In the earlier 1800s, young adults were expected to court with the intention of finding a marriage partner, rather than for social reasons.
In more traditional forms of Christianity, this concept of courtship has been retained, with John Piper defining courtship and distinguishing this concept from dating, stating that: Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman's father, and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family, or church, whichever is most appropriate.
Unlike courtships, couples that are on a “date”, do not require a chaperone or someone in their presence to prevent anything unholy from happening.
In recent research, it was found that marriage rates have dropped among people generations before.
A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.
Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.
One of the reasons there was this disagreement was that they did not want their children growing up doing what many did during the sexual revolution in the 60’s.
The act of dating is seen to be very temporary, with such acts seeming as if they are “on one day” and “off the other”.
During courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement.
This form of dating, though, was usually more chaste than is seen today, since premarital sex was not considered the norm.
The concept of modern dating was initially seen as frustrating and mocked the moralistic values of traditional courtship.
Traditions are often referred to as a thing of the past, although there are many people that still follow the old-fashioned courting route for their relationships.
Courtship is used by a number of theorists to explain gendering processes and sexual identity.