The Ideal Courtship
Courtship is that period during which an unmarried couple become personally and intimately acquainted with each other.
It is a period of special friendship when final decisions are made for or against the marriage.
During courtship a young man and a young woman reserve their special attentions for each other. Each occupies the place of highest esteem in the mind of the other. This monopoly of each other’s affections is the fundamental premise of courtship.
It is during courtship that the background develops which enables the lovers to decide on the advisability of their taking the solemn vows of marriage.
It is desirable that the friendship develops on the basis of a general understanding for a period of time before the young man actually “pops up the question”.
Courtship permits the development of insight into each other’s personality that allows the man to know whether he actually desires the young lady to be his wife. And it will permit her to make a deliberate decision so that she can have her answer ready when her suitor does make his proposal of marriage.
It is unwise to terminate a friendship brashly simply because some human traits had made itself manifest. Each of us is human and possesses certain faults of personality. The question that should be answered is, Is this unsuspected trait or fault of personality of sufficient magnitude to interfere with the progress of the special friendship?
It is only fair to the one in whom faults have been observed to mention these faults and observe the individual’s response.
It may be that the explanation will be reassuring to the extent that it can be quickly dismissed as a thing of the past. On the other hand, if undue resentment or retaliation is aroused when this fault is mentioned, it brings the other to the realization that such an attitude would probably carry over into married life.
If the initial attraction of a man to a lady is dependent on nothing more stable than romance and sentiment, the friendship is not likely to endure the test of time.
A young man of integrity and stability will not demand premature privileges. The man who threatens to terminate the friendship because the woman does not accede to his sensual advances, is not the type of man that is worthy of a decent woman.
Courtship is not a trial marriage but the final step toward marriage, therefore constitutes the most important preparation for marriage.