“What are we?”: Difference between Dating and Courtship

dating vs courtship


 “What are we? Are we dating, are we friends, or are you courting me?”

“I don’t know. All of them are the same.”

Gals, we know you’ve been in this kind of situation where guys (or even other gals) don’t know the difference between dating and courtship. And we know that even for you, courtship and dating are the same yet you have the feeling that they are also different. So to end you and your favorite person’s “what are we?” dilemma, we will help you differentiate Dating from Courtship!

Dating and Courtship: What’s the Diff?

If there is one difference between Dating and Courtship, it’s this: Marriage. 

In Dating, you are casually getting to know people and you can date as many people as you like. In Courtship, it is more traditional – getting to know the person the person that you like with the intention of marrying them. 

Just remember gals, dating =  does not or does end up in marriage while courtship = ultimately ends up in marriage.

What is Dating?

Dating is when you casually meet other people –  it does not have to be romantic, and oftentimes, it’s a step to get into a relationship. It can either be serious, with you dating only one person, or it can be not that serious, with you dating as many people as you like. 

Dating can be an umbrella term for hooking up, casual dating, or long-term relationships; it can also be short-lived. In Gen Z’s terms, dating is vibing with each other and when you get the right vibe, then you may proceed to having a serious relationship with the person/s that you are dating.

What Is Courtship?

On the other hand, if you’re more traditional, you may want to experience courtship. Courtship is the slow, romantic build-up that leads to marriage. Compared to dating, courtship is more structured and systematized. 

Since this is more traditional than dating, it also has parental approval and supervision, meaning your parents are actively taking part in your relationship every step of the way. 

Dating Vs. Courtship 

Still confused between the two? Here is the checklist of Dating and Courtship in 7 aspects of your relationship that are important to you, namely: Marriage, Sexual Intimacy, Commitment, Family Involvement, Emotional Attachment, Length of Time, and Accountability.

If you feel that you have ticked all the boxes in the description of either Dating or Courtship, then congratulations! You now know the difference between Dating and Courtship and you can explain these two to your favorite person/s!




May or may not end up in marriage.

Ultimately ends up in marriage.

Sexual Intimacy

Involves sexual intimacy. You can hook up or just have sexual intimacy with no strings attached.

Does not have sexual intimacy with the intention of waiting after marriage.


No rules on how serious it has to be because it’s up to you if you will take it to the next level (relationship).

You and your partner are 100% all hands on deck in the relationship because it will lead to marriage.

Family Involvement

Your family especially your parents has no say on who you will date.

Your parents can have a say in whether or not they approve of your suitor’s intentions to you.

Emotional Attachment

Opening up with someone depends on how you vibe with the one you’re dating. Moreover, you can opt to not open up with the one you are dating.

Since your focus is to get married, the emotional attachment may be fast.

Length of Time

It may take years or even months – sometimes even weeks when you’re dating someone. Sometimes, you can date with someone 1 or 2 times and then never see them again after.

In most cases, courtship can take up to 1 year before your engagement.


Since it’s not everyone’s business, you can ask for advice from your friends and family if you need and want to.

Since everyone is involved, you can get input from your family, parents, friends, and even mentors to make the courtship stronger and more faith-centered.

Which is Better? Dating or Courtship?

Dating and Courtship are both valid to get to know and discover someone’s personality and quirks. Just remember, if you feel like you’re more old-fashioned when it comes to your romantic life, you can choose courtship and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you’re more modern and you feel like dating works for you better, then go, gal! Date as many people as you like!


In conclusion, it all depends on you, girl whether you want dating or courtship. Whatever works for you, works for you. But keep in mind to always be open, respectful, and enjoy the road that will lead to marriage or a serious relationship!





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