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It is essentially equivalent to the term "sweetheart", which has also been used as a term of endearment.
The word "dating" entered the American language during the Roaring Twenties.
" Answer: Dating and courtship are two methods of beginning relationships with the opposite sex.
While there are non-Christians who date with the intention of having a series of intimate physical relationships, for the Christian this is not acceptable and should never be the reason for dating.
The Christian dating couple must have boundaries in place and be committed to not crossing them.
If they find this hard to do, they must take steps to ensure that Christ will always be honored during their time together and that sin is never given a chance to take hold of their relationship.
Courtship takes the position that the two people have no physical contact at all (no touching, no hand-holding, no kissing) until marriage.
For example, when the term "girlfriend" is used by a female about another female in a non-sexual, non-romantic context, the two-word form "girl friend" is sometimes used to avoid confusion with the sexual or romantic meaning; however, this is not a rule.
Many Christians see dating as little more than friendship and maintain the friendship aspect of their dating until both people are ready to commit to each other as potential marriage partners.
First and foremost, dating is a time when a Christian finds out if his or her potential marriage partner is also a believer in Christ.
Prior to that, courtship was a matter of family and community interest.
Starting around the time of the Civil War, courtship became a private matter for couples.