Courtship (#3)
I am Jessie Mills, Ph.D.
Child & Adult Clinical Psychology - Mills






In this last lesson on courtship we want to look at some of the PERILS during the courtship period. Most of this lesson will be the reading of articles by two teenagers.


(by Eddy Leach)

When very young there is no difference between two young children playing together. A young boy and a girl around the ages of 3-6 will take their turns at playing cowboys and Indians or playing with dolls or playing house. For while the little girl will play cowboys and Indians with the little boy. When they tire of this, some new game is sought. The little girl may now bring out her dolls. The boy will lay down his guns and take up a doll and begin to playas the little girl wants. There is no feeling of being a sissy or a tomboy by either child. They just simply wanted to play and have a good time, and that is just what they are doing.

In the next stage, let's say roughly between ages 8-13, there is a great change in the attitude of the children. In the first place the girl thinks that the boy is a dirty, cruel, mean, ornery, little rascal who plays with frogs and takes a bath once a week; and not even then if he can get out of it. She won't even speak to him. It is her belief that if she were even seen in his presence she would be disgraced. She chums around with the girls of her own age who never associate with boys at all.

Well, I can assure you the boy has changed also. He thinks that the girl is a little sissy who sits around all day combing her hair and pampering before a mirror. He even sometimes thinks that she is a little off, because she won't play with frogs. He thinks she is snooty because she won't speak to him, but you can be sure he wouldn't speak to her if she did speak to him. If he were ever seen associating with one of these little creatures his gang would call him a sissy and tease him, which is one thing that he can't stand.

This feeling between the two sexes continues to get worse until one day each one meets or perhaps is forced to meet one of the opposite sex. Overnight their attitudes and beliefs are changed. Each craves the others attention and the boy will especially go to no ends to show his lady companion just how brave and strong he is. His lady friend will just sit back and seem to pay no particular attention what-so-ever. This stage may continue for years, depending upon the individual. Then comes the next stage - dating.

This is a very important period, for during this time a great many decisions are to be made. The young people must plan their future. Each one must decide just what he is going to do 10 to 15 years from now. Each must decide what subjects they will take in school, who they will choose as friends, and what religious and moral principles he will follow the rest of his life, and second in importance to the religion question comes the question: "With whom shall I spend the rest of my life?" "Whom shall I marry, love, and cherish above all else in the world?"

Man, in his quest for the right companion, is confronted with the problems of what he should and should not do. One of these, which seems to have gone completely out of bounds in this age is petting. By petting, I do not mean holding hands or a simple goodnight kiss between two persons who are very well acquainted and very good friends. What I mean is the type that goes on in a parked car alone in the country, or in a home where no one else is present. There are many outcomes of this type of petting, almost all of them bad.

In the first place, it is bad for the future marriage; for it takes from it things that spiritually and religiously belong only in marriage. It is bad for the reputation. Choosing the right person is certainly important. The good person one should seek probably will not go on a date with you or will not ask you to, if he or she knows of your reputation. But turning the tables around it is just as important to BE the right person.

Perhaps the most difficult of the dangers of petting is that of determining just how far it will go. In many cases, it just gets out of control completely. To find the cause for this, let's go to our Biology. The human being is a very complex organism. It consists of very many parts each having its specific duty for the life and well being of the individual. Looking at these facts we see that man is not too far removed from other animals. There is only a thin veneer of civilization between man and beast. Through intensive petting and physical contact, he sometimes is not able to think clearly and correctly. The animal is brought to the surface and he acts only as a beast. The final outcome is an illegitimate child. The female, on the other hand, is somewhat slower than the male to arouse, but she too can be changed.

In the outcome of the above situation, there are three lives ruined. The boy, the girl, and the child. If they marry, there is very little chance that their home will be a Christian home.

It is a shame to think that man, who is the most intelligent of all creatures on the earth, cannot control himself. To think that he can be so easily moved by a few reckless moments of worldly pleasure that he forgets all responsibility and respect for himself and his companion. That he will trade those few moments for a lifetime of regrets and sorrow.

This is one of the many pitfalls of petting. It is up to us as Christians to do what we can to put a rein on petting. We can try to convince others that it is a bad practice if one wants a successful and happy marriage. In doing this it would be well to remember that we can do more to influence others by our actions than by talking, for it has been said that one good example is worth more than a thousand words. Let us therefore be good examples before our friends and what is most important - before our Father in Heaven.


By Paul Landis


After young people have begun to date, it is expected there will be some display of affection. Those who have had affection at home and who have been told about the dangers of strong sex excitement in dating have no serious difficulty. Those who have not had normal affection from parents, brothers, or sisters and who try to make up this lack through the intimacies of dating, often find themselves in serious trouble.


Sometimes they come to depend for affection, and for a feeling of security and love, upon intimate forms of physical contact during dating. This may come with steady dating, or it may even develop in some young people on casual dates. These persons mistake physical contact for the love and affection they have never known.

Dating of this type is generally disastrous to reputation as well as to self-respect. Sex excitement may become an end within itself, completely divorced from real love and mutual respect, which are necessary for permanent marriage and family life.

Young people who are tempted to seek affection in such relationships should remember there are other ways to win love and security; ways which leave reputation and self-respect intact.

Each person needs to decide what kind of relationship with the opposite sex will lead to a healthy companionship. There is a balance between a cold unemotional relationship and a warm, enduring companionship that young people who have had proper sex education in home and school are able to work out.


Our biological nature is concerned only with reproducing the species, not with our happiness. Sex impulses must be controlled, just as a temper tantrum must be controlled.

It has always been expected that the girl must set the standard in dating. In spite of the fact we are trying to do away with the double standard, the fact remains that girls in most dating, still must control the situation.

Some boys try to see how far a girl will go as a regular part of their dating practice. Girls who take the risk of dating boys with this situation must set whatever standards are to be maintained.

Girls have a big advantage in keeping dating behavior under control. They are usually more restrained by nature. Their sex desires are less direct and less easily aroused than are those of the boy.


A boy's expression of affection is definitely related to sex. A girl's is not. Most girls realize that in the long run they are more likely to suffer from the consequences of lovemaking that gets out of hand. Not only is there the possibility of an illegitimate child, but also reputation and marriage prospects both suffer when a girl is known to have low standards in dating behavior.

Girls also have a responsibility for seeing that boys' emotions do not get out of hand. A girl may seek to satisfy her own emotions by the physical intimacies involved in necking without realizing what a strong effect such behavior has upon the boy.

Instead of analyzing her own behavior and tightening up her standards, she is shocked when the boy suddenly gets "fresh". As one counselor of youths has said, "It is time for the girl to ask herself, 'What did I do to make him think he could get by with it?'"

For this very reason, boys often fear to express affection to the extent that girls desire. They realize that while girls merely feel happy and starry-eyed, their own physical desires may easily get out of hand.


If a boy is seriously interested in a girl, he does not want the friendship to be spoiled by too much physical contact. The girl who finds her date overly eager for physical intimacies has a right to doubt his respect and sincerity.

Boys who are worth dating, respect a girl who will draw a line. They are more likely to love and respect her if she keeps control of the situation. This does not mean that she must be cold and indifferent and uninterested in the affections of her date.

It is especially important for young people today to learn where to draw the line, because we live in a time when much greater physical contact is customary in dating than in the past. Once a kiss was almost equivalent to a proposal of marriage, but now it is a common thing - so common that it often means little if anything at all in the way of affection. Even now, however, kisses, like other good things in life, are valued in proportion to their scarcity. A kiss may be a token of deep affection or it may mean very little, depending on the attitude of the person.


Wise choices and careful behavior in the dating years point toward happiness in the years ahead. Take no chances with your future happiness.

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.