Question as to know whether courtship period should be long or short has been discovered to be one of the hot trending topic for quite some years now among youths today, as there have been countless number of records of sudden break up discovered to be constantly occurring among many of them who are courting partners. Study shows that this happens as a result of these youths’ engagement in long time courtship which eventually leads to unwanted break up in the end because of its lengthy nature. Lately, this particular question, for how long or short should a courtship be? has lead to a serious controversy among some youths, where the recent study done by some marriage experts has shown that 45 percent of these youths voted that two-years courtship period is perfect and normal for any partners, and it should not be more than this while 30 percent of them completely voted against this opinion by saying that two-years courtship period is too long as anything unwanted could happen—which has been discovered to be happening—during this lengthy period of courtship, and they thereby gave their opinions regarding this that, at most, the perfect period of courtship must not be more than six-months period. But additionally, meanwhile there are also some of these youths, 25 percent of them, who also said that one-year is normal for youths who don’t want to end up in regret in the end of their courtship journey, as some had ended up regretfully, and while the rest, most of those who are fully grown women, bluntly concluded that after saying “yes I do” to a proposal, courtship is not necessary anymore; they say this conclusively that they prefer entering into marriage without wasting of time because of the disappointing experiences they have had in the past and because of the situation of those they have seen gotten disappointed as a result of their engagement in lengthy period courtship. Thus, let’s proceed to the full discussion of the subject matter.
Note: the question here is: should you make any decision on courtship particular period based on your personal past or present experience or what? The answer is NO! Why? It’s because the issue of marriage or marriage relationship is more than making any kind of irrational decision based on whatever experience you might be having or might have had at some time in the past or present. Why did I say this here? It’s basically because whatever decision you make this time will definitely have an effect on your marital journey—and this could be positive or negative kind of effect based on your type of decision.
Under here are the part/some of the questions these youths are discovered to be commonly asking regarding courtship period:
“For how long (duration) do you think you will have to court your intended partner before marriage?” Or maybe I should rephrase the question as “what is your ideal time length for your courtship/relationship before marriage?”
“Some people have suggested a minimum of 3 months while some say minimum of 2 years. What do you think personally?”
This is the reply someone (a youth) gave to the above question:
“As for me, I’m particularly uncomfortable with long relationships. Anything more than 1 year seem to be getting too long for me”.
“Too long courtship might be boring at times because even when you court for 100 years you can’t be sure you know everything about your partner. There are some things about your partner you’ll get to know even after the wedding so I don’t really see any sense in long courtship. Being in courtship for long might be due to some circumstances, but I think two years is not that bad”.
That said, therefore before proceeding, I deem it fit that I give brief definition of courtship and briefly discuss the the proper and perfect time that—point at which—partners are qualified to start courting, or better I say enter into courtship rather.
What Is Courtship?
Courtship is a kind of relationship that takes place between two people (two partners who have agreed to marry each others) to know each other’s comparability and suitability for marriage, which always precedes engagement and marriage, and which does not involve physical contact like touching, hand-holding, kissing until marriage is established between them.
A true, real Godly Christian courtship is a kind of courtship which takes place between two partners without having to spend any time together to avoid temptation of falling into sexual sin that may occur as a result of emotional pressure unless their family members, more preferably, their parents including their pastors and marriage counselors are present to see and to know their compatibility and suitability for marriage.
In this type of relationship (courtship), partners are allowed to explore each other to discover facts and realities about each other platonically in other to know if they both have that suitable potential of becoming true and real life partners (husband and wife). Furthermore, the courting partners will state in advance their intentions for the courtship, which is mainly to discover each other’s potentiality of becoming life partners.
Should There Be Courtship & Is It Mandated In Scripture?
Yes, there must be courtship, but it’s not mandated by Scripture! Why must there be courtship? The reason is because every successful marriage is preceded by courtship, be it for long or short period of time type of courtship. It’s during this time the partners will be able to get to know each other and discover if they both are compatible and suitable to become life partner and enter into marriage. There must be courtship period undergone by any partners who desire to be really maritally successful and to avoid falling into the hands of a stranger, a tiger (who only comes like a sheep in wolf’s clothing) who will only cause him or her lasting sorrow. And the bible does not mandate courtship. It’s not found anywhere in the Scripture that there should a time when partners should enter into courtship.
Stages In Courtship
There are three stages in courtship which I will just briefly mention here, but I will expatiate upon it latter in the next post:
- Exploration—This is discovery stage
- Confirmation—This is conviction stage
- Pledging—This is final agreement stage to wedding and marriage
Courtship Starting Point
There is nothing much to really talk about over this as courtship is inevitable step to marriage. But, it’s good and very important to know the exact time at which courtship should start as it’s discovered that there are still some youths who do not even know where and when to really enter into courtship, and as a result of this I am going to tell you the exact right time it should begin here:
Courtship always and must begin immediately after a young lady has said “yes I do” to marriage proposal, and both should find time to state up front the major reason of the courtship and how it should be gone about, the meeting point, perhaps, for prayer or any other reasonable reason that may warrant them both to come together in just for a while with consciousness of temptation to sin.
Courtship Normal Time Length
Now, getting to the real subject matter and to solve the controversial point of view of some youths regarding this particular question “for how long or short should a courtship period be?“, I need to explain in detail the normal perfect time duration that a courtship should be, so that youths would no more be facing with unwanted relationship-destroying challenges that most of them are battling with on their way to marriage as a result of the emotional temptation that always rises beyond their capacity to control, and thus leading to serious unwanted occurrence, which eventually leads to unplanned disappointment in the end because of long period of time type of courtship they find themselves in. Should It Be Long Or Short? Let’s see:
Long Time Courtship
Long courtship always falls between 2-3 years and maximally extended to 5-years period of time—this is too much! Let’s now ask ourselves: should courtship ever be long or short? The answer to this is, courtship should not be long, as it has been confirmed that there are many disadvantages in that a courtship is long. If courtship is long, it definitely has great tendency to lead to something unwanted between partners, which could lead to lasting sorrow and deep regret in life. Why should a courtship be long? I see no reason for a courtship to be long at all! Because after both of you have confirmed the genuineness of your relationship compatibility and suitability there is nothing you both should be waiting for, because it’s always said and I quoted that “an idle hand is a Devil’s work”. When a courtship is long, temptation will definitely set in. And if temptation set in, it could bring the long journey courtship to an abrupt sad end, which could leave the partners in unwanted situation they never plan for, for the rest of their whole life. Therefore, partners should be very careful and note and be conscious of the implications and the disadvantages of long courtship. Long courtship is very dangerous and not ever advisable for anybody at all—most especially, in a situation where partners do not have the gift of self-control, where they are not able to put their emotion under control/subjection—because they could eventually end up finding themselves in a critical situation that’s beyond their control; they could end up having unwanted pregnancy, which could truncate their journey to marriage as planned. This kind of courtship always ends up in disappointment between courting partners.
One Major Wrong Reason For Long Courtship
Wrong Reason Why Some People Believe In Long Courtship is that they believe that people seem to get to know their partner more deeply than when in short period of time type of courtship, which I see as a big mistake and misconception that should be put an end to. The fact here is that nobody can know everything about his or her partner even after you both are married. Somebody said “it’s is after 25-years of marriage that a partner could boldly say I know my partner very well”, but not when in long courtship. And I therefore say, long courtship neither guarantees you knowing detail about each other nor marriage, but it’s if God says yes to the journey. Furthermore, 1 and half, 2, 3, or 5-years courtship period is too long for any partners who want to avoid emotional temptation or any unwanted occurrences in their journey to marriage.
Short Time Courtship
What’s short time courtship? It’s a type of courtship that falls between short period of time usually between 3-6 months or 6-12 months, and it’s never more than a year. This is the best time for every desired result-yielding courtship. When courtship time is not long, it gives the courting partners an opportunity to succeed entering into marriage without falling into temptation; and sinful sexual feeling that could destroy their relationship in just a minute would be avoided. Short time courtship is very much advisable for youths—most especially, those youths who have strong sexual emotion—since they can’t wait because of their lack of self control, they must go marry instead of burning with unnecessary lustful passion that great tendency to bring their courtship journey to an unwanted shameful end.
This is where wisdom is: if you, as a youth, knows your sexual status, and you know that you don’t have self control (you can’t contain yourself till marriage) then you are highly advised to avoid long time courtship; it’s better you go for short time courtship, so that you could avoid losing control of yourself emotionally, and thereby destroy your relationship with that beautiful or handsome partner. If you can’t control yourself, go for short period of time courtship, but if you are able to cope in long courtship, then you are good to go, nut remember the implications.
If you are a youth, and you know you are not yet ready for marriage, and you don’t want to get stuck in a long period of courtship, then why saying “yes I do” to a marriage proposal”? Don’t ever say yes I do to any marriage proposal if you are not yet fully ready for marriage in order to avoid getting stuck in long courtship. If you do, then you would have yourself blamed for your action. If you are ready, and you know you are very ripe for marriage, then you are good to go, so far there will nothing to delay you to enter into marriage within 3-6 months or at most 1-year.
Courtship relationship is an inevitable period prior to marriage, which means it’s an important period in step taking into marriage. This time is time that courting partners will have to study each other for exploration, confirmation and pledging; that’s, the finalizing of the agreement into marriage, and therefore both partners should be very careful, so that no costly mistake that could ruin their relationship journey is made during this period. Long period of courtship is not advisable for any youths who want to succeed naturally because it doesn’t guarantee marriage, but short period courtship can do much better for courting partners to easily achieve their goal into marriage.