They cordially greet the young man then retreat through the door, leaving it slightly ajar.

How else would a young man and a young woman, meeting perhaps for the first time at the betrothal ceremony, get to know each other?

The betrothal could consist of a simple announcement, much like an engagement party, or something more complex like a partial marriage ceremony with the exchange of rings, a ceremonial kiss and a meal.

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.

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.The point is, a marriage is a joining of two families as well as two young people.Few choices and no time to date People may assume that arranged marriages were loveless matches, with frightened young people forced into lives of emotional pain and forbidding loneliness, but such was not always the case.The courting then took up the first month of marriage.