Ask Wendy

How Long is the Courting Phase Supposed to Last?

September 2, 2016
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Girlfriend in the making
How long is the courting phase supposed to last? ~ A Girlfriend in the Making

Dear Girlfriend,

This is a trick question because there isn’t an end date. I do, however, want to speak to the courting phase, so thanks for bringing it up! There’s universal consensus about what the courting phase means:

  • Everyone’s on their best behavior.
  • It ends, you’re committed, and while you’re not going to fancy restaurants all the time anymore, it’s okay to wear sweatpants.


May I create a new framework for daters to think about when they think “courting phase?” Permission granted? Okay, thank you, I will.

New Courting Phase Best Practices:

Behave Like You: Be you throughout your dating process. If he doesn’t like who you really are, awesome. He’ll go away, hopefully quickly. After a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a few nights of binge-watching a Netflix series, you can then move on to find your person who likes hanging out with the real you.

Best Behavior: The best behavior you give to each other happens on the first date, the ninth date, and eight years into your marriage. Always attempt to be on your best behavior for the person you care about most and will end up spending a ridiculous amount of time with during your lifetime.

 Fine Restaurants & Sweatpants: Yes, and yes! Keep dating after you’re settled. And if you like wearing sweatpants, wear them during movie night early on in the courtship (see be you). Life is a balance and if you can balance it with comfort and delicious food, then you’re living life well, sister.

Courting Clarification: Do you worry about losing your mystery? Do you think once the mystique is gone, or because the chase is over (now you’re caught) that he’ll stop paying attention to you? Part of this is true, but it’s not what you think.

When a man is “hunting” you, he’s distracted, focused on you, and a mess at the office. His boss, co-workers, and clients are all dying for you to get caught already so he can stop failing at this job and get back to the business of business. I’m thinking you want him to keep his fancy job, yes? I recommend you get behind this idea of being caught. This is when you shift from “courting” to “supporting, loving partnership.”

Happy courting!

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