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Hanging out vs dating vs courtship

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks approvingly of courtship, quoting the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes: “It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people, above all in the heart of their own families, about the dignity of married love, its role and its exercise, so that, having learned the value of chastity, they will be able at a suitable age to engage in honorable courtship and enter upon a marriage of their own.” (CCC 1632) I know, I know. Several studies, in fact, show that the longer young men and women wait to have sex, the happier their later marriage — one example is Paige Harden’s 2012 study published in .Fewer experiences of making out, hooking up and breaking up actually correlates with more satisfying, enduring marriages with fewer problems.

It was invented in the 1950s and was enabled by the rise of the automobile.In addition, a date had to be something of an expensive production.I saw some of this on the BYU campus during the ’70s.Delaying dating in the teen years is a good way parents can help form the virtue of chastity.Talking with your teens about God’s plan for marriage, and helping them think about what good qualities to look for in a future husband or wife, can help them enter adulthood with the marriage-discerning mindset of courtship. Andrew Parish in Sumner, holds a doctorate in moral theology and ethics from The Catholic University of America, where she specialized in marriage, family, sexual ethics and bioethics. And, speaking of pleasure, sexual pleasure is usually an assumed part of a dating relationship at some point — after whatever number of dates current convention has arbitrarily declared to be OK.(We know, of course, from our Catholic faith, that it’s not actually OK to sleep with someone you’re dating … This brings up the topic of “married dating,” a commendable activity to be discussed in a future article.) Think of courtship as a part of the discernment process for marriage. Rather than going off alone together as a twosome, the courting couple spends their time together in community, hanging out with each other’s families or large groups of friends.But actually, the concept of courtship is experiencing a revival, with good reasons.Reframing dating in terms of courtship can help parents set healthy boundaries on teen dating.I saw this trend beginning among our younger children.For whatever reason, high school boys felt they had to do something elaborate or bizarre to ask for a date, especially for an event like a prom, and girls felt they had to do likewise to accept.


  1. Courtship" is a rather outdated word used to describe the activities that occur when a couple is past the dating stage and in a more serious stage of their relationship.

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