Courtship and dating catholic
Generally, this would have been a public display of affection for a lady followed by a solitary (and often amorous) encounter.
I have news for people who think the term courting is somehow intrinsically better than dating: medieval courts could be some of the most immoral places on earth, especially from the time the term originates (late Renaissance, early modern period).
This is going to be a very in depth answer, and it is going to be hard to disentangle it from my own subjective experiences in this matter, but as a man married for almost eight years who has not “dated” for almost ten, I think I can reflect on it with some type of objectivity.
But I must stress two things before I launch into this topic: I have to warn everybody, my opinions on this issue may diverge from several commonly accepted notions, even notions accepted within the Traditionalist and Homeschooling communities. Well, it does not matter one bit to me what you call this process.
That is, in the Middle Ages and beyond there is a great focus in spiritual writings on discerning whether you are called to celibacy or the married state.
Like it or not, the automobile is now a factor in romantic liaisons, though it need not have the sinister connotation that it sometimes does.This modern idea that a boy and a girl who are interested in each other never spend any time alone is (a) not historical or traditional at all (b) stifling to any real intent of getting to know the other.Parents along time ago knew that for a boy to get to know a girl, they needed the opportunity to get to know each other one on one.I reject (my opinion) this modern fascination with “discerning who God wants you to marry.” Obviously we want to discern God’s will in all things to the best of our ability, but what exactly are we discerning and how precise can we be with our discernment?In my extensive reading of history, here is how it has always been done: The discernment process has always been whether or not to get married, not to whom one gets married.
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I know two people definitely intent on fornicating cannot really be stopped – there is always a way to sneak off into the woods or go into a Port-a-Potty, like they used to do when I was in Basic Training, but the basic idea is sound: two persons together in a boat or on a walk in the park are much less likely to think about any shenanigans than two persons alone in a bedroom.