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Practicalities of courtship

by kena last modified 2012-05-03 01:22

Courtship; why is it so difficult?

You see this attractive person. This triggers “something” but there are no precise words to name what this “something” is.

How is it possible to get something that one cannot even identify? Understanding “how” requires understanding “why.” Here we go.

Courtship is the process of selecting and attracting another for an intimate relationship such as love, sex, commitment, living together, marriage, and having children, or any combination of these. Courtship may last days, months, or even years, but some lovers skip courting altogether as in cases of love at first sight or arranged marriage. - Wikipedia

The process of actively getting “it” is an innate instinct in many animal species, learned in for others, but so ingrained in the inner self for most that it is practiced unconsciously. Attempts to formalize the process consciously usually produce awkward and unapplicable models. Hopefully, although it is difficult to propose a action-and-reaction mechanism guaranteed to secure a bond between individuals, some general properties can be isolated.

Purposes of dating

  • dating helps people to know each other, including:
    • discovering the shape of their respective personal space,
    • learning their respective cultural backgrounds,
    • learning and sharing their respective grasp on reality
    • discovering their respective individual personalities,
    • learning their respective commitments (w.r.t. family, future, society...),
    • finding out what they share about the previous points,
  • dating helps with building and confirming a mutual attraction,
  • dating helps with defining common expectations for a potential intimate relationship.

This list is not complete; however it allows to express a number questions which partners should be able to answer to themselves before any kind of commitment - either short or long term. Examples:

  • what is important to me? How does it fit in a relationship?
  • what do I like about my partner?
  • what do I want to do together with them? what do I not want to do?
  • what am I willing to give / sacrifice to build and maintain this specific relationship? what am I not willing to give?

Practicalities of communication

The following topics of conversation are part of the information gathering process: attitudes, appearance, character and integrity, direction and stages of personal growth, expectations, family, class, cultural and social background, age difference and geographical distance, habits, health, income, interests, maturity, personal philosophy, political views, preferences, priorities, religious views, sense of humor, views on sex, marriage and child-bearing, ways of communication, wealth or financial situation.

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