Why I'd Rather Wait To Be Courted Than Journey Through Casual Dating

by Lauren Rich

Like many who make up Generation-Y, my approach to dating (among other things) is made up in part by the movies and television shows I watch.

Some Millennials may watch "Sex and the City" and picture a steamy relationship brimming with romance and hot sex.

Others, like myself, look to more conservative shows such as TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" for relationship advice.

Through watching this show, I was introduced to the term "courting" for the very first time.

Courting, unlike dating, emphasizes marriage as the ultimate goal of any relationship.

With that being said, the persons involved are solely focused on examining the heart and character of their potential life partner.

We've seen this type of arrangement garner more attention recently, as viewers watched Derick and Jill Dillard and Ben and Jessa Seewald enter courtship, engagement and eventually marriage on the past two seasons of the hit TV series.

In alignment with their conservative Christian views, the Duggars emphasize how courtship saves all physical and sexual contact for the wedding night.

Understandably, the idea of saving yourself for your wedding night must come as a shock to you all. I know it did for me.

After all, our sexuality is such a deep, intimate and core part of ourselves. In many ways, it's instinctual.

You want to open yourself up, literally, to the person you are attracted to.

And, ironically, these very aspects are the ones that drive you, but at the same time, should deter you from having sex.

For me, having sex with someone who is not committed to me for the long haul is like leaving my house without a coat on one of the chilliest days of the year.

You have no security blanket, no assurance, no protection. That person may be there one night and gone the next.

This holds true for many one-night stands and tumultuous relationships, which is why courtship is the best option for protecting your heart.

Because, when you finally do have sex, you know that person will not leave you and will nurture you throughout the first and all subsequent encounters.

What's more, courtship allows a couple to truly discern if that person is "the one" for him or her without the added distraction of sexual intimacy.

Don't get me wrong; sexual chemistry is important, but I wholeheartedly believe this can be discerned without having to take things for a test drive.

Jill and Derick Dillard even attested to this shortly after they were married on one of the first episodes of season 15.

I admit, my approach to dating is old-fashioned and unconventional for many who make up Generation-Y.

In fact, it's a very real possibility I may not save myself for marriage. I might be in that moment where it feels right and just allow myself to lose control.

Simply put, the example the Duggars have set gives me a benchmark for the type of relationship I am looking for.

No casual dating, no one-night stands, but rather, a real and serious intent on being in a long-term relationship that, within its own time, will end in marriage.

As hinted before, courtship is not for everyone, and that's okay.

Some people like to date on more casual terms. Others like to have open relationships where you have the freedom to explore your sexuality to the utmost.

Everyone is at different stages in their lives, and life is a journey — a complicated and complex journey, to boot.

What I do know is I want someone to admire me more for my brain, character and heart than for my body.

I can only hope some of you feel the same.