Women should treat courtship as a process, theirs. Not men, but relationship experts are the natural processors, the shapers, the bosses who seek courtship success.
Both sides have a mission. Men pursue conquest until their mission changes as the result of experience with her. Either she yields to conquest, he determines that she is more valuable to him than sex with her, or his interest wanes and he drops her. Her mission should be aimed at the option most favorable to her; namely, convince him that she is more valuable than sex. But many women choose wrongly.
A woman starts dating or enters courtship because she’s looking for love, mutual love, endless love, love eternal. Or, she envisions some other version from lessons learned or dreamily perfected in girlhood.
In that way, women routinely choose the wrong mission. They expect to win a man as boyfriend or husband, and do it with her female ability to love him. Because they don’t understand the male nature, they choose wrongly by ignoring common sense.
She gives away her love for too little done by him, and the effect is to minimize both his devotion and her being cherished. OTOH, as he proactively earns her attentions and affections by pleasing her and by letting her have her way, it leads toward his devotion and opens the door to her being cherished. Men want more of something valuable they have to work for, and continually pleasing her increases her value.
To please a woman, a man can open a car door, hold a door open and allow her to enter first, hold her coat for her to put it on, seat her at table, run errands, repair her car, let her have her way, and provide other politenesses. Gallantry and politeness please a female’s need for attention and confirm her importance. OTOH, a man’s actions to do those things, invests his effort on her behalf and slowly percolates in his mind that she’s appreciated and thereby important to him.
Pleasing her enough can be a drawn out process, but it programs his heart to favor her. If he repeats pleasing one woman until habitual, it programs his heart that her presence in his life is satisfying and worthy of greater effort. Thus, pleasing her habitually leads to his becoming devoted to her.
A man doesn’t start dating or courting because he loves or anticipates loving a woman. He starts because he finds her likeable as person, female, sex target, potential wife or friend, and other roles she fills in life. She seldom knows his intentions, however, except after hours, weeks, or months have passed in the company of each other.
Her love of a man can develop fast, freely, and by her self-insistence that it is as she imagines. Not through logic or well reasoned thought, her love arises from emotional connections she senses. It confirms she’s doing the right thing for her right now, or that it matches what she envisioned in girlhood that her love would be like.
Men are quite opposite. Manly love develops in bits and pieces over extended time. He analyzes his actions and one or two emotional connections that seem to satisfy a woman, but do they satisfy him? Trying to be objective with reason and logic, he determines how satisfied he is with himself for sacrificing his interest on her behalf.
Development of a man’s love is also a process, but he’s the processor of three stages. The first two develop sequentially in courtship: devotion and bonded love. His marriage proposal comes after he enters the third stage, true love.
Bringing her love into the open can be the wrong thing in both dating and courtship. It’s much better to let it marinate in background with only his partial and unconfirmed belief that it really exists. Let his imagination soar about her love of him. What he figures out is much more impressive that what he is told. That’s right; she wants to hear three little words but doesn’t fish by saying I love you. She makes her love less obvious and more his target, the ultimate he has to earn if he’s to become worthy of her.
If he fishes to hear I love you, he’s more focused on conquest than on her.
If she’s already worthy of him, where’s his challenge? The more sure he is of her, the less he favors expanding their togetherness. OTOH, mystery triggers his curiosity and opens his imagination to be more certain about his logic, reason, and figuring who and what she is to him. It pressures him to focus on learning more about her qualities that he admires; that is, her virtues that compound into a virtuous woman that men seek to marry. Consequently, the more she triggers his curiosity and imagination, the more time he spends getting to understand her.
It all works best to her advantage, when she as courtship processor gets her way in their life together.