In some societies, the parents or community propose potential partners and then allow limited dating to determine whether the parties are suited.
With the lack of courted relationships in today's society, fewer people are getting married and practicing premarital sex.
A large percentage of modern families are started with children and marriage following after.
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.
It is common to see the male showing off by sending love letters and love poems, singing romantic songs, and buying gifts for the female.
The parents are also seen as part of the courtship practice, as their approval is commonly needed before courtship may begin or before the female gives the male an answer to his advances.
Unlike what is regularly seen in other societies, it takes a far more subdued and indirect approach.
It is complex in that it involves stages, and it is considered normal for courtship to last a year or longer.
This form of dating, though, was usually more chaste than is seen today, since premarital sex was not considered the norm.