the conversation. After all, who doesn’t love an interesting topic?
Many were of the opinion that courtship shouldn’t last too long while the rest emphasized on courting for long to discern whether their partner is right for them.
Interestingly, from the discussion, I noticed that almost everyone used dating and courtship in the same context. So before taking you through my thoughts on this subject, it is important that you note the difference between the two.
What is Dating?
Dating is more of a romantic involvement between two people which results in friendship or an intimate relationship.
What is courtship?
On the other hand, courtship is a form of relationship where the man and woman determine if their friendship or any level of intimate relationship could lead to marriage.
Personally, I compare courtship to the process one uses to bake a cake. There are specific steps that you must take to ensure that the cake turns out as planned. If the steps are not followed, chances are that you will be the only one eating that cake.
The same applies to courtship where a man and woman must undergo some stages so that they are well equipped to sort out their differences. Courtship allows them to have a sense of resolution and acceptance of each other’s own identity. Like baking, time spent wisely during courtship is what results in a successful and long-term marriage. Obviously, there are different steps taken to bake different types of cakes.
Therefore, every couple is unique and there is no right or wrong number really as to how long courtship should be.
As expected, you cannot talk about courtship or dating without addressing the role of sex in relationships.
Should you engage in sex before marriage?
Sex in a relationship can be unhealthy or healthy. There are so many red flags that one can address during courtship that can discern whether sex is building your relationship or destroying it. However, how much importance it has during courtship or dating is the issue.
Research shows that more men and women are engaging in sexual activities more than ever.
In the past, it was believed that the changing belief systems had much to contribute to the increase of sexually active couples before marriage.
No Sex before marriage
In some cultures, they believe that premarital sex shouldn’t be encouraged because the man might end up cancelling the engagement to the woman. A common phrase used to describe this paradigm is that,
One cannot buy a cow if they keep getting the milk for free.
The advantage of abstaining from sex before marriage is that the couple finds love that rests on a solid foundation. They are able to conquer true love with their eyes fixed on a common goal.
Sex before marriage
On the other hand, some people believe that having sex before marriage gives you an opportunity to know your partner sexually. It gives a couple the opportunity to understand and accommodate each other’s sexual desires. They are able to analyse their compatibility before committing to marriage.
The reason that I have a problem with this “school of thought” is that it is mostly as a result of social pressure rather than a personal choice. After all, everyone is doing it? Just because everyone is having sex before marriage does not mean it is the right path for a successful marriage.
Sex requires deeper communication between two people which can only be achieved when you respect and recognize each other’s needs beyond the physical act. Whether it is before or after marriage, this threshold must be upheld.
That being said, ideally how long should courtship be? Leave your comments below.