COURTSHIP THAT LEADS TO MARRIAGE
WHAT IS COURTSHIP?
Courting is the art of winning the affection and love of a person of the opposite sex with a view of marrying the person. Due to its nature courting involves closeness to each other in order to express and feel this love and affection.
Usually such expressions generate from a male towards a female and involve as much as possible positive actions and emotions.
It is pleasing to feel loved by someone who admires you and tries to make you the number one person in his life. He tries to give you priority in all things and desires to make you happy. This makes a woman feel elated anytime her admirer comes closer to her.
Courting hinges on making friends, knowing each other well enough to know your likes and dislikes, temperament and character traits.
Some people are naturally gifted at making friends and get along easily in finding their way into favor or appreciation. Not knowing how to cultivate friendship is a shortfall but that does not stop one from finding a partner for life. That is why there are counselors, advisors, advocates, teachers, consultants, etc, who can help people with their knowledge and expertise.
CHARACTER TRAITS IN PEOPLE
A trait is relatively enduring and consistent ways of thinking, acting and feeling that are believed to be the basic units of personality.
Different types of traits best describe personalities according to the above. They are descriptive words (adjectives) that are either positive or negative. Some examples are: being aggressive, arrogant, brave, calm, bossy, cold-hearted, generous cruel, disciplined, and dishonest.
Let us look at two of the above traits that are relevant to courting, aggressive and timid.
The Aggressive Man
The aggressive man always desires things for himself and actually not for the interest of others, though it may not always be so. Their good side is the ability to take leadership positions. Their determination to accomplish what they set out to do helps them to go beyond their obstacles.
So how does aggressiveness help in courting?
It helps in many ways. An aggressive person can take initiatives for cultivating the friendship of a woman he admires as he is not bashful. He shall also not sit down for circumstances which are not to his liking to override him because he has the ability to take bold initiatives to nip it in the bud.
The Timid Man
A man who fears to approach a woman for love suffers from a condition known as gynophobia. Refer to my article titled HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR PHOBIAS published on October 7, 2016.
Being timid is natural for some people and men with this trait find it difficult making friends easily because they feel shy or lack confidence in themselves. In extreme cases they fear being in the company of other people and prefer being alone.
But having this negative trait does not put a halt to pursuing your ambition of having a partner for life.
Regardless of the type of trait you have, certain general principles will help you in your courting process because you must essentially have a partner. I have enumerated a few of these principles for your guidance.
- Be Cheerful
No matter your disposition, try to look cheerful always. It may look impossible to look cheerful at all times due to mood swings over which you have no control, but despite that try to be cheerful most of the time. Your cheerful look may infect someone who may admire you.
There was a popular radio presenter on one of Ghana’s top radio stations some two decades ago. This presenter was always cheerful on radio and this always infected my mood. One day I wondered if this man ever got angry with someone. The way he presented his morning show never suggested to me the man ever got angry with anyone.
- Be Honest
In fact these days it is rare and difficult to find ninety per cent honest people. That is the gospel truth. Many traders are cheating; many manufacturing companies are adulterating their products, some are producing sub-standard goods, many people are lying, others are indulging in various negative activities, all in a rush to get rich quick. Yes, money has been and still is the root of all evil.
In the midst of all these negative activities where almost everybody is competing for medals in dishonesty where can you find honesty?
In spite of all that you have your personal reputation to protect and that comes with being honest. A true friend is one who can be trusted to tell the truth and be fair at all times.
Many people do not care what type of moral fiber they are labeled with so far as they have money to do what pleases them.
By always being honest you will create a personality brand for yourself and attract friends and admirers who will love you for it.
- Be Helpful and Have Time for Others
People living in cities are not helpful to one another; neither do they have time for their neighbors. They are always busy with their lives. That is the nature of city life, but you can turn the tide around. When you do something different in an environment in which people do the same thing in a normal way, yours get easily noticed. For example, when you pay the transport fare for one lady passenger on a tro-tro or a matatu bus just once, count the number of blessings you will receive from her.
Also when you decide one day to help a lady with her shopping home or offer any similar help you may open the way to receive some compliments from her. Who knows where those compliments shall lead to?
- Don’t be too Critical
Do not be among people who always find fault with others; with what they do or what they say. Once you never side with them in an issue you’re either crazy or a bastard.
Women do not like to entertain such people. Be considerate and very tolerant.
Unfortunately such good virtues are gradually disappearing from the character of men and you often find people who are supposed to be lovers fighting over trivial issues.
- Be Tactful
In fact the time for courtship is the time when the best traits in a man come out even if he has more of negative ones.
For how long the best are sustained is the problem.
One of the best traits to exhibit is tact. You need to be tactful in order not to offend your partner or say anything that may hurt her.
Be tactful in the initial stages of your courtship and it will prolong the courtship if there are no other ill-feelings towards each other. When your partner commits a blunder you have to find a clever way of reacting or responding to avert any misunderstanding that is likely to arise.
INCOMPATIBILITY OF DIFFERENT CHARACTERS
We all have different character traits that make us either good or bad persons. Imagine two of you with two contrasting characters coming to stay under one roof. You are an introvert and she is an extrovert. You may not agree on many issues concerning your social life and may need to come to some compromise at times or each will find his or her own way.
There are bound to be differences in preferences and choices. You may like to eat fufu or mariscada always; the other may not like that food for some reasons or for no reason at all.
She may like going out a lot to make or see friends; you may be an indoor type of person who always enjoy watching your popular television novella.
The truth about this is that some traits are not compatible with others and when you two with such traits meet with the intention of uniting you find each other incompatible to live with.
There is no panacea for solving incompatibility. The relationship simply won’t work if the characters are incompatible. We hear of celebrities parting ways after a few years of courting or marriage. Money may not be a problem, why can’t they come to some compromise to continue their relationship? It’s because it simply won’t work.
If you find that the man or woman you’re courting has some character traits that are incompatible with yours simply abandon the relationship to have your peace of mind or you may walk into a hornet’s nest. Courting has no legal consequences.
If you become disappointed when your courtship terminates because of incompatibilities, you should be grateful that it ended earlier rather than later after marriage.
It may happen that no matter the level of your partner’s shortfalls and your incompatibilities you still want to carry on with the relationship to where it can possibly reach.
This can happen for special reasons. You may still have sufficient love remaining inside you and hope for a change or you may face accommodation problem if you leave so you hang on.
But you’ve been warned already that one day you will become fed up and explode.
THE AGE FACTOR
Age really matters in courtship. You should choose someone near your age so both of you can get along well. When there is too much difference in age it becomes more like father and daughter or mother and son affair rather than a Romeo and Juliet affair and the thrills of the relationship are washed away.
ATTRACTIVENESS TO EACH OTHER
Both should be attractive to one another. For a girl it may not be sufficient to assume that your good looks alone can work all the magic. You need to make a conscious effort to dress nicely always and make yourself attractive in many ways including being knowledgeable and skillful in some vocation.
For a young man to be attractive to a woman the averted way of dressing known as the otto fister brand scores no marks from a civilized woman. Dressing speaks volumes about character so dress decently as much as you can.
THE ART OF CONVERSATION OR COMMUNICATION
Your thoughts and feelings towards your partner are expressed in a conversation with him/her. It’s just good for your partner to know how you feel about him or her and probably expect the same feelings in return.
One takes the center stage at a particular point in time to do the talking whilst the other listens to what is being said.
The man is the more aggressive partner in this art and must do it well to win the heart of his lover. Whilst this is true dominating a conversation sometimes bores your listener, but the interest in the conversation is sustained when both of you have the opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings as well.
Do not turn your conversations into gossiping about friends and neighbors. If you start a conversation this way or veer into gossiping about others, your partner will note you for it and expect you to do the same about him/her when you meet your friends, and that too doesn’t score any marks.
Know stories and things that interest your partner and talk about those things. Sometimes we learn a lot of things from those who know and tell us about them. There are endless topics of interesting things around, for example, greedy politicians, religion that is worth practicing, advancement in technology, daily events, how to make genuine money as well as the coming judgment day.
Since both of you have the common aim of marriage it will be more prudent if you start discussing some of your future plans or even how you will react if you find your partner kissing someone else and things like that.
In perfecting skill in communication it is important that each partner is able to reflect his or her disapproval in a tactful and constructive manner. Silently harboring criticisms is like allowing an infested wound to grow worse. There shall be a time when pent-up ill-feelings will explode and cause a mess.
Learning to give and accept constructive criticism means much to the success of your relationship.
COMMON PROBLEMS IN COURTSHIP
The most common problems in courtship according to my observation are (i) sex and (ii) the final determination.
The rule with courtship is that there should be no sex. Whilst I learnt this in the Bible at Ephesians 5: 5 many years ago, my church Pastor always warns the youth about it.
Let us be frank with ourselves and ask whether the youth are patient enough to follow this rule?
Young people aspiring to marry have become so fond of each other that they cannot control themselves to keep away from having sex during courtship. They must have a taste of how sweet my girl is and how sweet my boy is and do it.
But if you asked one young man if he were Adam, would he have allowed Eve to deceive him, he would answer ‘’no’’.
Many girls get pregnant and bear a child or two before their wedding day, even if their men will marry them. When the two stay together they can easily forget that they are not a married couple but try to live like one. Sometimes the wedding has to be rushed before the pregnancy sprouts out.
This is one problem parents and the Churches are facing with the youth of today.
However, in defending the youth about this problem we must admit fully that due to physiological changes in the body with the production of testosterone hormone that produces a powerful urge to release sperms, the desire cannot be easily stifled. The desire grows stronger each time they are together until one day the sperms have to force their way out through the inside of the woman. Can somebody doubt this? But that is not to say the floodgates have been opened. No, I cannot accept responsibility for opening the floodgates to sex before marriage, though it is openly or secretly happening all over against what God has commanded.
The Final Determination
Sometimes courtship can last as long as 5 years or more without one party having made up his/her mind to marry. This can lead to insecurity on the part of the other waiting.
Some youth also take courting for granted. It is the beginning and the end itself and so no effort is made; no declaration is made about intention to marry. To them there is no distinction between courtship and marriage. They are all the same thing.
As a matter of fact this is what is happening within certain communities in this corner of the world. Most of these ‘’marriages’’ are without the consent of the couples’ families.
The final decision to marry or not to marry rests with the man. He has the most responsibilities and before deciding, must satisfy himself that he has a trustworthy partner who will travel the long marriage journey, not devoid of problems, with him. In fact this is a Utopian wish because the man himself may not be faultless to desire Utopian qualities from a woman. Both partners can have their downsides.
Taking a look at the divorce rates in Ghana, a Senior Pastor in one of the branches of the Assemblies of God Church once said the rates were becoming alarming and needed urgent attention. But in front of many people these couples recite after the Pastors to live together forever for better or for worse, in sickness or in health till death do them part. Then few years later, throw everything to the dogs. That’s hypocrisy of the first degree.
I am writing this to give you guidance so that you will never be a hypocrite who shall never go to heaven, or still like to go to hell?
If you are in love you are a typical optimistic person who hopes for the best so far as your love matter is concerned. With this attitude of believing and hoping for only the best it is easy for you to overlook certain sins or defects in the personality of your lover.
In spite of the above you must be very cautious before committing yourself to marriage. These tips are for the consideration of both partners. Beware of the following traits of your partner before you commit yourself. A word to the wise…..
- A man who suggests that you need not bother to become acquainted with his family or who hesitates to invite you to meet his relatives.
- A man who is well acquainted with persons who have questionable character.
- A man who has not gotten along well with his parents or siblings.
- A man who tells white lies. Telling lies is a dishonest way of brushing aside a mistake.
- A man whose love talks are laden with sugar-coated words. Such people are liars and are not able to keep their promises.
- A man who has the habit of blaming others. Such a person will always shift blames on you if things go wrong in the marriage.
- A man who always complain about financial difficulties. Such a person may not be able to live up to his responsibilities.
- A man who cares less about personal neatness and dressing well. Such a person may be disorganized and have unreliable character.
- A man who is not industrious. He cannot care for you.
- A man who disallows you to speak your mind on issues. Such a person shall be domineering in your marital affairs.
- A woman who always tells you to get a maid or house-help.
- A woman who is not able to get up early from bed.
- A woman who always prefer both of you eating at the restaurant.
PREPARING FOR MARRIAGE
Preparing for Marriage is a topic that can fill a 1000-page book but I am not ready to write even a quarter that long here. You’ll read just the important points I have in about 3-4 pages and if there are some specifics you need to get elaborations on you may contact me at my address below.
Marriage as we know involves two persons, male and female. This article educates both of you but if you are going to be the husband then more of responsibilities and preparations lie on your head, because you are going to be the head of the two.
Before I commit myself to writing anything you read further I want to ask you to consider whether you are making up your own mind to marry at the time you decide it, or you are under some pressure to do so. Maybe you are marrying because all your mates or peers are doing so, or you are under some kind of pressure to satisfy a condition or want to marry just to please your mother.
In these or similar instances your marriage won’t last because the reason and foundation upon which you are going to marry is not strong, solid and right for the purpose.
Re-examine yourself to be fully convinced that the decision to marry is your own and that you are ready to commit yourself to it to last forever till death do you part and not just an ephemeral event to please someone or to fulfill some condition.
These days the vogue in town is to get married and live as a single person. You go to your husband or wife when you feel like doing so. This is especially so when you do not live together and each partner has the opportunity to do whatever he or she desires in town. Marriage is not arranged that way and that arrangement is a clear recipe for early divorce.
Some young women have been advised by friends that men are not pillows to lean or sleep on; they are not to be trusted. By my own observations sometimes it’s good to eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations. You hear what they really think about issues but if you interviewed them openly they would give different views to please you.
If you are a young woman aspiring to marry and you listen to too many advices from friends that can easily deter you from it.
Well let’s put aside the negative thoughts and perverted actions of society and focus on upright and good ideals that will prepare your minds for a good marital life.
ARE YOU READY?
Are you ready yourself to marry? Let’s say you are the man.
Here are some few other things you need to consider before you plunge yourself into it.
- Improve Your Personality
In order to be progressively attractive to your woman you need to cultivate traits that shall draw her to you. You must be good mannered and have sympathy for women. You must also be a human magnet.
The truth of the matter is to have money. That is your magnet and nothing else. You must have a lucrative vocation or count yourself out. Things have changed. Girls like money. A woman will judge you by how fat your wallet is before committing herself to you.
You may be a handsome gentleman who dresses to kill, a fashion icon you may be and be admired for it, but if you do not have what it takes to attract, she will not effectively stick to you.
Those young women who were trained not to look at a man’s wallet before marrying have all got married already and there are none left. Surprisingly some of them have turned the tide the other way and have joined their money-conscious daughters in determining how fat a man’s wallet should be before giving him the nod.
- Education and Life Objectives
Being educated is very good but it definitely is not the most important pre-requisite for marriage. Many rich men are not highly educated but sarcastically hire the highly educated to work for them.
It is good to have some basic education which helps you to understand many things in life and how to cope with certain difficulties.
Surprisingly some highly educated people throw all that education to the dogs and behave like the silly ass. Why would divorce happen among some elite groups, some highly educated people?
It is good to have an objective in life and work steadily towards it. That gives you something to think about and to devise a plan towards achieving it. It trains your mind to be a disciplined person. You can choose to improve your skills to the highest possible level and that will come at a cost. Do that before you start bearing children.
I mentioned earlier the situation where a man and his wife live apart. If you live in a family house find an alternative accommodation where both of you can live together. That arrangement will help both of you. If you think of the economics involved and can’t afford it the alternative is to prepare well for a family war which may come later.
- Is Your Choice Okay?
I tell you honestly that the matter of choice is the most difficult part in courting. You’ll hear people often say ‘’I have made a wrong choice’’ or ‘’I regret marrying you ‘’few months after marrying. Due to this people nowadays want to stay out in matchmaking because if things do not work out well it’s you the matchmaker who gets the blame for connecting a wrong person.
Lovers do not show all their bad sides during courtship, which is the blissful period in their lives. Sooner or later after marriage when the situation changes it changes with the character and attitude of one or both partners. No condition is permanent. The bliss is over.
Without a conscious effort by both partners to keep the centre holding things will begin to fall apart. I am not displaying pessimism but reporting what often happens to serve as a guide.
After 2-5 years of courting you have no excuse to make a regrettable choice. If your partner is not to your liking why do you hang on till you marry?
HOW TO SUSTAIN THE LOVE THAT BINDS YOU
I gave this advice to a nephew of mine during his wedding ceremony and will not hesitate repeating it on this platform.
Sometimes you may take the love that binds you for granted and treat it with a casual approach, but it should not be so. Without love there would be no marriage and you will not be able to show your wife kindness, faithfulness, joy, goodness, patience and even self-control.
When love is lost it is lost with all these good virtues and then there will be chaos in the house. So you have to make a conscious effort to sustain the love that you have at this initial moment which is what is going to bind you to this marriage.
There are bad situations that may later threaten this love, and that is where you will have to be firm. For example sickness, unemployment, debt and any unforeseen circumstance that may happen to curtail your happiness.
Let the love you have on your wedding day be your torchlight to guide you always. Whenever you are threatened just light it in your memory and it will brighten you up.
MARRIAGE- — AN ENDLESS JOURNEY AHEAD
To enter marriage is to embark on an endless journey. There is no destination to alight until death. At least that is how I know it to be. It is not a journey (marriage) of convenience that we embark on for certain advantages and then we disembark at will to suit our whim and caprices. But man has turned it to be like that against the will of the Ordainer of the marriage institution.
Since I am not writing wholly about marriage but only on courtship that leads into marriage I shall not go beyond this point.
It is good for you and your lover to know each other for sometime before you commit yourselves to marriage. It is not difficult making friends this way and it’s pleasing. Courting depends upon the ability to express and show love with the aim of marriage.
Unfortunately looking at the way we handle marriage issues today it would be better we did not marry at all. We are just mocking marriage and producing children who live with only single parents. Is it only something to taste and abandon? If it is not sweet let those who have not tasted it make any attempt to taste it at all, and run away from it later.
In spite of that, with proper counseling and guidance during courtship, marriage can be full of joy and happiness and an everlasting union which provides spiritual fulfillment for those who honor it.
IN MY NEXT POST I SHALL ADVISE YOU ON HOW TO CHOOSE A CAREER THAT PAYS
STAY IN TOUCH!
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