1. Catch me if you can.
The thrill of the chase in both dating and courtship allows for an excellent demonstration of effort, accepting or declining one’s advances, and keeps things interesting and new with uncertainty.
Dating: is about as much or as little “prey” that is hunted in volume and over a shorter period of time. Whoever gets caught has the option of “playing dead” (as in don’t talk to me or never call me again). Or on the contrary, one can be flapping with delight, waiting to soar. Nowadays, there’s a blurred line of gender roles—regarding who hunts and who is being captured.
Courtship: is about the person who possesses masculine energy that may approach the “hunt” similarly as in dating, but with more determination for wanting to conquer the “prize”. The “hunter” from the start makes the attraction and interest known. This can even mean through grand gestures; both with decisiveness and charm. The more resistance given by the “prey”, the more effort is put forth; as long as there is some reciprocation given at the start.
2. Setting the pace.
Love, the age-old conquest, makes hearts beat and minds turn since the dawn of time. It could happen within a matter of moments or realized over a long period.
Dating: there is more emphasis on maximizing time, making faster choices while experiencing a higher volume of partners, keeping options open, going on “gut feelings” and chemistry, and starting off more casual. The “see where this goes” approach sets the general tone before deciding whether to break it off or move forward when either one or both people reach a point of uncertainty—usually sooner than later.
Courtship: there is a shared belief to take it slow(er) and really evaluate one another both through logic and love, respect for one’s feelings in relation to the other, compatibility, attraction, interaction with each other’s family and friends, and core values/beliefs in which both parties generally share. This is not to say that opposites don’t attract, but discovering a common ground permits for a solid foundation to begin upon…pass by pass.
3. Old fashioned vs. modern love.
Traditions, customs, values, culture, familial ties, and religious impacts have shaped societal and personal norms of forming romantic bonds for centuries, which has brought us to today.
Dating: breaks away from traditional elements of gender roles (who pursues, who pays/provides, striving for equality), modes of communication (texts, emails, calls, chats, etc.) and varied first-date activities (rock climbing to rock concerts). There is a greater focus on individual needs and discovering if in fact the other person may or may not gel into one’s pre-existing lifestyle. Although romance of course exists, there is more emphasis on the thrill of instant gratification and pleasure seeking—in all forms.
Courtship: conserves old world elements of gender roles (the masculine energy pursues, provides for, and protects the female energy), in person dates, phone calls, and the occasional handwritten letter are more dominant than virtual connection (which of course are still used), and first-date activities tend to be more traditional in order to generate conversation (going out to dinner, long walks, and sightseeing). There is more emphasis on chivalry and romantic gestures—to demonstrate affection.
4. Intimacy…from built up to climax.
Whenever both people are ready to engage on a more personal level, the hope should be that there is a sense of respect for each other—all the other details could then fall into place.
Dating: whether it’s time to get hot and heavy on the first, third, or tenth date, it tends to happen sooner than later depending on the level of attraction, going on instinct and desire, and the urgency to discover sexual compatibility rather than perhaps the emotional or intellectual components first. The downside to this is that it may either complicate knowing one another “blinded” by a chemical cocktail of passion or interest can be lost quickly after.
Courtship: Although it may take a lot of restraint and at times frustration, both people choose to become sexually intimate once a level of trust and fidelity is in place—whether it be as an exclusive couple or even waiting until marriage. Sexual compatibility is of course important, but it’s seen as one of the many key elements of forming the relationship.
5. Commitment, security, and trust.
As humans, we all like to love and be loved, give and receive, and have the desire and need to feel safe within ourselves and in the presence of others. Relationships are the best teachers to reveal self-awareness and selflessness (within healthy reason).
Dating: some people may get married after a one-night stand whereas others may never speak again. Some couples have marathon relationships in which they form a life commitment once they have both happily reached the decision or have decided to settle out of comfort. Other times, one party wants further commitment whereas the other is complacent and never has any intention of making it official. Emotions, thoughts, and feelings are surely considered, but at times they could be handled carelessly.
Courtship: if entering into a committed relationship, it’s with true intention of getting to know each other on a deeper and profound level with each encounter — determining if in fact the potential for creating a lifelong partnership/marriage could certainly be possible. Although of course there are no guarantees, there is a general sense of clearer intention and open communication in order to make a decision. If in fact the relationship does advance, the groundwork has been laid from the start.