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This meant that by the time she was 17 years old she knew which Bob she wanted to marry.They got married and stayed married till my grandfather passed away half a century later.So what on earth were they doing that worked so well?

When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had one primary rule for her.

The Primary Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl.

Visits and comments poured in from all over the country about how to make courtship work and why it did not work. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce. The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.

Each year I waited for courtship to start working and for my homeschool friends to start getting married. The whole point of courtship was to have a happy marriage, not a high divorce rate.

She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”.

“Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row.

Marriage will always be a bit like jumping into a pool of cold water.

A humble realization that you are not ready and in need of God’s help may be the more healthy way to start a marriage.

So I humbled myself and took my grandmother out for dinner to hear why she thought courtship was a bad idea all those years ago.

She had predicted the failure of courtship back in the 90s and I wanted to understand how and why. After 20 years there still is no general consensus as to what courtship is.

But here are the elements most conservative communities have in common: My grandmother grew up in a marginally Christian community.

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