The Young Lady's Journal

Courtship and Marriage

Good afternoon, Ladies! This is Mary from The Young Lady’s Journal. Today’s topic is kind of a hard one to tackle considering the world’s ideas concerning it, but I’ll give it my best shot.

According to the Church, there are four (4) stages of courtship. The first is friendship. You should know each other and be able to discern whether the other is a virtuous and honorable person. There should be no consideration of dating if one or the other rushes in too fast, especially physically.

“Love at first sight” is not a thing. There is only lust at first sight. Physical attraction is not enough on which to base a relationship. It’s important to remember that the purpose of courtship is to marry. You shouldn’t even date them if you can’t possibly see yourself happily married to them someday, beyond the physical aspects of marriage.

It’s the man’s job to preserve and defend your honor and virtue. You should avoid being alone together, not because you will do anything, but because people assume you will. And if people assume you will, your honor is at stake. People will view you as a woman of little virtue, whether true or not.

I understand that people’s perception of you may not matter, but if your boyfriend allows others to see you that way, true or not, he’s failed to defend your honor.

The second stage is the actual courtship. If you have a father or a father figure, he should ask his permission to date or court you before he even asks you. He should have a pretty good idea that you will accept. The reason this is important is because your father is responsible for defending and protecting your honor until your marriage. If your father doesn’t view the young man as a man of honor, he has every right to say no to him. I’m not saying your father is always right, but he genuinely wants what is best for you, and if he doesn’t think this man will be good for you, that should be respected. Your father is responsible for the protection of your honor until the day you’re married, then he transfers the responsibility to your husband.

The third stage is the engagement or betrothal. A young man should ask a young woman’s father for her hand. He should be fairly certain that she will say “Yes,” at this point. Once a woman says “Yes,” it should be brought to the pastor. Before marriage, one must be cautious with physical affection. It is acceptable, but you don’t want to lose your dignity. If he’s not working to keep your image honorable, he himself doesn’t have totally honorable intentions toward you. You’re close to marriage, but this is no excuse to allow yourself to slip. You can’t afford it if you want a good married relationship.

The fourth stage of courtship is marriage. Many wouldn’t consider this as a stage of “courtship”, but it absolutely is. It’s still your relationship with one person of the opposite sex, whether your honor is fully his responsibility or your father’s. Once married, a woman has to be willing to submit to the decisions of her husband. This is not to say he owns her, but he is the leader of the team. The man is the head, the woman is the heart. It’s always been that way, and it naturally always will be. We can’t rewrite what God has already written in our nature.

If you don’t want a domineering or immature husband, don’t date a guy who’s not willing to defend your purity.

I’m sorry if this seemed a little rigid or old-fashioned, I’m just stating what my priests have made clear to me.

Good afternoon, and I’ll see you all next time at the Young Lady’s Journal!

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