Catholic dating and courting

When I first heard of the resurgence of Christian courtship, I was skeptical.

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So if I want to spend time with a girl, I have to arrange for our families to go to a pumpkin patch together, followed by an exciting evening of board games, and then go home by seven. Woo hoo—real practical for a guy just out of college, living in Southern California. There was a great deal of wisdom that I had never tapped into.

Many books propose different forms of biblical dating, but the fact is that no one ever dated in the Bible. In some passages the parents arranged the marriage, and in other places we read of men going to foreign countries to capture their wives. The idea of traveling overseas and capturing a wife may be appealing to some, but the Bible does provide guidelines that are more practical. If that is a good description of our relationships, they need some reworking.

Some may retort that this is all too serious, but should we be giving our hearts away to people who are in no position to make a real commitment? I am not proposing that you build an impenetrable wall around your heart, but that you guard it with prudence. The time spent prior to marriage must be a school of love where two young people learn the art of forgetting self for the good of the other. While there is nothing wrong with becoming friends and spending time with members of the opposite sex, committed relationships should be entered into for the sake of discerning marriage.

When we do enter into relationships, we should allow wisdom to chaperone romance. This involves having the humility to become accountable to others. Courtship is of a short period with a definitive end. It ends either in an engagement or in the dissolution of the relationship. Unless courting, unmarried persons have no business in keeping company ie spending lots of alone time together with a member of the opposite sex. Building a chaste, holy marriage begins before you get married and the only legitimate reason for company-keeping is courtship, which is a preparation for marriage.

Before embarking on a traditional Catholic courtship, you need to ensure that both you and your intended are prepared, spiritually, financially and mentally. Catholic Courtship is the period after spiritual, mental and financial preparation has been completed. The true man of virtue, who is mature and responsible, will ensure himself and his finances are in order, to properly care for his prospective wife and family, before embarking on courtship.

If one is sure that one has a vocation to marriage, but is not yet able to court i. You do not want to be an occasion of scandal or sin to the other person.

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It is a sin of presumption to place yourself in the danger of sin before you are able to provide for a family. Regardless of how handsome or talented he may be or of how much money he has, if he has no virtue, you will be absolutely miserable in the marriage and will pay for it for the rest of your life. Once you two have determined that you intend to court, he needs to approach your father or male head of the home to ask permission to court you and then you two move on to the next stage. Need gift ideas to give her at this stage? So you have decided you wish to court her, if you are a guy.

Or you have decided to accept his request to court you, if you are a woman. But hold up, fellas!

Courting Guidelines

You want to make it special and memorable. Why not ask her permission to court you and give her a symbolic gift to mark this chapter in your relationship and as a sign of exclusiveness. A truly virtuous and honourable man will defend your purity, your honour, and your reputation. If he is not doing this, he will not make a good husband or father as he has no clue on protecting and defending his family. During this stage, he would be looking to see if you are able to submit to him or if you show an inclination to submit to him.

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So courtship, just as a term, has meaning and value to a Christian. These two words, however, should NOT be used interchangeably. They are two very different words, with different meanings, and indicate two different places in the process towards marriage. There is a fundamental different between courtship and dating. Dating does not necessarily mean the persons are interested in marriage at all, let alone interested in determining if this person they are dating might be the person they should marry one day.

It is completely possible to date someone with absolutely no intention of considering them for marriage. Courtship, on the other hand, absolutely does have marriage in mind. To enter into courtship means to put a hold on considering any other person for marriage in order to focus on determining if this person you are courting is the one to become engaged to marry. Notice that courtship is not engagement.

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To become engaged to a person is to make a decision to marry. Those who enter into courtship are pretty sure they have found the one. They are not going into courtship with any thought that it is not the one.

Catholic Guidelines for Dating

Otherwise, they would not be exclusive. It is quite a big step to become formally exclusive with someone. It is a practice run of making the formal decision to forsake all others on the day you exchange vows. In courtship, you do forsake all others, but not as a vow, but rather as a trial run.

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Because it means exclusivity, courtship needs to be a short period of time, and have a definitive end. It cannot be open ended. Otherwise, you risk hurting each other in a way you do not wish to, but can simply because you are not yet married.