3 Rules That Turn Dating Into Courtship

Women's Dating

3 Rules That Turn Dating Into Courtship

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

These are hard times for love. Dating seems to have become a stand-alone activity instead of a courtship ritual designed to carefully select a partner for long-term compatibility.

If you are one of the serious daters out there and are looking for more than a sexual high and a short-term fling, there are three proven ways to ensure your dinner and a movie is also an interview for the job of best friend and lover.

1. Display firm boundaries.

People looking for a fling are free, wild and available, rushing into emotional disclosures long before a secure trust has been established. If you are truly looking for a mate, bite your tongue before blurting out every sordid detail of your life.

People who use long-term dating strategies contain themselves and unveil layers of themselves slowly and carefully.

If you are asked a sensitive question, it’s perfectly OK to say, “It’s too early for me to disclose that. When I know you better, we can talk about that.” This is an honest statement with boundaries.

“Above all, keep your

eye on the prize.”

2. Delay the onset of the sexual relationship.

Cross-cultural research is pretty clear. Fast movers tend to crash and burn easily. In fact, one study showed the hotter the sexual chemistry early on, the worst the relationship outcomes.

Another study showed having sex within 30 days of meeting guaranteed you a 90 percent breakup probability within the first year.

If you are in the game for courtship and hope to find someone who will go the distance with you, there will plenty of time to swing from chandeliers in a French maid’s costume. Slow down the physical relationship and dating will instantly become courtship.

3. Make dating ceremonial.

If your dating life has become one of drive-by dates for quick cups of Joe or a gulp of a martini at a busy happy hour, there’s a good chance you’ve lost focus. For romance to grow into something serious, it should feel special.

That doesn’t mean you need to break the bank with every date, but if you are interested enough after a couple phone calls, then add some pomp and pageantry to the romantic memories you are creating.

Pack a romantic picnic. Have a champagne toast on a rooftop garden. Do something really special for your date, something you could pay a stranger to do but want to sacrifice the time by doing it yourself.

Above all, keep your eye on the prize. Long-term married people live longer, have better health and accumulate more wealth. Try not to get distracted by the giant bandwidth of sexual opportunities technology has provided.

Avoid love attention deficit disorder by being thoughtful, kind, compassionate and remembering to talk about the things that matter like the three Fs – family, feelings and future goals.

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.