There is a distinct difference between courtship and dating, though many people are not quite aware of it. In fact, many people are not even aware that a courtship even exists. Why should they? Our society has fallen into a habit of dating, then suddenly marrying. Divorce runs rampant, and many people think of marriage as disposable. That being said, it is important for us to understand what a courtship is, and why it is important to pursue one at some point in time.

First we will talk a bit about dating so that you understand precisely what it is. In essence, dating is the act of admiring someone and even flirting with them. During the dating stage, you will go out to dinner, you will introduce your hopes and dreams to one another, and you will determine whether or not you truly like each other.

In some cases the dating stage is where it ends. If one person decides that he or she does not like the other, they may break it off. Sometimes it might be a mutual split, but in many cases someone will end up hurt. This is a sad truth, but it is a necessary truth. It is very important for two people to be perfectly honest with one another during the dating phase so that they can determine whether or not the relationship can progress.

This doesn't mean that honestly always occurs. There are times that relationships progress when they clearly shouldn't, and this can lead to heartbreak down the road. If two people are compatible however, and if they give it enough time, they might move along to the next stage which is called courtship.

Though from the outside courtship might not look much different from dating, it is very, very different for the two people involved. Courtship is the precursor to engagement, and sometimes it might continue after an engagement. It is basically a warmup for a marriage that may or may not happen. Nothing has been decided during the courtship, except for the fact that the two people involved know that they like, or possibly even love each other.

During the dating phase it is possible for the people involved to see other people. They might date, or they might flirt with anyone they see fit. When it enters the courtship phase however it is far too late for that. In fact, this time will become a test for both parties involved.

The involved parties might suddenly decide that they want nothing to do with each other, or they might become afraid of the coming commitment. Does this mean they are going to part ways? Not necessarily. It just means that there will be many tests to stand through, and if these rough waters cannot be traversed, then there will be almost no point in continuing.

As you can see, it is possible for two people to split during the courtship, but if they do it is usually for the best. In some cases they might go their separate ways and discover that they hate being alone. They might try dating other people and decide that they truly belonged with the other person. Does this always happen? No, in some cases they move on or they remain unhappy for the rest of their lives.

We are in no way saying that courtship is a bad idea, but we are saying that it is a test. It is a test that needs to be undergone in order to determine whether or not two people belong together. Sometimes taking a test of this nature can be a tall order. There may even be times when you question yourself or your ability to be with one person for the rest of your life. But if you put your mind to it, and make sure you understand yourself and the other person, you should be fine, and in for a journey you will never forget.

Author's Bio: 

Terri Smith is a Personal Christian Matchmaker and has been matchmaking in Southern California for over 20 years. She is responsible for putting together over 350 couples in marriage with a ZERO DIVORCE RATE.

Terri (or a member of her team) personally interviews each prospective candidate to ensure suitability.

For your confidential interview, visit her site at