Dating Vs. Courting || What’s The Big Difference?

So here’s an interesting question that I got asked the other week on

What is the difference between dating and courting? And what does the Bible say about it?
Here was my reply:
“Hmm, this is a tricky one lol. But glad you asked, it’s a very relevant question to ask in our generation. Because honestly, it’s not the word that makes it different.. it’s the connotation behind the word.


In our generation, dating automatically triggers a thought in our mind that a guy and a girl are “boyfriend & girlfriend”.. especially in middle school/high school. However, in college this is much different. When people are “dating” it could just mean that they are getting to know each other, going on “dates” like coffee, lunch.. etc. People could be “dating” for a month and decide never to pursue a serious relationship. However, when we think of American dating relationships.. everyone kind of just assumes that the couple are physically intimate.


Courting on the other hand is generally known as a serious type of dating, specifically with the motivation of marriage at the end. This is why most Christians prefer this, because it’s Biblical. That’s what “dating” was supposed to be meant for anyways.. trying to find someone to marry.. not to just have a bf/gf for fun with no intentions of getting married. Courting is generally understood by Christians to be a sexually pure relationship with God at the center. When someone says they are courting another person, basically they are saying that they are trying to get to know each other for the purpose of marriage.. and agree at the beginning that as soon as one of the individuals knows that it isn’t who they want to marry, they need to tell the other person so it doesn’t get too emotionally deep for either of them. It’s a way of “guarding your heart” like the Lord commands us to do.


However, like I said.. it’s just a word. I know people who are “dating” who put the Lord first in their relationship and are looking towards marriage in the near future. They wouldn’t be any more spiritual for calling it “courting” though haha. It’s just a word. As long as we are focusing on the Lord in all our relationships, it doesn’t matter what we call it. Buuuut, we should be aware of the connotations. Because I don’t know about you, but I kinda do assume things when someone says they are dating. I just naturally think people are physically intimate when they are in a serious relationship.. I wish I didn’t, but it’s the first thing that pops in my head. But when I hear someone say they are courting I don’t assume this at all.. I assume the opposite.


So yeah, it makes no difference to God what you call it. Sure, people may make assumptions… but we aren’t responsible to men, we’re responsible to God. All we have to do is honor God and he will bless our relationships, no matter what we call it!


Hope that helps 🙂


1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 – For this is the will of God, your *sanctification*: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;