A. Courtship is an act of seeking to gain love or affection with a view toward marriage.
B. Courtship is the prelude to a possible engagement. It’s purpose is to provide a couple time to discover, assess, and evaluate their compatibility as potential lifelong marriage partners.
C. Courtship isn’t a time of experimentation but of exploration.
D. The activity of courtship is not a guarantee of engagement or marriage but a controlled step toward it, it must have some objective guides that will allow either party to stop the process, or at least slow it down.
The Three Phases of Courtship.
Courtship unfolds in three phases – exploration, confirmation and pledging.
A. Phase One :- Exploration
1. Courtship is not for strangers. To enter the exploration phase of courtship is to acknowledge that marriage is a possibility but not a promise.
2. The basic purpose of this phase is to allow the couple to explore and discover their own emotions beyond that of simple friendship.
3. Through their courtship experience, the couple learns to arrange their lives for the benefit of each other.
4. Common likes and dislikes are discovered, reinforced, and clarified. They leave this phase seeking concrete meaning and understanding for their new feelings.
B. Phase Two :- Confirmation
1. This phase brings the couple face to face with the need to reveal themselves and to be revealed.
2. During the process of confirmation, the couple learns lessons of give and take, overcoming frustrations, and handling jealousies, insecurities, misunderstanding, tenderness, and the exaltation of the other. All this aids the process of confirming their selection.
3. Through it all, sufficient confidence is achieved in the expression of each other’s love to declare the relationship publicly.
4. It is in the latter stage that the foundation of marriage is actually realized.
C. Phase three :- Pledging
1. During this phase of emotional maturation the image of marriage is exchanged for the reality. There is solidarity of thinking and feelings toward each other.
2. Not only is there a solidarity but there is a natural interdependence between the two, wherein they continually complement one another through their efforts.
3. They achieved a marriage of their souls that only awaits the calendar date.
(from the Article: “Christian Foundations for Marriage”)