Dating now, is different than it used to be 20 and 30 years ago. At one time, and even now, in certain cultures, a young man must get a parent’s, more than likely a father’s permission prior to dating his daughter. According to the Institute in Basic life studies “The main difference between dating and courtship involves the goals to be reached by spending time with a potential marriage partner. Men and women who choose to date often have no commitment to consider marrying the other person. Maturity and readiness for marriage are not considerations in the decision to date. Instead, couples usually date with the selfish goals of having fun and enjoying romantic attachments.
In contrast, courtship is undertaken only when both parties are prepared to make a commitment to marriage. Dating tries to answer the question; how can I find the one who will make me happy? Courtship strives to answer the question; how can I honor and discern direction regarding my life partner?
Accountability to Authorities
In a dating relationship, there is little if any accountability for the couple and little or no interaction with family members. The dating couple is merely attracted to each other in some way and often pursues an exclusive relationship that is independent of others’ influence or counsel. Since the boundaries of the relationship are self-determined, the couple are free to make up their own rules and decisions. A couple participating in courtship seeks the accountability of their parents or other mentors. As they establish guidelines for their relationship, they can more easily recognize that others (maybe parents, the larger community or culture) also holds them responsible to honor each another.