Courtship is a process that prepares one for marriage, it is a necessary period of determining if that particular person is the person that you will marry.
The concept of courtship is not the same as dating. For many, the concept of courtship has been replaced by "dating," which has in fact lowered the expectation.
For many, dating is not about finding the one that you will spend the rest of you life with, but rather, a means of meeting personal needs and satisfying personal desires (clearly not the same thing).
Below you will find some guidelines to follow during this period of courtship.
Both partners must be aware that that are marrying a human who is not perfect. Yet, each person enters into a relationship with some form of expectations.
Being aware of these expectations and sharing them with one another may avoid conflict in the future.
This period of courtship is also a time of formation.
If one recognizes that he/she lacks a particular quality or discipline, then this would be a good time to work on it.
If an individual has had painful experiences; this would be a time for healing, seeking counselling or the necessary help needed.
Courtship, actually, is a continual process of discovery and sharing throughout the entire life of a marriage, from the time you meet, through the time you exchange your vows to the day when you bury your loved one - and the key word is "communication."
Being able to discuss "heart to heart" what each other thinks and feels - without prejudice or judgement - in regards to all matters - big and small. This only strengthens and improves the bond between husband and wife.
This ceremony usually begins the courtship period. The priest or deacon is present to bless this beginning. For the couple see to base their married life on the Lord. They invite family and friends to seek their love and support during this time of searching and understanding.
Look for lasting values and not only at the exterior.
Check to see if your partner prays, goes to Mass, Confession and is obedient to the Church?
Seek for a companion, who will understand.
Does the couple feel comfortable to communicate freely?
Is there a problem of trusting?
Does one person have the problem of talking too much and not listening?
Or does the person have a problem of expressing himself or herself in anyway?
Your partner must be one who will bring the best out of you.
Watch for negativism or an attitude of constantly finding faults.
Can you see in your partner qualities that compliment yours?
Does your partner have a sense of humor?
Does he/she have a balanced life-style of prayer, exercise, fun, healthy food habits, rest and adventure?
As a woman you look to the man you marry to see if he can truly be a provider for the family.
Watch for signs of any addiction or character defects that may bother you and be a bad example to the children.
As a man look for a woman who knows how to run a home.
Someone who will with her warmth and love be able to provide for you and the children a home.
How does she handle finances?
Can she manage with what you would provide?
Or are her tastes beyond your means?
Checking family background may be useful for both parties. It might reveal often certain aspects of behavior or patterns which may disturb later.
Recognize your partner's attitude to marital union.
Does your partner have a healthy understanding of this relationship?
Marriage is a lifelong commitment in which One fully commits themselves to the other, unites with the other in communion, and serves the other through love and respect for the rest of their lives.
What God has brought together no man shall separate.