Traditional courtship or modern courtship? What are the differences?

What Is Traditional Courtship?

There are many ways to describe traditional courtship. So, let’s just say it’s a period of dating before an engagement or a marriage. But traditional courtship looks much different than what we usually see today. First, we have to mention the period this kind of courtship takes place in. It’s easy to put it into the wrong period of time, but we’ll confidently say that this kind of courtship was popular before the rise of the internet and social media.


Traditional courtship requires some bravery. We’re not saying you don’t need guts to ask a person out nowadays. But it’s just so easy to mask your intentions by inviting them to, say, a group activity. Back in the day, and in the realm of traditional courtship, you had to come up to someone and be prepared for their answer.

Actions That Define ‘Traditional’

Now, let’s talk about what traditional courtship actually used to look like. Well, some people today try to practice this kind of courtship because they think it gives dating more meaning. There’s nothing wrong with going modern either, but traditional is different.

So, here are some examples of a traditional type of courtship:


  • Approaching a person or calling them on the phone to ask them for a date
  • Sending love letters
  • Going on dates that include food and activities (examples include dinners, fairs, picnics, etc.)

Some may say that traditional courtship doesn’t include sex, depending on who you ask. While some may want to wait for marriage, others believe that intercourse is a vital part of any relationship. In the case of traditional courtship, sleeping with your partner doesn’t usually happen before a number of dates. Simply put, actions that define traditional courtship give dating a meaning.

What Is Modern Courtship?

Modern courtship happens fast. Think of speed-dating where you meet a lot of partners in a short time. We’re not saying that modern courtship requires polygamy, only that everything is done quickly. This is especially the case because of the hook-up culture. People change their partners fast in search of the one that satisfies them the best. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if you’re not looking for anything serious.


Online dating is a big part of modern courtship too. Everything can happen over social media or the internet, and you don’t even have to go on a real date. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why long-distance relationships are more a thing now than ever.


Another thing that makes modern courtship easy is dating apps. That’s what you can compare to speed-dating. You’re swiping on people you find attractive and hope it’s a match.

Modern Dating Acts

Since many people are available to you in these modern times, you have the option to woo many of them at the same time. We’re not saying that this didn’t exist before. But traditional courtship can usually have a set of rules that people must follow. This is especially the case for some countries that take courtship and marriage more seriously than others.


Since modern dating is so carefree, let’s take a look at some of the dating acts of this type of courtship:


  • Asking someone on a date on social media
  • Going on non-dates (examples include hanging out, ‘Netflix and chill’, group hang-outs, etc.)
  • Participating in the hookup culture

Many argue that modern courtship allows them to get to know their partner better. This is especially the case because they can keep up with them on social media. However, the people that prefer the traditional kind of courtship think that this kind of modern dating is quite shallow.

Differences Between Two Dating Practices

It’s time to talk about the difference in traditional and modern courtship. Now that we know both types of courtships and what they look like, it will be easy to observe the differences. 


The first thing we notice is how seemingly easy it is to get a date with modern courtship. While this is the case, is it a good thing? Unfortunately, many people that practice modern courtship have never been on a real date. The definition of a real date is subjective, but we’re talking about dates that require going somewhere fancy and dressing up for the occasion.


On the other hand, people who practice traditional courtship aren’t familiar with the ease of meeting new people through dating apps or social media. So, the differences between these two types of courtship are numerous. But we think that people who practice the respective types can learn something from one another.

The Courtship the People Practice Today

Even though we’re living in modern times, many people stick to traditional courtship. They believe it’s important to make an effort to get to know someone ‘the right way.’ However, since technology has advanced so much, they can’t escape from the acts and aspects of modern courtship. So, what kind of dating ritual do people have today? It’s safe to say it’s a mix of traditional and modern.


It all depends on the kind of connections you’re looking for, and that, too, can change through the course of your life. At one point, you may indulge in the hook-up culture, only to change to traditional courtship when you decide you want something more meaningful. The beauty of dating today is that there are no strict rules. You have a plethora of people at your disposal, and you can court them however you see fit.

You may also like