Friday, January 30, 2015

Can I Change the Landscape? Let’s Just all Dourt

I don’t believe in dating.

I don’t believe in courting.

Before the hate mail starts coming please keep reading. (Mama, don’t hyperventilate, let me finish. ;-)

I don’t believe in the world’s standard called dating.

I don’t believe in what the world believes about courting.

So I’ll keep going. Take a deep breath. This post is not out to attack any one person. Any one decision. My blog is a place for my thoughts and convictions—thoughts and convictions others may or may not share. And honestly, what I’m about to share may change in my life depending on my circumstances. But these are my standards. These are my convictions. So with that disclaimer out of the way, I’ll keep going…

There has been some hot and heated discussion around the ‘net lately about courting, dating and how you should or should not do it. Funny thing is, a lot of this advice seems to come from us singles who haven’t really done too much of either. (Speaking for myself included).

I grew up with the thought that I would live at home until I got married and courtship would play a big part in that process. And yet, I’m now living in Colorado, a thousand miles from home, still single and any kind of relationship process is going to look a lot different.

The concept of “courting” is that much of it is done within the home of either her or him, group settings a very intentional way of getting to know someone. My dad always described this process as an “interview”—the most important one you’ll have of your life.

So many view this standard through the legalistic blinders. And yes it’s true, many people do take this a more legalistic direction. That’s their decision. And courtship can’t be viewed entirely out of the bias of one individual—though they are welcome to their opinion.

Dating on the other hand, to me, has a more worldly standard that I shy away from. A system that has sent our young people up to flit back and forth between boyfriend/girlfriend with no sense of commitment or stability. A mini “divorce and remarriage” every time you swap a significant other.

Can I propose (no pun intended) a completely new, different and fresh term? One whose definition is not skewed by bias or history or background? I think it has a catchy name too: “Dourting”.

This is what I want to do.


I’ll define “dourting” in a quick one phrase summary: “a chance for two people, of the opposite sex, to meet, get to know the other without the pressure of a ‘ring by spring’ mentality at the end, in a safe, comfortable environment for both parties with clear boundaries set in place, but an understanding of truly getting to know this person that you may end up committing yourself to.”

Sidenote: I tended to get, shall I say, a bit prolific in this post and went far over my 500 word limit. So next week I will continue the post series with a stronger definition of what "dourting" is exactly and how and where every relationship we walk into, whether it will become something more, should be centered around. 

In the meantime, a question for you: what is your initial when someone says they are "courting" or if they say they are "dating". 

9 comments:

  1. I never know what to call what my husband & I did back then. Dourting might work. ;) We'd met in college, hanging out with our mutual group of friends. Over several months we gradually became best friends until one day we were something a little more. Neither of us believed in casual dating - marriage had to be a possible eventuality.

    To me, when I hear dating I usually think of a couple who barely know each other, going out to dinner, movies, etc. with the goal of getting to know each other better. Whereas courting to me sounds somewhat similar only sitting uncomfortably on the couch which being closely scrutinized by the family. Versus what my eventual-husband & I did of already knowing each other fairly well and making the conscious decision to get to know each other better with lifetime commitment an eventual goal.

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  2. My husband and I married after the traditional "dating" ritual. I wish that there had been another option. Courting wasn't something that was discussed in the early 70's in any of the groups we moved in.
    We have to daughters one in her mid-30's and one in her late-20's. Neither date or wish to court. They don't feel it is necessary to follow any guy around to see if he is the one God has chosen for them. I wish I had had the kind of support I am giving my daughters in making their choices in finding a mate. That said I don't mean to infer that I would have chosen anyone other than the Godly man I did.

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  3. My husband and I "dated" for two and a half years before we married. We've been married 33 years. To me the term "courting" is more old fashioned and geared with the idea of marriage at the end. Dating is a way to get to know someone. It could be one date and only one date or could lead to marriage in weeks, months, or years.

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  4. Casey, are you playing a Shakespeare here by creating new words?
    Well, I like it!
    I think that a healthy balance with solid boundaries is a GREAT perspective! But that requires both parties to agree to the said boundaries and plan - which means maturity :-) It might be a while before you meet a guy who is mature enough for you ;-)

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  5. Hi Casey. I am old fashioned, as the young people would say now-days. But when I started dating it didn't mean you belonged to just that guy. We might go to a movie one week end and with another guy to the skating rink the next week-end. And with the idea of just enjoying each others company. And, you let the guy know right away that no hanky-panky will happen. Then when you get serious about just one person, comes the courting. There was no thought of sex before marriage. I think it is sad now days that you only date one guy, and if you see another , you are being untrue to the other guy, and you i get a bad reputation. In my opinion, that is the reason for so many pregnancies. Too much time spent together makes temptations grow stronger. And, they seem to think they have to spend all time together, instead of dating on weekends mostly. When I was young most dating took place on week-ends unless And we just didn't expect to be an every day thing. And, many had jobs too back then and responsibilites at home too, which so many now don't have. And, sadly, with this generation sex is just expected and you are weird if you don't agree. I have read surveys where kids as young as fourth grade are already having sex. How sad. And, Hollywood doesn't help any. It seems now too many just accept that living together before is just the norm. And, maybe marriage after they have a baby. sometimes not even then. Just my opinion. Maxie
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  6. I'm really looking forward to reading more posts like this one. So far, I agree with you totally! I have personally struggled (even more so lately as I contemplated a possible relationship with a guy I'd met) with the back and forth about dating vs. courting. My parents have held to the idea of courtship partly because my oldest brother and his wife "courted" before they married 16 years ago "and it worked just fine for them!", but it wasn't the same as what people seem to consider courting now. I refuse to tell people that I "believe in courting rather than dating" because I have a good idea what they'll think I mean by that. Yet I wouldn't say I would prefer to date, either, according to what most people consider dating.
    I've tried to put a name to where I stand on the subject, but I'm not quite as creative as you. ;) I heard one person say they believed in "conservative dating with a purpose" -- a rather long name, though I suppose it gets the idea across. I think I prefer "dourting". ;)

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  8. Just love reading your thoughts, Casey, please never apologize for expressing yourself because your heart is such a blessing to your readers :) I love this word you've come up with and I'm interested in knowing more about this. I have always thought that dating was having fun without committment while courting has a purpose towards long-term. Every time I hear about dating in the world, it gives me the impression that a couple spends the night together which can often lead to living together. I don't believe in what the internet says about dating or about relationships, it's too logical in my opinion and it doesn't apply to everyone. I believe the only answers to the confusion of dating can be found in seeking Christ and never compromising, too many people settle these days because they don't realize what their value is. In the past, I always believed in dating one guy at a time, but that was just my personality and not everyone is like that (I always had the mindset of getting married someday, never realizing I had to discover myself in Christ first). Dating and courting is different for everyone depending on the couple. Blessings on your week, Casey!!

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