Courtship is different from casual dating because unlike casual dating, courtship is conducted primarily for the purpose of marriage and family. In a courtship you’re getting to know a person’s character, values and in many cases their families. While you’re going to be physically attracted to the person you’re courting, it’s just as important to find out if your partner is compatible in the important matters. Here is how you can have a character based courtship.
The first thing you must do is ask yourself if you’re emotionally, spiritually and mentally able and willing to begin a courtship. You should not approach anyone until you’re sure that you can answer those questions honestly. Once you do this you need to write out a list of qualities that you look for in a potential marriage partner. Keep in mind that as you mature as a person, the list may change but this is okay.
Another thing you should do is meet with the potential partner’s family. The purpose is to get to know them and the partner better, and to get an idea of what the family dynamics are like between your partner and her relatives. Don’t feel intimidated if your partner’s parents ask you tough questions. They do this because they want to be sure that you are going to love and care for their child.
During your courtship you should not focus so much on sexual activity and it is best if you refrain from it until you are married to your partner. Sexual intercourse often blinds you to what is important in the relationship and you may experience regret or even a loss of respect for your partner. Treat the courtship as a platonic friendship.
Since courtship is designed to determine compatibility for marriage, finances must be discussed if you are headed for the altar. You should discuss what your views are on money management and any current debts that could affect the finances in your relationship. Talk about what financial goals you have for the future and look into opening a joint account together. If necessary meet with a financial adviser or attend financial literacy classes for couples.
You need to observe each other’s good and bad habits during the courtship and determine if you are willing to endure them should you marry. If your partner has a good pattern of sacrificing her desires for the betterment of the relationship, then chances are she will remain that way once she becomes your wife.
While you don’t want to mention kids in the earliest stages of courtship, this is something you’ll need to discuss if you have been courting for a year or two. Discuss if the two of you want children and if so, how many. Talk about your methods of childrearing and the goals you want to set for them. If the two of you hold to religious beliefs, how will you pass your beliefs on to the children?
Don’t forget to have fun during the courtship. Go to places such as the museum, outdoor concerts, religious services, hiking in the forest, camping trips, cooking classes or to new restaurants in town. Cultivate new hobbies and interests to keep your relationship fresh.
So with these suggestions in mind, you and your partner will have an amazing courtship and hopefully a fulfilling marriage that will last a lifetime.