More on Courtship

A lot of people commented on my courtship experience. I can’t respond to everything, but here’s some things I’d like to point out.

First, I hold to the courtship model and believe it is the correct path. It is morally right and proper for civilization, and, if done properly, should be good for marriages. Chad wrote well on it in the comments:

Courtship is a tool from Christendom in which the families were involved so that emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, commitment, and logical “do these two people work together” proceeded along side each other in practical steps towards marriage and creation of a family. It openly acknowledged that emotional intimacy leads to physical intimacy, and that physical intimacy going too quickly can lead to a lack of commitment on either party’s part as well as delude those sexually lusting after each other that they’d work well when they become one flesh.

Even in it’s hayday, courtship was something that was a…. tenuous thing, at times. For humans have always been lustful, prideful, and rebellious; and unmarried youth are more so than any other. Hence where courtship was ignored, shotgun weddings were enforced.

That, also, is not to say that the system was abused by poor intentions of parents getting greedy or losing sight of the overall good of their child by focusing too much on any individual trait (beauty, lust, status, wealth, etc) rather than overall health of the child and, in particular, whether the person they were joining flesh with would help them achieve salvation and sainthood.

These days, courtship works where people acknowledge what it is – a system in place in which emotional intimacy and physical intimacy do not outpace commitment and logic. It does not, and SHOULD NOT, have the same form as old school courtship as our current societal failings have led to different expressions of individual failings. It should acknowledge that courtship is not engagement, nor is getting to know someone a little before asking to court them a bad thing. Most traditional families want to know the individuals before courtship is pursued, and when that is not possible, or they’re not as traditional, a few ‘casual dates’ for coffee or to a public activity is usually accepted. Meeting the father a first time is not unheard of, but I haven’t encountered a grilling such as FN as of yet.

The whole system is supposed to take two fallen human beings and place them together in a way to support each other through love; not topple into a fallen state of sin, nor make princesses/saints out of fallen women, nor kick a Brother in Christ out to the curb with nothing but his coat and tattered remains of dignity and respect.

Any courtship that doesn’t align with reality is not courtship, but a twisted perversion of delusional ‘love’ which is lacking in all that makes love beautiful.

As did Cail:

The main difference between courtship and dating is that when you ask to court a girl, you’re declaring up front that if things go well, you’ll be proposing in the near future, and if things get to a point where one of you decides marriage isn’t in the cards, you break it off. It’s dating for the stated purpose of discerning marriage. All this other stuff about questionnaires and hyper-chastity is just extra weirdness that people are trying to call courtship because it makes it sound traditional and churchy.

I wholeheartedly support the involvement of family in the creation and development of relationships and marriages and the right of parents to veto a daughter’s relationship choices. The lack of family involvement in marriage leads to the screwed up sexual and

That modern ills and individual flaws are a part of modern courtship does not invalidate the model. No system is perfect.

My story is not a criticism of courtship as a system, it is a criticism of the incorrect application of the system.


Second, I submitted to the father because he had the right to my submission in regards to courting his daughter. A father has the right, the duty, to screen his daughter’s suitors. He also has the right to put whatever conditions he deems necessary on his daughter’s suitor and end the relationship if he desires. I believe in this case the father went about that screening in an incorrect way, but even if he was wrong it was fully within his rights to make the wrong decision.

If you do not accept a father’s right to do this, you are not a friend of patriarchy, you are the ally of the modern sexual marketplace and an enemy of civilization.

On the other hand, I know I should have been more forceful in my interactions with the parents. I was caught off guard: this was not a social situation for which I was prepared or had developed a system. I think prariepolyguy had the right idea:

Your goal with that kind of thing is to establish peerage, that’s why I say answer questions and pose counter-questions. He can’t simply banish you for being disrespectful because you aren’t being, but you don’t just sit and submit to his whim like a pussy and don’t lose face with the girl…

I also would have asked for it to be private, between me and the father. As Barnabas said:

It strikes me that the problem isn’t so much the grilling, its that the daughter is present. This should be a conversation between men with daughter and mom not present. Best approach if faced with such a situation would be to demand a private discussion.


Third, as her husband I would have taken over the leadership role from her father, but that transfer of leadership does not occur until the wedding, or at the very least the engagement. It is simply wrong to think that I have any headship over a woman to whom I am not married.


Fourth, for those of you saying I should have not have submitted to the father, but instead taken the girl against the father’s wishes, you are wrong. If she was the kind of girl who would disobey her father and abandon her family for a man she had known for only a month, she is not the kind of girl I would want to marry. The woman who will rebel against and abandon her father under the influence of passion is the same woman who will rebel against and leave her husband under the influence of passion. Once the father had denied the relationship, the only way we could have had a relationship is if she was the type of girl I would not want to have a relationship with.


Fifth, I’ve had more reasonable experiences with asking the father’s permission for courtship. The other couple times I’ve done it the families were warm and inviting, we got to know each other casually over dinner, and they extended permission without much hassle. My courtship experiences as far as families go have generally positive experiences; this time was the exception.


Sixth, I know I should stop it with the porn. Every now and again I try. When I do, I may abstain for anywhere from a week or two to three or four months, but I always come back to it. It is my besetting sin.


  1. It’s difficult to judge the implications of the father’s privilege to manage his family how he wants in this situation. It doesn’t seem to me that you would have been trying to deny him that privilege by forcefully calling him on his B.S. so much as expressing that his chosen way of exercising it could only create ill feeling between him and you. It’s rather like one honest king warning another that he is ruling poorly, without implying any illegitimacy to the other’s rule.

    Also, I sympathize deeply about the porn thing. I’m young, and still living at home, but I think in my own house I ought never to have internet access, for the same reason that an alcoholic shouldn’t keep even cooking sherry in the house. Drastic, granted, but have you considered that possibility?

  2. Odd that a man who calls himself Free Northern says he is obligated to submit to another man. A man he doesn’t know, who he hasn’t tested and measured

    Pretty sure the Good Book requires I honor my father not some girls father.

    And submitting yourself to the father makes her the prize, steps into her( & his) frame. Huge bit of demonstrating low value.

    Not putting up with his bullshit is not stealing his daughter.

  3. @sfcton this is less about submission to the father and more about respect. I would be interested to see your reaction if a man disregards whatever boundaries and education you spent giving your daughter from birth.

    Courtship in this sense is bound to be successful as it shows a level of compatibility that would not otherwise appear until further down the road, after commitment is established. His daughter only knows the way of her father, and will not abandon how she’s been raised overnight. If she does, then the man is right in saying she’s not the right type of girl.

  4. Sixth, I know I should stop it with the porn. Every now and again I try. When I do, I may abstain for anywhere from a week or two to three or four months, but I always come back to it. It is my besetting sin.


    The thing to do here is redirect. Find other ways to express the energy. Get tired, for one thing, through workouts and so on — leaves less energy for porn. The next is to detox beyond porn — there are many other images in the non-porn world that can strike the thought of looking at actual porn, and so you need to detox from those as well. The next is to get women involved in your life. The more (romantically) involved you are with women, the less you will fall back on porn, even if you are not having sex with them (as you won’t be, for moral reasons). It can be hard in the way people live in modern day life, but leaving behind the porn/masturbation habit will increase your quality of life by several fold, even leaving aside the sin aspect.

  5. The porn is what is in your way, not some girl’s father. None of the rest of this matters if you do not put this sin out of you life.

  6. Finish this thought.

    “I wholeheartedly support the involvement of family in the creation and development of relationships and marriages and the right of parents to veto a daughter’s relationship choices. The lack of family involvement in marriage leads to the screwed up sexual and…”

  7. @ Cane Caldo

    Yes they have. A good analysis of what is wrong and right with courtship.

    @ FN

    I would echo Bee. Fasting is a good practice to gain control and mastery over one’s body. That plus cold showers or heavy workouts when you get the urge should be a good start.

  8. Good post FN,

    sfcton SfcTon’s post is kind of why I mock a lot of alpha game guys. Too much of it is about seducing women and being utterly incapable of leading or being part of an actual community or pack. A guy that knows how to get women and gives a damn about developing a family or defending civilized ideals ect can really be an alpha, a leader of men and women, but most of them think machismo cuts it because their whole measure is how many women they can get, as if getting women was the measure of a pack leader.

    They’re useless lone wolves with some alpha traits but turn out to be less than a gamma in the grand scheme becasue they don’t form a pack at all anyway. Their intellectual legacy is nil because they don’t pass on their ideals to their progeny, and their physical legacy is dubious becasue their gambling that some girl doesn’t take the pill and keeps the kid… They’re garbage.

    You’re right FN, you needed to take his questioning as a step to being able to deal with not only women but other men, and become someone worth their while in terms of society. Getting headship passed from father to husband is an ideal situation we should aim for, and kudos for you for recognizing it’s value.

    “If she was the kind of girl who would disobey her father and abandon her family for a man she had known for only a month, she is not the kind of girl I would want to marry. ”

    Very well said, and very forward thinking.

  9. Novaseeker – the detox you prescribed above would only work in a society where scantily clad women WEREN’T on billboards, signs, TV commercials, or walking around right in front of you. You might as well try to detox from the carbon monoxide in air. It’s everywhere and many times you don’t even know it.

    Much of the advice given to stop looking at porn focuses on the behavior and not the underlying cause. I would recommend the book False Intimacy for more on the subject. All this cold shower and make yourself tired stuff is short sighted, stick-your-finger-in-the-crack of the dam, type advice. None of it addresses the heart change that needs to take place.

    At any rate, I don’t agree that porn is in the way of you finding a suitable woman.

  10. FN: I love your blog, lots of really great stuff and especially for a non-religious guy like me I get a lot from reading about traditional views and your struggles in trying to develop relationships in that context.

    Here’s some speculative advice:
    Seems to me you could trade looking at porn one month for just picking up some secular woman on Okcupid and fucking her (see for how to do that). I’m not sure how sins are scored but those (porn and fucking a secular girl) seem to be about equal sins by my reckoning. Fair trade?
    By doing this I think it would help you in developing a meaningful relationship with a good woman. Take some of the pressure off, give you a new perspective, etc..

  11. also: could you change the background color of your blog? whit text on black really hurts my eyeballs

  12. For kicking porn, I found two things to be helpful:

    Not having internet at my apartment. It’s drastic, but helps. It also help me cut down on gaming, to where I now don’t play video games at all but channel that time to reading, writing, and meditating on the Word. I also spend more time outside the house, with friends, with other men doing things like working on my car, and other activities. Sadly, it hasn’t enhanced my prayer life drastically as I was hoping, but I’m working on that.

    The other is that I take cold showers often. The only time I take hot showers I usually do hot/cold variation, and only on days I’m shaving (I only shave twice a week since I work in the trades. If I was white collar I’d be shaving daily.) But the cold water helps, with a short prayer that the mortification of the flesh turns me away from the city of the world, the flesh, and Satan, and towards the city of God. I used to fast more often than I currently do, but that helps as well. Increasing your control over all appetites will help your control over your sexual appetites. I’ve been free of porn since about… last October or November? And free of any masturbation (took a bit longer) since November/December. I don’t rightly remember, all I know is there was a month lag between the two.

    As a very big bonus, I will tell you the largest grace I received from kicking such sexual temptations is to be able to clearly distinguish between sexual temptations and attraction to wife material. That is not to say I don’t get blinded at times, but that I’m able to pull out of it, make the decision, and NEXT a woman rather quickly – sometimes before I even get her number or ask for a date. You simply start to see when women have only their bodies to tempt you with, and when they have a love of God and feminine grace.

  13. You don’t lead a family by submitting to your wife’s family….. and I have kids, an extended family I am heavily involved in , men that I lead and all that jazz.

    My daughter never continued to dated a man I disapproved of, and the ones I did disapprove of, I treated with more respect then Free was shown. I can promise you that family isn’t anything but trouble

  14. Philosophy I find helps with porn, believe it or not (Baudrillard kills any addiction ha). Firstly to get away from it, then understand what it really is, just pure simulation of a sexual function.. Get to the point where even if curiosity strikes, and all you can think is “meh” because you know it leads no where. There is a dead end to porn because it is only there to simulate reality, but it can never give you what reality gives you. Of course breaking the habit is foremost, and recovering your brain structure from the addictive nature. But beyond that you will always lead back unless the uselessness of it is fully understood. Images and curiosity always gets the better of you no matter what because that is human nature, instead of denying those things you deny the core effect of them. Take away their power, and realise what it really is. This is why Christian marriage gives you power, because sex is fully realised, it is about life and family. Think porn as useless because like hookup culture it isn’t about life, it is about simulation. Works for me.

  15. It is a lot easier to aboid porn (masturbation) if you maintain yourself at a level of minimal sexual arousal. This means avoiding small things like checking baseball scores on the Sports Illustrated website where you will also be greated by models wearing only body paint. Also, when you catch sight of a female jogger out of the corner of your eye, look the other way instead of checking her out. I was an eager user of porn for many years but now I haven’t used porn or masturbated in over 2 years. I’m married with a ready sexual outlet but I’m thinking that I’ve got a pretty good run going, even for a married guy. At this point I think that I’m done with those activities for life since it will take a very conscious and deliberate act to go back to them. It will be tougher for you but just remember that chosing to take the dopamine hit of glancing at a lingerie ad is chosing to fail at your larger goal.

  16. Going around averting your eyes from real women as well as ads, etc does feel a little humiliating in a way, though I think that its probably a spiritually beneficial form of humiliation. Anyway, you can see how Muslims would just say “screw this” and just put all the women in burquas.

  17. It was premature to consider this man to have authority over you. That’s not a denial of patriarchy; that’s working within the model. He is the patriarch of his family; you are the patriarch of yours.

  18. “Second, I submitted to the father because he had the right to my submission in regards to courting his daughter. ”

    No. he does not. He has a right to your respect. He does not have the right to your submission. You are an adult male and you have rights as well. You are not a child. Stop behaving like a child.

    this was an epic shit test and you failed it spectacularly… and now you’re trying to redefine the events to frame it like you didn’t actually fail.

    Don’t be a gamma.

    Learn from your mistakes and improve yourself. Pretending there is nothing wrong will never help. Its just living in denial.

    I’ve been with my wife for over 20 years. It never occurred to me to ask her dad if I could marry her. It never crossed my mind that he had any say in the matter. That’s because I was an adult… and so was his daughter.

    The decision was made. When he got around to trying to question me about my intentions… I told him I was going to marry his daughter. I did so politely… but I also did so in such a fashion that left no doubt that I would be happy if he was happy… and I wouldn’t give a tankers damn if he wasn’t happy.

  19. The closest thing in the bible to courtship is this:

    25Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’”

  20. Also… what is the biblical basis for this bizarre courtship model you have anyway? David running out and cutting off foreskins? The Bible is a big collection of books… and there are lots of weddings and such… I see very little to support this notion of “courtship”.

    Looks to me like some weird European tradition that has a lot less to do with the Bible and lot more to do with puritan nonsense.

  21. “If you do not accept a father’s right to do this, you are not a friend of patriarchy, you are the ally of the modern sexual marketplace and an enemy of civilization.”

    Patriarchy does not mean you submit to your wife’s father. You are not part of her family, you are your own family.

  22. Everywhere you turn, people screaming “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!”
    “you are your own family”, the atomized man, a family unto himself.

  23. “Everywhere you turn, people screaming “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!”
    “you are your own family”, the atomized man, a family unto himself.””

    Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.


  24. Even the slut as her favorite scripture, “Judge not lest ye be judged”. Its all about context.
    It looks like we are dealing with a minor Motte and Bailey here.
    The anti-courtship contingent would have you believe that they are saying you have authority over yourself. Who could argue with that? What they are actually saying is that you have more authority over that girl than her father has. Josh above claims the authority of a husband. How many times has it been said in these posts and comments that courting is not marriage and is not even engagement? Does coming over to meet the parents give you one-flesh authority over that girl? Preposterous.

  25. You are you’re own authority in this situation since you can walk at any time. To the extent that you are submitting to the father’s authority, which is basically submitting to a conversation, you are submitting to a system and not that particular man. We have Paul commanding us to submit to Nero so that no one can claim that submission is contingent on great leadership.

  26. For all that these anti-courtships state that they want proof of courtship in the Bible, I fail to see where their rationale for that comes from. For 1500 years the Catholic Church never denied that there is more to salvation and faith than the Bible, and it developed the tool of courtship for how couples should find marriage without being led astray by their passions, but by using their reason to find a healthy and proper, God given and God blessed, outlet for such passions of men and women’s flesh.

    Then, what seems to be mostly Protestants (and a smattering of possible atheists?) claim that Free Northerner should follow modern dating practices; which are also not found in the Bible.

    From what I can see, neither is strictly ‘Biblically’ based. One, however, does primarily seek to set the tone and standards for a man’s authority over his household while honoring the household from which his possible-wife will come from. It does so while seeking to stay true to the heart of scripture regarding interior dispositions and passions. Namely, to keep them in check so as not to start a relationship in which you cause each other to sin, but pull each other towards salvation and Christ. It does so while acknowledging the realities of the world.

    Also, where is this non-sense that a man should assert himself over the father of a woman he just met coming from? It is not one or the other house asserting itself over the other, but each coming together in Christ and in Charity so that together they may seek salvation for the souls of two individuals in the creation of a family. If you want to assert yourself over a father’s child in his rightful domain with his just head of household over his children….

    Well, if you want to do that, you should go learn from the Vikings and Barbarians. You should not learn from Christians.

    Neither man is submitting to the other. Each should honor the other while seeking to gain the respect of the other.

  27. Deu 22:21

    Before she is married, a young woman is subject to her father’s leadership (“in her father’s house”) and she has to submit. A young man, asking for her father’s hand, is neither a subject to his (her father’s) leadership nor has to submit.

    Out of that, between two men (who are disciples of Christ), there should be honour and respect (where they are due).

  28. Not sure how wanting Free to not put up stuff like what he went through as anti anything other anti disrespect. For me, it’s pro Free and anti him swallowing such disrespect.

    Nice to respect vs disrespect is a catholic vs Protestant issue and I am happy once again not to be catholic.

  29. Sfcton
    If you think I’m saying he should allow any disrespectful behavior towards himself, you misunderstood or I was unclear.

    As a man, free Northerner deserves to receive the same respect as the father. The point is simply that his right to respect does not overwhelm the father’s role as father.

    My apologies if I came off as acidic. I very much simply find the logic behind the ‘show me scripture’ stance to be hollow when the other stance is not scriptural either

  30. Not necessarily you Chad, but others for sure

    I reckon there isn’t anything inherently Scriptural or non-Scriptural about courting. Just folks trying to make their way through this world with their soul intact. I being older etc get to see both sides of the story. The family Free described are asshats at best, and there is a wide margin between telling them their actions are a no/go and punching the father in the face and carrying off his daughter ( which is pretty Old Testament)

    I rarely spend time with Christain men these days as their sole objective seems to be to elevate weakness into Godliness and wallow in misery as some kin of Christ like social/ personal good by acting like a beat dog. All of which is on full display in the last two comment sections.

  31. So many members of the reactive manosphere claim to be dedicated to a reality-based philosophy. And then, this crap.

    Dude, the Bible isn’t the Word of God; it’s a collection of books, many of them contradictory, written by a bunch of people living in the desert. Those stories may well contain wisdom, but the truth claims therein are obvious nonsense. Just like all the other pretty lies we are told.

    You reject the current lies, but you fall for an older set of lies. Probably better than the current lies, but lies nonetheless.

    Being cross-examined by dad regarding porn-watching habits? Give me a break. I would have been outa there.

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