On Dating

So, some time ago, my friend, Ore and I had this discussion on relationships from which we decided to share some excerpts. Now, this is not relationship advice or anything of the sort. Just us sharing our views on the subject. Enjoy…

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Ore: I was talking to my friend a while back about dating. She said she wasn’t dating now because she thought dating for longer than 6 months would inevitably lead to couples getting carried away or giving into temptation so unless she’s ready to marry, she’s chilling on her own for now. Just wanted to know what you thought of that.

Toxic: She’s right and she’s wrong.

She’s right on the issue of ‘dating’. The way I see it, a relationship with no long term goal of marriage is dating. One with a plan to marry is courting. I don’t believe in dating. Only courting. Once a couple is only dating and not courting, they’re more susceptible to temptation. Note that courting doesn’t mean they’re then free from temptation, just that the aim of the relationship is so different from dating that it’s harder to focus so much on sex and sexuality.

Where she’s wrong is that it’s got nothing to do with a time limit. Whether the it’s the 1st night or in 6 months, or even before the relationship starts at all; if it’s not a serious altar-bound relationship, it’s already bound to end up being about sex. Especially if it’s consensual. That whole “it’s for companionship” story is for preteens to use to fool themselves. Not honest adults. On the other hand, a couple can court for as long as 4yrs and keep themselves as long as they BOTH have the bigger picture in mind and are together agreed.

It’s really all about both their states of mind.

So even if she’s not ready to marry right away, if she meets a dude who will be ready in say 3yrs and she’s fine with that time frame and he also shares her values and beliefs, then going into a relationship with such a dude now should not be an issue.

In my opinion, she just thinks the busy preparation for a wedding will help her hold him off till after the wedding. But won’t they court (don’t want to use the word ‘date’) first before he is sure he wants to marry her and then proposes?

¯\..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯

Ore: Thanks, that all makes sense. I guess you’re right, it’s all about the difference between courting and dating. But don’t you kind of have to “date” before you begin your courtship? I mean, you don’t just meet a woman and think “yup, I could marry her” and then start courting, do you? If the aim of a courtship is ultimately to get married. Do you get what I mean?

Toxic: The answer (for me) is all yes. When I’m beginning to have feelings for a girl, I think “Could I marry her?” If the answer is then “Oh, I could marry her” then I might proceed with… If the answer however is “No”, I’m not going to even try to date, no matter how strong the feelings become.

Courting is generally seen as beginning from the engagement. I’m just saying that my personal PoV is when both parties have that mindset of “The intention here is for this to end in marriage”, even though a formal proposal hasn’t been made yet and they would say “We’re dating” (usually just for communication sake), then they’re really courting.

Dating, by general practice, is just so much less binding and trivializes the real intentions God had for romantic relationships.

Courting is a mindset, as is dating. Engagement is a status. Typically, people with a dating mindset go into relationships with a “This may not work out, so I must safeguard my own interests; just in case” whereas a courting mindset says “I plan for this to work out, so I’ll make whatever sacrifices I have to NOW so it does”. Basically courting entails foresight and planning ahead. Dating doesn’t.

My belief therefore is in…

Courting —> Engagement —> Marriage

As against…

Dating —> Engagement —> Marriage

Admittedly, a lucky few get to do…

Dating —> Courting —> Engagement —> Marriage

But why anyone would place the stakes of their heart on something with an obviously slimmer chance of success is beyond me.

Now, I’m not saying beginning with courtship is a guarantee for a relationship ending in marriage. Of course, it’s not as binding as marriage, so if either party decides they don’t think it’ll work, they have every right to skip. A good example is the genotype/sickle cell issue. Just saying that courting is a much better foundation for what would hopefully end up in marriage. The current divorce rates just show that, sadly, too many people go into marriage with a dating mentality and so when the going gets tough, the not-so-tough-afterall pack their bags and get going.

Sad really.

I choose to be different.

Ore: Well that makes sense. It still feels like a gamble. I mean, you can court and there’s still the risk that the other person may change their mind/have their feelings change and bail, but I guess that’s always a risk… One advantage I DO see to this your theory is that without sex, if things don’t work out, you’re not gonna feel like you lost out on too much; you’re less likely to feel used, which is a plus. But do you then DISCUSS marriage with someone when you first meet them?? Like isn’t that likely to freak them out and scare them off?? I’ve always thought you should ‘date’ (literally go out on formal dates e.g. Dinner, theatre, cinema, ice cream, whatever) someone for maybe a month, and then have a discussion, see if you enjoy each other’s company,and can see marriage (or some sort of future) as a possibility, and decide to “court”.

Toxic: Courting is definitely still a gamble. Just a safer, saner, more guaranteed ‘risk’ than dating.

As per beginnings though, I believe firmly in friendship first. It certainly isn’t easy but even up to when the feelings begin to stir, I try to keep things platonic. It’s how you truly get to know about the person and whether or not you want to progress to the next level of ‘risk taking’ ie hanging out, dates, dinners, etc. That way, you know what you’re really getting yourself into if/when you get to the point of asking or accepting to become mutually exclusive to each other.

At that platonic stage, I try to be honest and open on everything except my feelings (though more often than not, the darned feelings go and betray me before I even open my mouth *sigh*). Hopefully, she’s open and honest too. If we’re still interested in each other after this(assuming the interest was mutual in the first place) and haven’t learnt anything that puts a full stop to it all, it’s no longer as big a risk as when all we’re attracted to are the superficial things. It goes deeper.

PLUS, it saves everyone so much heart break!!

Again, there really is no generally acceptable time frame. All this can happen in 2wks or in 2yrs. All depends on the individuals involved.

*     *     *     *     *

So there you have it. Sorry if it sounded all matter-of-factish to you. We, err, had to remove all the juicy, more personal gist before posting. :p

So, what are your thoughts on all of this?

This entry was posted in Nuggets.

61 comments on “On Dating

  1. Olu says:

    I LOVE this, nice one dude. I totally agree. Never believed in dating for the sake of it. And I totally agree with the “can I marry her” . No matter how much a girl makes my hormones scream, if the answer to that is NO. I will endure the screaming till it subsides.


  2. ClaireMonae says:

    Very nice. But not much was said about friendship,which I believe is an important stage that determines the success of courting..


    • 0latoxic says:

      This is true. Friendship Is certainly important. While many believe friendship isn’t vital to the success of a relationship and may even have examples to prove it, I’m sure most will agree that a romantic scenario stemming from a good friendship would be much preferable.


  3. amy says:

    Wow! Loved this… Totally changed my mind set too. Wen u both knw u don’t have the same life plans or goals, y go into it jus for d fun of it?


  4. nory says:

    It’s sad to sometimes see a relationship between a Dater and a Courter. Because when trouble comes, and it always comes, the dater bails and the courter tries to fix things. If the gender of the courter is female, then the world calls her desperate. This then leads to ladies telling prospective suitors “I only want marriage”, so as to avoid this situation from the get-go. Which in turn, scares the suitors. If only daters made it clear beyond a shadow of doubt their intentions, but selfishly they want people with a courting mindset to become daters.


  5. adegokewells says:

    Errrrm, I have dated three girls (and I know two other guys who have too), strictly platonic relationship. We did it just for companionship and learning so I disagree with your ‘dating for sex’ theory. Anyways, good piece, I have learnt a thing


    • 0latoxic says:

      I try to keep an objective outlook when arguing statements and I erronously did not do so in this case. I should have used something like “in most cases” to leave room for exceptions like the relationships you referred to. Thanks for pointing that out.


  6. 17andbeyond says:

    “As per beginnings though, I believe firmly in friendship first. It certainly isn’t easy but even up to when the feelings begin to stir, I try to keep things platonic”
    AGREED! But sometimes when the feelings do surface, it’s hard to let the other know ‘cuz you don’t want to risk jeopardizing the friendship. The friend zone is very tricky.


  7. HoneyBronzed says:



  8. neroafiari says:

    Yeah, I agree on Toks’ views on courtship over dating. My thing is one should find out about genotypes BEFORE courtship/dating. Not during the process.


  9. Kemmiiii says:

    Very insightful


  10. lajidwayem says:

    So if I get you right you are saying that if one “dates” he/she is more likely to be “courting” disaster. 😀

    Don’t mind me jare. Nice post very insightful. With relationships its always important to be balanced. One cannot be too careful or careless, a person needs to trust God’s leadings and His expectations.

    This one that you have turned into relationship expert, will we not turn this to business? 🙂

    Cha Bruv!


    • 0latoxic says:

      “if one “dates” he/she is more likely to be ‘courting’ disaster”

      LOL! You’re just a punk. Anyways, let’s talk business. Shey you’ll be my manager? Let’s make this money!… $$$


  11. Dexter says:

    *Sets water temperature. Checkes outlet valves. Pours in fabric softener*
    *clears throat*
    Sir Ola-Tokunbo, as usual, this is…stellar. I honestly can’t come up with an encompassing adjective to describe this, but it was to the point, bluntly honest and very practical. As usual, firm views, logical reasoning, intelligent conclusions. I will probably never meet you in this life, but you’re beyond alright.


    • 0latoxic says:

      Ah! My favourite washerman! No o! Don’t be talking dat tin. We shall most certainly meet. How can I pass up on any opportunity to be washed by you in the person. Soon enough, bruh…


  12. Aha.. he puts the horse right back before the cart. Good job, Toxic. 🙂


  13. mystiqqal says:

    Aha! I’m courting niyen… I still think its friendship -> dating -> courting -> engagement -> marriage tho.. But ¯\..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯


  14. Mz_Shadee says:

    Hmm…Nice…very nice dear.
    When are we starting our courtship by d way?


  15. weird_oo says:

    Courtship. Always loved the word, quaint as it is.


  16. Sirkastiq says:

    So this is an attempt to rubbish my last blog post abi? #EpicFail.

    You guys can read it here http://www.sirkastiq.wordpress.com/zoned

    meanwhile, notice how we single people give the best relationship advice?

    What do I know anyways? Good going guys.


    • 0latoxic says:

      Ah, head-coach of TeamForeverAlone, how now?

      Abeg, mek we go back of yard go discuss the terms of payment for this advertisement wey you come erect for this my domot… *side eye*


  17. Piece makes me realise there’s so much I still have to learn…. Y.O.L.O LMFAO!

    On a serious note though, you piece makes a compelling case. Thinking about it the way you put it, its hard to argue otherwise, but its not fool proof. Nice one again guys.


  18. Yvi says:

    I liked it. Saka, park biko.


  19. DeMorrieaux says:

    I completely and totally agree with you, Tokunbo.
    My views precisely.

    I’ve tried to explain why I don’t believe in the whole “bf/gf thing” to some people before; but it made little sense to them.
    To me, it really is just as simple as already stated. Guess when next the topic comes up, I’ll just give them the link to this post!

    Thanks, Toxy!


  20. koyn says:

    Can’t help but feel there should ve bn a third person to this conversation… I see friendship, plans, determination, timing.. Smthn’s missing..


  21. jegzy says:

    errrm platonic friendship kor cuponic friendship ni. puhlease. cant be jumping from friend zone to lover zone anyhow. love me from the start, tainz. *drops mic* .. o yeah nice, interesting post, however my views on this topic are too complicated to comment further. *keez*


  22. mizztosin says:

    As usual, nice post Mr. Tokunbo

    Friendship is the main thing for me…. Personally I feel you need to date before u start courting…… And yes I know dating is all fun and stuff but I need to know u can have fun.

    This relationship is all kinds of complicated. No laid down rules that works for everyone.

    But I like your views.


  23. jemjem says:

    Havin bn guity of d othr practice,ds piece here is definitely an epiphany.
    Thank u for inspirin Ola…


  24. jane 'get' doe says:

    Well I was of the courting school of thought for as long as I can remember (which I am gonna pretend is the excuse behind my single status and not from being ridiculously picky about men). Then I realised that I haven’t been out with a guy or even thought about guys in that way in a while. A part of me I guess thought I’d missed out on this dating thing cos girls (referring to myself) can be INTENSE!! So I ‘chose’ a friend that had been on my case for 3 years… I feel I should insert *gbam* before I even finish the story bt anyhow, turns out the guy that wanted to date me had been so into just meaningless ‘brapping’ that he didn’t even know how to date…as in really didn’t. But as he was/is my friend I cldnt just be like ‘home boy ur clueless let’s keep it moving’ so I was now as it were stuck. Before, conceptually I knew dating sucked cos I’d grown up watching Neighbours, Home n away, young and the restless, n sunset beach. All the peeps that had girlfriends always had issues of one sort or the other. Also, I don’t agree with sex before marriage. Its not the way. You lose yourself to someone for nothing. Absolutely nothing. So I decided courting was for me.

    Friendship is an awesome way to get to know someone without ever worrying abt sex or any party asking for sex. You get to see people for who they genuinely are and vice versa. There’s no need to impress or want to pull a fast one over the other party.

    So now I have this experience behind me (sorta), I now can confirm to anyone thinking of just dating cos they feel its easier that courting, or less complicated, or you missed out, or u want more experience I will tell you NO! Even if your whole body lights up when the person pops to mind, just take a second n *pause* is it that serious? Will it ever be that serious? Are u willing prepare for a job you will never have? If the answer is NO, NO, NO, do not date! Have friends or Court. Wait for him or her (when I say wait don’t loiter on street corners giving out ur resume). Wait on God for ‘it’. I’m a hopeful but sometimes dreamy romantic so I honestly believe that when ‘it’ comes (that ‘omg, I want to be with him/her now, plan our lives together, live in and redesign that old colonial house in Ikoyi and our pad in canary Wharf and go for parents evening together…straying frm the topic). When you find it, it won’t be a walk in the park but it will be amazing!
    Nice post on dating.


  25. naomi says:

    It’s not “matter of factish” its d gospel truth! We r frnds, we like each other but I don’t see a future in it, I’ll never date! There’s just no point smelling d soup when u can’t eat it! Friendship-dating-courtship-engagement-marraige. That formular works 4 me yo!


  26. Akin44 says:

    Olatoxic, this is really on point. I agree with you 100%. It’s so cool to meet someone outside my circle of friends who still believes this stuff! The world just felt a little less crazy! Great insight!!!


  27. Hahishaa says:

    Ok! Strolls in with a LASTma placard..Been too busy to read the posts in my mail, newaiz moving on. Oga Toxic, I really agree with you cos I tell my friends that why do you have to date someone when you both know it can’t end in marriage..it makes no sense at all.. Nice post bro!


  28. Belles Pomme says:

    **Courtesy’s in Acknowledgement**

    Even though for awhile my practice was friendship then date. I did not delude myself into thinking it would be much more than that. My mindset then whatever me and the person at that time were in was no more than an “exclusive platonic friendship” (don’t judge me I was young). Much more is that he always was fully aware of that mindset right from the start and agreed to it. So whenever it ended, it ended.

    *Fast forwarding to Reality*

    Always loved the idea of

    Dating —> Courting —> Engagement —> Marriage

    and equally respected those who practiced it. Hoping one day, with the person God has chosen and prepared specially for ME, I would one day follow the highly coveted process.

    Since I can remember, one thing my mom asked me to always pray for is a man who loved God wholeheartedly. That way, he would have first hand knowledge of how to love, care for and support me (as I would him) when the time came…

    Lets just say Thank God for Answering the consistent prayers a 5 year old little girl 😀


  29. nubianwaters says:

    I love this post because whilst reading it, I couldn’t help but break a crooked smile. *heavy sighs* ….The most excruciating dance of all is a tango between a dater and a courter. Indeed, it is absolutely imperative to identify early enough who is who.

    I once heard these…”I can’t carry on with you because I see you are not a serial dater”….

    Thanks for reaffirming valid principles! Lovely post.


  30. Jay says:

    Hello there! I just stumbled upon your blog and thought I’d see this post. I’m late in seeing this but I’m not a stalker. 🙂
    [Sigh] I totally love everything you said and how you put it. Good to know there are people who still think this way in a generation that just flow with the current. I find people who are somehow different from majority of our society amazing. You definitely are one !


  31. Great stuff! I’m always encouraged by guys who have the same perspective and are always thinking long term when considering people for relationships.

    Fan from the US


  32. Ebun Oluwole says:

    Reblogged this on its eBunite! and commented:
    What more can I say?? He has said it all!!! Awesome!


  33. DavidOlamideCraig says:

    Reblogged this on Olamide Craig and commented:
    Old post. Timeless truth…


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