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29 July 2013

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The Significance of Courtship before Marriage

One of the happiest days in the live of a man or woman is the wedding day, but before the coming together of the man and the woman, there is this period called the courtship. How significant is this period? This article intends to outline the needs and benefits of courtship. 

Courtship is that period of time between when a man says to a woman “I want to marry you” and when they actually wed.  According to Wikipedia,
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind”. During courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement
How Significance is Courtship?

The importance of courtship in the life and times of the intended couples cannot be overemphasized. It is necessary for the expected couples to have the opportunity to meet and date each other before one decides on whether to continue with the relationship or not. Young people are expected to court with the intention of finding a marriage partner rather than any other social reasons.

In some traditional society, the parents or community proposed potential partners and allow limited courting period to determine whether the partners are suited.  In some other traditional society, courtship is highly structured activities with specified formal rules. The parents are often seen as part of courtship practice as their consent and approval are commonly needed before the beginning of the relationship.  Between this period of courtship, parents have a role to play by being there for them in terms of advice, courage and teaching. Admonishing their children on what they are about to get into, knowing that marriage is not just something you rush into unadvisedly. Naturally, in the formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male partner to actively court or role a female, thus encouraging her interest in him and receptiveness to a proposal of marriage

Courtship is very valuable because, it enables the couple to lay a foundation for the kind of marriage they want to have. How many children to want to bear, what kind of home they want to live, how do they want to relate with each other at home. It gives them the opportunity to begin to plan for their future.

How long should courtship last?
According to a marriage Consultant, the duration of courtship varies from couple to couple.  The younger couples, for instance, they could afford a very long courtship which might be one year, two years or a bit more. For older and more mature couples, I wouldn’t advice you to court that long. It could be two months, three months depending on their level of preparation and maturity.

For me, what is ideal when it comes to the duration of courtship is the determination or level of preparedness on the part of the couple. There is no particular time that one can say it is right for courtship. Of course you will agree with me that it should neither be tool long or too short.

What should you look out for during Courtship?
  1. Love: The most important thing you should look out for during courtship is love because love answers for all. Fundamentally, when love is there, you can imagine any other thing working out and vice versa. 
  2.  Tolerance: Ability to tolerate each other during the courtship period will determine their ability to coexist after the wedding. 
  3.  Money: I know money is not everything but it’s worth consideration. Is your would-be husband financially capable to take care for the family and the planned kids? 
  4.  Health: during courtship, you must, as a matter of importance, determine the health status of your intending spouse. There are these present issues of hereditary incompatibility that accrues disappointments in marriages. Determine your spouse’s genotype. Does it match with yours? I know you wouldn’t want to give birth to a sickler, God forbid! What about HIV and lots more? 
  5.  Settlement: This is also very important point to consider during courtship. 
  6.  Children: Do you want children out of this relationship? If yes, how many? Start now that you are courting to plan for your family. Not when you have up to one dozen children that you will talk about family planning. 
  7.  Individual potentials and setbacks: during courtship, try and understand the potentials an weakness of your intending spouse. Learn his or personality and understand his or her temperedness.    
The list is inexhaustive, while courting, it is imperative for both partners to look out for admirable values as it will help to inform and guide him or her before making the final decision.   

Therefore, remember that whatever decision you make in your courtship today will either make you or mare you. Be wise.

Photo Credit: by familymwr

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