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In what way is the image related to the text? At least a caption, please! <KF> 23:09, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)

Leap Day has nothing to do with courship. Removed the external link. Blatantly Evil 21:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

From Tiny [May 23, 2006][edit]

"Dating" certainly means different things to different classes of people. Dating starts in junior-high school and continues until death. Each of the personal development stages involved have similar (perhaps) yet very different purposes. The development stages are: Junior-High-School; High-School; College or Young-Adult; Divorced individuals; Widowed individuals. To attempt to cover each of these with the same brush does a disservice to the subject.

The Junior-High-School individual wants "to belong" to the group. The better he/she is in selecting a date the more prestige. Contrary to this, not being able to secure a date (for a prom, let's say) is personally devastating and can carry a lifetime 'scar'. Perhaps sex is also a motive, but it seems to me to be a secondary (if at all) condition.

The High-School individual has the same "fears' ... even more pronounced, than the Junior-High- School individual. However, there is more permanence attached to high-school dating. Sex certainly becomes a factor, and in some cases it is the ONLY factor perhaps. Longer term relationships at this stage are beginning to come forth. Many high-school sweethearts marry early and have wonderful families ... and "live happily ever after".

The "College" or "Young Adult" individual has fewer, if any fears that were experienced in high-school. Sex plays a strong role in satisfying the raging hormones, but I don't believe it takes a back seat to the search for a mate.

Divorced people have entirely different requirements for dating. First, there is a hurdle of acceptance to get over ... the feeling of putting the past away and getting on with life. The initial 'dates' are similar to testing the water with one toe. Does it feel right .... can I do it ... will I be able to 'stick-it-out" ...and again, will I look/feel ,like a fool, or will I be accepted as "normal"? After one or more dates the 'fear and anxiety' are overcome and the search for a new 'mate' begins ... very carefully, at first ... with less caution as the process continues. As the search progresses, sex plays a more important role ... but not the primary role. Each individual is searching, not only for the good parts of the previous marriage that was lost, but other interests that have surfaced.

Widowed Individuals again, have entirely different requirements for dating ... depending of course, on the age of the widowed person. The young widowed dating needs are similar to those of the "Young Adult" but as we age, the need for companionship, the need for personal security become much more predominant. The search for sex is still present, it jut is no longer the driving force.

End of Tiny's submission ... Tiny 20:04, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

The following fragment was removed from Date (currently a disambiguation page). I believe the same things are already covered in the article, but for the record I put it here:

Dating is a form of interpersonal relationship between two partners characterized by a continuity of social outings and meetings. Dating is an informal relationship that is not associated with commitment or long term plans, although it can lead to such arrangements. Dating allows for partners to have the benefits of a formal monogamous relationship without the constrictions associated with commitment.

Przepla 00:51, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I also removed the word "liberal" from the sentence "In liberal Western societies, a date is an occasion when one socializes with a potential lover or spouse." because its use was slightly POV and the word was piped to a disambiguation page. Zombieliving 23:27, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

I've removed that entire section: It is wholly personal and clearly opinionated. If possible, please read the Manual of style, Neutral point of view policy and related works. That said, I will try and integrate some things from your contribution later. x42bn6 Talk 08:09, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Improvement drive[edit]

Flirting is currently listed to be improved on WP:IDRIVE. You can vote to support the article if you are interested.--Fenice 09:43, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Criticism Section[edit]

i think the criticism section should be removed. if we include it we should also include hundreds of other perspectives on dating, courtship, and sex that revolve around a handful of books in a specific time period.

does anyone object to its removal?

maybe we can make a new page, "Criticism of Dating in the Early 90s by Conservative Evangelical American Christians"

--Johnjosephbachir 03:11, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

animal courtship[edit]

In fact animal courtship is usually NOT observed :). not only does this obvious falsehood need correcting, but more technical material is warranted hereAnlace 22:03, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Age Statistics[edit]

Does anyone want to put up stats that show the average age a person will start dating/courtship? Thanks.

It should be only put up if it comes from a verifiable, published source. Starting ages vary widely to individuals' understandings. Dogru144 21:58, 13 August 2006 (UTC)


The section I marked is prescriptive, rather than descriptive (e.g. "it is recommended", "it is advisable"). This article should not be giving advice on how to date; it should be describing the custom of dating in an objective manner. 03:46, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup is complete[edit]

I've edited/rewritten the whole article, and have removed the clean-up tag, the picture, and the sections that are alreay covered in other articles (one was a just a copy). For the topics of the removed sections, I've provided links to the relevant articles. By the way, this article really needs a new picture, one portraying a modern date. --Medulla oblongata 16:33, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I question the wisdom of modernizing and Americanizing what is a universal and millennial human custom. Did people date in medieval England?! Did they sip milkshakes?! I will hold off restoring large parts of the article and the perfectly appropriate image until we can have a discussion here. Haiduc 20:20, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Topics in conversation[edit]


Income is a significantly different economic matter from wealth. Partners in dating have specific understandings of the significance of the two topics and so, they ask questions directed to these two topics. (see the respective wikipedia articles on the two topics.) So, the different categories of topics were restored. Dogru144 21:58, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The consensus reached was to keep the article's name "Courtship" instead of renaming it "Dating"

Proposal: move article to "Dating"[edit]

This article's title is archaic, and the term "dating" is much more relevant these days. This page should be renamed to dating, with courtship redirecting to dating. If we reach consensus on this issue, then a move request can be submitted (because it'll require an admin to make the move because the dating page already exists as a redirect with a history). --Medulla oblongata 16:33, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Rename - as per nom. --Medulla oblongata 16:33, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
  • weak Keep - "Courtship" isn't that archaic, and it is less ambiguous than "dating". --Wonderstruck 08:48, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Keep and split - Courtship and dating both deserve their own entries. Courtship has a long history of worldwide use which should be covered. Its article should be primarily historical with reference to its continued use (mainly in non-western countries). Much of the content presently here should be moved to a new (badly overdue) article on dating (a modern concept of western origin as opposed to a historic worldwide one). Rational: while courtship might seem totally dead from a western perspective, it is still alive and well in large sections of the world and should be kept so as not to promote western bias. Scoterican 20:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep, but in my opinion, the word courtship is archaic, with the exception of a small community of conservative Christians who have resurrected the word and use it to refer to a specific set of values and procedures that they put forth. I think that this article should reflect this and make a distinction between the archaic use of the word, which was widespread, and the modern use of the word, which refers to a specific set of values and customs that is actively advocated by certain religious communities. Does everyone agree? Cazort (talk) 23:56, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
As recently as 1972 it was in popular usage. See The Courtship of Eddie's Father. I believe many non-Christians use the word to this day in many contexts. Please cite sources for the assertion that "a small community of conservative Christians [...] have resurrected the word." If citable sources could be found, it might make an interesting addition to the Traditional marriage movement article. Indeed, perhaps Wikipedia would benefit from an extended series of articles on such movements, or at least the creation of a single article that would encompass them all. (sdsds - talk) 00:26, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Keep - "Courtship" is not at all archaic in the context of biology, and yes, we humans are biological! By all means improve the existing Dating (activity) article if you can find reliable sources for the topic! (sdsds - talk) 00:16, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong keep Even if it was only a historic term, the historic courtship practices were distinctly different from modern dating practices to the extend that they merit separate articles. As it is, however, the term is not only historic. In some contexts it might be considered a synonym, but in others it has different connotations. One example of a contemporary usage is the book The Courtship of Princess Leia. --Icarus (Hi!) 01:02, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree--STRONG keep. For those of us wanting to know, it's important to know there's a significant difference, between "dating" as used now, & "courtship" as used say, 100-200+ years ago. Ask any history teacher. Wouldn't hurt to reference "dating" to "Courtship" & vice-versa, but the 2 terms are NOT ambiguous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Expansion request - same-sex dating[edit]

It'd be nice to see some info on same-sex dating.

Expansion request - statistics[edit]

Someone tells me that 70% of married couples met in college. That can't be right for the world population, and it's dubious for the U.S., if only 50% of the population attends at all. But it would be interesting to see some statistics of that nature here, if sources can be located. -- Beland 01:41, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Information Clarification[edit]

The impression one gets from the article is that dateing is non-exclusive, but it is unclear. Could this be made more explicit? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Also, many, if not all of the external links don't direct to the right places at all. Someone fix this, please? I don't know the original source material. 09:23, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

No information about dating?[edit]

There is basically no information on dating of the 1920s-1960s variety in this article. Isn't there a whole procedure to it? The two people dress up formally, the male brings some gift or flowers and meets the female's parents, and if they approve, then they go out together to the theater or other approved dating venue. Did this kind of thing never exist, or was it of minimal importance? 19:01, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Alcohol and courtship[edit]

Lets get some information on this essential component of courtship. For example, are alcohol or other drugs historically more or less important than today. As far as I know women drink and use drugs more now than ever, but men slightly less. And what is the effect on the population genetically? One can hypothesize that only the most aggressive males would reproduce without the assistance of alcohol. Resulting in the most warlike states being those where alcohol use is limited by religion or economic factors, such as by Christian influences in the United States or in the various Islamic states. That part was completely fabricated. But the fact remains, unless you met someone in school or at work, you met somebody thanks to alcohol (statistically). 19:02, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Alcohol may be part of a date (or the full date -.-;) but that does not mean one meets another because of alcohol. It doesn't have to be due to alcohol, as, like you said, might be due to alcohol being banned or those who do not drink at all. If this is regarding your edit that was reverted, it is very wrong to assume that all dates happen involve alcohol at any stage. At least if it is sourced, it would be allowed. x42bn6 Talk 16:02, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
"The fact remains"? Got any sources to back up that claim? Wonderstruck 10:17, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite Suggested - January 2007[edit]

I think the page is pretty much a total loss as it stands.

  1. Internet dating already has its own article. The content of the section here should probably be merged with that article.
  2. Needs to distinguish between historic and currant practice. This should cover the meaning globally to prevent western bias. Presently there is only a brief reference to Japanese use of the term. Example: "While the date is fairly casual in most Westernized cultures, in many traditional societies, courtship is a highly structured activity, with very specific formal rules." Very true: why are the rules not listed? Why are the cultures not named and described?
  3. Needs more unbiased content on currant use. If someone came here to find out the present meaning of the term they would walk away without the information they came for. The present content also falls foul of Wiki guidelines on POV and style.
  4. Some may think it needs a separate article, but for now this is the only place covering courtship in the animal kingdom. This section should be expanded.

Note also, that several of the suggestions above show other glaring omissions. Scoterican 20:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Agreed - this article is terrible. Modern Dating is a diaster of soapboxing and original research, for instance. WilyD 18:18, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I will add my two cents to this: I believe this could be a pretty lengthy and expansive article, perhaps best separated into several sub-articles. (with courtship being a category, or subcategory, which can at least be divided into "Courtship rituals in human society" and "Courtship rituals in the Animal kingdom" I believe "courtship ritual" would be a better name, and could added as a subcategory of "rituals", or "culture".

Human Courtship It should start with a Brief explanation of what Courtship is intended for, and how it is different based on culture and time. it should, however also state a few commonalities between all Cultures, such as the presenting of gifts, which, unless I'm mistaken, is universal then the next head would be how these rituals came into being, followed directly by a number of heads "Courtship in <Civilizationname> Culture" Each starting with a small introduction, Followed by Historical Development (IE:Courtship in Western European Culture during the Victorian Age (1873-1901)", which would be directly under "courtship in western European culture"), each with a bullet list of specific examples telling for that period. Perhaps, too, it is wise to explain how Courtship rituals can vary within a culture, based on someone's status within that Culture. on how Peasants would have difficulty Courting nobles in the middle ages in Europe, for instance. each Cultural section would end with a current state for that Culture, perhaps a note on how well it is accepted in society today. at the end of this descriptive article would be something about cross-culture issues. at no point, should this article be telling you how to go about courtship, it is only an observation of an cultural phenomenon. if someone has even less of a life than me, perhaps that person could add "notable exceptions" about some historical partnerships, that did not follow the then culturally accepted rules of courtship, and what made them so significant. (exceptions prove the rule, in this case)

the Article about Animal Courtship should be in a Sub-category about sexual selection, I think. this article should start with a short description on how certain species use courtship as a means to ensure offspring. It would then go out to Describe different ways and reasons animals Court. you could have several subsections dividing Courting Species, into those who stay together for life, periodic (annual) courting (reindeer, for instance) continuous courting. (Love-birds) perhaps (depending on the number of animals) a list can be compiled for each section, with species known to show this behaviour. now, I know very little of Editing web-pages, and even less of courtship, so I'll leave this to someone who feels he/she can do something with it. JFSOCC 11:46, 12 July 2007 (UTC) 21:05, 20 January 2007 (UTC) Please add my link to wikipedia[edit]


Is it possible for Wikipedia to insert a text link to my site under the dating cateogry. My text link is below:

<A HREF=""> Join the World Dating Club and ignite your love life! Meet new friends or find romance! </A>


Bruce Wayne

Wikipedia is not a place for advertisements. The parent link is not notable. x42bn6 Talk 15:46, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Courtship as a Social Theory[edit] (talk) 01:10, 21 January 2009 (UTC) I note that this section has been disputed. Given that the section acknowledges and reviews a wide range of scholarly debate drawn mainly from academic papers, books and journal articles (and also sign-posts readers to texts where they can find hundreds of peer-reviewed academic articles on this subject), it would interesting to hear the substance of the alledged "bias". The perspective articulated in this section has already been peer-reviewed by Dr Poonam Thapa, herself an associate professor in Nepal, with 30 years experience providing expert advice and training on gender programmes for the International Parent Planning Federation, the EU and the United Nations. She acted as editor for one of the books cited in this section. Is there anyone who feels they've got the relevant academic pedigree to comment on this disputed section?

I feel it would be more constructive to add counter-perspectives to the section, providing these are based on academic research and studies (and not popular biases propagated in the mass media).

Lead needs discussion of intent[edit]

The lead section of this article lacks any discussion of intent. Neither dating nor any of the other activities describes are courtship unless the intent of the active participant(s) is ... the establishment of a relationship. It ain't courtship if ya just playin'. Some editor who cares about this article should find a reference for that assertion (or if I'm wrong should find a reference for the converse) and cite it inline very early (i.e. in the first sentence). (sdsds - talk) 05:16, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Comments and Suggestions[edit]

I agree that this entry needs some work. If you want to know more about how come I'm saying what I say below, see my User page or ask here.

First, a characterization of courtship from a scholarly dictionary of sexology:

“Narrowly defined, the word courtship traditionally means endeavoring to win or gain the emotional and sexual affections and favors of another person, often with the goal of marriage. More broadly, courtship refers to a complex combination of interpersonal feelings and behavior, often expressed symbolically, that communicate sexual and emotional interest, and that, if successful, precede and elicit sexual relations. In the broad sense, courtship includes all precoital interactions and communications.” (Francoeur, et al., 1995, pages 135-136.)

The entry continues for another page.

Thus, at root, courtship involves two people interactively communicating and exchanging meaning-laden erotosexual signals and cues that have intense emotional power for both people. It involves and uses language spoken and written (love letters), nonverbal behavior (gazing, touching, proximity, and what is called “movement synchronization”), and the creation of potentially intense feelings of arousal, exaltation, happiness, and anxiety (e.g., limerence – note spelling). Courtship is also subject to sometimes very complex social rules, customs, and pre- and proscriptions, often originating in religious and other organized symbolic systems and institutions (for example, the institution of dating or the institutionalized ideas that sex is “God’s good gift” and that sexual intercourse is sinful outside of marriage).

Moreover, courtship behavior – the looks, touches, sighs, caresses, and kisses that build erotosexual arousal and intimacy – involves an organized sequence of behavior that can be found in sources as different as Ovid’s 2000 year old “The Art of Love,” contemporary Japanese cartooning (manga, e.g., Rika Yonezawa’s “Tenshi no Mayu”), and modern American singles bars. Different authors (Givens, Moore, Perper, Grammer) have described the courtship sequence in somewhat different ways, but their descriptions agree that (a) no courtship-specific behavior exists in humans (unlike the courtship display in fish like the stickleback), (b) that all individual behavior patterns occurring in human courtship also occur in other, non-sexual interactions, and (c) that the characteristic feature of human courtship resides in the **temporal organization** of behavior in a pattern of escalating and mutually reciprocated interaction.

Accordingly, courtship is a complex semiotic process, a festival not of the senses but of meaning (Barthes), in which biological, psychological, and social processes all come together as two people try to meet each other and become intimate.

I’ll stop here. To my own way of thinking, it’s not enough to have loved and written about it; we also need to know what *other* people have written and concluded. And some of them, like Ovid, were genuine experts.

If anyone wants, I can post a number of references to courtship.

Francoeur, Robert T., Martha Cornog, Timothy Perper, and Norman A. Scherzer (Editors) 1995 The Complete Dictionary of Sexology, New Expanded Edition. New York: Continuum. 790 pages.

Timothy Perper 22:19, 1 September 2007 (UTC)


This article fails to look at courtship behaviors among non-euro/american societies, save for a sentence about dating in japan. Not a single thought is giving to the numerous other groups of people living outside the western world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

14:05, 2 May 2009 (UTC) 
If you have reliable sources about courtship practices in other cultures, feel free to add info on such practices to the article. Even if you can only add a short blurb, a proper source will allow other editors to expand on it in the future. --Icarus (Hi!) 21:58, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Icarus, we evidently do not have reliable sources: the existing article starts with a brash statement which is still untrue for many people in european/american societies. (see "bad definition.." below). So, as we do not have reliable sources, we need someone to correct it, with references. What is the proper policy, please: how should editors without sources flag/amend/delete it?Jezza (talk) 00:38, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Courtship in animals[edit]

I feel that we needed another article entitled Courtship in animals or something similar. There is an article called Courtship display but this currently has too narrow a scope. I am too busy right now to try to work up this idea, but I would be happy to contribute to either a general biological article on courtship or an article on Courtship in invertebrates. Courtship is an extremely widespread piece of behavior in animals, not only in mammals and birds, but also in invertebrates such as spiders, and even snails and slugs! Best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 19:31, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Bad Definition in Title Line[edit]

This title line is still contentious, unreferenced, parochial and plainly wrong: "Courtship is the traditional dating period before engagement and marriage".

Whatever is understood by "dating", in some societies not even tea for two is permissible before engagement or even marriage. Nor is courtship essentially a time period: it is a purposive social process with a specific aim, traditionally of consensual formal marriage, or now more broadly, mating or any other relationship.

I would suggest someting like: "Courtship is the process of attracting and obtaining a mate, which may be more or less formal in different cases and societies." The lede can go on to introduce formalities or customs in different societies and earlier times, but references to dating and sex only belong in the main body of the article. Jezza (talk) 23:46, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

There is not 'courtship' in French...[edit]

... shall i conclude that there is not, among French people, a "period preceding arrangement or marriage"...

... or that it is impossible, for beginners to create the link between article and the other article.

I could make an article in French, but am not geek, impossible to create the link.Magnon86 (talk) 00:11, 13 January 2013 (UTC)magnon86

The interlanguage link to the French wikipedia is not good, the French article is about animals, but I can't find the way to change it (I haven't been active on Wikipedia for a while...)--Globulenoire (talk) 23:21, 27 April 2014 (UTC)