Difference Between Courting and Dating

The two words dating and dating are different from each other. Most people may not have heard of dating but dating is a very common occurrence in daily life.

Courting is a very traditional form and it is an old phenomenon that is still going on in many places. Dating, on the other hand, is a very common thing that we see around us.

Let us discuss the difference between the two in detail.

Courting vs Dating

The main difference between courting and dating is that courting always results in marriage and dating may or may not result in marriage. Both are very different forms of falling in love with a person. Courting is a very serious form of loving whereas dating is a very casual form of loving someone.

Courting and Dating

The process of courting involves serious love and engagement. The two people who fall in love with each other have an intention of marrying each other.

Parents of both the people are highly involved and they imagine their kids as spouses of each other.

Dating is a very casual process of falling in love with each other and leading to physically intimate activities. It doesn’t involve parents as it is a very casual thing.

There are no intentions of getting married to each other in case of dating.

Comparison Table Between Courting And Dating

Parameters of Comparison  Courting Dating 
Definition Engaging in love with someone Dating means getting to know a person casually and falling in love with them 
Marriage  Two people fall in love with each other with an intention of marrying each other This is a very casual form of love which has no intentions of marrying each other  
Physical intimacy  It does not involve physical intimacy  Mostly dating involves a lot of physical intimacy  
Role of emotions Courting does involve deep love and deep emotions Since it is a very casual form of loving, so it does not involve deep emotions 
Involvement of parents  There is involvement of parents as well as their approval As it is a very casual thing so there is no involvement of parent approval 

What is Courting ?

Courting means falling in love with someone to married. It can also be described as developing a deep and meaningful relationship with one another, including courtship.

Courtship is a time when a couple gets to know each other and develop an intimate relationship together to decide whether or not to get engaged after marriage. Overall, the ultimate goal of a love affair is marriage.

In this case, parents predict the couple’s future and see them as spouses. Couples do not like to spend time together with a single goal to determine if they are suitable for marriage.

They were attracted to each other so wanted to spend time together. Courtship has three main features: Courtship has no sexual intimacy, it takes place with parental consent and the relationship ends in marriage.

In the modern world, courtship can seem strange and outdated.

However, this practice is still practiced in some communities, especially in deeply religious communities. The concept of dating is much older than dating.

Men kept a watchful eye on women to check and understand if she was a good woman to marry. This was followed by a lifelong engagement to seduce a girl.

What is Dating ?

Dating refers to two people who meet socially for intimacy, usually to assess each other’s compatibility as a partner in a romantic relationship or marriage.

In other words, dating is about getting to know a person for a potential romantic relationship. Dating usually does not require a serious commitment, because it is the stage where the couple gets to know each other.

Dating allows people to spend free time with a person without the promise of a long-term partnership or commitment. Commitment begins to grow when they spend time together and get to know each other.

Expectations for each other are also low due to the lack of any commitment or relationship between the spouses. Expectations also rise as the relationship between couples grows. Sometimes, dating also involves physical intimacy.

The couple goes on number of dates and become serious about each other, then they can continue the relationship. It is a romantic relationship that 2 people practice with multiple motives.

The key is to assess each other’s compatibility and see if they are compatible with each other as potential spouses in a possible marriage. However, this is not always the case and often people just date for the sake of dating.

Main Difference Between Courting and Dating

  1. Courting is a very old and traditional form of falling seriously in love whereas, dating is a very casual form of loving each other.
  2. In case of courting people have intentions of marrying each other. On the other hand, there are no intentions of marrying in case of dating.
  3. Parents and their approvals are involved in courting whereas, dating doesn’t involve parents because it is very casual.
  4. Involvement of physical intimacy is not seen in case of courting but it is an important factor in dating.
  5. Courting is about deep love and deep emotions whereas, dating is a casual thing so deep emotions are not really involved.
Difference Between Courting and Dating


The concept of both courting and dating is very different from each other. In the case of courting it is about falling in love with someone with an intention of getting married finally.

On the other hand, dating means you know the person with whom you will fall in love but there is no intention of getting married.

Both courting and dating are practised today, but courting is not very popular when compared to dating as it is a very old and traditional method.


  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11199-008-9403-9.pdf
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735899000422
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