August 7, 2013

Guest Post by Kate @ LuckyStar

*Kate and I attended the same homeschool program and had many fun times together while I was there. I only recently discovered her little bloggy, Lucky Star, and she offered to guest post for me on occasion. I'm thrilled to have her here... Let's give her a hearty country welcome as she shares her thoughts on courtship and dating, two things often confused (guilty...).*

I recently saw an article by Lori Chaplin in The National Catholic Register about the topic of courtship vs. dating. It proved to be rather thought provoking, so I’m here giving my two cents on the subject.  Some people, upon hearing the word “courtship,” might think of a Jane Austen novel - at least I do!  I say this because the topic of courtship was recently discussed at my youth group, and to quote one of the guys in my small group, “Courtship is from, like, the olden days!”  I think this, among many others, is a common misconception about courtship  Some people assume courtship is gone, and dating has taken its place… Out with the old, in with the new, right?  But these two are not as similar as so many think they are.

In the article, Chaplin writes that the modern dating set up is one big heartbreak waiting to happen.  I wholeheartedly agree with this; the idea of emotionally kamikaze teens being in “serious relationships” is not one that appears to protect the heart.  I think this quote explains perfectly what I’m about to say: "With modern dating, couples date for the fun of it or for the emotional or physical draw of the relationship, but not for the purpose of discerning marriage." I believe this kind of teen dating (and even extending to adults) is void of reverence, making the means of choosing a spouse (since that is, in fact, what dating is for) into a game.  I believe a relationship deserves more respect.  It’s important for children and young adults to have a correct and concise understanding of love, marriage, and what they seek in a spouse. The secular idea of dating doesn’t really provide this, pushing the notion that if a person is attractive, or makes you feel happy, then they are good for you.  Do the words “He’s so hot!” or “She makes me feel so special!” sound familiar?  The problem is, there’s so much more to a person than how they look or how they make you feel. 

Believe me, looks and feelings can be deceiving.

The story goes like this: Girl meets guy, but when girl gets to know guy, she realizes that they wouldn’t work out as a couple, and although he made her feel “special” She knew he was not the one  The moral of the story is this: someone can make you feel happy, but that doesn’t make the person right for you, and that doesn’t make the relationship good for you.  Chocolate makes me happy, but it’s not healthy for me.  If I ate it all the time I would get sick.  

Anyway, back to the topic. What about their thoughts, feelings, and ideas? Have you taken a peek to see what’s going on up there?

This is where the differences between courtship and dating will start to appear. Courtship is all about focusing on whether the person is suited for you - getting to know the person of interest’s family, and them getting to know yours (family is a big part!!)  Dating is more geared towards the fun.  Let me just say this now: you should never date anyone “for fun.”  There are better ways to have fun.  If you want fun, go outside and kick a ball or something ;)  If the whole reason why you want to date is to have fun, then I don’t think you’re ready. Don’t get me wrong, one needs to enjoy being with their spouse; but there is a huge difference between dating for fun and dating someone fun. 

Now this is my personal opinion, and if it isn’t already obvious, I’m convinced the idea of courtship is superior to the idea of dating, because courtship does a better job of promoting strong, marriage worthy relationships. But courtship is quite hard to come by; This is why. Many people either don’t know what courtship is, or confuse it with dating. Until I read Chaplin’s article, I had the idea of courtship matched up to the name of dating. Because of this mix-up, courtship is virtually extinct, but I believe that if more people knew about it and it’s advantages, courtship would be a lot more common.


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