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The Difference Between Dating, Courting, and Committing

BY: Guest | Category: Relationships | Post Date: 2010-01-24

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Sitting at the mall food court, you notice a few couples around you. Each couple is each sitting next to one another pretty closely, and is obviously in the throes of love. Though you admire them each in turn, there are differences in their relationships that you can't see on the outside just from this one window into their days. But each of these couples is in a different stage: Dating, courting, or committing.

The couple closest to you has only been together for a couple months. They have done all of the usual date activities, and are still getting to know one another. They are dating. This phase of the relationship is like dipping one's toe into the water; checking it out to see if you want to go for a swim. Dating is a great way to get to know the other person, discover whether or not you are compatible, discover what you like and would want in a husband or wife, and just have fun! The commitment level is generally very low, though some dating couples choose to make their relationship more permanent by exchanging promise rings. Think of it as a pre-engagement ring; you are promising that when you're both ready you will get engaged.

The courting couple has pretty much the same activities in mind as the dating couple, but their relationship is more formalized. Usually, the parents will give approval for the courtship in advance, so it involves more familial contact in the beginning of the relationship. Courting also usually involves a greater eye toward marriage; it focuses more on the individuals in the relationship and less on the relationship as a way of strengthening future dating relationships. In a way, this couple has skipped right to the promise ring phase of the dating relationship.

The third couple next to you is committed. The woman is sporting a large piece of bling (her engagement ring), and you can overhear them planning their wedding ceremony together. The cement of their relationship has already settled; they are getting married. This has created a greater sense of comfort with one another (aside from the stress of the wedding planning), and they can envision their life together forty years from now.

How do you know which path is for you? Part of this will depend on your family traditions. If you have a lot of family and friends who have taken a certain path, then you will have the experience and advice of others whom you trust. Your culture will also dictate what form your dating relationships will take. Spanning from arranged marriages to late-night hot tub decisions to get married in Las Vegas, there is a lot of room for variation depending on your religion, ethnicity, and country of origin.

Ultimately, though, your decision on what path to take with your relationship will be one made with the other person. If you come into the relationship (or potential relationship) with your ideal situation in mind, be sure to know what else you would be willing to do. If there is no room for compromise, that's okay as long as you are prepared to lose the relationship entirely because of it.

Then again, if you have an arranged marriage, you don't have to worry about any of this.

Written By: Jen Hurst

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

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