Scientific research into courtship began in the 1980s after which time academic researchers started to generate theories about modern dating practices and norms.

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Unlike what is regularly seen in other societies, it takes a far more subdued and indirect approach.

It is complex in that it involves stages, and it is considered normal for courtship to last a year or longer.

Ivory French casket with scenes of romances – possibly a courtship gift.

Courtship is the systematic process that one undergoes in order to ensure compatibility with a lifelong partner.

A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.

Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.

The average duration of courtship varies considerably throughout the world.

Furthermore, there is vast individual variation between couples.

Courtship may be completely omitted, as in cases of some arranged marriages where the couple do not meet before the wedding.

In the United Kingdom, a poll of 3,000 The date is fairly casual in most European-influenced cultures, but in some traditional societies, courtship is a highly structured activity, with very specific formal rules.

Throughout history, courtship has often included traditions such as exchanging valentines, written correspondence (which was facilitated by the creation of the postal service in the nineteenth century), and similar communication-based courting.