Dating is an activity of assessing one’s attractiveness in the opposite sex with an intention to eventually land a romantic relationship. Dating can also be described as an introductory phase of romantic relationships usually practiced in Western cultures in which two individuals meet socially with the intention of each evaluating the other’s suitability for a potential partner in a romantic relationship in the future. This dating practice may have started from simple friendship dating in early years with children and other members of the family sharing the responsibility of selecting a romantic partner for a certain period of time to a more organized process that involves long-term relationships.
A number of factors have contributed to the increased popularity of courtship processes for selecting a spouse over the centuries. For example, in ancient times, courtship and dating were more often focused on physical attributes that served as criteria for evaluating potential partners. However, through time dating practices have developed to focus more on a person’s attitudes and behavior in order to determine a possible partner. Dating can be broadly defined as a process of evaluating someone with the intention of forming a relationship, while courtship is more oriented towards establishing dating relationships. In order to understand the difference between the two, it is important to identify the differences between courtship and dating.
Courtship normally takes place over a period of time, between friends, relatives and colleagues. During courtship, the involvement of both partners usually grows and they are usually sexually involved during this period. The intimacy that develops during courtship is typically focused on physical and sexual attributes that define the potential relationship that will result. Commonly, these characteristics include physical intimacy such as breasts touching and genitals touching; emotional intimacy such as sharing of emotions such as happiness, sorrow, romance, excitement, etc; spiritual/ supernatural intimacy such as praying, sharing of spiritual beliefs or ideas, etc. No effort is made to develop relationship based on any type of meaningful communication beyond the courtship stage.
In contrast, dating involves much less physical interaction, and is more about getting to know each other in an intimate, romantic way. With dating, the involvement of both partners usually grows and they become romantically involved before they engage in any type of meaningful relationship. As a result, it is very common for dating to involve only physical intimacy, such as touching of genitals or breasts. As the relationship advances, more emotional and spiritual aspects of the partner’s life may be recognized. When this happens, the possibility of developing deeper relationship based on meaningful communication and meaningful interaction is greater.
Both dating and courting share many similarities. Both are about gaining relationships require courtship and dating. However, with courting, there is no courtship involved and the relationship develops quickly, often without any serious consideration given to whether the relationship will succeed or not. With dating, on the other hand, there is often an element of courtship develops gradually as the relationship develops and the parties begin to get to know each other. It is this process of courtship and dating that provides the foundation for long term, meaningful relationships.
There are a number of different types of dating and courting. Some of these include lesbian dating, gay dating, interracial dating, bisexual dating and many others. In addition, many relationships have progressed beyond traditional dating and now take on a spiritual nature, such as Christian dating, Hindu dating, etc.
While both dating and courting can involve intimacy, in general the level of intimacy in dating is much higher than in courting. The reason for this is that in most cases, there is little or no physical intimacy in dating. While courtship requires couples to spend time together doing things that are meaningful to them, dating does not require this level of spending time. The result is that in most cases, dating does not require the commitment that would be required if the couple were to commit to each other in a long term meaningful relationship, and as a result, it is not uncommon for relationships to end when one or both partners are not committed to continue making the extra effort to keep the relationship alive.
While both dating and courting can involve intimacy, in general the level of intimacy in dating is much higher than in courting. The reason for this is that in most cases, there is very little or no physical intimacy in dating. While courtship requires couples to spend time together doing things that are meaningful to them, dating doesn’t require this level of spending time. As a result, it is not uncommon for relationships to end when one or both partners are not committed to continue making the extra effort to keep the relationship alive. When this happens, it is not uncommon for the couple to decide to end their relationship and start a new one because they felt that they just don’t have anything in common anymore. However, many also find that living together allows them to spend time together doing things meaningful to them both, and therefore, it is something that they want to do, and ultimately, need to do.