Courtship is that period that a man and a woman, who have agreed to get married, set apart as time to get to know each other. Courtship is very important for a successful relationship and subsequent marriage, because couples get to discover each other even though this process would continue for probably a lifetime.
Communication is very key in any meaningful relationship; it is a common belief that communication is the lifeblood of any relationship. Intending couples must learn how to communicate. Communication facilitates intimacy.
First, in communicating, couples must learn how to communicate their intentions and not just their emotions. This means that a partner must say what he means and not let the message be clouded by emotions. For example, your fiancé is late for an appointment and is keeping you waiting; this annoys you as you have other pressing matters on your schedule. This is not the first time it has happened; what do you do? Talk about it; address the issue, let her know the importance of being punctual; let her know that when you value people, you value their time. Don’t react in anger because that would not pass the message you intend across, it would only ruin the meeting.
Communication also involves discussing your visions, dreams, goals, career aspirations, and ambitions. This helps you both to be able to harness your resources, and channel them in the same direction.
Talk about past experiences, background, challenges, family and upbringing, childhood etc., this helps you to understand where the other person is coming from, and the factors that have shaped them into who they currently are.
Talk about core values and principles. What are the values, principles or ideologies you both hold dear? This is important, because this would form the repertoire from which decisions and actions are taken. For example, one of a man’s core value might be giving benevolently; as his fiancé, you need to understand this so that when you see him practicing it you don’t get uncomfortable and call him Father Xmas. Maybe your man’s core value is integrity; when he says something, he means it and he is a man of his words. As a woman, you need to align with this; you would also need to cultivate this virtue if you haven’t.
You need to also talk about the future. Talk about every conceivable area about the future you are planning together. Some of the things to talk about include; number of children; how to handle finances; how to manage in-laws; religion or faith to embrace; church to attend; conflict resolution method; place of residence etc.
Love is a vital component of a good relationship. Love is all about giving; you give your time, attention, energy, resources, prayers etc. for the betterment of the other person. Contrary to the notion of “me all the time” we have had, love focuses on the other person and what you can give him/her and not on yourself. It also involves loving the other person irrespective of their weaknesses and shortcomings. Love celebrates the other person’s strengths and seeks to help them overcome their not-so-attractive sides. Love elevates, lifts up and builds the other person. That is how even God loves us, He demonstrates His love for us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ loved us and died for us. The same way we need to love our partners not based on their performance or scorecard but on an unconditional basis. Our love for our partners should be unconditional like Christ loves the Church.
Trust is a basic element in a relationship. Trust means to allow without fear. You need to open up and allow the other person into your life without restraint. Let down your guards; let down your defences, and grant access to your significant other into your innermost recesses. Trust does not come overnight, it comes with time; it is learnt, it is built. You can start by placing a measure of confidence in the other person, and allow it to grow with time.
As you proceed in courtship, focus on becoming better friends. It is often said that marry your friend; good friends are often better life partners and last longer. Cultivate friendship and good interaction between you. Friendship can be developed by finding common areas of interests that you share. For example, if the man loves football, as his fiancé, you should also be interested in the game; get to know his favourite clubs, the names of clubs, matches, seasons, top players, his favourite players etc. In the same way, the man should also take interest in the lady’s interests. Maybe she loves music; get to know her favourite songs and artistes; know the trending artistes and songs; try singing along when she is singing or rehearsing.
Make time out for each other; go out on dates together; visit places together; you could go to the beach side, movies etc; laugh together; talk with each other; have fun together; pray together