In some societies, the parents or community propose potential partners, and then allow limited dating to determine whether the parties are suited.
In Japan, there is a such type of courtship called Omiai, with similar practices called "Xiangqin" (相親) in the Greater China Area.
Unlike what is regularly seen in other societies, it takes a far more subdued and indirect approach.
It is complex in that it involves stages, and it is considered normal for courtship to last a year or longer.
Courtship always has marriage as its direct goal...
Dating, a more modern approach, begins when either the man or the woman initiates a more-than-friends relationship with the other, and then they conduct that relationship outside of any oversight or authority. Christian minister Patricia Bootsma delineates this distinction, writing that in contrast to the modern conception of dating, in "courtship, time together in groups with family or friends is encouraged, and there is oversight by and accountability to parents or mentors".
The average duration of courtship varies considerably throughout the world.