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Courtship is the period of development towards an intimate relationship wherein a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement, followed by a marriage.
The matchmaker and parents will often exert pressure on the couple to decide whether they want to marry or not after a few dates.
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.
A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.
Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a marriage proposal.
Courtship may be completely omitted, as in cases of some arranged marriages where the couple do not meet before the wedding.
In the United Kingdom, a poll of 3,000The date is fairly casual in most European-influenced cultures, but in some traditional societies, courtship is a highly structured activity, with very specific formal rules.