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.

So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?

She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys.

” my grandmother wondered every time the topic came up. They both obstinately held to the position that courtship was a foolish idea. As I grew older, I started to speak at homeschool conferences and events.

I talked with homeschool parents, students and alumni all over the country and started to see some challenges with making courtship work.

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.

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.

It seems that my great grandparents’ rule forbidding my grandmother from going out with the same guy twice in a row was a common rule in those days.