Courting in the Era of Bridgerton: How Courting and Dating Have Two Different Meaning

Courting in the Era of Bridgerton: How Courting and Dating Have Two Different Meaning

Finding love is not like spotting each other from across the room, locking eyes with each other, and falling in love at first sight. This only happens in movies, in the real world, you need to work hard to be in love and stay in a happy and healthy relationship.

There are certain steps you need to cross before reaching your happily ever after. The first step is meeting the person in real life, other than texting or calling, this is what we call dating. However, the term dating is a very modern term, not a modern concept. Earlier it was known as Courting or Courtship.

Both the terms dating and courting are often used together, and although both concepts have similar undertones, they are quite different from each other. But both are criticized equally. 

On one hand, dating is seen as unhealthy, shallow, and often sinful if you are dating multiple people at one time. On the other hand, courtship is seen as sexist, outdated, and ancient and seemingly pushes people towards marriage without them being ready for it.

Well, I am not defending any of these relationship milestones, but only going to lay out what they are all about and what are the rules of both dating and courtship. So, to be enlightened with these facts scroll through the article.

What is Courting? What are the Rules of Courting? 

What is Courting

Not a lot of you might know what courting or courtship means. All the knowledge that you have gathered is probably from the Netflix series Bridgerton. I learned about courting from there too.

“Courting is where a potential partner makes a genuine effort to make an impression and “win the heart” of their potential mate with good intentions and not merely to sleep with them.” 

“It’s one where a potential partner makes a genuine effort to make an impression and “win the heart” of their potential mate with good intentions and not merely to sleep with them.” 

When it comes to courting there are certain strict rules that you need to follow, if not followed your reputation might be at stake, and back then in Regency England, it was a big deal. So, if you wanna know a few of the rules of courting then here they are, just keep on scrolling.

1. Show Up on Time 

When you have scheduled a date with someone, until and unless you have a pretty good excuse it is best that you show up on time.

You might ask why showing up on time is so important, the main thing while courting is to create a good first impression. And for that reason, showing up on time for a date is very important while courting.

2. Express Your Intentions 

I am not saying to scare your date by saying what you are expecting from this courtship, but you should subtly express what you are expecting from this courtship.

By expressing your intentions, I am not saying to propose your date for the first meeting. Rather let them know what you are expecting from this courtship, is it casual, long-term, or marriage, so that everything is clear from the beginning.

3. It’s Okay to Allow Your Date Some Space 

It is perfectly OK to give your partner some space and time between dates, to let out a sigh of relief and think through how the date went. Smothering each other with always spending time together is not the ideal situation always.

While it is important to spend time together to get to know each other on a deeper level but respecting each other’s time and space is very important as well. Taking a new partnership slowly is a good thing for building a strong relationship.

4. Should You Contact Your Mate Immediately Following a Date 

Before when social media and texting weren’t as big of a deal, calling your date after the date was the trend. It is quite common to call or text your mate after the date is over to enquire how it went.

That way both of you will have clarity on whether a second date is on the horizon or not, being on the same page is important while you are courting someone.

5. Don’t Overextend the Date 

When you are together with your mate, and it is going well, always try to end it on a high note, instead of dragging it. When you are on your first date, it should last for about two hours and not more than that.

For a courtship, two hours is more than enough time to get to know each other. You should always leave your date wanting to know more about you, and not be exhausted by learning more than what is needed.

6. The Past Remains in the Past 

When you are in the courtship stage the topics of discussion are simple and easy. The conversation should flow smoothly, focusing around getting to each other better as much as it is possible.

Unimportant tangents like knowing about each other’s past relationships and courtships should be avoided. These conversations are not required in the courting stage.

7. Be Careful About Boundaries 

It is true that while you are courting each other it is important to get to know each other, but at the same time, it is important not to cross boundaries.

But while talking it is important to see each other’s facial cues to see what topics are off-limits and what is making each other uncomfortable. Those are the topics you should steer clear of. 

8. Remain Sober and Responsible 

The rules of courtship both now and then clearly state that everyone needs to be responsible on the date. With the consumption of alcohol, usually, the inhibitions get lowered, and people become irresponsible.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sip on the occasional cocktails, but that should stay within a limit since overindulgence is not a good look when you are in the courting stage.

9. Try To Avoid Stalking

From the moment your courtship begins, both of you need to decide when and how you are going to connect daily. That means there cannot be any stalking and going behind each other’s back and interrogating the friends and family members.

Whatever you want to know about each other, you can just ask each other, rather than stalking each other.

10. No Devices While Together 

Since courtship is an old-timey form of dating, there were no distractions or interruptions because of technology. The couple would just focus on each other and nothing else.

So, paying homage to that age-old tradition, and not using any technological devices while you are courting should be maintained. That way you will be able to focus entirely on your date.

What is Dating? What are the Rules of Dating?

What is Dating

Whether we are millennials or Gen Z, we all agree on one thing and that dating is hard. It is the most complicated thing. But as years pass, it is getting more complicated to navigate, with more rules of dating popping up here and there.

Now it is possible that you are new to this dating game and don’t know all the rules of dating, then I am here to help you out as much as possible.

1. Date Multiple People at Once 

You might think I’m joking but that’s not it. When you are in the dating stage, and you are in a relationship then it is better to date multiple people. 

Play the field a bit and meet a few people, that way you will know what you want in a partner and what you don’t.

2. Keep The Dates Short 

When you are on a date it is better to keep them short and sweet. 90 to 120 mins of your time is enough for a first date. This is enough time to know a person, at least on the surface, and to know whether there is a spark or not.

If you don’t know well first date ideas then don’t worry, just keep it simple, go for dinner and a movie or maybe to a bar. If you wanna make it fun, then an amusement park is a good first-date option.

3. Be Clear About Wanting a Relationship 

It is possible that you are looking for a relationship and not something casual like a fling, then you need to be upfront with that. But things can go a lot wrong with telling a person what you are looking for in a relationship.

It is possible that once you tell someone that you are looking for a relationship in the future, they might bail on you. But in a way, it is a good thing since that way you will know they are not the one. And you won’t have to waste your time on these people.

4. Don’t Talk About Exes on Initial Dates 

This is the number one rule when it comes to dating – don’t talk about your ex! I shouldn’t have to spell it out to you that talking about your ex on your first date is such a red flag.

The first few dates are all about getting to know each other and not bitch about your exes. Although I agree that knowing about how each other’s past relationships ended is a good way of getting to know each other better, it’s better to save that for later.

5. There Is No Obligation to Send a Thank-you Text 

It is highly debatable whether you should send a thank you text the day after or whether you should thank you date properly. “As long as you thanked your date warmly and sincerely in person before parting ways, I believe there’s no reason to send a follow-up text.” 

If you are old-school like me then you might expect the man to be chivalrous and expect him to text, you first and take the initiative. But that is not the case always, nowadays it is you can just thank your date after the date and that is enough.

6. Give Them Two Weeks’ Time to Reach Out Again 

Yes, you might think I am crazy, but just hear me out.

It is possible that you are on a great date, and you feel that there is a spark between the two of you. Even then you should wait for at least two weeks to meet again.

Within this time, the two of you should text and call each other and check out whether the two of you are compatible or not. If you think that the two of you are good together then you can plan another date after the two-week time.

7. Wait A Few Dates to Have Sex 

I am not all for the ‘first-date sex,’ but if you are all for it then that’s great. But listen to what I have to say. To get to know each other, it is important to have a physical connection with each other.

Although maybe not on the first date. On the first date, you are just getting to know each other, and sex is something way more intimate for a first date. So before knowing your date better, before having sex with each other.

8. Don’t Freak Out About Who Pays 

The ‘dance of the check,’ is one that forced men to pay at all dates, this forceful gender norm changed the dating environment.

If you are a woman and looking for a male partner, then remember that is no reason for a man to pay for your meal. You should show your morals and values to action and do the right thing. If you can pay for your meal, then you should pay for your half at the first date.

9. Eat Whatever You Want 

The worst thing you can do is starve yourself during a date, you should always eat when on a date. But when I said you should eat doesn’t mean you will ‘order a salad,’ or never be able to complete your food.

When you are on a date you should never starve yourself and won’t even enjoy yourself on the date. Eat whatever you like and choose the restaurant accordingly as well.

10. Plan A Few Dates Yourself

If you are a woman, you should never depend on your date to plan all the dates. You should plan a few dates as well. It might be possible that your partner will plan a few dates, but you should never let them plan all the dates.

Differences Between Courting and Dating 

Differences Between Courting and Dating

There is a significant difference between dating and courting, now if you wanna know what they are all you need to do is scroll through the article and know everything you want to know.

1. The Goal of Courting Is to Honor God 

I can’t say for sure that those who are dating doesn’t honor God or have any religious aspect linked to their live. But when it comes to courting the main objective of courting is to get married and produce children as quickly as possible.

These children then become members of the church and have a religious awakening and become devoted to God. They also recruit people to become members of the church.

2. There Is a Focus on Marriage in Courting 

One of the major differences between courting and dating is that courting is majorly focused on getting married and producing children. But with dating there is no focus on marriage, although it can develop into a romantic relationship.

Since the focus of courtship is on marriage it is quite glorified and is mainly focused on having children and growing the family.

3. There is no Singular Goal for Dating Relationships 

“Unless you see having a simple romantic relationship as a singular goal there really is none. A dating relationship is all about making a connection with another person. Because of a lack of goals, there is a strictly no commitment policy. People date to connect and develop intimacy.” 

“You may find the person who you wish to be with, and you may not. However, there is less likely to be any sort of rush when it comes to a dating couple to become more than what they are ready for.” 

4. Dating Rarely Ends in Marriage

When you are dating someone, it is about making an emotional connection and intimacy. The degree of intimacy includes both physical and sexual intimacy.

Dating can lead to long-term relationships, and just like any courting relationship, both are different types of relationships. That doesn’t mean all dating relationships end up in marriage.

5. Physical Intimacy Is Frowned on While Courting 

When you are courting someone there are certain things such as being physically intimate with your partner is not allowed and are frowned upon. 

While you are dating, being intimate and physical with your partner is no big deal, but when you are courting it is a godly affair so being intimate out of wedlock is frowned upon.

6. Dating Frequently Involves Sex 

Even though dating involves getting physical with each other before getting into a relationship.

But I should point out that dating is not all about having sex and being intimate with each other. So, you should not feel pressured to be intimate with your partner while you are dating.

The sexual intimacy between two partners while dating is a way of knowing each other on a more personal level. And that makes the relationship much easier and comfortable for the two of you.

7. People Who Date Can Start a Romantic Relationships as They Choose 

While you are dating you need to know that you can jump through any order of starting a relationship. Other than courtship, where family is approvable and involvement is too much.

When you are dating you should remember that dating has room to have fun and entertaining for the both of you. Here there is no parental involvement and approvable as well.

8. Family Or Other Authority Figures Approve a Courtship 

Unlike dating, courtship has a lot of family involvement, and parental approval is equally as important. Courting is a ritual that takes place in church-going families, so the intension is to have Gods approval.

The family imposes on the on the couple to meet and get to know each other, of course, while they are chaperoned. Both the parents of the couple needs to meet up and ask each other a out their relationship with God.

And after the parents meet and agree on the courtship then the couple will start getting to know each other, and if things are getting good, they can decide about getting married.

A Guide to Bridgerton Era of Courtship: The Do’s & Don’ts

A Guide to Bridgerton Era of Courtship

As we all know, the dating scene of the 21st century is all about texting and talking on the phone, at the same time going out and hanging out with each other is quite common. But when it comes to dating in Regency England the scene is quite different.

With the hit Netflix series Bridgerton, we see the Regency era dating or rather courtship scene in its entirety. In the first season, we see Daphne Bridgerton, the Featherington sisters, Marina Thompson, and Cressida Cowper start their marriage season in society. And we clearly see all of them going through the proper steps of courtship.

Although the fear of a scandalous affair and appearing impropriety in the eyes of Lady Whistledown’s Society Paper, here are certain do’s and don’ts that you should know about the Regency England dating scene.


1. Wait Until the Proper Age To “Come Out.”

In the olden days, girls were not allowed to go out in society to mingle with guys they didn’t know. There is an age when girls are presented in society when they are sixteen or eighteen.

That is the exact age when Daphne in Bridgerton started her marriage season in Bridgerton season 1. Maintaining this age is important so that they know what is expected from them in society.

“If a family had multiple daughters, the oldest one would ‘come out’ and be introduced to the society circus first, as is the case of Daphne Bridgerton.” 

2. Call A Suitor by Their First Name 

The process of courtship is quite formal and follows certain rules, which is why every lady needs to be properly introduced to any of her potential suitors. The introduction is usually carried out by the guardians and parents of the lady.

“A lady could never simply go up to an attractive man she fancies and make his acquaintance. She must let the lads flock to her side, as Lady Violet Bridgerton imparts to Daphne at Lady Danbury’s first ball of the season.” 

Every suitor first needs to “call” a lady’s house and seek permission from the parents before meeting with the lady. And it is polite and customary to bring a gift for the lady. Their meeting is supervised by the parents or guardians.

3. Anticipate Callers and Flowers 

As I have said already, whenever you have a potential suitor visiting your house it is you can anticipate gifts and flowers from the callers.

“A young lady much like Daphne and Marina should anticipate gentlemen callers to pay their respects with chaperoned visits in their drawing rooms in the following days. Or they may send flowers, like the Duke of Hasting’s grand display he sends to keep up their ruse and appearance of a courtship.” 

Bringing something for a lady is very polite and this behavior shows that you are a potential match for the lady. So, it is a good sign that your caller has brought flowers and gifts for you.

4. Find Friendship If You’re Lucky 

They say that it is better that you find a friend in your potential suitor and your future husband. Starting a courtship can be quite overwhelming, so before starting a romantic relationship it is always better to start a friendship.

“Friendship is indeed the strongest foundation upon which to build a marriage, as Queen Charlotte commends Simon and Daphne after hearing of the closeness between them.” 

Being friends with your potential husband and match is a great way to start a relationship and even a marriage. If you can find friendship in a partner, then you have lucked out in your potential match.



1. Dance More Than Two Dances with A Suitor 

When you are at a ball, you are only permitted to dance twice with a single suitor in that evening.

This is a ritual because otherwise, the ton might think of you as a “loose” young woman or the talk of an impending engagement is going on between them. So, if none of this is the case, then avoid dancing more than two dances with a gentleman in one event.

2. Call A Suitor by Their First Name 

“In Regency England, referring to a gentleman or lady by their family name or, when appropriate, their title, was the mode of decorum when courting.” 

Calling each other by their first name is quite personal and intimate, that is exactly why the ruse of Daphne and Simon seemed so casual, and romantic at the same time.

3. Be Alone with Your Suitor Without a Chaperone 

This is completely beyond question. A young lady should never go unchaperoned to meet a potential suitor who is highly damaging to her reputation and her family as well.

“This is the reason why Nigel Berbrooke following Daphne into the Dark Walk could have seriously damaged her reputation, and why her moment of passion with Simon in the garden would have been even more ruinous (This was quite evident after seen protective older brother Anthony punching Simon in the face).” 

4. Partake In PDA 

The one thing that you should never do is partake in any type of PDA when you are courting. You should always stand a foot apart, even while you are dancing.

“Kissing, caressing and any type of lingering touch between a lady and a gentleman was most ardently unacceptable when courting. No, you may only experience physical relations, aside from dancing, after wedding vows are exchanged. But you are to have no knowledge of these intimacies before then, as is custom.” 

Wrapping Up! 

Well, now you should be quite aware of what dating, and courtship are. Now you can make an informed judgment about both concepts. And to see what happens in a courting relationship onscreen, all you must do is watch Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton.

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Nabamita Sinha loves to write about lifestyle and pop-culture. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and TV series and experiment with food. Her favorite niche topics are fashion, lifestyle, travel, and gossip content. Her style of writing is creative and quirky.

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