Ask Wendy

How Long is the Courting Phase Supposed to Last?

September 2, 2016
Girlfriend in the making
Hey Wendy,

How long is the courting phase supposed to last?

Linda T. — Atlanta, GA

Hey Linda,

What a great trick question! There isn’t an end date. I would like to speak to the courting phase, so thanks for bringing it up. There’s a universal consensus about what the courting phase means:

  • Everyone’s on their best behavior.
  • It ends, you’re committed, you stop going to fancy restaurants, and start wearing sweatpants.


I’ve whipped up three courting phase best practices just for you, and for the readers:

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 partnership. Always attempt to be on your best behavior for the person you care about most. A lot of people miss this memo, and it’s a shame because you end up spending a ridiculous amount of time with said person over a lifetime.

Fine Restaurants & Sweatpants: Yes, and yes! Keep dating after you’re settled in with each other. 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.

And before I leave you, I want to provide a 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 your date is “hunting” you, he’s focused on you, and you are very distracting. this makes him a hot mess at the office. His boss, co-workers, and clients are all dying for you to get caught already so he can stop sucking 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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