In Northern European Jewish culture from the Middle Ages until even the 20th century, families arranged marriages where the love of the two young people was a prominent factor.However, not every couple was so lucky, and this may be one reason courtship developed.They cordially greet the young man then retreat through the door, leaving it slightly ajar.The young lady seats herself and the young man picks up the bouquet, clears his throat and … As he reaches to pick up the box, he remembers that his tie is still askew and he tries to fix it, dropping the bouquet in the process. Testing his slapstick comedy act for the local drama club?There are, however, still many parts of the world where arranged marriages are the rule.In French Canada during the era of settlement in the 17th century, the luxury of free time to spend on courting didn’t exist.To court means to woo and to woo means to seek the love of another with marriage in mind.Imagine a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy sitting down to discuss their marriage plans.
We have more options now; “love” is almost always the universal premise for marriage, particularly in Western cultures.
Laughable perhaps, but several hundred years ago that was a common reality.
The dating process of today is different in structure and purpose than it was in the era when “courting” was the operative word.
Courting wasn’t something young people did merely for a good time; it was a serious family business proposition.
Surprisingly, the main players in the marriage process often weren’t just the bride and groom; they were the parents of the bride and groom.