The average duration of courtship varies considerably throughout the world.
Furthermore, there is vast individual variation between couples.
Scientific research into courtship began in the 1980s after which time academic researchers started to generate theories about modern dating practices and norms.
Both Moore and Perper found that, contrary to popular beliefs, courtship is normally triggered and controlled by women, continue to support a view that courtship is a social process that socialises both sexes into accepting forms of relationship that maximise the chances of successfully raising children.
Forbidding experimental and serial courtship and sanctioning only arranged matches is partly a means of guarding the chastity of young people and partly a matter of furthering family interests, which in such cultures may be considered more important than individual romantic preferences.
Over recent decades though, the concept of arranged marriage ha s changed or simply been mixed with other forms of dating, including Eastern and Indian ones; potential couples have the opportunity to meet and date each other before one decides on whether to continue the relationship or not.
Ivory French casket with scenes of romances – possibly a courtship gift.
Courtship is the systematic process that one undergoes in order to ensure compatibility with a lifelong partner.
In the United Kingdom, a poll of 3,000 While the date is fairly casual in most European-influenced cultures, in some traditional societies, courtship is a highly structured activity, with very specific formal rules.
In the earlier 1800s, young adults were expected to court with the intention of finding a marriage partner, rather than for social reasons.
In more traditional forms of Christianity, this concept of courtship has been retained, with John Piper defining courtship and distinguishing this concept from dating, stating that: Courtship ordinarily begins when a single man approaches a single woman by going through the woman's father, and then conducts his relationship with the woman under the authority of her father, family, or church, whichever is most appropriate.
In some societies, the parents or community propose potential partners, and then allow limited dating to determine whether the parties are suited.
In Japan, there is a such type of courtship called Omiai, with similar practices called "Xiangqin" (相親) in the Greater China Area.
This form of dating, though, was usually more chaste than is seen today, since premarital sex was not considered the norm.