Courtship is the moment when two people who have fallen in love with each other, have passed through the stages of infatuation and flirting, begin making a journey of commitment towards each other in the hope that this will lead to engagement and eventually marriage.

This is when we begin to officially address each other seriously as Boyfriend and Girlfriend. There are many things that might happen during this period, there is a deepening of knowledge of each other through constant communication either through the phone, social media platforms or even in person through dates. This enhances the sharing of intimate knowledge of each other, and allows each person to grow in learning how the other partner behaves in different situations. Misunderstandings and arguments are bound to come up, but it takes a whole lot of courage to accept my responsibility, admit my mistake and apologise. Often it is said that the three difficult phrases are ‘thank you’, ‘may I’ and ‘I am sorry’, yet courtship is a moment to begin practising and growing in this habit of feeling for the other. Of course care is to be taken so that these moments help me to grow and not to give in to unhealthy demands or threats that I might receive.

I remember this beautiful relationship I once had with a handsome young man whom I was in love with. When we began ‘seeing’ each other or courtship in other words, there was that constant desire to communicate and we both enjoyed texting, speaking, meeting up and calling each other during the day and even at night. When we would meet in person, as we walked and talked it seemed as if the whole world had disappeared before our eyes, and probably the hooting sound of a car or bicycle bell would have to bring us back to earth. One time having hugged each other good bye, I entered a taxi and immediately took the phone out of my pocket and began texting him because I was already missing him, the taxi driver looked at me, smiled and said, ‘the two of you are really in love’. I smiled shyly and continued on to send an ‘I miss you already’ text and immediately he responded, ‘I miss you more’.

So at this moment what I truly feel deep within me is expressed through my body language at times by holding  hands, smiling at each other and my boyfriend/girlfriend is able to understand this and the words which I am communicating, and reciprocate them. It is during this period in life that we begin to also get involved in the lives of each other and that might entail meeting the siblings of my boy/girlfriend, being introduced to his/her friends, attending social occasions together, others even go to church together, these are beautiful moments when I get to share my life and get accepted as I am without fear of being rejected. It is a moment of growing intimacy which may eventually lead to the beginning of planning for a life together, officially declared through our union in marriage.

By the time we begin to make plans regarding our future, we should be aware of our differences in opinions and way of life.  Courtship time  is considered a moment of experimentation, but it is better to keep intense intimacy and sex for marriage for it is a union of those who have given themselves totally to each other and not just a one night stand or passing moment of fun.

Debbie’s Tips

Keeping in mind that having a boyfriend/girlfriend is the beginning of growth in commitment I will;

  • Commit myself to be an active participant in our relationship.
  • Let myself express what I feel while respecting my boy/girlfriend.
  • Introduce my boy/girlfriend to my friends and siblings as a way of sharing my life.
  • Conduct myself respectfully while also respecting my boy/girlfriend.
  • Not to put conditions so that s/he always bends to all my whims.
  • Be careful not to be alone always so that we may not tempt each other into sexual activities.
  • Express myself, my point of view and be open to listen to my boy/girlfriend’s so that we can solve our differences harmoniously.

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