A courtship is a period in a romantic couple's relationship when they are dating. Most partners go through a courtship before deciding to get married.

Courtship is an old-fashioned word, assuming that two people who love each other will eventually get married. If your uncle and aunt only met a few weeks before their wedding, you can say they had a brief courtship — and if you have friends who aren't married but have been together for years, you could describe their decades-long courtship. The word is indeed old-fashioned, from the 16th century when it meant "paying court to a woman with intention of marriage."

Definitions of courtship
  1. noun
    the wooing of a romantic partner, traditionally a man's courting of a woman (usually with the hope of marriage)
    “its was a brief and intense courtship
    synonyms: courting, suit, wooing
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    a onetime custom during courtship of unmarried couples occupying the same bed without undressing
    type of:
    appeal, entreaty, prayer
    earnest or urgent request
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