Courtship is the period in a couple’s relationship that usually precedes the establishment of a committed relationship. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if the relationship is going to blossom into something everlasting. It may be quite casual at first or unannounced to family and friends.

Traditionally, courtship was what preceded an engagement, and the role of the male was to actively “court” or “woo” a female. Love letters, flowers and other grand gestures were the norm.

Today’s courtship rules have changed dramatically. Going out for dinner and a movie, or a ‘date’ is usually the first step in modern courtship. Gone are the days of handwritten love letters. Nowadays we have Skype, email and text messaging to spark the interest of another.

Giving flowers is still seen to be a key feature of a successful courtship. This traditional practice has taken on modern elements- now we are able to order flowers online and choose from a huge variety of styles or arrangements at different prices. It is now very easy to predict a lady’s whereabouts since work hours are usually 9 to 5 and she is bound to have her mobile on her at all times just in case. Gone are the days of roaming the streets with bouquet in hand, hoping for a chance encounter.

Courtship is usually what precedes an ‘in a relationship’ status on Facebook. Or being introduced to our significant others Mum and family members. It is being listed in the ‘favourites’ part of their iPhone, or changing your profile picture to include the both of you. Seems like strange ways to say ‘I love you’ but the rules have changed.

We now believe the elements of courtship can vary widely. And even that females are able to woo their man. Bungee jumping on a first date- sure thing! Meeting someone on the internet can now lead to marriage and children. Meeting eyes across the room can be more difficult with strobe lighting at the local night club. Looking beautiful for a man can now include hair extensions, false eyelashes, and a good fake tan, rather than corsets and a rosy glow.

But, flowershave remained a champion of modern courtship. Roses are still as loved and appreciated today as they were hundreds of years ago. Their scent and beauty produce happy memories and provoke feelings of love. Luckily, some things have not changed. It is nice that with these new modern elements to courtship there is still one consistent and beautifully elegant act.