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Courtship always has marriage as its direct goal...

Dating, a more modern approach, begins when either the man or the woman initiates a more-than-friends relationship with the other, and then they conduct that relationship outside of any oversight or authority. Christian minister Patricia Bootsma delineates this distinction, writing that in contrast to the modern conception of dating, in "courtship, time together in groups with family or friends is encouraged, and there is oversight by and accountability to parents or mentors".

A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.

Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.

The matchmaker and parents will often exert pressure on the couple to decide whether they want to marry or not after a few dates.

Courtship in the Philippines is one known complex form of courtship.

Unlike courtships, couples that are on a “date”, do not require a chaperone or someone in their presence to prevent anything unholy from happening.

In recent research, it was found that marriage rates have dropped among people generations before.

However, by the Jazz Age of the 1920s, dating for fun was becoming a cultural expectation, and by the 1930s, it was assumed that any popular young person would have lots of dates.Throughout history, courtship has often included traditions such as exchanging valentines, written correspondence (which was facilitated by the creation of the postal service in the nineteenth century), and similar communication-based courting.Over recent decades, though, the concept of arranged marriage has changed or simply been mixed with other forms of dating, including Eastern and Indian ones; potential couples have the opportunity to meet and date each other before one decides on whether or not to continue the relationship.Ivory French casket with scenes of romances – possibly a courtship gift.Courtship is the systematic process that one undergoes in order to ensure compatibility with a lifelong partner.This form of dating, though, was usually more chaste than is seen today, since premarital sex was not considered the norm.

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